Computer Services

Tel 650.548.1010
Burlingame, CA USA


CompUSA still really really really sucks

Revised on

Originally posted on February 8th, 2003

The poor misguided one eye jacks...

We've all had horror stories with retailers. I'm sure you've got a doosie just as your neighbor does. Here's another one to put on the pile.

One of my clients in SF has a home PC that they like to use for checking email and a little work now and then. Well, somehow the 1-port Linksys went out with all lights on (Diag, Act, etc) and there was nothing I could do to reset it or get it re-flashed with the latest firmware so I thought I'd pop down to CompUSA to get another one.

On the way to their house, I stopped in the CompUSA store in San Bruno CA. It was 10am sharp and there were a few people standing at the doors waiting to go in. I don't know about you, but why don't these guys (CompUSA store managers) open the doors and let the customers in? Do they really prefer to just stand there right at the door and monitor their watches for the precise minute to open the door? Weird. If I ran a store I would be happy to open the door to take their money and help them. That's just me I guess...

Anyway, so I get in the store and I can't find any 1-port DSL/Cable routers. I'm looking for the 1-port model # BEFSR11 specifically. I stopped and asked a CompUSA floor walker if they had any of the 1-ports (model # BEFSR11)... (here it goes, the good part...) he looked at me kinda funny (like I didnt know what I was talking about) and said, "Linksys doesn't make a 1 port DSL/Router". They don't? Are you sure that Linksys doesn't make one? He said, "Linksys has never made a 1 port linksys DSL/Router". really... that's funny... cuz your website listed one and I've been using them for over 2 years.

He then said, "well why would you want a hardware router anyway, software routers are better". I said, "you mean a software firewall right?" He said, "Oh, yeah, thats right." I then asked him how long he's been working for CompUSA. He said 3 years. I said that I come in here a lot and I've never seen him before.

So, ignoring the CompUSA robot box reader, I found a 4-port Linksys DSL/Router for about $85 bucks. I know, you can find them all over the net for $35 but I needed it quick for this job.

I zoom back to my clients home office and start opening the box...

The box is shrink wrapped. I removed the wrap and started opening the box... before I'm 1 minute into opening the box I start to notice things are a-miss... the corners on the box are crumpled and frayed. Hmmm... Being a veteran computer user and retail victim of re-packed and resold-like-new items, I knew I was in trouble. I continued to open the box and found a power supply marked bad in permanent ink right on the back of the power supply!

Okay, now I'm behind in my project thanks to the ineptitude of the CompUSA management. I ran back to CompUSA to complain. The returns clerk actually started arguing with me about this. He was defending their actions by saying that sometimes people return things that work just fine and they just repack them up for sale.

I promptly told him this was against the law and that Fry's Electronics was sued for this as well as other retailers.

He got me another box and I wanted to open it to make sure it was okay. He wouldn't let me open it in the store! He told me to go outside and return it if I had a problem. I told him the only problem I had was CompUSA and him.

I got out in the car and check the contents of the Linky. Everything was okay and I went back to my clients home office to get him up and going.

Morale of this story? Stay far far away from CompUSA. Promote your local repair shop. They may a bit more expensive, but if you read the reviews in PC Mag and others, you'll find you'll receive much better support and a knowledgeable technician.






Here's the Box

The Shrink wrap...

Frayed corners...

Power supply marker BAD!!!

Power supply cord unprofessionally packed

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