Drive Buys At CompUSA And Staples
Published on January 19, 2005 By averjoe In Personal Computing
My online hard hit the ground the other day. No, I didn’t do it. It was my sister. Anyway the drop caused the hard drive to break.

I had recently got another forty-gig drive from my brother, which I was intending to use as a backup for my online hard drive (I have a hard drive that I only use offline). Unfortunately it doesn’t work.

I have a warranty on the forty-gig Western Digital drive that I got from my brother and will be sending it back for a replacement.

This problem would not happen to the average user of a computer (I use a hot swapper). I have hard drives lying all over the place and I’m constantly switching out one drive for another as the need arise.

I can’t afford having individuals dropping my stuff and breaking it (causing me mucho dollars) because they don’t know how delicate it is (or causing me to loose valuable data which fortunately was not present on my online hard drive- as opposed to my offline drive).

I was effectively knocked off line from home with the destruction of this drive. A replacement was needed immediately.

There was a sale on eighty gig hard drives going on at CompUSA. It looked like an excellent deal. Buy two eighty gig CompUSA (made by Maxtor) hard drives for thirty-nine, ninety-nine or one eighty gig hard drive for forty-nine, ninety-nine.

“Good”, I thought. I immediately went to the store (this was approximately three days into the sale) and began looking for the hard drives on sale but could not find any so I went to the service clerk and asked where were the hard drives that are on sale. She said they were sold out. I told her to ask another CompUSA in the next county over if they had any of these hard drives in stock. She checked and told me, “no”.

Now it really irks me when a store puts something on sale and then under-stocks that item or do not stock that item at all. I think it is against the law to put something on sale and not have it in stock (bait and switch).

Anyway, CompUSA allows customers to prepay for things not in stock at the listed price for that period so I prepaid for one hard drive. I then asked when would the hard drive be in. The clerk told me she didn’t know. I left the store having paid for an eighty gig hard drive and not knowing when it would be in.

I was not too happy with this state of affairs but I was going to accept the situation until my brother spoke. Before he spoke I told him it was a fantastic price for a hard drive that you didn’t have to send off a mail-in rebate for and wait for the rebate to come in the mail (which could take weeks if not months). He told me that it was just like waiting for a rebate but instead of waiting for a rebate check I was waiting for a hard drive.

In fact I could have went out and purchased a hard drive at a higher price and sent off for rebate. In both scenarios I end up waiting instead of having a ‘cut and dry’ deal. Now I was ‘pissed off’ and thinking about it made me even more ‘pissed’.

On the table lay a sales insert from Staples I opened it up and there in its pages was an eighty gig Maxtor hard drive for fifty-nine, ninety-nine. It was ten dollars more than the CompUSA deal but it was in stock and at a ‘cut and dry’ price (I’ve been making a lot of purchases of computer software and hardware at Staples of late even though it is more of an office supply store than computer store. This local Staples store has made good money off me and I have had few complaints about the goods they sell- although I did buy some PNY brand DDR memory that was advertised as 256 megabytes but turned out to be 256 megabytes minus 32 megabytes- 32 megabytes are “shared” which means cached-be aware of this fact when purchasing PNY computer memory. I think all stores advertise PNY memory based on regular plus cached memory, which is dishonest).

I brought the hard drive from Staples and got my money back from CompUSA.

I have never been too keen on CompUSA and still cannot recommend them for most things because on average their prices are higher for most computer hardware and software although things are getting better.

Almost every week they have some very good sales on hardware and software (some with mail-in rebates and some without or what many stores now call “instant rebates”) that make a visit to the store worthwhile. They also carry a wider variety of software and hardware than most other computer equipment selling stores which means you may only be able to find what you need at CompUSA.

My advice is if it is not on sale at CompUSA you can probably find that same item cheaper at some other store.

Items on sale at CompUSA are very competitively priced. I only wish they sufficiently stocked items they put on sale.

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