This month our Mystery Shopper went in search for a smart home security kit and some anti-virus software in hopes of keeping their PC and home more secure. With Enfield Town as the backdrop, here is how they got on.
WHSMITHS – 7/10
I took a stroll around WHSmith and eventually stumbled across some Kaspersky products.
A lady to my left was busying herself stocking up a display, so I decided to ask her if the store had any more security products.
She said Kaspersky was the only brand available, and recommended I check online for Norton Security. I prompted her for some more help by asking her if she could explain the difference between Kaspersky Internet Security and Total Security.
I was informed that Total Security would be the best to purchase out of the two. She also suggested that if I currently use another brand of anti-virus software, that I continue with them, as I may be eligible for cheaper deals.
The assistant went on to stress how important it is to secure my PC, and told me that the store also sadly did not stock any home security kits.
SONY CENTRE – 6/10
The Sony Centre was buzzing with life as I entered, with tablets and TVs all whirring to life. As I walked around the store, soon enough one of the store assistants approached to see if he could help.
I told him I was on the look out for some security devices, including anti-virus software for my PC and security home kits. My request was soon followed by the shake of a head, as I was told the store stocked no such products.
I couldn’t hide the disappointment on my face. I think the assistant noticed my disappointment, as he suggested I try out Maplin for home kits.
Although my visit to the Sony Centre proved to be a little bit hopeless, I cannot fault the customer service that I received while I was shopping in the store.
Plus, I appreciated the assistant’s honesty when it came to referring a competitor to help with my needs.
TESCO – 5/10
The store was bustling with shoppers when I arrived, and I thought that the large superstore must stock anti-virus software or smart home devices, but I had trouble locating either.
I proceeded to walk up and down the aisles until I found a staff member to help with my query, but all I could find were two assistants chatting away.
I politely interrupted their conversation, and when I mentioned I was on the lookout for some security software, a bemused look was my only return.
I tried to elaborate more, and was asked if I was looking for some Norton software. “At last”, I thought, “we’re getting somewhere”. When I replied, “yes”, I was told that Tesco doesn’t stock this kind of software, nor does it have any smart home devices for me to take a look at.
They offered no alternative, just an apology, so I made my way out of the store.
MAPLIN – 8/10
A row of mini electric cars caught my attention in the shop window as I made my way to Maplin.
As I entered, no one approached or greeted me so I took a wander around to see if I could locate any smart home security kits. Much to my delight, I found a whole section dedicated to smart home devices, but I couldn’t find any security kits.
I asked an assistant if he had anything to offer, and he knew exactly what I was after.
Pointing to the selection on offer, I saw Maplin stocked both Swann and Sentient products. He told me that Swann’s Security System for £249.99 would be ideal, and explained that I could sync the device with my smartphone, or hook the camera up to a TV or PC.
I felt the advice given to me was incredibly helpful, and the fact it actually stored smart home devices was a relief, unfortunately it didn’t have any anti- virus goods.
ARGOS – 9/10
I attempted to locate some smart home security kits using the electronic Argos catalogue, but I noticed a staff member was free. I told him I was looking for some security products. He seemed more concerned about the queue of people behind me waiting to pay, so noticing his distress, I asked if he would like to serve the customers behind me first, and much to my surprise, he said yes.
While I waited by the side of the till, another assistant waved me over to help. They were also keen to assist and told me that there was a wide range of home kits available, and suggested that the Motorola Focus 66 WiFi HD set for £69.99 would be the best solution.
She told me I could pair the system with the Hubble App, which was compatible with iOS and Android.
Plus, as soon as I mentioned anti-virus software, a string of brands rolled off of her tongue.
All in all, Enfield Town was a difficult spot to locate either anti-virus software or home security kits. For instance, large superstore Tesco stocked neither and the store assistant I approached for some advice seemed to have no recollection at first of the kind of software I was after.
Similarly, the Sony Centre had no home security products, but I was impressed with the honesty and customer service I was given.
The service I received in WHSmith was great, but I was disappointed to find that the retailer only stocked one brand, offering me very little variety.
However, I appreciated the assistant’s concern in the store as she highlighted the importance of protecting devices at home. I was quite shocked that over half of the stores I visited didn’t have home security products. But Maplin proved to be ‘the electronics specialist’ it claims to be, as it was one of only two stores that actually stocked smart home kits. I was impressed with the assistant’s knowledge, plus there was a wide selection on offer.
Additionally, I was delighted by the enthusiasm I received by one of the assistants in Argos. I was concerned my visit would be a little fruitless when I spoke to the first staff member, but thankfully all of my queries were resolved when I spoke to the second, and it turned out the store had the biggest selection of smart home and anti-virus products, making it my Star Store this month.