Time and again I’ve eavesdropped (unintentionally no doubt) and been amused by how PC salesmen try to confuse and misinform their customers. Now that I’m trying to buy a PC, it is not so funny anymore. I was at Courts earlier this evening and wanted some information, but I found myself speaking to a salesman who tried to sound like an expert, but in reality he was quite clueless and spewing false and misleading information.
It is just not his day. He probably thought I was a clueless customer asking a dumb question. Well, PCs are getting complicated nowadays and I do have to ask questions or do some research. Fortunately I did, so I could tell this salesman at Courts was just uttering nonsense. I got rather annoyed that he persisted in his nonsense and treated me like a dumb person.
Sigh. I was looking for a PC with hardware virtualization support. Hardware VT is required to support the Windows 7’s XP Mode. XP Mode is a Windows 7 feature that allows you to run applications in a virtual XP machine, in case if the application can’t run directly in Windows 7 itself. Hardware VT will also allow me to run various other virtualization solutions (VirtualBox being something I have in mind).
So I was looking at this particular PC (not the one in the photo above) that had a Q8300 CPU. I remembered offhand that the Intel Q8300 CPU had multiple variants, some of which did not support hardware VT. I asked that simple question, does the PC support hardware VT.
The salesman’s response clearly told me he didn’t really understand what I was asking about. Fast forward. He asked what virtualization software did I want to run. I replied that it is irrelevant right, the question I asked is if the CPU supported hardware VT. He told me it depends on what software I wanted to run. Huh?!
So I said, ok, how about I want Windows 7’s XP Mode. He replied strangely. Yes, it will run Windows 7. I said, no, I’m asking about the XP Mode, it requires hardware VT. He said, virtualization depends on the software. Argh!
Basically, I want hardware VT. But he keeps insisting it is software. Sure, software is needed. But hardware makes it run better in general, and in case of Windows 7’s XP Mode, hardware VT is listed as a requirement! Then guess what? He tells me, the PC supports Windows Vista, so of course it will support Windows 7 features.
Hopelessly clueless fellow. I think companies like Courts and the like ought to test their salesman and send them for some IT literacy training.
It reminds me of an incident 2 or 3 years ago. I wanted to buy a 64-bit Intel CPU (i.e with EM64T). That was a time when not all Intel CPUs were EM64T yet. The salesman asks what for. Well, I said I wanted to run a 64-bit application (actually it was an embedded application system). He tells me that I just need to install a 64-bit Windows. Er… actually, my application includes the OS itself, it runs directly off the hardware, no OS needed. But too complicated to explain to him. So I said, no, a 64-bit CPU is required to run 64-bit OS/applications. He insisted no, and tried to teach me the basics of operating systems and applications. He was rather persistent that all I needed was a 64-bit Windows, and that it had nothing to do with the CPU at all.
That was a big reputable shop at Sim Lim Square. (Actually I never considered this shop reputable, but many others do.)
Back to Courts. I guess the salesman also got annoyed with this “stubborn” customer so he started to ignore me. I had another question, unrelated to hardware VT, but I found it very difficult to get his attention. When I finally asked another salesman, he called over to that first salesman (I suppose he was really the PC department expert), who acknowledged his colleague. But he never came to me.
Sigh, can you imagine what other poor customers are going through, those customers who are not so IT savvy? Some of these salesman are just talking rubbish to clinch the sale. No wonder I hear about so many people have “PC problems”.