The Consumerist has an interesting tale from a reader who states he was charged $40 to update the BIOS on the new computer he just bought. According to the article a CC associate told the buyer if he wanted to do anything but surfing on the new computer he had just bought, he would need to update the BIOS. Say what?
It does sound kind of strange doesn’t it. But it gets better. According to the article it states that:
So he turned down the video card upgrade, the hard drive upgrade and
memory upgrade that the sales associated recommended he would need. Of
course all of these upgrades were services that Firedog could perform
for a fee. He told the sales associate, “Look, I know what I’m buying
and this is all I need.”. After convincing the sales associate of this,
they finally started the check out process. So he slides his credit
card through and signs for the purchase. The sales associate hands him
his receipt and he is on his way to his dad’s with his new computer.
Until, after a quick scan of the receipt, he notices a $40 charge from
Firedog. He turns right around and asks the sales associate what the
line item was for. The sales associate replies that Firedog needed to
setup Windows Vista and flash the bios for the computer to work.
Whether the story has any validity or not, it does serve to warn consumers of some of the obstacles they may face when buying a new computer. Those who are ignorant of computers may be taken advantage of by unscrupulous sales people who only want to make a quick buck. But Circuit City isn’t the only store you have to watch.
During the Black Friday sales event Best Buy had a special on a Panasonic 42″ Plasma TV which was discounted by $600. I arrived at the store and was told they were out of stock. I said you best check that inventory again, because as of 15 minutes ago you had six in stock. Oops says the clerk and found the TV. Great. Now here is a 10% off coupon you can add on as well, and I have already checked at your customer service desk and it is valid with this purchase. I really had not checked but what the heck. The coupon was valid and I saved another $90.
Bottom line as always is buyer beware! :-)