Croma Buying Experience

I bought the Lenovo Ideapad S10 from Croma (near Chandan cinema in Mumbai). Their tagline is “We help you buy.” They can surely do better on that front.

The S10 was being promoted with a Tata Indicom CDMA USB modem free (worth Rs 1,999). The actual purchase of the S10 itself was easy and smooth. And then came the issues. First, at the payment counter, they said I needed to pay Rs 1,000 more for the modem. I pointed out that the offer was quite clear. Rs 1,999 and free. After a few minutes, they agreed. Then, they refused to give me the modem unless I activated it immediately. They pointed to the “Conditions apply” fine print with the offer. It took me four levels of managers to talk to for about 15 minutes before they reluctantly relented and gave it to me. Presumably, the store gets an activation fee for the USB modem. But from a customer viewpoint, I did not want to get it activated right then and there since they would start billing me immediately. And that point was not highlighted when I made the purchase.

Second, while buying, I was told that there was a 60-day trial version of MS-Office on it. This was good for me since I planned to use it for a presentation the next day and it would have saved me the hassle of connecting an external CD/DVD drive to install MS-Office. On starting up the S10 in the store, there was no trace of MS-Office. The salesperson had miscommunicated to me.

These minor issues took the sheen off what should have been a pleasant buying experience. There was a disconnect for me between the advertising byline and the actual experience, which could so easily have been avoided.