My own "Get a Mac" rant...from personal experience

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Sehnsucht, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. Sehnsucht macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    #1
    First of all, I'm a 20 year old male who works in the electronics department at Wal-Mart. I've been working for Wal-Mart for a total of 1 1/2 years. For a third of that time I was a cashier, and after facing the horror of Christmas, I transferred back to Electronics. For awhile, everything was peachy...I enjoyed being able to just walk around, and talking about video games with customers my age was much more to my liking than standing in the same place for 7 hours a day. However, there is one huge problem.

    Wal-Mart does not carry the Mac. (This alone is not really a problem; lots of places don't.)

    However, Wal-Mart does carry PCs.

    Hideous PCs. Ugly, light-weight black-plastic contraptions with hundreds of obnoxious blinking, glowing, flashing LEDs. Brands like eMachines, Acer, and Compaq. The prices are a joke: $398, $498, $598. In my mind, sacrilege.

    Take the average Wal-Mart shopper. Cheap food is one thing. If you want to buy the Great Value brand breakfast cereal and save $1.00 over Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, and don't mind your cornflakes tasting like cardboard, fine. Cardboard flakes will still keep you alive. But electronic gadgets?! Computers?! A computer is supposed to be a brilliantly designed piece of engineering. It's supposed to be made with care and devotion. There was never meant to be a laptop computer for three hundred and ninety-eight dollars. Hell, there was never meant to be one for less than $1,000.

    I walk down the aisles, staring at the obscenely-low prices and silently call down curses upon Bill Gates and Microsoft. Curse them for making computers so easily obtainable and affordable.

    Maybe it's just that I consider myself very honest, and I hate ever having to deceive anyone. If someone asks me, "Is this a good brand of TV?" I will always answer them honestly. "No, to be honest, I would avoid that brand...I've been working here about a year and I've seen at least 15 of those get returned." Some customers think that I try to sell them the highest-priced brand to get the biggest commission. Wal-Mart employees don't get commissions. And Wal-Mart employees don't care what you think.

    So, when a customer gets their heart set on a $300-ish eMachines desktop bundle, and then they flag me down with, "Is this a good computer?" I can tell just by looking at them (and sometimes smelling them) that it's all they can afford. Now, I'm instantly torn. Should I say, "No, it really isn't...eMachines is a off-brand and they're just not very good computers. I'd recommend this one over here...", or should I just give the standard, "Oh yes! Very good...you shouldn't have any problems." I CANNOT bring myself to give the second reply for two reasons: One, my conscience will bother me because I know I'm lying, and two, the computer has Windows Vista so I know damn well they're going to have a long list of problems. Of course, if I give them the first answer, the customer will often become very annoyed or offended ("Well, all I'm a-gonna be doin' is checkin' my email...I ain't gonna be hackin' the Pentagon or nuthin'!") and then proceed to give you their life story about how they got a divorce and they've got bad credit and they're on a fixed income and everything's just so dadgum expensive these days...so really it's a no-win situation.

    I'm despairing now. I'm tempted to, on the next occasion a customer asks me for my opinion on a cheap computer and expects me to sing Vista's praises, grab the phone and announce over the intercom, "ATTENTION WAL-MART CUSTOMERS!!! OUR PCs ARE GOD-AWFUL PILES OF S**T! GO TO THE APPLE STORE AND GET A MAC, OR THREE! THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AT WAL-MART!"

    It's always a tearful moment when I come home after a long day and find my iMac waiting for me. It's always happy to see me. Sometimes I even think it wonders why I haven't tried to get a job at the Apple store. I would, if it weren't 20 miles away. Someday perhaps. :D :apple: :apple: :apple: :apple:
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    I'd try to bump them up to those Dell boxes I see once in awhile. eMachines isn't that bad but it can be roulette on some of their models. Their cheap $399 machines are shipping with PCI-Express x16 slots so it's an easy 4670 upgrade away.

    BTW...

    Acer -> Gateway -> eMachines
     
  3. maclover001 macrumors 6502a

    maclover001

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #3
    I totally agree.
    A $300 laptop needs to run some kind of Barbie OS and be bright green.
    This thing is a joke:

    (Image removed)

    This is exactly like those stupid little $99 Fujifilm cameras that naive teenagers buy because they think that a 10MP camera in that price range is "like, so totally awesome".

