Sometimes, helping your customers means not selling them anything. Last week I came across a great example of that when I was in Dieppe, France. I had deliberately not brought any other electronics than my iPhone to make sure I would not do any work. And that is when you know you will run into another problem. My problem turned out to be the memory cards of our digital camera. When we drove into Dieppe on our first Saturday to enjoy the festivities around La Solitaire du Figaro, we noticed that we forgot to empty our Xd memory cards. As our camera is almost five years old, it is regarded an ancient relic of the days when 5 megapixel pictures were great.

Stretching my French, I went around a mall to find a number of shops who were very willing to sell me a 2Gb Xd card for my camera. However, as a true Dutchman, I had found that prices for the card ranged between € 17,90 to € 34,95. So I decided to visit a last large electronics store to see what their offer would be. And I was rewarded as Darty did have the cheapest 2Gb card there. However, to my surprise I was approached by a salesman as I took the memory card off the rack. He asked me if he could help and what camera I intended to use the card for. I explained the situation to him and said that I needed to have a card as we ran out of space on the others. He assured me it would not work on my camera. Being stubborn, I decided that I wanted to buy it anyway as I had not seen any cards smaller than the one I had in my hands. But my salesman insisted that I wouldn’t buy it and he called a colleague over who went through great lenghts to explain to this foreigner where I could find a small photo store that would stock 256Mb cards that would suit our camera much better.

I came out of that store a happy man. Not only was I prevented to buy a product that would not work for me, I was also pointed at another store that would have the product that I needed. The two salesmen were great, because as I decided I was going to give it a try anyway, they insisted that I should not buy from them, but go to a place which suited my needs much better. And it did. As a result, next time I am in Dieppe and I need electronics, I know I will head out to the Darty store.