If anybody had been flicking through the pages on the Curry’s and PC World website, they may have noticed that they have a sale on. Or perhaps the adverts gave it away. Well, as I discovered on my hunt for a MacBook Pro, Apple did not allow other retailers to sell their products at a cheaper rate. So you could imagine the shock and slight excitement as I found the model I was waiting for, was at the price I was quoted for by Apple which was for university level discount at 15%, upon which you have to prove this with confirmation. Of course, the confirmation is only sent upon the institution receiving your grades from UCAS, which is still expected to be a few weeks away.
So, being the impatient little kid that I am sometimes, I gave customer services a call. It was a lengthy conversation, or battle before I managed to find out that there was only half a dozen of the models left at this price in the whole of the West Midlands. Apparently. My next question was simple, asking if they had one in stock at a local store so that I could reserve one. My plan was to pick it up the next morning, as a deal like this doesn’t come around often, if at all. I just heard that the 3 nearest stores were out of stock, and so I went a little further afield. For the record, the nearest store is about five minutes away from my house on the bus. Instead, there was an option of two stores. Both of which are situated on the other side of Birmingham city centre. Ouch.
I checked how many were in stock at each one, to kill some time while I dug out a map to make sure I could actually get there by myself. The guy on the other end of the phone finished his sentence as I realised I only had one store to get to, and quickly had a reserved sticker planted firmly on the box with my name on it.
The following morning, I made my way up to the train station. By this time, I could have already be at the collection point in my local store but no. I was waiting upon my train. Once it arrived, I would stay on it for just under an hour, before a fifteen minute bus journey to the retail park where it was. My iPod kept me company throughout the journey, as it always has. Even on the bus too, despite it being packed out my ignorant people and screaming children who would like to sit down. Only last summer I had been adventurous and come down to this retail park, so I had a vague idea as to where to go. The doors flung open on the bus, and I stepped down onto the pavement outside an empty Pizza Hut. I had to make a left, but it seemed blocked by maintenance, so I walked through the shopping centre in front of me and followed the over-head signs to an exit. It looked promising, having made a longer way round into what seemed like the right direction.
Outside I went, before a sign pointed right, through towards another entrance. I took a look around. A road was to the left with no sign of a crossing or pavement, so I figured that there would be another exit from within. I opened the door and made my way inside, another set of doors later and I found myself walking between a Ford Focus and a Jaguar S-Type. That sign definitely said this was the retail park, not a carpark. I spun round on the spot and headed back out, walking all the way round and back to Pizza Hut. I took another look at the maintenance work and the road besides it, with the retail park and the store sign in the background. A gap in the traffic founds its way, as I took to the road – running across four lanes to the clear pavement on the opposite side.
From there on, it was a straight forward route to the store; down this road, across a couple of dodgy islands and through another carpark.
The point I’m trying to make, is that for a 15% discount it’s probably worth waiting at home for a few weeks instead of spending hours getting wound up by other people who have nothing better to do than stop dead in front of you. But then it is a Mac, so I take that back.