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September 07, 2004

Quintessential Dixons Moment

Following his birthday, Steven had a better PDA than me; clearly a state of affairs that couldn't be allowed to continue. The Sony Clié PEG-TH55 is the same size as my old PDA, but with a clearer, sharper, 320x480 screen; and includes WiFi, Bluetooth, MP3 player and camera. And it's been discontinued as Sony pull out of the US & European PDA market. I don't like Pocket PC and Palms always seem clunky by comparison to Cliés.

Luckily, some branches of Dixons still have a few. Steven bought one last week, for example. So there I was, in a Dixons branch somewhere in the South of England. "Do you have one?" I asked hesitantly, for there wasn't one on display. The chap checked his computer, established that he had one in stock, went to look for it. Came back a little later to explain that it had been taken off the shelves because it didn't have an AC adapter. "Hmm," I said, and asked for a deal, explaining that I was taking a risk because of Sony leaving the PDA market.

The manager came round. "What was it, about 200 or so? I can do you a deal." It was of course 300, reduced to 280 in end-of-lining Dixons. It looks a bit like the 200 Zire with camera, after all. "Something like that," I said. "280..." he said, checking his computer. My face fell. "But, you know, we have to get rid of it, it's incomplete and it's an end of line anyway, I'm sure I can do you a deal... How about we say 200, but I throw in a full five year warranty, normally charge 80 for those... that's a good deal, isn't it?"

I clearly looked shocked. After a moment, I recovered my composure and said "How about 150 without the warranty?" No, can't do that, presumably because all his targets are based on how many warranties he sells. "Ok, so how about you throw in one of those Clié gamepads you've got end-of-lined there?" Done.

So when the receipt came, it showed a Clié, and a warranty, and a game controller; with full price shown on the warranty but a 199.94 discount on the Clié and controller. And five years' accidental damage cover; that can't be bad.

And, of course, we already had a Clié charger.

Posted by Alison Scott at September 7, 2004 05:44 PM


Having worked that job a bit more than a year ago, you have no idea how hilariously this reads to me.

I'm just saying.

Posted by: Gary Farber at September 14, 2004 12:10 PM

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