Byte Me #45 Get briefed on the software before buying a computer

9 April, 2011

This week we had a few new customers coming in with viruses on their new PC’s simply because their trial virus scanner had not been registered. So many people go to a chain store to buy something that ‘looks good’ off the shelf and expect that any computer is a computer and that their new purchase will serve them well. Sometimes they look into the basic specifications of the PC but in so many cases the buying decision is based only on the the ticket price of the item, without looking into this in greater depth. In the virus cases above the PC’s were purchased off the shelf and were used for internet browsing and web mail access. The owners did not know that the virus scanner was not registered and therefore not active. They were not told by the sales person that they had to do this, the same as they were not told or given options on how to back up their photos & other documents. Off the shelf PC’s will normally come with ‘trial’ editions of software – including Microsoft office and a virus scanner – usually Norton. Some trials last for 30 days, some last for 30 uses but in all cases they require further money to be spent (normally using a credit card online) to unlock the software so it can continue to be used. While computers are always becoming faster and of more use, they are unfortunately not becoming any less complex. It is for this reason that I usually spend around 30 minutes per customer when selling either a PC or a laptop to them. Customers need to know all of the options of virus scanners, installed software, backup options and accessories & this is no simple task. Don’t get me wrong – chain stores have their place but there are few purchases as complex as a new computer and if the salesperson is not prepared to go through all of the options with you then perhaps you are in the wrong shop. As an example we constantly see new customers running businesses that have been sold the Home & Student version of Microsoft Office – which is totally illegal when used in a business environment. We also see country customers that live on a SWER power line that have never been told about the benefits of a UPS (surge protector and battery backup). Buying a new computer for most people is a decision making process that will usually only occur every three years and given the rate of change of the IT industry why rush it and make a blue? Kerr Solutions at 128 Musgrave Street can be contacted on 49 222 400.

2011-04-09 Byte Me Article 45 - Purchase Decisions

  • February 20, 2014