So it’s a cliche right, travelling salesman, away on the road, having a wife at home and another at the other end? Mere myth, something dramatised on late night TV, not real?
Well not so fast. A little while ago I had a client bring in two laptops for repair.
Long term client I have done work for him and his wife before over a couple of years.
Viruses as happens, nothing too unusual desktop icons hidden on one, the other showing some porn popups.
Relatively easy to fix, it wasn’t like it was the windows 7 update fun and games that happens occasionally.
The interesting thing was the images for the background slideshow on one of the laptops.
Now I’ve mentioned that I have done work for this guy AND his wife before – his wife is a very pretty 40 something, one of the more pleasant people I’ve done work for.
The slideshow were of the sales guy and some one half his age in umm well to begin with I thought I’d missed a few of those popups. Definitely not his wife and yes another cliche.
Now upon pickup of fixed laptops sales guy must have thought through the potential possibilities of my having seen something incriminating and took me aside to have a quite word and to offer me a ‘bonus’ for such excellent work.
Wondering how I felt about this? Well as I told him I don’t care and won’t mention it, if it was illegal then different story, otherwise he can get his fun how he sees fit.
I’ve mentioned this particular scenario to friends, no names of course, and asked for their reactions.
Some were shocked I could see such detail when fixing a machine (obviously not having thought it through) others suggested that computer techs should be considered along the lines of priests and doctors – obligated to report illegal stuff but needing a court order for anything else!
What do you think ?
Any way why do I feel comfortable talking about this topic now? Well for 1 the sales guy isn’t in the state anymore and 2 I did have the smarts to let a little bit of time pass.
Mind you it did cross my mind that I should check on his pretty 40 something wife the next time he was away on a sales trip…
A long time client of mine called me the other day to discuss her brand new notebook.
Suitably very proud of her new purchase she asked me to call round to fix a few things up.
So going through and showing me her bargain, she asks if I mind installing the copy of Microsoft Office she managed to get at a discount for buying the notebook.
I finish unpacking the notebook from the cardboard box, plugged in the adapter powered it up and began looking at the software the client had purchased.
Two things immediately shot up as red flags.
The first was the generic packaging of a umm, lets say Generic Office product, Not Microsoft.
So i ask politely,
That office what sort was it ?
Are you sure ?
yes the gentleman who sold it too me in the store said it was the new office.
So i go about gently explaining that it wasn’t an actually Microsoft Office product but a product brought out by another company. That didn’t go down well with my client. Nobody likes it when your made a fool of.
The second thing was the Antivirus product, all $299 of it.
Now no actual brand names here, I don’t want them to think I play favourites or anything, I have my preferences as do most people but…
As does my client.
When quizzed on why she had spent so much on an antivirus product she had previously moved away from she explained that the salesman had pointed out that this whiz bang product had all sorts of security her outdated old and insecure product didn’t and she didn’t want to have someone steal all her money from her bank account now did she.
Any one spot the problem here ? I have to point out my client is on the older side of the IT revolution, not thick by any account, but not a natural with tech.
Not only did the sales guy confuse her into buying something that it wasn’t (The office product) but then scared her into buying a rather expensive, and in my opinion, top heavy product when this client already had an excellent working paid for solution that she had been happily using for a couple of years.
This kind of behaviour is in my opinion predatory, and its not the only instances of this kind of pressure tactic of late. Especially with the older generation looking at new technology, advising them to buy all sorts of add ons for no reason (I could mention the guy who bought a $149 one Meter HDMI cable on the advice of the sales guy when he didn’t have a device that it fitted) and then either not taking their calls or simply saying straight to their face “Not my fault if you mis-understood”.
and you wonder why so many people are turning to online retail to get their stuff.
I’m not going to name names here, neither the particular store or the sales guy, but if you think through what I’ve written it may come to you.