High street shops APPALLING lack of knowledge



I have just bought a camcorder after thinking about it for a long time, and although I have been into sound/music recording for a long time, I know absolutely NOTHING about camcorders.

I have been totally gobsmacked by the total lack of any knowledge that high street shop staff have (you know the places I mean). I really needed a bit of guidance, which I got out of a few magazines, but when I asked the most basic technical questions I got answers that were plain wrong. Either that or the staff were just too lazy to help. After reading a couple of magazines I had encyopaedic knowledge compared to the shop assistants, and I admit, I know nothing.

Now, this might just show how stupid I am, but I was under the impression that if a camcorder had a 'megapixel ccd' it WOULD make the video picture better quality. I was told this did not have any effect on the picture. I was told that a USB port was a firewire port, that a firewire cable would come in the box (!!!), and all these kind of really basic things that as far as I know are totally inaccurate.

Has anyone actually ever had a good experience with a high street retailer? I went to several places and got it all wrong. Should have bought online I suppose.


Active Member
One of my favourite past times is to stroll around Dixons/Currys/Comet etc and listen to the crap that the sales assistants reel off to customers.

If I am feeling particularly impish, I will ask for some details on a product and try and keep a straight face at some of the answers. It is really interesting when the assistant absolutely insists that he is correct, and I am mistaken.

I think the sheds (not just AV retailers) are the 'McDonalds' of the retail trade!

I'm sure I was once asked if I wanted fries with my TV.


Distinguished Member
Ahh yes, seeking advice on AV gear in Currys/Dixons can be fun.
The dumber you appear, the funnier it can be!

Electrical goods these days are so complex and varied that I can forgive a little confusion. But when they make stuff up they deserve to be humilliated.
I usually try to look dumb and impressed for a while, then throw in a really technical question unexpectedly to catch them out!


Well-known Member

When I bought our washer/dryer from Empire Electro the woman sales assistant told me it was best connected to the water outlet via a scart lead. When I asked her if it was RGB compatible then, she said no, as it was recommended to use Daz.:D


'Megapixel CCD' is a Sony term, no?
It means 1 megapixel for pictures, not videos.


I have been trying to shop at:
- PC World
- Dixons/Curry
- Sony stores
- Richer Sounds

I have never met a salesperson who could help me.

PC World: I bought a few times in their shop but finished to buy via internet in many cases as their prices are good for high-street store but not as good as internet ones. Many sales persons were nice but not really helpful. Some guys in Business PC World department were more skilled.

Dixons/Currys: These guys have no particular knowledge, but they try to help, which is not bad.

Sony stores: Sometimes arrogant, never skilled or helpful. I asked one time: 'Could you please 'SELL' me this £300 DVD player compared to this £150 DVD player?'
Answer = 'BASICALLY, the £300 is top of the range.
They kill the point in favour of high-street shops. I went in their shop to see if I liked the design of my future TV and bought it at EmpireDirect.co.uk.
Sony stores have the worst prices for Sony products.

Richer Sounds: Very competitive prices. Staff sometimes knowledgeable, but always biaised in favour of 'Richer Sounds brands' (Cambridge Audio...)


When TiVo was first released I decided I WANTED one. So the only place you could get them was Curries/Dixons. So in to the local Dixons after finding out about TiVo. Stood beside a large cardboard display about the features od a TiVo. Salesman walks up and asks if he can help.
'Probably not' I reply, 'I want to buy a TiVo'.
'Yes sir - do you know what it is?'
Me being me reply 'it's a video recorder isn't it?'
I then procede to read off the display a list of features that I ask the salesman about. He answers just about all of them wrong. I still want it so agree to buy and then get asked if I want the extended guarenty because the heads on a video recorder would cost a fortune to replace if they go wrong :confused: - This after we had already discussed the fact that it records to a disk, not tapes.

I now take it as my duty to wind up Dixons sales staff at every Opportunity :devil: if I hear them giving out bad/wrong advise.


p.s. asking if the PC had a coffee cup holder worked a real treat for a couple of years! :devil:

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