Why buying at a big computer store soured me off of local business

Photo by Kaique Rocha from Pexels
Photo by Kaique Rocha from Pexels

Buying local, isn’t always what its cracked up to be.

I had a computer repair customer recently buy a refurbished computer. I had stopped doing residential break/fix jobs for some time but thought using my resources to help a friend get a newer decent computer would be a simple task.

It was. It went flawlessly.

I couldn’t believe I ordered a system from a supplier late afternoon on a Friday and they had it in my possession on Monday (that is unheard of)There was no extra cost for this, I just ordered from a semi-local online retailer. (I can drive to them in about 30-40 mins) but shipping was like $3 how can I compete with that in fuel costs alone.

All is good…. Almost All is good

This customers daughter wanted to play a game on this computer but I was not 100% sure if the video card would support the game. (Sims 4). After some research I came to the conclusion that since I am not a gamer I don’t want to get the wrong card for this new(er) pc and not have it work. Instead of buying the card online I went to my local Canada computers store for some advice. They were extremely helpful, figured out the best solution for my end customer.
We decided on a card and they didn’t have it in stock, however they offered to bring it in from another store (about an hour trip one way).
Since it was an ordered in part I had to pay a deposit (they wanted 100%) whether this is normal practice or not, I am now my sure. So I pay for the card and told it will be 5-7 business days. Great… I think I could have driven there and got it, or checked another retailer. I went with them because they were originally helpful with deciding on the card.

Fast forward 8 days

8 days have gone by and I have not received any notification of my video cards arrival at the store I purchased it in. So I make a call. Essentially I’m told there not really sure what’s going on and will have a team member look into it. I waited for a call back…

Fast forward another few days

The weekend had come and gone without any more notice from the purchase store. I decided to call back the next day (13 days into my order not). At this time I have had my customers computer on the bench waiting this whole time. They said they were ok leaving it for the 5-7 days

I called them up and this time I got a schpeel about a delay due to back order from the manufacturer. I was a little aggravated now, they had told me they were bringing it from another store, now I’m waiting on a manufacturer??
At this time I told them if they don’t have this in by the following Monday(this was a Thursday) I would be in for a refund. I got a call later that day saying that I needed to ignore the email I just received (stating that the part was not available and my order was cancelled) they were calling another store to ship it into me

Weird I thought they did this 2 weeks ago??

They informed me that it may be a little later than the Monday (the day I threatened a refund date) and asked if that was alright. At this point I had said yes but didn’t plan on waiting another 5-7 days. They had until Tuesday.

Monday comes and goes, sometime in the late evening I got an email that I had finally arrived. It as so close to closing time I decided the next day was a better time to get it.

Tuesday rolls around

I go to the store to pickup the card. I ask them why this took so long. It was exactly 21 days since I ordered the video card that was quoted 5-7 business days

The response I got was basically they said the store they were pulling it from said they had the wrong product inside the box (why?!) and said they probably only had one so they in turn ordered from the manufacturer. (They had 5 in stock when we checked originally) I asked why I was not informed of this, since they were reading notes off the computer. I was told that this is not something they normally tell the customers.

So I told them I now have to explain to my customer why their computer sat on my bench for 3 weeks without a real reason as to why. I ate the labour costs on this upgrade in order to keep my customer a happy and returning customer. Essentially I lost money on this repair. Financially I broke dead even, but loss of revenue from labour, and interest while this purchase sat on my credit card for three weeks until I was able to get paid. These things add up and take away from my bottom line.

I don’t want to come off as completely negative here, I have dealt with his store for many years when I need parts now. They are always helpful, friendly, and great to deal with in general

Will I go back?

Most likely but I defiantly won’t ever order in a part from another store again. I can order it from an online supplier and get it much faster. I checked this exact same card from my wholesaler where i purchased the refurbished computer. The card was the exact same price with a $2.99 shipping fee. So within about $5 difference after taxes I could have had the card in my possession within a few days.

Do you prefer to buy locally or do you look for the bargains online, lets hear your experiences below.