Ever been to the disaster area that is PC World, Dixons or Curry's, (all part of the same company incidentally)? Probably, most people have. I like to think of them as the Ground Zero of customer service. We've all experienced that fruitless 50 minute search for an assistant in PC World and when you find the gormless, spotty care in the community specimen you quickly discover that you would have been better talking to the cat. We've all, at some point, bought a completely useless bit of kit or software on the recommendation of one of their bright as a two watt bulb tech experts. I especially look forward to the bit where they insist that an extended warranty is a good idea; this is the bit where I don't know if I should punch them, conduct a citizens arrest for theft or pity them and attempt to educate them. One bonehead once tried to sell me a warranty for a house phone that cost more than the phone.
In fact if that customer service aware manager, Basil Fawlty ever opened an electrical retailer, I strongly suspect he would call it PC World.
Well, you know what? Every dog has his day and the long suffering consumer is about to have his and have the pleasure of shoving two fingers up to PC World, Dixons and Curry's in the process. For the Yanks are Coming!
Best Buy have decided to launch their long anticipated entry into the UK in the Spring and it's not a moment too soon. They reckon they can do the UK market with 50 stores and a top end web front. The PC World / Dixons / Curry's crowd have 350 stores, so someone has got it wrong and I'm betting I know which one.
I'm certain that they'll come with a few quaint Americanisms that won't work too well here but I think at this point we're up for anything. The key point here is that we're so fatigued with non existent service and being ripped off over a long period of time that there is absolutely no residual customer loyalty. There can only be one winner between these two. The only fly in the ointment is if Best Buy hire the same customer service numpties that currently work at PC World.
That doesn't end the story................ Asda, (owned by Walmart), are reported to have said last week that they want to be No 1 in non food retail in the UK within 3 years. I do think we're going to enjoy this.