Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Fry's Sucks

I happen to be lucky enough to have a Fry's store near where I live. That's very convenient. Yesterday I set myself on a mission to find two things: an AC Power Adapter for the Powerbook and a hands-free Kit for the Sony Ericsson t610.

One thing I try to remind myself of every time I go there, is that they don't take American Express. It usually only dawns on me when I arrive at check-out. But this time I remembered, was willing to accept this as a price for convenience, if and only if I managed to get the two items I was looking for in one shot.

First, the power adapter. Their computer staff did seem to have a clue and quickly directed me to the correct accessories section and painlessly dug out the first item on my list, YAY. Go Fry's!

As I was walking about the aisles, I was pondering getting a new iPod against my better judgment and maybe an airport express, but quickly reminded myself that they don't take American Express, which helped me stay focused.

I walked over to their cell phone accessories section. As I was quickly looking around I was not seeing a wired headset for the t610, and the bluetooth alternatives were more than I was willing to spend. They're nice gadgets but I don't really need'em at the moment. A lady was busy stocking some shelves. After a few minutes I asked her for guidance. Clearly she did not want to be there, was very short and dry with her answers, it turned out they didn't have the head set. Then another customer comes-by looking for a power adapter for her Motorolla phone. Our lady quickly asks her who her carrier is, to which the customer rightfully points out this shouldn't really matter for a power adapter provided you know the phone's make and model. From where I stood it looked like one of the StarTac flip-phones. Instead of looking for a matching adapter, our lady kept throwing attitude at the hapless customer and making her remove the battery to check out the serial number, only to finally point her to some adapter which clearly would not fit the bill while saying "i can't guarantee it would work ... you can always try it and take it back (blah blah x5)". I was baffled, the StarTac uses a wide, narrow port. There's no way the narrow, stubby extremity of the adapter she was pointing to was ever going to work. The customer was clearly realizing that too, she seemed like a Business Woman who had a clue or two about basic gadgetry. Our retail representative had no clue and an attitude.

I went back to the computer accessories aisle, placed the power adapter exactly where I found it, and walked out of Fry's having not bought a thing. I bought the t610 hands-free from a nearby mall's t-mobile store. T-Mobile retail and service peeps have always been very helpful. One of the guys showed me how to mute the t610: while in a conversation, hold the "c" (clear) key down, which will result in the other party not hearing anything that comes from your phone while you can hear them. Hold "c" again to un-mute. I did somewhat RTFM but couldn't find the feature. To my credit, it did take the guy a few minutes to figure this out.

I'll get the power adapter later.

4 comments:

Big D said...

You mean you actually tried to talk to a Fry's associate? What were you thinking man! The point of Fry's is to walk in, pick up what you need as quickly as possible, and pay for it on the way out. Avoid talking to Fry's employees at all costs.

I also like to avoid the "Can I see your receipt" person on the way out. They have no right to search what is now my bag, and they have no right to demand "my papers" as I leave. If they believe I've stolen something they can call the cops.

Fry's is really convenient when I need some geeky item right away. Unless it is on sale, I can usually find it cheaper by buying mail order so I try to plan ahead. Otherwise I hate the place. I've got a long list of complaints, but we can save that for another time.

Ernest Millan said...

I haven't shopped at a Fry's store for over 4 years... Nuff said! ;-)

e said...

i'm amazed that you actually got to talk to the associate. ive never had enough patience to wait for them because they're always busy. and there's always a line of 5 people in front of me. so i thought it's not worth my time.

by the way, i did the cat and the fly. go check out the blog. =D

Anonymous said...

March 2008... Fry's now takes American Express, AMEX!