Why Dick Smith Electronics is a dead brand walking

Dead Brand Walking

Less than a year after Woolworths (WOW) sold DSE to Anchorage Capital (after 20 years of ownership), and the basics of retailing seem to be all but gone at the struggling Electronics retailer.

It was always hard to imagine that the specialist Private Equity firm could do a better job than WOW at shaking up DSE’s retailing fortunes, suggesting that their focus may be on the DSE Website. But try as they might, they will not build an online profit pot big enough to counter the millstone effect of a failing retail chain.

Get face to face with one of the DSE crew in any of the 325 stores (that’s Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi put together) and you will more than likely abandon any idea you once had of purchasing some battery powered thingamy.

My third trip to DSE George Street Sydney in so many weeks has left me agape at the ineptitude of the floor walkers, scarce as they may be.

Here’s an example. “hey” I said, “can you tell me about this Kensington GPRS device”, “no”, he said, “I don’t know anything about it”. “ok, well, what about this Jawbone UP?”, “no, sorry”.

Where is “Let me find someone who does”, or, “let’s look it up on one of the 200 effing PC’s we have in the store”, or “give me your email and I’ll send you something”, or ANYTHING FOR THAT MATTER – SHOW ME YOU CARE, SHOW ME YOU GIVE A SHIT! This is about care for your customer, which is an attitude. JB Hi-Fi seem to solve it with hiring and incentives, but failing that getting the culture right is a good place to start.

I may have been unlucky. Three visits and three checked-out check-out workers. But that’s all it takes to kill your brand once and for all – and after 45 years on the high street, that would be a tragedy.

7 thoughts on “Why Dick Smith Electronics is a dead brand walking

  1. It does not surprise me in the least to here this. Customer service in Australia is virtually non-existent. The indifferent attitude of these staff is giving consumers a further reason to shop online. If a consumer chooses to go to a store for a personalized shopping experience before purchasing a product, and they don’t get it, why trouble yourself to leave your home when you can get detailed information and content about a product online. And, most often a cheaper price….

  2. I suspect you were not unlucky as I too encountered certain ignorance, arrogance and even laziness on my recent visit to a suburban Dick Smith store. If only I could be bothered to “register a complaint”, but frankly it was easier to walk away, buy nothing and visit a competitor’s store.

  3. I had a very poor customer service experience at Dick Smith Electronics Hyperdome store. I went in to purchase a USB stick. First they were behind the counter so couldn’t see them. I asked if I could go round and have a look which he didn’t have a problem with. There were 3 people together being served and myself in the store. One worker was on the computer and another was walking around. I chose my purchase and waited to be served. After 5 mins I left thinking I would get it on the way out. When I came back there were 2 people at the counter together being served. One worker was doing something at the other end of the store and the other one was again wondering around. I asked politely whether he could get someone to serve me as this guy was so slow. He rudely said no they’re busy. I looked at the other guys one was wandering around. The other one was doing something to a display. At the point I said you have the worse customer service I’ve come across. He just looked at me as if I was annoying him and shrugged. I told him I was going to make a complaint. After reading other complaints about Dick Smith I realise it’s endemic to his stores. I will never shop with Dick Smith Electronics ever again and will tell my family and friends as well. He wants Australians to buy Australian but if he employed better staff we might. Very very rude and poor customer service. I drove round the corner to JB HiFi was in and out in minutes.

  4. seems Dick Smith have not learnt anything since above complaints. today i visited the Southport store in gold coast. hardly any staff available and when i got someone he didn’t know much about the products. when i asked about a tv he said the display one was the only one left and was not prepared to offer any thing off it even though it was being used in the shop. the one i bought the price was 100/- over what i finally paid, i had to queue for ages whilst the single sales cashier handled each sale. these took about 5 mins each. why to take money and put the article in a bag should take 5 mins beats me. it was like a slow motion film. the whole store was staffed by untidy looking staff who looked like they had just left Centrelink.

  5. Well on Thursday I too went to Dick Smiths to purchase a laptop and like an idiot I did.
    Well I took it home started it up all fine only thing was I could not put office on it, so took it back to the store. The store manager told me it was a micro soft issue but he would help. 5 hours later he said everything is fine I tested it all and it’s all working, bought the darn thing home the next day I had to spend another 3 hours with micro soft to repair office. Then the laptop goes to update and it takes about 40 minutes to update and over 3 hours to undo all changes as it couldn’t complete the updates. Having said that bare in mind this is meant to be a new laptop. Dick Smith refuse to give me a refund until they have covered all avenues in the mean time I’m stuck with a dud laptop. Come Monday I’m ringing Consumer Affair’s. Never again will I buy any thing from Dick Smith’s again EVER.

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