Are you a woman who has been patronised?

  Forum Editor 22:39 13 Jan 04

If the answer's 'yes', and the patronising was done by someone selling computers or computer-related items I want to hear from you. I have quite a few women as clients, and several of them have commented on the fact that they are treated as empty-headed by sales staff in computer shops, or by help-desk staff.

Take a look at this
click here and let me know if it rings a bell for you. When posting please let me know if you do NOT wish me to use your real name if I decide to recount your experience in a future article for the magazine.

  PurplePenny 23:40 13 Jan 04

I've just posted this on the Thank-you Evesham thread so I'll reproduce it here.

Kev and I tend to shop together, on many occasions at Computer Fairs I have asked a question only to have the sales person (usually middle-aged and male) address the reply to Kev. Kev's response is too look at them blankly and say "Sorry, I don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about, you'd better talk to Penny." which never fails to leave them open mouthed.

BUT ... actually I haven't found shop staff to be patronising, not recently. In the past, in the big shops like PC World, they were but these days they are much improved.

I have, however, found some helplines (the ones run from a call centre full of non-tech people) to be extremely patronising but that is mainly because the person at the other end is running through a set script and the conversation would be the same whether I was male or female (I think....).


  beattyben 08:15 14 Jan 04

A few months ago I went to PC World to buy a switch box to allow me to run my laptop and PC through 1 monitor. I asked on of the assistants- a male, to explain why a 2 port switch box cost £129.99 almost £30.00 more than a 4 port. He grinned (in a very patronising manner) and said "Oh Madam that's obvious, there's a graphics card fitted in the 2 port switch box". Needless to say I left, went to my local PC shop and purchased a 2 port Belkin switch box for £35.00.

Either this guy didn't know the answer or just thought as a woman I would accept his response without question and pay the extortionate price.

  Forum Editor 08:29 14 Jan 04

in a switch will be the day that particular assistant gets a life.

Any more like that?

  3Toed 09:26 14 Jan 04

Don't wish to get on the sexist bandwagon F.E,and you ask a plausible question,but what about-Are you a man who has been patronised?,and i maybe taking a liberty with a 'possible' reply,no i myself havn't,but i think others may have.

  DieSse 09:28 14 Jan 04

"Either this guy didn't know the answer or just thought as a woman I would accept his response without question"

How do you know he wouldn't have given the same answer to a old man, or a young lad, or an Asian, or etc etc.

You get my drift?

You must not ascribe specific motives to peoples actions unless you are doubly certain of your facts. In this case he may have invented the same story to anyone at all - just to justify the price.

  colberly 14:58 14 Jan 04

Sorry to be so flippant, but I just couldn't resist.

  Forum Editor 16:04 14 Jan 04

I'm not researching the patronisation of men by men, but of women by men (or indeed other women) - hence the thread title.

I'm aware that men are patronised, but that's not usually because they're men. Women may be patronised in an IT context simply because they're women, and that's what I'm interested in hearing about. Let me hasten to add, I don't want stories about how patronising men can be in other fields - just IT.

  hoop 16:22 14 Jan 04

I think what DieSSe says is relevant though, how do you tell if it`s because the customer is a woman rather than just the attitude in general towards any non-techie customer?

  whatsupdoc 16:36 14 Jan 04

as a systems eng on a multinational company we have in place very strict guidelines as how to talk to people, they pay a subscription so they pay my wages. my colleuge had a bad hangover last week and the first call of the day was a woman who was asking very basic questions. my colleuge is female and she was very condescending to the customer she was sacked on the spot. we find that giving guidance and reassurance to all novices ends up with us getting a lot fewer calls and that allows us to surf and work at the same time.

  beattyben 17:18 14 Jan 04

For the attention of 3Toed,DieSse and the FE, I did ask a friend, who happens to be in his 70's( an OAP and dare I add a genuis, on IT matters). To follow my path to PC World. He asked the same questions and was told, "Sorry Sir there must have been a problem with the pricing".

So I'm paranoid??

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