[ubuntu-uk] High street store handbagged by angry pensioner

alan c aeclist at candt.waitrose.com
Wed May 27 14:49:03 BST 2009

Below is an copy (with permission and with identity removed) of a
letter of complaint from a pensioner friend to the department store
where she had attempted to buy a webcam. For Ubuntu. The high handed
way the staff member acted has prompted a formal response from my
friend, who, (until now) has been a long time supporter of what she
had found to be good customer service at the store. Shame about the
falling profits, isn't it?

The webcam was a Logitech QuickCam S7500 5mp.

John Lewis Partnership
Broad Street
Reading RGI 2BB

Dear Sir/Madam

This is primarily customer feedback.
I came into the Store last Monday 18th May, visiting the Computer
Section to purchase a Webcam.
I was at pains to point out that I used Linux Open Source Ubuntu, not
Windows and trusted that in the unlikely event that it didn't work on
my laptop, I would be able to return it – obviously replaced in
undamaged packing.

The Sales person told me quite bluntly, it wouldn't work.   But having
a friend who has a Logitech webcam that does work on Linux software, I
stated, that on the box, Logitech only mentions Windows, which is
quite different from them saying it wouldn't work on any other
application.  The Sales person continued to be adamant, even didactic
about this, adding that if I went ahead with the purchase and returned
it, I would be charged 10%.    This may well be your general policy
now but as I'm retired and on a fixed income, I'm not wishing to pay
£5 unnecessarily.   I therefore, made my purchase at Argos where their
returns policy is more customer friendly.   With JL's recent
announcement that profits had fallen, I presume a loss of sale might
matter to the Partnership?

Before leaving the Computer Section I requested to speak to the
manager, but he didn't, if asked, come to speak with me.   The Sales
person returned just reiterating his pitch.

In writing this, I realise I am angry as well as dismayed at the
encounter.   I have always expected more of JL.   Therefore I hope, in
reaching the Section concerned, this feedback may result in a more
enlightened and helpful attitude to Ubuntu Linux users.    Or, is it
possible that a female shopper in a Computer Section just isn't
perceived as sufficiently tech-savvy ?

The irony of this is that the Logitech webcam did work on Ubuntu.
Immediately, with no need for any driver CD nor any download. The
Laptop has a microphone socket  and since the USB Webcam model has an
insitu microphone all I had to do was set Skype to use USB audio. For your
information I use Ubuntu version 8.04 which is the current 'Long Term
Support' version.

I therefore hope this information will be of use to the staff in
future sales, as I would have so much appreciated a comment like:  “We
can't guarantee that the webcam will work on Ubuntu as Logitech only
specify Windows”  That I would have understood.

I would be most interested to hear your comments.
With thanks,
Mrs P.

alan cocks
Ubuntu user

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