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Old 2003-05-17, 01:43 AM   #1
57
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Default A Trip to Future Shop...

I had a few minutes to kill the other day - went into the Future Shop on Yonge, north of Eglinton in the early afternoon. Store was essentially empty. Went to the "HDTV Section" because I wanted to see the "new" stretch modes on the Hitachis that my Hitachi doesn't have.

Salesperson: Can I help you.
Me. I'm hoping you can, I have some questions about HDTV.

SP: Fire away.
Me: This Sony LCD-based RPTV ($7500) has a strange picture, everyone is tall and skinny, why is that.

SP: hmm, I don't know Sir.
Me: Could it be anything to do with the incorrect aspect ratio (stretch mode)?

SP. No Sir, it's probably just that DVD, let me put in another.
Me. Wait, let me adjust the aspect ratio for you with this remote control.

SP. harumph, some customer must've played with the buttons....


Another Salesperson in another area (SP2). Hello sir, can I help you.
Me. Yes, looking to understand more about HDTVs. Am I currently seeing an HD picture?

SP2: Yes sir, this is HD.
Me. hmm, why does it say 480P when I press this button?

SP2: Oh, sir you must be on the wrong input, let me change it to another and then you'll have HD - 180i.
Me. So, you're going to change a 480P signal into an HD signal are you and you say that's 180i.

SP2. Yes sir 180i, just one moment (changes input). There.
Me. How come I can use the stretch modes on this HD signal on this Hitachi which shouldn't allow you to stretch HD?

SP2. Oh sir, all TVs have stretch modes.
Me. Yes, but only Toshibas can stretch HD.

SP2. No sir, you don't understand. These stretch modes always work and they are designed to fix pictures that don't properly fit on your TV.
Me. Well, under which circumstances should I use which mode.

SP2. Sir, you have to experiment - there are no set modes for particular circumstances.
Me. OK, thank you for your time. (salesperson walks away)


Salesperson 3. Sir, may I help you (correct grammar - a good sign).
Me. yes. That salesperson didn't seem to understand stretch modes completely, would you please enlighten me on when to use which mode.

SP 3. Certainly sir, you use the 4:3 stretch on 4:3 images and you use the 16:9 stretch on widescreen images.
Me. Why then are there 5 stretch modes on this Hitachi?

SP3. Well sir, you use 4:3 on 4:3....
Me. Please tell me what's the difference between 16:9 Standard and 16:9 Zoom.

SP3. They are both used on widescreen DVDs (wow, first right answer of the day! if only by luck)
Me. Well, which do I use when.

SP3. You use 16:9 standard on WS DVDs and you use 16:9 Zoom to zoom in on the details.
Me: Oh, I thought the different modes were for different types of DVD for example, do anamorphic DVDs display differently from regular WS DVDS.

SP3. No sir, all DVDs are the same...
Me. Thank you. I went looking at receivers.


Salesperson 4. Can I help you.
Me. Yes, I'd like an A/V receiver that does component video switching.

SP4. All our receivers switch components.
Me. Oh thank you. I left the store having forgotten to see the new stretch modes. I'll have to go back some other time.


I honestly don't know how they stay in business...

Do you have any good stories?
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Old 2003-05-17, 08:13 AM   #2
Oilcruzer
 
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HAHAHAHAHA...

I'm wondering if Best Buy will be better, I should test that. Their sales people are not on commission.
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Old 2003-05-17, 08:18 AM   #3
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57,

It ever occur to you that some of us in this forum may work at Future Shop? So how does your foot taste ? I agree that our stores are not filled with the sharpest tools in the shed sometimes but those people really are not indicative of the entire chain.

I can guarantee you that my knowlege is equal to yours as far as electronics is concerned. I help out in these forums a fair amount and do not need an excuse to change that.

Kryspy
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Old 2003-05-17, 10:06 AM   #4
james99
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Years ago when i was looking for a receiver with as many s-video inputs as possible i was told that the s-video input was for audio.

This was at The Brick.
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Old 2003-05-17, 10:48 AM   #5
otown47
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I think we can agree that there is questionable "help" available from sales people in all types of stores. Personnel, I think Canadaian Tire is the worst...when you can find someone to help you.

The biggest benefit of large chains is keeping prices down. Before chains like Future Shop the prices for good electronics were a lot higher...today we get good deals.

On a related note, I'm wondering if Canadian prices for electronics should be coming down more given the strength of the dollar....we've gone from $1.50-$1.55 to about $1.35 for a US dollar. Should prices be dropping 10%.

For example, the new Hitachi dzmv380 DVD Camcorder is $1,000 in the US and $1,700 here...what gives ???
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Old 2003-05-17, 10:58 AM   #6
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I went into a future shop a few weeks back looking at receivers (they didn't have much selection) and the sales person was actually farily informative. We didn't get into too many details, but he at least told me to be concerned with number of inputs/outputs for my needs (good advice), and also not to select an amp based on watts per channel, as its not neccesarily how much power you have, but how its utilized.

