I recently had a surprise when a company told me: "You don't want to buy that here." And the company was right.
Some time ago I built myself a web server for next to no money. I bought all the bits that I didn't have lying around in the shed from PC World, for the princely sum of a couple of hundred quid.
This week, I decided to build myself a 64bit PC, because there's more and more software dropping on my desk that's 64bit only - which makes it kind of hard to review on my assorted x86 hardware. So off I went to PC World in Norwich.
I collared a helpful-looking chap, whom I won't name for obvious reasons. I told him that I wanted to build a 64bit PC, and asked what deals they had on the bits I needed. His response was a little surprising to say the least, since it was along the lines of: "To be honest, you're probably best going somewhere else - we don't stock very much so it could work out expensive." He suggested dropping by Maplin, which has recently moved onto the same retail park.
So I took his advice ended up at Maplin. Half an hour later I was on my way out of the door with all the bits I needed to build myself a spanking new 64bit box... for less than 250 quid.
So well done, Mr. Anonymous Good Guy at PC World - the advice you gave me was spot on, and I'll definitely be back when it's time to buy something that it's sensible to buy from you.
And well done also to the assistant at Maplin who knew his special offers so well that he kept saying: "This one would normally be the cheapest, but actually there's an offer on this better one that makes it cheaper."
David Cartwright is technical editor at Techworld.