Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The farmer in the Dell

OK, I'll just come right out and say it. Dell's plan to sell computers at the Wal-Mart is probably going to fail. Why? The Wal-Mart consumer is just plain stupid. They are not going to grasp the complexities of a $698 Dell laptop. We're already starting to return these computers and they've been in stores for like a week?

The computer is low-end anyway. Any laptop you buy in Wal-Mart for $698 is going to be quality. Right?

Spare me the black-and-white faded-toner Xerox copy paper signs taped to all the registers now advertising "DELL COMPUTERS NOW SOLD AT WAL-MART" Tack-o-rama.

Or the big stack of the $498 desktops sitting in a nice convenient pile about 30 feet from the grocery entrance. Handy for shoplifting, I'd say. But I digress.

This couple comes up to the Service Desk. They've got one of the new Dell laptops. They want to return it.

ME: "What's wrong with it."
THEM: "The screen flashes."
ME: "Did you call tech support?"
THEM: "No."
ME: "Um."
ME: "Um." Trying to think of what to say. If I spend $700 on something, I'm going to try to make it work. Returning it because I'm too stupid to make it work is usually not an option. Of course, I'd never buy a computer at Wal-Mart.
ME: "Um, do you want to exchange it?"
THEM: "No. We don't want a computer anymore. It is too complicated." That's the real reason you're returning it.
ME: "Um, OK." Button. Mash. PS MERCH RETURN [defect] Cash. Sign. Thankyouformakingmylifeevenmoremiserable. Because you can spend $700 on a laptop that you can't even operate and I can't pay my rent.

When they left, I wanted to yell "Just go buy an iMac!"

Of course, they were probably too cheap to shell out for something that is actually going to work!


Anonymous said...

I highly encourage all customers to visit the Mac retailer down the street.

Anonymous said...

Sure. Because Mac is for stupid people.

CoderForChrist said...

"get an iMac, it's a computer especially built for idi—um..."

Anonymous said...

Our manager put one of the dell's out on the floor as a display model in front of the other dell's, in the middle of the isle, all hooked up and powered and everything.... and automatically logged in as the 'administrator' account in Vista.

Just take a wild guess what happened next...

kc8ual said...

You see that is what happens when I leave the country for a few years to a country that has no Wal-Marts. Yes there are no Wal-Marts here in the Philippines. I miss Wally World. LOL

So I leave the country and I am stuck having to find out on the internet that Dell and Wal-Mart are going in together.

I wonder if they will put the 75 year old greeter in charge of their other computers so they will sell more Dells.

Too funny

Grant said...

If a person is too technologically dead-in-the-head to run a PC, odds are that they won't understand a Mac, either. Or Linux. Or anything else you put in front of them.

BTW, love the blog. Been reading for a long time now.

osisbs said...

Consider how dumb an average person with an IQ of 100 is. Now consider the fact that 50% of the hominids walking around out there are NOT EVEN THAT SMART!

The reason that iPods are big sellers is because an 80 year old woman in lime green polyester weighing 400 pounds and smoking a Basic Light cigarette can figure out an iPod in about 3 minutes and 41 seconds.
The outfit in my town that sells Blackberries will also offer to come to your business and TRAIN your staff on how to use one! Huh? You mean I have an MBA but still need to go to class to learn how to send email?
I think I'll wait for the iPhone.

Anonymous said...

iMacs are gonna cost well above the $700 price point and if you're Windows trained, which most people are, a Mac is only going to confuse and frustrate them more, especially the whole, 'no right click' thing.

Anonymous said...

Incredibly not all people who shop at Wallyworld are stupid, some do just shop there for the cheaper deals.
However, the inability to call tech support, read a manual or try to figure out what is happening with their computer before returning it is an affliction a number of folks seem to have regardless of where they shop.
Oh, and a mac isn't as insipid as a windows based pc in it's need to repeatedly require permission to commit a function when you've already requested it.

Anonymous said...

Oh! And does anyone else remember when you could only buy Dell online & it was qulity? Same with Gateway, used to be that they were so far above Compaq/HP, not the case any more.

FARfetched said...

I can remember being able to buy smelly Dells online. I don't ever remember them being quality though.

