In comparison to the lack of people found in other retailers, this store was quite different. It was a lot busier with more staff focusing on customers.
I walked to the back of the store where the PCs were displayed, looking at the anti-virus software nearby. I was approached by an enthusiastic sales girl. I explained that I was searching for a good anti-virus package, saying: "What software could you recommend?"
She took me over to the products which was clearly displayed with large point of sale. She used the selling points on the poster to illustrate the benefits of buying Norton 2008, re-enforcing the three user option. It was an all-in-one package which was on promotion priced £24.99, reduced from £49.99.
I asked her to explain Windows Vista adding that I had heard that it was a lot more secure than previous releases, so was there a point in buying anti-virus software? She then launched into a Vista sales pitch with rehearsed precision, stating all kinds of benefits, excluding security. After I had re-focused her mind back to the security issue, she added that "changing an operating system is a major challenge."
She was very friendly and enthusiastic to the end, clearly security was not her favourite topic; however she did give the appropriate attention and detail to my problem.
I EXPLAINED to the shop attendant that I had been given a PC with Windows XP and was keen to buy the latest anti-virus protection
Once again, Norton Internet Security 2008 was recommended, priced £29.99. He explained the features including pop-ups and the included three user protection. He also took the time to explain, in detail, how to install it. This extra attention to detail was quite useful.
I mentioned that l might want to get Vista on my machine believing the extra security would be beneficial. He thought that, "getting the feel for Vista first" would be beneficial to me, as upgrading "would be costly."
When I asked for more of a security angle he declared that "Vista has security holes like any other operating system and that in order to be best prepared, a stand alone package is required."
His advice was honest and seemed genuine which was quite a change from trying to fend retailers' sales advances, which is quite common these days.
This store was in a quiet location out of sight of the main shops, only noticeable from the pavement sign at the front.
I waited for around five minutes before being approached. The un-badged salesman was very cheery and asked how he could help. I explained that I needed some sort of anti-virus protection. His recommendation was swift and to the point, "Norton Antivirus 2008 priced £34.08," adding that, "it would be enough for what I needed."
While this advice was delivered with swift authority, I couldn't help but feel that I was merely pigeon -holed.
I showed interest in Windows Vista asking him to explain the benefits of the extra security. He said that changing operating systems would mean, "wiping everything off my computer and installing Windows Vista," he sighed, showing obvious frustration with me and my problem.
This was a very short visit and once again I felt like I wasn't given the time needed for my problem. Internet security, it seems, is not a priority in this store.