If you’re anything like me, going into an electronics store makes you giddy and excited. All the shiny toys you want but don’t need. Most electronics stores are awesome with helpful sales staff, in-stock products and working demo units. Then you go to Future Shop. The mere mention of this store makes me shudder. As one of the biggest electronics retailers in Canada, you can find their stores scattered across many big box power centres. While they do have a a great selection of products, everytime I force myself to go to their stores I leave angry and frustrated. Here are 3 reasons why:
You get 1 of 2 awful experiences
Experience A : You actually want to purchase something and cannot find ANYONE to help you. It feels like a zombie apocalypse has hit the store and god help you, you’re on your own.
Experience B: You go in to browse and comparison shop, and the sales people hover over you like sharks around a dangling piece of bloody meat. This was the experience I had the other night when I went with Nik, a guy I work with. He asked me if I wanted to go help him pick out a video camera, and we headed to Future Shop because it was close. We’re looking at the cameras and there are two salespeople hovering over us. They did their obligatory “if you have any questions let me know.” I’m fine with that, it’s part of your job. You’ve acknowledged I exist and I know you’re there if I need you. So I’m talking with Nik and we’re discusssing things, and everytime we mention a question to each other, the salesperson jumps in to answer. I’m thinking “excuse me, we aren’t talking to you, and we don’t need your help! Go away!” We eventually left to check out other stores.
You tease me with products you don’t have
Another major issue was having products on display they NO LONGER SELL! Why the hell is a demo unit out on the floor then? The Flip Camera being the product. Sales dude was like “they went out of business so we don’t have any more in stock and won’t be getting anymore.” Great, so TAKE IT OFF THE SHELF! A few other products had no prices on the labels. We eventually figured out this is their “code” for out of stock or discontinued product. Glad we’re part of the secret club who knows now.
Your demo units don’t work
One would assume that if demo units are out on display, they would have fully charged batteries so you can use the product. Not here folks. You can pick up the product to look at it, but try and turn it on and the likelihood of it working is the same as the odds of playing a slot machine. Will it work or not? Most likely not.
Just for the record, these 3 problems are business as usual with this retailer, it wasn’t just a series of unfortunate events this time. Considering it’s the holiday shopping season, an awful economy and people are looking at the small details when deciding where to shop, these issues are a big deal.
At the end of the day, we have many alternatives. Best Buy (which happens to be the same company as Future Shop) is a far superior experience. Maybe the fact the salespeople aren’t on commission makes the difference. You also have Walmart, Canadian Tire, and Superstore, as well as many other retailers that carry random selections of electronics. Or, if you’re like me, you can shop online at Amazon, the American site. I mention this site because the Canadian site doesn’t carry as much in the electronics department. You can have your products shipped to the border using Kinek (check it out) and go pick them up. Seems like a lot of work, but you can save tons of money this way, and to be honest, just keeping my money out of Future Shop is enough satisfaction for me! Have you had terrible experiences at Future Shop or any other retailer? Comment and let me know!