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Our Mystery Shopper this month went shopping for a new machine, but which one: Mac or PC? She wanted to organise photos, browse the web, listen to music, watch videos and do word processing. She had used both a PC and a Mac previously, so which would stores recommend??

Mystery Shopper April Part 1


EXPLAINING that I was looking for a laptop, I was immediately met with my first barrier. The member of staff told me that it probably wasn’t the best place to browse and recommended that I try the larger Currys store, adding that they would have more stock and availability. Okay, fair enough, however, I tried to overcome this by saying that I just wanted information for now.

The moment I mentioned an Apple Mac, I was passed to another member of staff presuming that he would know more.

Asking very direct questions – which I thought would help – proved to be of little use, with answers worthy of a politician.

There was an obvious and considerable lack of product knowledge and information on any product. After a couple of specs read out from the trusty in-store computer system, there was still no further clear advice other than to try a larger Currys store. I took his advice and left.
Score 4/10


I EXPLAINED to the member of staff at Currys that I had used a Mac in the past and was now looking for a new system, but wasn’t sure whether to go for another updated model or to explore other products from different manufacturers. With a vacant look I was marched away from the Macs we had just been standing at and taken to one of the cheapest laptops on the shelf, priced £440.40.

Reading from the price ticket he recited that it had an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 3GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive and a 15.4-inch screen.

I explained that price wasn’t an issue and that if there was a better product, I wouldn’t mind spending the money, hoping that this would give him a huge hint to try and up-sell products. He said: “If you can get it cheaper, why not!” Picking up on the disappointment on my face he asked if I was happy with the product. I used the chance to talk about Mac products again, hoping for inspiration.

There was no mention of any specific specifications or technologies, but he added that it was stylish and would look good in any home; though it was expensive. There was a silence where I expected a little more, but he must have been all talked out.

I made my excuses and left the store. I didn’t feel like any real sales pitch was made and explanation of the products was non-existent.
Score: 4/10

PC World

I WALKED around the computer section of the store, waiting for a member of staff to approach me. After only a couple of minutes, a young gentleman asked if I needed any help. I explained to him what I was looking for.

Firstly, he talked about the HP DV5, which was on special offer at £529.99. It had 3GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive and a Blu-ray player.

After some heavier hinting than in the previous store, the sales consultant eventually began to discuss the benefits of the iMac. He continued, without spending much time pointing out the benefits of the product, that it was very expensive but is “an alright piece of kit.”

It was clear which one was his favourite, so I didn’t bother asking him to endorse one over the other. I left the store feeling that he hadn’t really explained the differences between the products.
Score: 7/10

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