Stupid is as stupid does

Last modified on February 25th, 2007

As i mentioned in one of my previous posts, tonight I went down to Future Shop and picked up a new MacBook Pro. Before I detail what the buying experience was like, I’m going to talk a bit about me.

I do stupid things. Quite often actually. And maybe Forest Gump would say it’s because I actually am stupid, but I think it’s mainly because I’m absent minded from time to time. One good example is the day I went to work with my short not only on backwards, but also on inside out. It didn’t really have any distinguishing features on it, and after three weeks of late nights working on my master’s thesis, wearing my shirt on backwards was the least of my concerns. However, my girlfriend at the time laughed her ass off when I got home, not only because I did this, but because not a single guy at work noticed it either.

It’s not just that I do stupid things either. It’s that whenever I identify something I do that is particularly stupid, often I ended up repeating that same thing in the future. Like shopping for shoes at Aldo. I’ve probably purchased three or four pairs of $100 shoes there in my time, and every single pair has fallen apart long before I think it should have. Maybe I compare everything to that wicked pair of Doc Martin’s I had years ago, but a nice pair of leather shoes really should last for more than two months in my opinion.

No matter how many times this happens, one day I’ll be walking by Aldo and see a pair of shoes that pulls me in. And pretty soon I’m entertaining the thought process: “oh, maybe these ones will actually be ok…” And sure enough, two months later I’m stuck outside in the rain with a wet sock, holding half a shoe in my hand, wondering why in the hell I did that stupid thing again.

And now we come to point of the blog entry — how much I really hate shopping at Future Shop. You have to understand — guys need gadgets.. Maybe not expensive gadgets, but we need to fiddle with things that shine and beep, and connect together in weird obscure ways. That’s just how we work. And that’s why Future Shop is such a neat place, because guys can mosey from isle to isle and indulge this weird part of our psyches. We can walk around, smiling, playing with random devices, pressing buttons as we look for the next semi-useless thing to take home and mount on our stereo stands.

But no matter how many things I buy at Future Shop, I always walk away feeling terrible for just how bad the customer experience is. And for the most part, this negativity revolves around the sale of their extended warranties.

Why is it that the moment you’re about to purchase some electronic device, the guy selling it at Future Shop tries to convince you that it’s a piece of garbage that’s going to break the moment you walk out the door? Oh, sure that’s a top of the line digital camera, but did you know the pixels are gonna start burning out in the next few days? How about that MP3 player? Well, they don’t make those very good and the cases fall apart after a few months.. Your new laptop? Better buy an external hard drive to go with it, because the internal ones routinely fail..

How stupid do we all look? I really hope nobody falls for those types of lines. Almost every device comes with some kind of manufacturers warranty, and many credit cards extend these warranties as well. Please don’t fall for the Marvin the Paranoid Android approach to electronics.

Right when I was about to pay for my new MacBook Pro, the guy tells me what a hunk of garbage it is, and that I really should buy an extended warranty. Since I saw this coming all the way back at UBC earlier today, I politely told him I wasn’t interested. Then he pulls out some graph paper and a bunch of writing utensils and continues to come up with arguments for why I really need it, and how I can’t possibly buy this laptop without it. Me, obviously getting annoyed, counters with “for every dollar you knock off the list price now, I’ll put that into an extended warranty for you.” He doesn’t like this, and continues to support his argument using parabolas and some weird form of calculus that only Future Shop employees are privy to. To be honest, if it was something like $50, I probably would have paid it just to shut him up and get out of there. But he was asking for $450 on top of the $2500 I just dropped. Finally, I told him if he asked me to purchase it one more time, I was gonna leave the store without buying anything.

Problem solved. But seriously, this happens *every time* I shop at Future Shop, and *every time* I vow not to go back there. And yet somehow, I always end up back inside, arguing with some sales guy over extended warranties. Maybe next time I’ll just order my gadget by mail and forgo hitting any type of store at all. It’s seriously such a pain having to deal with sales people like that.