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Iowa City experience -- WM and Staples suck


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Couple friends and I went to a 24-hr Walmart in Coralville (the town next to Iowa City) at 3am on Friday. About 10 people already lined up at the electronic department and we are the 11th-13th. The line grew to about 45 by 4:30am. Between 4:30-5:00, about 20 people show up around the electronic department without lining up, and they are gathering around the warehouse entrance next to the department.


Okay now's the fun part. At 5am, about 5 associates were surrounding the cart of 20 HP laptops while they were pulled out from the warehouse. The manager was kind enough to asked the associates to move the cart to the first people in line. I believe she was planning to hand out the notebooks to the people who lined up. When the notebooks arrived, those who didn't lined up began to beat the associates AND each other and grab the notebooks. And after 30 seconds of chaos all 20 notebooks were gone, and only the 3rd person in the line got one.


Well, not that I am ranting after an unsuccessful attempt to buy a notebook in Walmart. But this was the worst of mankind I've seen. In the 3 minutes after 5am, before I left Walmart, I saw this sight:


Those who gets a notebook got beaten up because (1) someone who doesn't get one tries to grab one from their hands, and (2) someone who already taken one tries to grab one more from them. When I left I saw a woman having 3 notebooks in her cart.


Those who doesn't get a notebook got beaten up without a reason.


The associates got beaten up, again, without a reason.


I guess I just don't understand the "first come, first serve" policy the manager mentioned that morning before the notebook came out. Maybe she's too lazy to hand out tokens just like another Walmart 50 miles away, and just inexperienced enough to think that people are nice.


Anyway, without getting a notebook, we drove to Staples in Iowa City, and we arrived there around 5:10am. We were the 30th-32nd person in line. I have another friend who was at the 4th position. The staff were so nice that they handed out store maps indicating where the stuff were in the store.


So at 6am, the store opens. My friend was the 1st and we were about the 5th at the location where the Acer notebooks would be distributed (note that it was not the place where they showcase the other notebooks). Sadly, there were no notebook there. The staff there tells different people different stories (which at least one of those is not true): (1) The notebooks were sold out. (2) This store was not planning to sell any of those notebooks. Finally, none of the people in line get a discounted notebook.


This really bugs me because on the store map, the word "Acer Laptop" was printed on the location. Also a price tag was placed on the counter of that location, meaning the notebooks should be available in that store and it should not be sold out (again, that was not the place for notebook or notebook price tags usually) Were the staff there kept the notebooks from the crowd so that they are purchase those themselves? I don't know.


Anyway, thanks to gottadeal. I just ordered 2 B120 from dell today.

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