I tried to buy a TV this weekend.
We’ve needed a new one for months, ever since I pressed too hard on a corner and created black lines across the top of the screen.
In truth, we’ve bumbled along just fine, barely noticing the line, but now that the retailers have stock to shift and the email offers are coming in thick and fast, I thought it was time I sorted it.
After looking at the Which? recommendations, I found one that fit the bill – Samsung, under £1,000 and in-stock at my local Currys.
Simple and straightforward transactions tend to elude me, so you won’t be surprised to know that this is when things started to go pear-shaped.
After adding the TV to my basket, I got a ‘computer says no’ message.
“This item is not available for delivery, but you can click and collect”
Not ideal. I had wanted it installed and the old one disposed of, but in these trying times I figured I could cope with a 6-mile drive to Didcot to pick it up myself.
Except I couldn’t.
I popped my postcode into a box to find the nearest store where I could click and collect, selected Didcot, and was told that although it was in stock, I couldn’t click and collect, nor could I have it delivered.
After being invited to search further afield, that’s exactly what I did.
The next nearest 7 stores had exactly the same issue – a veneer of availability, but when push came to shove, I couldn’t place an order.
As each rejection piled up, I continued to be asked whether I’d like to search further afield, and at that point my bloody mindedness kicked in and I kept clicking and clicking and clicking.
As it turns out, the item – that’s fully available to buy – cannot be delivered to me, nor can it be delivered to the 36 nearest stores to Reading.
And I’m sure it’s probably more than 36, but they stopped inviting me to search further afield at that point.
What does it say for the chances of retail to recover from lockdown when they have such tantalising, frustrating offerings on their websites?!
I have now gone back to my old TV and am convincing myself, yet again, that it is not so bad and I can wait till Black Friday offers land on my doorstep!