Thursday, 27 November 2008

Dixons - Close to Death

DSG International, owner of Currys, Dixons and PC World announced a pre-tax loss of £61m for the 24 weeks to 18th October. It is their first loss in 20 years.

Last time I wrote about the terrible service at DSG one of their Tech Guys posted me to complain. Sorry, here comes more bad news about why the company is going down the toilet.

Yesterday I was in the Glasgow aiport branch of Dixons Tax Free (its a very small branch, with very few items, less than a handful of computers) looking at an Advent web notebook 4213. The sales sticker claimed 'mobile broadband without the dongle'. I'm in the market for such a thing, so I asked the assistant if 'without the dongle' meant the device was tied to a particular mobile network - if so whose mobile service would it provide? (Vodafone, 3, etc)

He looked blankly at the machine and then the ticket. Then he phoned a friend in the branch at the other terminal building. You do need a dongle he said when he came off the phone (after having an entirely irrelevant friendly chat with his mate). 'Why does it say 'without the dongle' then?' I asked - pointing back at the ticket. 'Perhaps mobile means you can carry it round' he suggested helpfully. No honestly, he really did say that. Numpty. Or was I the numpty for asking about a technology thing in a DSG shop?

Chief executive, John Browett (he emailed me, remember) said he was going to change the 'very DNA' of Dixons group. Mmm.

Back at home I looked at the Advent 4213 on Amazon. Amazon explains you insert the mobile broadband sim card inside the machine, you don't need a dongle. Amazon doesn't have sales staff, just useful information and competitive prices.

DSG International looks like it may soon join MFI and Woolworths by vacating the high street. Permanently.

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