I have just had a very frustrating afternoon trying to buy a notebook computer with my Partner.
My partner has started a distance learning course. She is about two thirds of the way through here first unit and the final exam is approaching. Unfortunately, she will be away on holiday when her exam starts. Being a distance learning course, the exam has been structured with distance learning in mind. All she has to do is download her exam materials one day and then submit her answers a week later. All very reasonable. Since she will be back in the UK at that time visiting relatives it makes sense to buy a notebook computer so she do her work whilst she is staying with her parents. All we need to do is buy a notebook computer for her to take with her. That doesn’t sound too difficult, does it?
Well, yes it is, if the store staff manage to ignore you consistently for an hour or so.
We stayed in one of the shops for around 40 minutes looking at the notebooks that they had on offer. We tried several times to attract some interest from the staff but with no success. We went into the shop next door and had the same experience. On the way out of the second store we noted a particularly good deal on oil-filled gas heaters – it can get a bit chilly in the winter evenings here. So we went up to the counter to buy one and were completely ignored for the next 10 minutes. One of the staff even stood opposite us whilst he went through some invoices for someone else. Neither he, nor his colleague next to him, acknowledged our existence.
Do not come to New Zealand for a pleasant shopping experience. Shop staff here can be this rude on a regular basis and don’t even realise that they are doing it. I must acknowledge that this was a Sunday which is a very busy shopping day. However, a polite “I’m sorry, I’m helping another customer at the moment, I’ll be with you once I finish with them” would have gone a long way in terms of customer relations. As it was, it never happened. So guess what? We will not be buying anything from either of those shops. We are certainly not buying a laptop from them, nor that really good oil-filled heater deal they had on offer.
Do you think it is a coincidence that neither of these shops had any female staff working today?
So, one of the other branches of these chains will be getting our trade. There are plenty of them around town. The respective staffs of “Bond & Bond” and “Noel Leemings” stores at The Palms Mall will not be seeing us again.
Pity really, because I suspect the commission on a notebook computer is a bit better than that for a standard TV or washing machine.