I find myself facing a typical Monday morning, raining outside, traffic congestion that would try even the skills of Jenson Button and to top it all the first customer I have to engage in conversation has taken advice from a 'bloke in the pub.'
Of course we are all aware that the 'bloke in a pub' is the wealth of all knowledge. For instance King Leonidas of Sparta had not actually sought advice from the Oracle on the eve of his epic battle with the Persians but in actual fact had gone down to the local tavern, had an impromptu knees up and following his success in the pub quiz asked the 'bloke in the tavern' for the best course of action against the Persians.
'Bloke in the pub' can also be read as 'my mate Dave', 'my cousin twice removed on my Father's side.' In short customers will take advice from supposedly 'people in the know' against good, learned and impartial advice from a trained professional.
Confronted with terms like I must buy this new-fangled 'LED TV' and I need this to watch Sky HD in Full HD and so on, I was immediately put on the back foot. Firstly I corrected the customer and informed him that an LED TV was in actual fact a LCD TV with light emitting diodes producing the backlight rather than conventional fluorescent strips (CCFL). Using the term LED TV as a new technology is a big no, no as Samsung found out to their cost and embarrasment when the Advertising Standards Authority slapped them down for using the LED acronym in their ad campaign. Secondly I demonstrated to him the difference between Full HD (aka 1080p) from a Blu Ray movie (Speed Racer - a great demo' disc, but bad movie- unless your 7 3/4 and like smiley faces) and HD (1080i) from Sky HD/Freesat HD.
If you only get 1080 interlaced lines from your broadcast transmission (Sky HD/Freesat HD/Virgin HD) you are only ever going to see 1080 interlaced lines on your panel, whether it be LED TV, Plasma TV or even a Projector. Yes I hear the learned readers scream out ' Nay, it is possible.' Yes it is possible with the use of a video-scaler but given the fact these cost more than most TVs we can firmly rule these out for most customers.
Part of our role on the shop floor and on-line is education and certainly as products become even more involved and complex I feel the need to reach for the blackboard rubber in my quest to answer customer's questions.
(I knew I should have gone for that teaching post. Two month holidays and a nine to five schedule from Monday to Friday, now that is the life! )
The moral of this story. Feel free to listen to your friends, family, neighbours, 'bloke in the pub,' but take their advice with a pinch of salt and always remember that your local dealer is a huge resource of knowledge, only to happy to educate and help.