Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Caveat emptor

First a visit to St German's for the weekday Mass this morning, then a visit to Staples to look for a new computer for my sister June. She emailed me yesterday discussing laptops she'd seen in Peter Jones' (aka John Lewis) in London. I knew what the chain has on offer, but realised that they were over specified for her modest needs. There's no point in paying more than you need to for power and capacity you'll never have use for. 

Staples had just the right thing, a 15.6" inch Acer ES1-521 laptop, no extended keyboard, simple and sturdily built. It sported the Windows 10 NOW sticker, meaning that it was an old stock 8.1 machine needing to be upgraded by the user. I've done my fair share of upgrades over the past nine months, so I went for it. Actually, it's a quad core AMD with 4GB ram and a terabye hard drive excellent value at £269. 

I took it home and started running it at two in the afternoon. Four hours later, it finished downloading and installing 153 updates. This gave me time to get rid of some of the crapware, download Libre Office and Firefox, and set the machine up to resemble the working layout of the Sony laptop I bought and set up for her in January 2009. This way she'd have minimum confusion getting used to a new slicker quicker piece of hardware. It took another four hours to upgrade to Windows 10, and it wasn't a seamless experience. No automatic pop up to say the download was available. I had to find and visit Microsoft's upgrade website in order to kickstart the process.

It's not exactly the use of the word 'NOW' that belongs in the real world, and I wonder how the product marketing people get away with this without properly warning consumers that they must expect to waste a day machine minding while it upgrades. I haven't yet heard if the Advertising Standards Authority have had complaints about this kind of promotion, even for a fair bargain of a machine.

No comments:

Post a Comment