Public Enlightenment?

Here's an incident which happened a few days ago... My grandpa asked me to send an email to a company, something to do with deposits and stuff... I led him to my room and typed out the whole thing, and clicked the send button. I, rather proudly, showed him how lightning fast email was, and how the receiver must have been staring at it within moments. he took a great interest in it, and soon I was showing him how to compose one, and how another lands up in your inbox, etc.. the basics of which are crucial to the very means of electronic communication we rely so heavily upon now. All went merry as a 1mbps connection until I opened the inbox once again.

The mailer daemon... sincerely apologising in its vile tone that it couldnt do anything more, it threw at me the error: "Recipient's mailbox exceeded quota". Two happy faces fell.
My first reaction was a "Dont panic" to grandpa. He behaved quite casually about it - saying "Why cant they take care of these things?"
My second reaction was a "F!!king retards, they proudly give away their mail address and have their draught-ridden bandwidth full!" Well, hasnt anyone heard of gmail here? That company doesnt have its own domain for email, its hosted on a vsnl.com domain... well I bet they even run their business on dial-up. Irritated, I phoned the officer, and told her what had happened. On hearing it, the first reply I got was "Did you type the address correctly?" Now I got pretty pissed off. I retorted that if I was sane enough to email them and report what the damn error was, they could have probably figured that I was intelligent enough to TYPE the address correctly. This remark worked..she saw the matter in the proper light and said hurriedly, "I'll check and call you back later". Of course that call never came.

A mean trick which hardware retailers love to play on buyers is bundling operating systems with their laptops or computers. In other words, forcing consumers to accept the latest OS with its cost added along with the PC. The recent trend is selling laptops and PCs with the ever fabulous Vista. The standalone cost of the 'Ultimate' version of that OS, I guess runs close to twenty thousand... People are tricked into thinking Vista offers unbeatable security while in reality it sports a BigBrother attitude, going paranoid over everything. I have had some experience with it and it just seems like... well that's not the point here :) Recently one of my friends had to buy a laptop and the retailer actually refused to give it without the OS! My friend wanted plain old XP but the retailer put his foot down and said he could only sell it with Vista. Of course, my buddy only went blue in his face when I told him how much more he could end up paying for the laptop than its regular price if he opted to buy it with Vista.

The story doesn't end with PCs... some years back a letter appeared in the CHIP magazine. A good samaritan was buying some accessory for his computer at a local hardware dealer's when a customer enquired about the Core2Duo processors. The dealer's reply was that Pentium4 Chips were faster and better in performance than Core2Duo and that for Core2Duo chips to work, you needed atleast two RAM sticks! The customer was about to fall for that dirty trick... Our good samaritan went red in his face at the dealer's blatant attempt at cheating customers, and assured the customer that he'd better go for Core2Duo as if his life depended upon it and not to pay any heed to the dealer, who obviously was desperate to clear his old stock.

Well? Whatever next?

PS: I do not want to spark off any controversy about that pic in this post... I do not endorse it in any way. It is NOT my creation. The original image can be found here. *phew*


Sidhusaaheb said...

The customers should insist upon getting the OS of their choice installed and refuse to purchase the computer unless that is provided.

Vrij said...

Oh I totally agree wid u.. these 'bundled' offers are crap. Actually they are against the law. No manufacturer can refuse to sell a product without an unbundled option. You can file a police complaint against him.

And the craziest argument I heard is that Pentium dual core is more powerful than C2D bcoz it is Pentium + Dual core while C2D is plain Dual core!!!

Sriram said...

@sidhusaaheb: but few people actually DO so...

@vrij: Pentium + Dual core while C2D is plain Dual core!!! My god!!! crazy genius.. lol!

Solitaire said...

Mujhe toh second part samajha nahi aaya!

Hari Shanker said...

Even with all the public obsession with consumerism, customers are still cheated by the minute... Many don't know about the existence of a consumer protection forum to actually complain about such issues. Compared to a white elephant of our judiciary, this is pretty dynamic and actually does stuff to help you!

VSNL's been offering the same crap service even after Tata took over it! I mean, the mailbox and stuff... Remember, it was one of India's first ISPs!

Bundling Vista with lappies is a blatant marketing trick by Microsoft to boost its sluggish-selling vista! Well, Lenovo & HP do not force you to preinstall vista, so if you don't want it, buy Lenovo/HP. There's no other go!

"he dealer's reply was that Pentium4 Chips were faster and better in performance than Core2Duo and that for Core2Duo chips to work, you needed atleast two RAM sticks!"
You can't be sure of this! The guy at the desk might even be a dumbo who couldn't differentiate a mouse and a keyboard, let alone processors! Hey, I'm not joking. I've seen such dumba$$es at a popular computer retail store in TVM while helping my friend buy a PC! :-)

Nice post and sorry for the LOOOOOOOONG comment. Couldn't resist! :P

Hari Shanker said...

Maybe, you should read my latest post on consumerism. It's somewhat related to this stuff:-)

Sriram said...

@solitaire; kyon re??
@hari: hey what's wrong with looong comments? I appreciate clarity of thought :p I agree with wat u've written..

Anonymous said...

What do you expect?

If everyone does everything properly, and consults some peeps with enough knowledge to buy a PC, 90% of them are bound to squeeze the poor chap.

you get it. The only problem here is Lack of Proper Knowledge. It never aint complete. NO one wants it to be complete. No one cares either. We wont have public enlightenment in this century if everyone is ready to pull the strings without even checking if it made of Nylon, Silk or Cotton. THey just pull it. And viola! when it breaks they cry...

ahem! btw...I think some ppl almost forgot about me..doncha think??? :X

Sriram said...

@nitin: If everyone does everything properly, and consults some peeps with enough knowledge to buy a PC: but what prevents them doing so?
It never aint completeAre we playing too much of GTA San Andreas here ;)
btw...I think some ppl almost forgot about me..doncha think Ha.. many people have give me up for DEAD! Even I have doubts as to whether I exist or something :|