DS1 needs a new monitor for his old PC, and I would like to add a second monitor to my new Dell PC, so I checked out what monitors were available from local electronics shops via the internet. I thought it was my lucky day when I saw that Dick Smith Electronics have a 17" HP LCD monitor on clearance sale for only $90 (this size LCD monitor is usually around $300 in Sydney). The website listed the Warringah Mall "Superstore" as an outlet that had some in stock, and I phoned them from work this afternoon to confirm that they still had some in stock. After checking the front desk advised that there were three in stock at the moment (4pm), so I decided to go there straight after work to buy one or two of these monitors (DSE is open until 9pm on Thursday nights).
When I got there and enquired in the computer section about the monitor, I was told that in fact there was only one broken monitor in the repair section, and that the other two were "missing" ie. stolen. When I complained about the fact that I'd been told over the phone that there were three in stock I was told that their inventory system didn't adjust for broken or pilfered stock! I told them that they should tell the front desk that this item wasn't available. The best they could do was to promise to pass on my complaint to the Computer Section manager.
This really pissed my off, and I will phone the store again tomorrow to see how many of these monitors they say are available then. If they still advise three are in stock I'll contact the store manager or owner and make another complaint. I've had bad experiences with inventory control at another Dick Smith Electronics store previously. When a game that I wanted that was on special was out of stock in one store I got them to phone around and see if it was available in another outlet. They finally tracked one copy down in another store, and that store "put it on hold" for me in the stockroom. However, when I drove all the way there to collect it later the same day the game was nowhere to be found! It was only after waiting for half an hour and eventually getting three different staff to search the stock room that it was finally located "on the wrong shelf"!
I have a sneaking suspicion that whenever DSE has some bargain items on sale, the staff tend to put some aside in the back room for their friends to buy the next weekend. Either that or the company has a "bait and switch" policy in operation.
While I was at the Mall I went in to a different electronics store (JB Hi-Fi) and purchased the Belkin wireless router and USB adapter I need to connect both my new PC and my old laptop to the internet via my Optus cable modem. I had ordered the same gear online from Mitec.com.au last month, but it never arrived, and Mitec stopped taking new orders on the 12th, so it seems that they are going out of business. They haven't replied to my email enquiry about my order, so I'm assuming that it will never arrive.
Hopefully setting up the wireless router and getting my internet to work over the wireless network will not be too much of a hassle this evening...