    Your computer (usually) sits front and center in your bedroom/living room, and there is no way in hell I'd let a big fugly eMachines be the main attraction in my bedroom.

    If you ask me, there should be better design standards for computers. Whoever the hell decided that HP needs to slap on all these stickers raving on about its crappy specs needs to be shot. You peel the stickers off and you're left with a big sticky mess.

    I know people that have 3 year old laptops that are still covered in those god-awful stickers. There is dirt trapped all around the edges, and they are all torn and peeling off. Do they do anything about it? NO!

    Are you listening HP? WE DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT YOUR STUPID STICKERS!!

    /rant

    EDIT: Fine, if you don't like the OLPC:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. pol0001 macrumors 6502

    pol0001

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #4
    That laptop was designed for Africa, where a lot of people simply can't afford a computer! It was never meant to do anything more then basic stuff.
     
  5. ditzy macrumors 68000

    ditzy

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    #5
    Just tell them that it has the same quality value as the budget cornflakes. People need to learn that in general you get what you pay for. People try to con themselves that the budget version is as good as the more expensive one. It just isn't.
     
  6. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #6
    You think you can actually work in corporate american and have a consciousness? :eek:
     
  7. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #7
    I 100% agree with this. My in-laws have a Compaq laptop with sticker all over it... it's so ugly.
     
  8. borjasanz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    #8
    Lol, there's nothing you can do dude, most of them think Macs are complicated to use and are already used to viruses and all kinds of stuff. If you ever tell them to get a Mac, they will probably say: "This one has the same specs and it's 400$".

    Yeah, but it has Windows Vista. It will probably INCLUDE malware and stuff and its a low quality computer compared to a Mac

    People will never know!
     
  9. daisky macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    #9
    I actually read this for a while trying to figure out if it was a joke or if you were serious. Affordable computers? Why would anyone want such a thing? We all know that as computers become more expensive, their quality improves. Like for example the previous gen MBP with the faulty Nvidia chip, or the Macbooks with cracks and peeling plastics.

    And Microsoft do not make computers "so easily obtainable and affordable", they make the OS. A consumer has the option of buying a kick-ass Windows machine or a cheap one. Why would you want to take that option away?

    And that poster that put up a photo of the MIT $100 laptop for Africa clearly does not know what he's talking about, so let's not even go there. The amount of disinformation on this thread is quite strong already.
     
  10. allmIne macrumors 6502a

    allmIne

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #10
    If this was slashdot, I'd give you +1 for 'informative'.
     
  11. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #11
    It'll boggle most people's minds but Microsoft makes the same OEM amount if the computer costs $400 or $4,000.
     
  12. saltyzoo macrumors 65816

    saltyzoo

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    #12
    Thanks OP, I'm still smiling. Every sentence has a pearl of humor in it.
     
  13. skubish macrumors 68030

    skubish

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    #13
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5F136 Safari/525.20)

    You seem too intelligent and well spoken to work at Wal-Mart. I hope you are in college.
     
  14. shen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    #14
    go read his post again. how old is he?

    oh we will kill the morals in him. soon, very soon.
     
  15. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #15
    My two cents...

    My mother-in-law, who lives in western Kentucky, wanted my assistance in buying a computer here in Louisville. However, she had a limited budget and insisted I get it at Wal-Mart. I asked why Wal-Mart, when I could get her something better quality for close to the same price?

    She answered with, "If this turns out to be a crappy machine, the Wal-Mart back home will be more likely to give me a refund on it."

    The More You Know...
     
  16. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Buffalo
    #16
    I hope this is a joke, otherwise, this thread is exactly why people think Mac users are smug jerks.

    I got news for you, people only checking their email and surfing will be fine with a $399 eMachines box from Wal-Mart, assuming they "surf with protection".

    Get off your high horse already. Especially since you work at Wal-Mart. People in glass houses, etc.
     
  17. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #17
    I have nothing against cheap and accessible computing, or inexpensive consumer goods, period. I do have a rant about the steps that are being taken to MAKE the goods that cheaply, and the false savings that come with it.