Not the most technical conversation, but I feel confident that there's at least a few employees in the chain that know their stuff.

-Sp
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Old 2003-05-17, 01:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kryspy
It ever occur to you that some of us in this forum may work at Future Shop? So how does your foot taste ?
I'm sorry that I offended. I've been to FS many times to look at stuff and for the occasional purchase. I have found the occasional helpful associate.

I suppose I could have said "large electronics store" instead of mentioning the actual name. The post was intended to be humourous...

The thing that bothers me about the salespeople that I encountered the other day is not that they didn't know what they were talking about, but that they came across as knowing what they were talking about, when they actually didn't. A little training regarding how to answer questions and not to "guess" when they don't know may be in order.

Everyone has to learn their "trade" - you can't know everything right away, but there are ways to approach customers that are far more helpful than giving out incorrect information. If you don't know, bring in a salesperson who does, or say "I don't know" - there's nothing wrong with that and it's better than guessing..

Kryspy, if you can influence your organization, that would be greatly appreciated.

Whenever I encounter a store that provides excellent service, or has knowledgable people, I give them my business and I tell others.
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Old 2003-05-17, 02:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
I can guarantee you that my knowlege is equal to yours as far as electronics is concerned.
OK...you each have 1,000 words to prove that you're more knowledgeable in electronics than the other. Now go to your respective corners and when the bell rings, come out typing!
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Old 2003-05-17, 02:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
The biggest benefit of large chains is keeping prices down. Before chains like Future Shop the prices for good electronics were a lot higher...today we get good deals.
Smoke and mirrors, my friend. Sometimes you get good deals, but that can be true of any store. The vast majority of products at Future Shop are priced at the manufacturer's suggested selling price.
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Old 2003-05-17, 02:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
On a related note, I'm wondering if Canadian prices for electronics should be coming down more given the strength of the dollar
I was wondering the same thing, but you know how it goes...prices go up instantly and down grudgingly.
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Old 2003-05-17, 10:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
On a related note, I'm wondering if Canadian prices for electronics should be coming down more given the strength of the dollar
I have seen some component prices, such as hard drives, dropping quite fast. You need to shop from a store that discounts and does not carry a lot of stock to get the benefit from the falling exchange rate. Falling prices are usually available online first. Many stores are still gouging their customers for full retail.

Quote:
Before chains like Future Shop the prices for good electronics were a lot higher...today we get good deals.
When FS first opened they had good deals. Now they are the worst place to shop. Selection is gone and prices are full retail, except for sale items. FS is not happy with gouging you for full retail either. They want to sell you overpriced extended warranties. The best deals are on the Internet. I have saved a lot of money by comparing prices online.

Quote:
I have found the occasional helpful associate.
There are a few. Many don't even seem interested in making a sale. I would not walk into any store to make a major purchase unless I was confident I knew enough to set off my BS detector. I usually know what I want before I go but ask anyway in case there is something I missed. Most of better sales people work at independent specialty stores, not department stores.
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Old 2003-05-18, 01:21 AM   #12
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i myself was a great fan of fs but yes they have been going down hill and that is Unfortunate, because it use to be a good place to go and people like kryspy that do know a fare bit about the products have to suffer with incompetence but that is the chains fault for hiring un qualified people and for that reason is why best buy (who really own future shop) has put future shop on a tight lease because of all the miss management ,so future shop will never be the same as before ,for me best buy down here in Canada is the place to go more friendly and more knowledgeable .


Ps the bottom line is people buy people and if you don’t feel good about whom you are dealing with then go some where else to do your business
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Old 2003-05-18, 12:09 PM   #13
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For me I always do my research ahead of time on the web. By the time I walk into a store I have already decided what I want, what it will cost and usually if it is in stock or how long it will take to get in. I am ready to drop the credit card. If I am in the store more than 5 mins some one is waisting my time. For me because of the way I shop the big box big discounters usually get my money.

I think there is a good case for the small high quality guys. There are lots of people who would like quality but have no idea how to get it on their own. For fanatical mutants like most of us I don't see the point unless you are looking for a specialty item.

As for the exchange rate. Remember there aren't a lot of electronics made in the USA. What you really have to worry about is how is our dollar doing compared to the country that manufactures what you want. I know most distributors up here source their stuff from the US. However the US has to import that equipment from some where else first. The rise of the loonie vs the green back is caused by 2 things. First the US dollar is falling vs every one else. That doesn't help in our case. Also the loonie is out pacing most other curencies which does help us.
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Old 2003-05-18, 01:31 PM   #14
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If Future Shop is competative, how do they explain $14,000 price for Pioneer 503cmx or equivalent when the same product can be had in the US (online) for about US$5800, which works out to be about $8,000 Can at current exchange rates?

Maybe this deserves a seperate post but I am not sure where it belongs.
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Old 2003-05-18, 03:13 PM   #15
james99
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Some things are just cheaper in Canada and some things are cheaper in the USA.

It's probably not fair to compare a US retailer to a Canadian one.
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