I've been in lurk mode here for over a year, but haven't moved far from my Apple roots. Become a Complete Fool
I did see a recent post about the CompUSA "No-interest" deal until March 2005 with the purchase of a new Apple system. The same day, I also got a mailing from CompUSA, and the mailing made it seem like it was only no-interest until March 2004 - only six months, which is still a deal if you pay it off in time, but a big hit if you don't.
Anyhow, the flyer was for their big continued "Labor Day Sale" today and tomorrow, so I actually decided to head down to see what they had for Apple stuff, and I needed to buy a stack of blank CD's to distribute a project that I had been working on. I was curious to see if they had actually gotten better with how they sell and take care of the Apple products.
I don't think I've been in a CompUSA since the Apple Stores opened, and the previous experiences were less than memorable - usually something like "Beavis and Butthead" meet "Nerds" - high schools kids, with too much acne and not enough Ritalin, all dressed in the red CompUSA shirts running around and mostly clueless whenever I had a Mac question....
Fast Forward to Sept 2003.....
The Apple Store within a Store at CompUSA actually had a G5 tower - in broad daylight, with a 23" flat screen attached an a copy of "Lord of the Rings - Part 2" DVD playing - the iMacs, eMacs, iBooks and PBs were also all operating, and had different demos of Apple software running - some had the iDVD demos, iMovie, etc - very family friendly stuff....
I stood there looking at the G5 for less than 2 minutes before a sales guy came up....thats a record! 2 minutes?!? I've wandered around that store before, with cash in hand, waving it above my head announcing "I want to buy an extended warrenty for ALL my computers" and the only response I ever got was bored yawns, or a quick glance as one of them hurried to the back store room (obviously heading out on an Clearasil Cleanser break...)
I prepared myself for the expected "well, macs are just ok" speech that I've heard over and over before....so when the guy actually said "This is a 'sick' computer. Its just ridiculous how cool it is, I can't wait to get one...."
I had to blink and rub my eyes....I felt like little Sally Who, waking up in Whoville on Christmas Morning after the Grinch had returned all the presents....... ;-)
"Huh?!?" was about the only response I could muster before a second sales guy came over. Two sales guys, with one customer, at CompUSA, in the Apple section. And, yes, the store was really, really busy, so I wasn't the only one in there.
The second guy was actually their Apple-certified tech, and he started going on and on and on about the G5 also. It was almost scary, like a Steven King book, where you know that you're supposed to be scared, but just haven't figured out exactly why....
I spent about 10 minutes talking to the 2 sales guys, and kept being blown away by how Mac-positive they were. So I start to think that maybe, just maybe I had run into an Apple Demo Day volunteer or two....nope, they both work for CompUSA.
I wander over to the notebook section - all three TiPBs from the 12" to the 17" are on display, along with the 12" iBook (which I have a 2 year old version). Both sales guys wander over and start talking about the TiPBs and the iBooks. And again, pretty much all positive stuff about them. Now I haven't told them I'm a long time Mac user (how about a black Apple II as my first one?) and I have a computer/engineering background originally, so I can be a techweenie with the almost all of the best....and they are still professing their love of Mac products. It was like I was the love child of Michael Dell and Bill Gates coming forth to the junior high school computer club, offering total knowledge of every cheat code ever known for every computer game.......;-)
I still haven't said much, but ask about the financing deal, figuring no interest for 6 months, but sales guy #1 quickly corrects me and tells me that for Apple computers, its an 18 month no-interest finance on the CompUSA card, with the usual strings attached - don't miss a payment and if its not paid off at the end, the interest is retroactive, etc...
Hmmmm......18 months, 0% interest? Suddenly, I needed a new TiPB! With a Superdrive! and a 17" screen and lots of 'stuff' to go with it.....(I have a problem with impulse control....) So I tell SG #1 and SG #2, "I want the 17" TiPB, and I want it now....."
SG #1 goes to make sure that they have one in stock, while I keep talking to SG #2 about the Mac software on the shell. He actually knows was Keynote is, and can compare its features to Powerpoint.....This is really, really scary....Mac software knowledge at CompUSA?
SG #1 comes back, says, "Well, the last 17" TiPB is up at the register with someone else...." I'm feeling like Snidley Whiplash, with a curt "Curses......Foiled Again!!!!!!" when I turn and look at the G5 tower..........
Hmmmmm.......(hand on chin)........Hmmmmmmmm.......
"What about the G5........."
The sales guy answers, "We only got one in, and someone had preordered, but cancelled, so its sitting in the back....."
I start thinking some more, and ask what kind of deals they can give me for the G5, a monitor, memory, an Airport Card, and some software. Two pairs on eyes on SG#1 and SG#2 get VERY wide....
"Ughh....let me go talk to my manager........."
They come back in about 2 minutes, offer about $100 in deals if I get the $250 Apple Extended Warranty - takes it from 1 year to 3 years and covers the monitor....
I stand there, thinking about it, silent, and they offer a couple more deals, so now I'm saving $150 (or spending $100 on the Apple Warranty)
They load up the G5 and a 17" flat screen, as well as extra memory, Keynote, Final Cut Express and some other stuff I needed (well, maybe that's too strong of a word.)
On the way up to the register, 2 other sales guys (#3 and #4) come over...."Ahh man, he's getting the G5?!!??? I KNEW it wouldn't last long....." and SG #3 and #4 also start to expound on the virtues of the G5.....4 CompUSA salesguys all Mac happy?
I start looking around, wonder if Steve Jobs was nearby with his Reality Distortion Field (RDF), but the only guy nearby looked more like Steve Ballmer.....at least I think it was a guy....
So I load everything up, get it home and open up the G5......
This is a sexy computer! The flat steel finish is sleek. Opening up the side is as easy as lifting a lever, and the entire side pops out. The first thing I notice is that there is so much SPACE in side. I start wondering if maybe they just sold me the G5 case, and the computer innards were extra.....Its incredibly easy to get to all the slots, RAM/Airport/PCI cards, etc.
The only bummer was that memory has to be added in pairs, and I had only bought 1 512MB Ram chip, so I need to order a match. Other than that, its actually pretty quiet when you turn it on. I had heard that the fan was loud, its barely noticeable, but that could be from years of PCs at work...
So there's reportedly been 100,000 G5 ordered thus far (make that 100,001) and I think they have another great product on their hands
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I've been in lurk mode here for over a year, but haven't moved far from my Apple roots.
Become a Complete Fool