Dick Smith Electronics is the Fry’s or perhaps Circuit City of New Zealand. You know, the kind of place you go to buy components, computer games, iPods, XBoxes, and stuff. The place you try to avoid at all costs, especially given the pimply-faced unhelpfulness of the staff.
I should have known better, but I was hunting for a particular solution: an integrated car charger and line-out device for my iPhone. Please god do not at this point try to tell me I should use a FM transmitter.
So yeah I found something that fitted the bill, and ordered it online. The website said there was stock available. This was on Sunday, almost a week ago. At the same time I ordered a lovely iPhone car cradle from ProClip. The cradle arrived yesterday, all the way from Madison, Wisconsin. So there’s the competition: can Dick Smith fulfil an internet order from their warehouse about 30 minutes away faster than someone across the other side of the world?
No, not they cannot.
I finally called this morning to find out where my order was. They tell me it is due to be shipped from the Sylvia Park store. I opted to go and pick the thing up directly, so I traveled out to the store, bailed up a manager, and asked him to go find it. 10 minutes later, he emerges from the back of the store and tells me he couldn’t find the product anywhere, but he does have the packing slip issued from the online store.
We go and look on the computer together. Several other stores are showing “1” or “2” of the things in stock, but he tells me not to bother going to the other stores because “anything lower than about 3 in stock on the computer means they probably don’t have anything”.
Morals of the story:
- Avoid Dick Smith stores like the plague
- It is faster to order online from the USA than it is to buy locally
- Dick Smith definitely need to sort out issues with their stock level system before they even try to fulfil any online orders.