Sunday, April 27, 2008

Still sucking

Marketing is tough. Primary goal is to elicit interest and action. Overcoming a bad image or experience is tough, too, and you rarely get a second chance.

CompUSA had a crappy reputation, shut down and re-launched under new ownership, Tiger Direct, who also has a poor image. They kept a bunch of stores closed but reopened several in South Florida, where they’re based.

A couple of weeks ago, I visited one and was unimpressed: not a lot of stock, uninteresting displays, few customers, and employees standing around talking to each other.

Saw a CompUSA ad in the newspaper earlier this week with a coupon for a bluetooth cell phone earpiece for $9.99. What the heck, it might be cheap, but for ten bucks, I’d give it a shot. The coupon was in Thursday’s paper, but the fine print said that it was only good on Friday and Saturday. It also had space for my name, address and e-mail. Smart! A loss leader to attract new customers and capture their contact info for future promo.

So I strolled into CompUSA a little after noon on Friday: a few customers but not many. In addition to the Bluetooth device, I intended to buy some blank DVDs. After a few minutes of searching, I went to the customer service desk. I was ignored for a couple of minutes but managed to interrupt the pair of chatting workers to ask where the DVDs were. One jerked a thumb to the right, but didn’t offer specifics. Undaunted, I flashed the bluetooth coupon.

“Oh, we’re sold out of those.”

“But they just went on sale today. How can that be?”

“We’ve been open for three hours,” he shrugged.

So that was that. I tossed the coupon, forgot about the DVDs and will forget about CompUSA. They still suck.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Right, they're still awful.