My laptop tale of woe
I used to order things over the internet. I'm going to stop now. I'm also going to stop ordering things from places that aren't actual physical shops. It's not about the security, it's about the service. Usually, you get better prices over the internet. The problem with this is that there's significantly more demand than supply. If everything works out alright, everything is fine, but otherwise things can turn to shit really quickly.
I've talked about minidigital and them taking 3 months to deliver a trackball. I've talked about my 3 phone and how the guy fucked up my order, despite the phone I wanted being written down on my contract. But it's the little things that get me. When you ring up, people don't really want to talk to you. When you need things delivered in a specific way, people don't care. If they've got your money, they really have no incentive to help you any more.
I've usually had a good time ordering from auspcmarket. Orders are delivered promptly, and delivery is budgeted in to the price, which isn't a total ripoff. Convenient eh? All except for the delivery part. See, they deliver in office hours, and only accept delivery if I personally take it. The delivery guy can't reach my office, because it's behind a secure area. He's obviously too retarded to ask someone downstairs to ring me, so it ends up being sent back to the warehouse, where they can try to re-send it for $10 (probably with similar results) or I can come pick it up from their (luckily) conveniently located warehouse. Not so bad in the end, but still more effort than I think it was worth for a product I could've picked up for a similar price from a yum-cha computer store.
This thing takes the cake, though. Every other internet experience has cost me time. This one has cost me both time and money, and a lot of it to boot. I've got an out of date $3500 laptop I didn't want.
I've wanted a decent transformable tablet PC for a while now, but they weren't done cooking yet. Either too heavy, or crappy battery life, or too expensive. With the advantage of salary sacrifice, and the advent of newer laptops like the fujitsu lifebook T4010/T4020, and the IBM X41 tablet, I figured I could get one and be down an acceptable amount. The only problem was actually getting one. No real shops had it in stock. I really wanted to play with one beforehand to know whether a tablet was really a good idea. In the end I thought it would probably be fine and ordered it over the internet.
I did the stupid thing and went for the cheapest price. I found computer world (www.cworld.com.au). The prices were cheap, and the descriptions were terse. Doesn't matter, I thought, I know what I'm after: The IBM X41.
Fast forward to a month later when I actually got the machine. Payed for it and got it home, only to find that it wasn't the tablet. I broke into a cold sweat, and started poring over the documentation, and other crap that I signed. Earlier that day, I was having a conversation with Paulo where I discovered there was another IBM X41 -- a non-tablet version. As it turned out, that's the one I ordered.
I immediately contacted computer world. About a week and 10 or so phone-calls later, they informed me to bring the laptop in, and they'd see what they could do. They wouldn't admit fault. These were all phone-calls, so I didn't have anything I could prove, so I decided I wouldn't push the point. In the end, they couldn't send it back to their supplier, so they've basically left me with this laptop. They won't replace it with the model I want, they won't take it back. There's not much I can do.
The thing is, if you go to the lenovo website now, you'll realise that the X41 (non tablet) doesn't exist anymore. It's been replaced with the X60, so the X41 is unsellable, unless it takes a big loss.
This leaves me royally screwed, but it's a lesson learnt.