Dell & Wal-Mart are a perfect match... you buy the very cheapest, you get the very cheapest.

Anonymous said...

To quote Dilbert:

Please read the book that came with your computer. Its by a latin guy named Manual.

yoyo said...

NEVER mention your mac/pc preferences in a blog! Unless you want a massive "NO MACS ARE RUBBISH!" "NO PCs ARE!" flame war.

I've had both, I like both. Pcs are more modifiable, and Macs...well, iMacs, tend to be held together inside with superglue,selotape and cable ties.
I shit you not. When my iMac got borked I opened it up (no mean feat in itself) to see what was what.

I couldnt see the circuitry for the cable ties.

Asda is pretty good for cheap food, I'll give them that.
But no way would you want to but electrical equipment from a place like that. They should stick to selling food and clothing, and leave the technical stuff to the people who know what they're doing.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious - did Dell have to produce a shiatty "WalMart only" version of their laptop in order to get the $698 price I'm sure WalMart demanded?

If so, in a few months/years, people will complain about the crappy Dell they bought and blame Dell for it (not that Dells are fantastic, but I AM using one right now) rather than Walmart.

pyramus said...

Macs have had right-click capability for some time. The Mac Mighty Mouse has a unified surface that allows both a right click and a left click (plus a scroll ball in the middle), and with my Mac I use a Wacom graphics tablet that has a two-button mouse with a scroll wheel.

So that's not the reason the idiots aren't going to be able to use a Mac. They're not going to be able to use it because they're idiots, and as user-friendly and easy to set up as a Mac is, it's still not appropriate for morons.

Greg said...

"Just take a wild guess what happened next..."

-Someone updated their blog? Started an internet business? Used the keyboard to fend off a Zulu attack? Broke the glass out of the monitor and converted it into a fish tank?

Wilder than that?

Anonymous said...

I work at another mal wart across the country and a guy returned one of those things because "his wife didn't like it"
I gave him a good stare before I continued.

Anonymous said...

I hope you powered up the machine and double checked each component as well. It's pretty common for people to buy a machine, strip or replace all of the expensive components inside with cheaper versions, and then return the computer - or just the box with a brick inside.

Welcome to the world of electronics fraud. Read up on best buy/circuit city horror stores if you want the full details.

Anonymous said...

"They're not going to be able to use it because they're idiots, and as user-friendly and easy to set up as a Mac is, it's still not appropriate for morons."

This is true. Also true is the fact that I paid $4000 for my mac, which I earned at the job that not being a moron got me. I'm guessing the average Wal-Mart shopper doesn't have $4000 laying around.

Bret said...

I've been working at a NJ WalMart for a few years now, and I just have to say how much I can relate to your blog. Someone linked me to it, and I haven't been able to stop reading. <3

As far as these Dells are concerned, I tend to agree with the theory that Wal-Mart and Dell belong in bed together.

It's like watching two people shack up, and you know, you know they've both got some really crazy-out-there fetishes that they're gonna whip out on eachother halfway through the act, and you really don't want to know any details, ever, but you can't look away. T_T

Next thing you know, heroin-soaked grapes are being thrown around the room by midgets on tricycles...

It's gonna get uglier before it gets better.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Dell computers and theft...

I work overnight electronics, and I was told by the evening associate, who I'm good friends with, that we had not one but TWO of the $698 Dell desktops stolen. By the same customer. Who didn't get caught. And not only did he not just take the CPU, he took EVERYTHING - monitor, CPU, keyboard, speakers, mouse. And unpacked them from the boxes before walking out of the store with them. In a cart. The door greeter - who is apparently totally useless, was all, "Oh, I saw him go out the store with them, but no I didn't check his receipt."

Apparently, all our door greeters do is hold the wall next to the door up to keep it from falling over. (That or the CMN donation thing.)

Anonymous said...

"Wilder than that?"

No, they changed the administrator password, deleted the other accounts, logged off, and walked away.

Now it has to be returned, since we don't do tech support.

Anonymous said...

I cried the day I heard they were selling Dell at WalMart. I thought we were above that. I can't wait to get calls from those who buy those computers and then want technical support, because they are too "challenged" to figure it out on their own. I hope Dell gets smart and pulls these computers from WalMart before it's too late.