Ok, on with the laptop saga. After having Fry’s Electronics tell me that our business wasn’t wanted or needed, we had to figure out where to take our business. Up here in the Natomas area, we have a few choices. There is a Staples, an Office Max, a Sam’s Club, a Best Buy,
a Fry’s – nope never again, and if you go a little further there is a Circuit City, an Office Depot, etc. To be truthful, none of these thrilled me. Having built my own computers and running my businesses on them since 1979, I’ve forgotten more than most of the employees at any of these places know. In fact the only reason that I ever went to Fry’s was because they are within 3 miles from our house, their prices were good and the selection was even better. Fry’s employees must be all on commission, as they will only wait on you if you have already picked out what you want and all they need to do is write the ticket and get credit for the sale. Otherwise they seem to ignore you. The only store that had knowledgeable employees was Comp USA and they’ve quit the entire Northern California area. So what to do….
My lovely bride said that someone had told her that they really liked Best Buy. They said that the employees there are much more helpful than Fry’s. (which can hardly be a brag) The last few times that I walked through Best Buy, I found their employees to be ignorant if you could find one. I haven’t been in a Best Buy for many years though, because of my impression of their staff. However my friend Chuck, who is kind of a techie, is always telling me that he buys everything at Best Buy. I had seen an ad about a Toshiba laptop on sale at Best Buy. I figured that if I wasn’t going to get any service from the store staff, I might as well give Best Buy a shot at pricing. So I grit my teeth and we went to the Best Buy in Natomas. We walked back to the computer section and started looking for the 2 laptops that I had seen on sale. And, of course, we couldn’t find either of the sale items. Then we were approached by an employee who introduced himself as Nathan. I told him what I was looking for and he walked us right to them. There was a $50,00 difference between the Toshiba and a HP. I asked Nathan what he thought about both machines and their companies in general. He was very articulate and his reasons pro and con for each machine showed thought and knowledge. When I told him what the machine would be used for, he recommended the cheaper Toshiba. I then asked him if another machine would be better, even at a higher price. He showed us other machines, but he still thought that the Toshiba was the best machine for us. (obviously not a commission driven salesman). When he went to get us the Toshiba, he found out that they had just sold the last one and it must have still been in the store (not rung up yet). He then got into their database, found out that Roseville had 23, called them and had one put aside for us. We drove up to the Roseville store and they had it set aside and marked with our name, waiting for pickup. And the "Geek Squad" guys at both stores were really helpful under my barrage of questions. Eloise has some vendor supplied software that is hard to shoe-horn into any computer. I can’t remember when I have had such good service in a large (big box) electronics store. If you go into Natomas Best Buy looking for computer equipment, look up Nathan. You’ll be glad that you did.
As an aside, I had heard that when Best Buy brought in the "Geek Squad" to their service department, that they were changing how their business was going to be run. Do to really poor service at the Arden Mall store in 2000 and previous poor service in the Santa Rosa Store prior to 2000, I had never given them a try. And I had been sorry to hear that the Sacramento Comp USA had closed. But now I think that I know why. Best Buy is their equal in service and beats their prices.