The idea of customer service and 'satisfaction' in the UK sucks. There, I've said it.
Like a big kid I fell in lust with the idea of getting a Sony Reader. It's not that I can afford one. It's just that I've got a credit card, and I haven't gone mental with it for a while.
So, on Saturday M and I schlepped into the local Branch of Waterstones. Waterstones is supposedly the UK's biggest chain of book shops. They have a deal with Sony to sell their 'Readers', and a dinky site to flog eBooks.
"Do you have any Sony Readers left?" I pant, with eyes attractively on stalks, and fondling my plastic.
"Yes," the po-faced sloth behind the counter finally puts his paper down, and answers. "several. Do you want to buy one?"
"Maybe, but I'd like to see it working first."
"Ah." He nods sagely. "There's a display over there." He points, and takes a breath.
"Great!" I say, about to walk over to it and play.
"But the display model has stopped working."
"Oh," I stop, and my lower lip begins to quiver.
"You can look. It's just that it doesn't work.
"Not a lot of use then, is it?" M says acerbically.
"I suppose not." The sloth picks up his paper as we walk over to the display.
I decide the Reader is aesthetically beautiful, and rather pleasing, as I prod at its buttons, hoping that maybe it'll magically fire up. It doesn't.
M starts to get annoyed. I know the signs. Unfortunately, a young and helpful Saturday sales girl doesn't.
"Nice, isn't it?"
"It's not working." M states the obvious with such gravitas and disdain I wonder why the young girl doesn't turn tail and flee.
"Umm ... no." She says, still in helpful mode. She frowns, then brightens up. "It worked for an hour this morning, then stopped. Oddly the same thing has happened at several of our other branches."
"But you have them for sale?"
"Oh yes!" She says brightly.
"Couldn't you put a new one on display, then?"
"Oh no, we're not allowed to. But I'm sure it'll be working on Monday!"
It wasn't. I went back and it was still broken ... which has rather put me off.
Now, I'm thinking of coveting a BeBook.