Friday, 17 December 2010

Curry's HDMI price trick

HDMI cable ordered from PlayTrade for £1.98 connects your digital TV to DVD player etc.

Outside of major sporting events the thing that encourages most people to buy a new TV is Christmas. Finally I have cast aside my old 28" Sony Triniton CRT for a shiny 42" Panasonic TXP42G20 Plasma and Blu-Ray home cinema from John Lewis, best price and a 5 year warranty on the TV. It arrived just when they said and I was eager to set it up. The TV and home cinema require a number of leads to connect it all up, but it comes with just 1, a video connector.

You also need 1 x HDMI, 1 x phono to phono audio lead, and a digital optical audio lead, but none of these are in the boxes.

The price of these boring, but essential, TV cables is stunning - you can pay pennies, or tens of pounds.

I bought the HDMI lead for £1.98 from Play Trade (you can buy 50p cheaper but I chose a seller - MHP computer services - who dispatched quickly) The optical audio lead I bought from Poundland, for yes, £1. I had the phono leads, but they were also in Poundland. Apparently Poundland sells HDMI leads too, but they are rarely in stock. There's a reason for that.

Curry's will also sell you a fancy HDMI lead - for £59. Ok it's got some snazzy packaging, but it does exactly the same job as the £1.98 version.

To put it another way, you could buy a gold plated lead for your kettle, but it would still only boil water.

I happened to be in Curry's just as a young mum with 2 tearaway kids was completing her choice of LCD TV for hubby's Christmas.

'Do you have an HDMI lead?' the salesman asked.
'What's that for?' she sounded bewildered.
He explained it was to connect the TV to the DVD, the computer, the games console.
She sensibly declined. But the salesman persisted.
'If you buy it now I can give you £25 discount'.
'How much is it?' she asked incredulously.
'Normally it's £59' he replied.
'No I don't think I need it, my husband has loads of that stuff'.

Thank goodness she is standing her ground I thought. But the salesman wasn't finished (wonder how much commission he gets on the HDMI cable?).

'If your husband has the cable, you can return it for a refund'

The customer's kids were running amok by now.

'Ok I'll take it' she surrenders.

He comes back from the display shelf. 'That cable is out of stock, but we have the £55 one, but I can only give you £15 off that.'

By now she is in full surrender mode and has just spent 40 quid on a bit of cable which she has no idea what it's purpose is.

This is the same trick Ryannair use when they charge you £1 for a plane ride, but then add all the extras, the card fee, the bag fee, the check in fee, etc, etc. It's also at work on the high street - so be very careful what extras you end up agreeing to this Christmas.

Wouldn't it be so much simpler if Panasonic threw into the box the £4 of leads you need with the £600 TV? Maybe that's their present to their dealers, look at all the extra sales you can make. It's the same trick suit salesman use to sell a shirt, and hairdressers use to sell shampoo. After you've parted with a large amount of cash a few more pounds don't seem so bad.

Should I have stepped in to tell Curry's customer she didn't need their over-price cable? I was sorely tempted, but the salesman did tell her she could return it for a refund. Hopefully hubby has one, or shops at Poundland too.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Uexpected item in bagging area!

Another reason no one likes self-scanning - Unexpected change

No one likes self-scanning at the Supermarket. It's doubtful it's even quicker. Here's just one more reason to add to the lengthy list of annoyances (Unexpected item in bagging area, etc, etc). I thought I'd won the jackpot when I inserted a pound coin to pay for 42p of shopping. the coins came tumbling out, kerching, kerching, like a fruit machine payout.

Can anyone beat the number of coins a Sainsbuy's automated checkout gave me as 58p change for a £1?

4 is the minimum number of coins (50p, 5p, 2p, 1p) to make change for this 42p purchase.

Sainsburys gave me 17 coins (9 x 5p, 6 x 2p, 2 x 1p). Is this a record?