It was no surprise to see plenty of sales advisors available since I arrived in the store quite early in the trading day.
Preferring to browse, I wandered in and out of the aisles searching for anti-virus software. Finding the stock, a smartly dressed and cheerful member of staff approached me, asking if l needed help. He listened attentively to my woeful tale of wishing to find a good value software package, which gave me peace of mind.
His recommendation was swift, "Kaspersky Antivirus 7.0 Triple Protection," he said. It was an end cap featured promotion.
He told me the product would protect up to three computers and was on offer priced £29.99, reduced from £59.99. I was intrigued by this recommendation.
He continued: "I personally recommend this one as I use it at home. I bought it at full price." I'm sure he would have had a little staff discount!
With no other anti-virus recommendations forthcoming, I decided to pursue the other part of my enquiry to find out how to upgrade to Windows Vista, as I had heard that the new version of the operating system was even more secure than the last, so thought this might be a good alternative.
"I would still advise a standalone anti-virus solution," continued the helper. "Vista's Windows Defender is more for eliminating spyware as opposed to a full anti-virus suite."
I WAS approached by an un-badged young girl who asked if she could help me.
I explained to her that I was looking for the best internet security package, what could she recommend? She took me over to a small software section which had anti-virus and video editing merchandise next to each other.
She hesitated looking for a box that had the word 'antivirus' on it. I felt as if I should assist her in the search for stock. I pointed towards the two antivirus packages on display. Kaspersky Antivirus 7.0 was priced £39.99 and McAfee 10-in-1 Antivirus Protection £29.99. There were no indications given as to which one was the best.
It was clear that this sales advisor hadn't had any formal training on these packages.
After asking about the potential benefits of Vista as a security proposition I was greeted with a blank stare, a pause and then regurgitated generic Vista selling points, all of which had nothing to do with security.
This wasn't an informative visit. The store did not display the stock in an obvious position and with lack of knowledge it wouldn't have inspired the kind of piece of mind that a newbie surfer so desperately seeks.
Again walking into this store I found it to be devoid of customers with minimal staff.
The PC section was at the front of store. I decided to linger around the stock waiting for someone to approach me. After five minutes I decided to approach someone myself.
I asked a member of staff to recommend a good anti-virus software package. He took me over to the software recommending Norton 360 Version 2.0 All-in-One-Version priced at £59.99. This was a featured product. He reinforced selling points such as protection for up to three PCs, anti-spyware, anti-phishing and website authentication. All of these points he took from reading the box.
Referring to the extra security of Windows Vista, I decided to ask him to explain the benefits. "I wouldn't bother," he said abruptly. "You're better off with a dedicated software package. Vista is better than XP but it's still not air tight."
While this addendum gave a little more insight, it was not the comprehensive overview of security holes in Vista or XP I had hoped for. Clearly, once again it seems the staff have little passion or knowledge for anti-virus software.
Anthony wrote the details of his recommendation on PC World branded notepaper.