    It doesn't take a genius to walk around a store and see that almost EVERYTHING being sold today is junk. Sure, it's inexpensive, but it's junk compared to what you bought 5, 10, 20 years ago. Pick a product, any product: toasters, Rubbermaid storage bins, computers, printers, furniture, kids' toys, cars, appliances, power tools. See what you can buy today and stack it against what you remember buying last time. Is it as good quality as the one you used as a kid growing up? I bet it isn't. Sure, today's product is half the price, but it's going to last half as long, or less, before it breaks and you have to buy a new one.

    And anything that IS good quality, you pay a premium for.

    I used to work in a company that manufactures phones and telecommunications equipment, and I distinctly recall a meeting where my boss said "The problem today is that people buy a telephone, and it sits on their desk for 10, 20 years, and they never think about upgrading or replacing it. We need to get people to buy new phones every few years."

    Wal-Mart appears to have found the solution!

    And all the off-shore factories are laughing, all the way to the bank.
     
  18. bigjnyc macrumors 601

    bigjnyc

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #18
    wow i guess those less fortunate in the financial department are not entitled to own computers. and schools in poor neighborhoods are not entitled to have computer labs for kids.... If all computers cost $1,000+ do you know how many people wouldnt be able to afford one? not everyone is a high-roller like you with a walmart associate salary :rolleyes:
     
  19. derryquinn macrumors 6502

    derryquinn

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    #19
    Powerful stuff.

    I actually cried when reading some of it.

    God, I'm such a girl.
     
  20. DaveF macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    NoVA
    #20
    At work you need to support your customers' needs and priorities. Your personal computer ideology is irrelevant and is unhelpful to your customers. If they're looking for a $300 PC, telling them to buy a $2500 Mac is unhelpful.

    You can enjoy your elegant, expensive Macs in your free time. You can also help customers who are genuinely interested. But if they're there to get a $500 computer, sell them a $500 computer. In the "real" world, computers are commodity appliances, like a toaster, washing machine or a car. Most people just want something affordable and functional.

    I don't like it car people rant about my pedestrian choice in cars; and they don't like it went I rant about their choice of cheap computers. :)
     
  21. pianoman181 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #21
    computers are tools. nothing more, nothing less.
     
  22. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #22
    I'm tempted to make a really obnoxious quip to follow this up (not directed at you), but I'll be nice. ;)

    It's easy to pick on Walmart and Walmart shoppers. And it's easy (and not always correct) to tell someone they're making a huge mistake for buying a $500 computer instead of a $2500 computer or a $700 TV instead of a $3000 TV. Easy and not particularly informative.
     
  23. Wireless Buddy macrumors regular

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    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #23
    Dude, you're totally stoned, haha. :p
     
  24. Wireless Buddy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #24
    Thank you. :)
     
  25. nep61 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 17, 2007
    #25
    EXACTLY RIGHT !! Dell, HP, Acer, Gateway etc. somehow manage to continually generate revenue by selling new machines to the same people over & over & over again.

    Let's say a computer cost $400 and it's life span, for the average "I just do e-mail", user is 18-24 months. When that eMachine, or whatever it is, starts to bog down and crash every so often, that person goes out and gets a new $400 computer... Because, It's cheap enough, it makes that person feel like they're getting a "New Start" and they'll also feel safe for a while... "Can't be any viruses in this computer, it's brand new !!"

    I've seen a few family members do this exact thing.... and they call me crazy for spending $2200 on an Apple product.

    Them: "Wow, you paid how much for your computer???? you're crazy !!!"
    Me: Yeah, but how many computers have you bought in the past 5 or 6 years?
    Them: Oh I don't know... maybe 4 or 5.
    Me: Oh, so 4 or 5 times $400 each comes out to.... what.... $1600-$2000, right?
    Them: Yeah, I guess so.....
    Me: And every year or so, you start to have problems with your computer getting slower, or you send out an e-mail to everyone, that warns of the "...KILLER VIRUS that's going around, so beware!!!.... Well, now I ask you.... "Who's crazy?"

    I like the thought behind what the OP was saying, but moving product is what makes the world go 'round....

    Hey, the guy who invented disposable razor blades.... GENIUS !!!!
    People used to sharpen those old straight edge razors... ain't no money in that !!!!
     

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