Despite coming to accept that Dell are actually a viable option for the part-time computer user these days, and my occasional eyeing-up of their deals of the hour, my recent purchase of a PC Format magazine (in particular, the article on how to build yourself a games-geared box for less than £300) has spurred me once more with the belief that self-builds are the way forward. If nothing else, it means I can buy some of those bits and bobs that I've been delaying on the basis that I'd probably get some with the new box.
I mention this purely because, as a result, I have been browsing some online electronics stores and have thus formed opinions of their relative merit. I disapprove strongly of CCL - largely because of their price display policy. They are doing everything they can to mislead the user: once you're past the front page the ex-VAT price is displayed more brightly and more prominently than the price including tax, and the VAT-included prices themselves are of the 'pennies lower' variety - the old trick of pricing something a few pennies lower (for example, 9.99) so that the brain is tricked into thinking it is a significant amount cheaper.
Conversely, though Dabs Direct
also follow the 'pennies lower' path, not only does their display price including VAT, but their mini-basket sidebar shows you all your items and includes shipping
- so the amount listed is what you actually end up paying. To further confuse the issue, CCL's basket is lurking at the top of the page, doesn't list your items (only a total quantity) but does,
confusingly, include VAT. So you look at the bright pink number at the top of the page (say, £173.22), click through to the basket, and in the "totals" box you have a bright pink including-shipping-but-without-VAT (£153.37) and a meek grey actual-total-with-shipping-and-vat (£180.21), neither of which are the number you just clicked on.
This irritated me immensely. It's not so much that I was tricked - I was, by the promise of a £150 CPU-mobo-memory bundle, but only briefly before I spotted the £200 price tag - it's the attempt
that offends. So despite the appeal of the aforementioned bundle (it was pretty much what I wanted, except for the low memory) I shall not be enjoying their fine products.
It probably does not help that I was beginning to feel confused and decrepit as a result of scrolling through pages and pages of DDR24200 S775 SATA eSATA PCI type stuff and becoming thoroughly lost.