Friday 18 July 2008

The Voice - Dear Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice

I recently went to buy a personal computer from a store that advertises in The Advertiser.

When I contacted them they told me that it came with “free Windows and Internet”. However when I went there to buy it they said they would install Windows for me at no extra cost but that the Internet would only be free for the first month but then it would cost me P600 each month.

I am now suspicious about the computer and the store. What should I do?

The trouble with buying a computer is that unless you’re an expert it is easy to be confused by a salesman. All they have to do is talk techie and most of us have no idea what they are talking about, except that it sounds impressive.

Also many of the supposedly cheaper computer stores are crooks. Yes, crooks. Crooks that will sell you pirated software. It is believed that up to 80% of the computers in Botswana are running pirated software. There is no difference between pirated software and a stolen cellphone. Both are sold by criminals.

There’s no such things as “free Windows”. If you buy a laptop it usually comes with Windows installed by the manufacturer and the cost is included in the price so it “seems” free. If you buy a desktop PC you must demand that they tell you the price of Windows and any other commercial software you want to run. You should also demand original installation CDs in case you need to re-install it at a later date. If you really want to keep costs down you can always get a free suite of office programs by using Open Office from

Also, the free Internet thing is silly. Yes, the Internet IS free but connecting to it costs money.

The lesson is simple. Only buy from a legitimate, trustworthy PC supplier. It won’t actually costs you much extra and you WILL get the real thing.

Finally, before you buy check out the Shopper’s Guide to PCs on our web site.

No comments: