Monday, 1 September 2014


PC World: Don'tknowhow... Picture copyrights by EPA
Good evening, Synapse Circuit Readers. How’s it going? I hope you had a good, productive day! And if your day is still unravelling there is still time...

Welcome to Synapse Circuit Consumer Care! In the doghouse is...

#PCWorld #Knowhow #TottenhamCourtRoad #PCShops #ElectronicStores

Recently I had a spot of bother with one of my PCs; basically none of the USB ports would take on the Wi-Fi adapters – well, not continuously! From my limited understanding of PCs I figure it’s something to do with the motherboard and the USB configuration. I could take in for repair but it’d take too long! Way too long! So, I came to the conclusion that I would need a device that will be able to convert the Wi-Fi signal into an Ethernet port. You probably know what the solution is already! However, I had an inkling that a device must exist to meet my requirements and off I went to PC World in Central London, Warren Street.

Of course, I didn’t need to travel out so far but I figured that the rather large branch of PC World in Central London and with the multitude of PC shops in the surrounding area, Tottenham Court Road, there would be a very good chance that someone might understand my requirements.

So, not to look like a fool, I went to the section where one can find various Wi-Fi adapters, Wi-Fi extensions, router, etc. Picked up a couple of items and brought it to the ‘Knowhow’ department of “experts” (hee hee...) and asked a couple of technicians (ha ha ha) if the products I had selected would pick up upon the Mi-Fi signal and put it through the Ethernet port. I was very disappointed to find out that none of the products I picked out would do the job. I was told, “No such product exists and if it does we don’t have it...” Hmmmm... Do you know what the product is yet?

I was pretty annoyed when one of the ‘Knowhow’ technicians / experts took my Mi-Fi device and opened it up... I was thinking, “What has opening up my Mi-Fi got to do with finding a device that can allow me to connect my PC via Ethernet?”

Did you know that PC World is a part of Phones 4U? Phones 4U is one of the biggest retail outlets for mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc) that include Mi-Fi devices and many PC World shops also incorporates Phones 4U; if any outlet should know what I need it would be them – PC World! Uh-uh!

After I had left PC World I checked out numerous shops within the (in)famous Tottenham Court Road which is pretty much a row of PC / electronic outlets – questionable outlets! The first shop I entered I decided to sketch out on a piece of paper what I wanted the device to do and the shop assistant got it straightaway! Now do you know what I was looking for?

Bummer! I was shown a rather expensive 3G router that looked quite impressive! This 3G router is a big as the router that you’d find with an Internet provider. I won’t mention any companies because they are all a load of crap! It’s taking the best of the worst! Don’t misunderstand me; a lot of these Internet providers can provide a good and fast Internet connection but it appears to me that there are many catches to having the Internet in your home i.e. you have to have a bloody telephone at least. Who uses a telephone these days?? Or you are enticed with a load of crap TV channels. See my experience with Virgin Media! Anyhoo, I think that I was quoted around £70-odd for this 3G router. Well, at least I got to know what I was looking for and it would be easy to ask for a 3G / 4G router when entering other PC shops!

I crossed the road, entered another shop and asked for a “3G / 4G router” with a new found authority on the subject! The shop assistant that served me sat behind a laptop and said, “I haven’t got one in stock but I can order one in for you that will cost around £99...” So, he did a search on his laptop and reconfirmed that it would cost me £99! Naturally, I was curious and asked, “Show me...” referring to his laptop! “No, no... You can order for £99...” Yeah, right! I’m gonna order a nondescript, no brand device for £99 just like that... What was that guy smoking???

I entered yet another shop and I asked for a “3G / 4G router” which resulted in the shop assistant showing me a rather neat looking device...

“How much is it?”

“It’s £127.”


With that knowledge I left the shop and did not bother to visit any other of the multitude of shops on the Tottenham Court Road; I did a search on my handset and found the same device quoted as £127 for £40!!!!

Trust your instincts and do your research. Ignorance is not bliss – even if you’ve got money to waste! In fact I found two distinct 3G / 4G routers: One costs around £28 and the aforementioned other costs £40!

Some shopkeepers / owners have no morals with regards to mis-selling to their respective customers.

The ‘Knowhow’ people in PC World have no pride in their work. One of the 3G / 4G routers that I found online was available by PC World!!! Sure, the Warren Street branch didn’t have it as such devices are viewed as specialist but if the shop sells mobile devices including Mi-Fi units then the ‘Knowhow’ technicians should have known what I was describing. Yes, they wanted me to bring the PC into any one of their branches for a fee but they should have been knowledgeable enough to know what I was describing and offer me a solution. It’s not rocket science but a “racket science” on how to extract money unduly from perspective customers. In fact the same branch offered me an expensive USB Wi-Fi adapter that was overkill for my needs.

That’s right... One of the ‘Knowhow’ technicians / experts (sic) asked if I wanted to buy one the useless Wi-Fi extenders. Even though he said it with humour I thought it was in bad taste considering he had no idea of what I was talking about.

Just think... I had a vague idea about a device that could possibly exist and therefore I didn’t have much of a clue with regards to knowing what to call it other than a “Wi-Fi to Ethernet converter”. Therefore when I checked it online before I went to the various retail outlets it didn’t come up! But if I had thought about it with more logic I would have eventually come to knowing what the device is called. Still, there are many ways to skin a cat! I learned in my own way. I never had a need for a 3G / 4G router before and it’s good to know that it exists!

Have faith in yourself! Don’t get caught up in the idea that you are not technical and do not know enough. When you have enthusiasm for anything then you will start to learn. In my experience most “experts” are or can be very obnoxious to those who do not appear have as much knowledge as them. This can intimidate but once you see through the facade you’ll realize that these people can be very insecure with a bunch of complexes that they hide behind the deceit of being more intelligent than others. I guess you won’t necessarily find real technological geniuses working for such a retail outlet!

Shop wisely! We are still Queen and King!


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