Girl walks into an electrical store…

The charger for my 4.5yr old Sony laptop went bust a few days ago. On Sunday I took the old charger into town to seek a replacement with varying & irritating results. Note – all prices quoted are approximate & from memory so don’t kill me if I’m not 100% on the money here…

PC World, Jervis St.

Sales assistant spotted me eyeing up the chargers on display. Offered assistance in choosing. I accepted. He took my old charger to the “techy” folk in the back to double-check a generic charger was ok to go & so it was. Their range went from about €70 up to €130, the €70 ones without a price tag.

Maplins (next to Jervis St)

Big range of chargers going from about €50 to €150. No assistance offered.

Peats, Parnell St.

Assistance offered immediately as I browse. Pricing not very obvious. I’m recommended one that works out at €80 (after citing budget as a factor in decision) although there were others priced at up to €140.

The purchase

“You can always bring it back if it doesn’t work” and “it’s self-regulating so you don’t have to worry about accidentally switching the voltage up & killing your laptop” swayed me into buying the recommended one from Peats for €80.

Trial & error

So this morning, I plug in the new charger and hope for all to go smoothly. Sadly not. If anything it was almost like the laptop had an allergic reaction going from “I’m charging” to “critical battery – switch to mains power” ever 5 seconds until the battery died. Repackaged charger, off we go to town.

The return

I visit my nearest Sony centre to see if I would have to give in & purchase a Sony branded model & hope they would answer me honestly. Sales guy tells me a new Sony charger is €140 but a generic one should do. Offers to try one out there and then, I accept, it works, and it’s only €60. Checks Peats’ stock (as they’re somehow connected), they don’t have that particular one but should have something similar for the same price. Lovely. Off we go.

Get to Peats & I get handed over to the sales guy I dealt with the day before. He doesn’t remember me at all. I explain my problem. He suggests a €120 one in replacement while testing the one he sold me to see if it it’s faulty. “This works fine, it must be the power connection on the laptop.” I tell my Sony shop story highlighting the fact that it was charging for them, ask for refund of my cash. Ignores the request. Suggests a €70 one. Again I ask for a refund, I want to buy the one in the Sony shop coz he has none – they checked your stock mate. Offered a €50 one. I ask to try it out, he agrees reluctantly. While awaiting startup he goes on to bad mouth the Sony Centre staff, “they don’t really know what’s going on underneath…they’ll sell you something that just looks good”. I’m starting to twitch. Charger test works, I get a refund of the balance, I thank him for his assistance  & go.

Never to return again

I will never shop at Peats again. The first visit there I wasn’t offered the one I ended up purchasing for €50. If I’d been a total pushover I would have ended up buying the €120 model originally “recommended”. I’m not sure if I was within my rights to insist on a refund but the fact that he ignored my request for one twice was absurd. Trying to tell me that my laptops’ power connection must be faulty after I tell him I’ve tried and tested another brand in another shop was either stupid or he just wasn’t listening. As for bad mouthing the Sony staff? Pathetic & highly unprofessional.

Sony Centre on O’Connell St – I’ll be seeing you in October where I (hopefully) will buy a new VAIO.

3 thoughts on “Girl walks into an electrical store…”

  1. I’m a former PC World management type and am not surprised by any of this. Peats are usually ok to deal with, but if you get into any specifics they’re lost. Some staff are genuinely interested in tech & are great help. Others read the box and hope you’re not as smart as them…

  2. have to say, I absolutely HATE going into Peats, and I LOVE techie stuff.
    I worked as tech support for a broadband company a while back and even when I went in asking for a specific cable (knew the correct name for it and everything) they STILL tried to upsell me. Upselling is one thing, offering no other alternative is entirely different.

    At least it’s not as bad as “Girl goes into Games Workshop” *shudder*

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