There is an air of nervous tension in the Parrot household at the moment, at least as far as me and Mrs P are concerned. And it’s all down to Master P who finally decided what he wanted for Christmas — an Xbox which you need to play Halo 2 online. (What a cheap marketing ploy that was, eh?)

Then on the way home last night, Comet announced that supplies of the Xbox were dwindling fast. I’m told it’s because a container ship full of the things is stuck in a traffic jam in the Suez Canal. (Sounds like another cheap marketing ploy to me.) So onto the net I went and every site I visited said they were out of stock.

This morning I was dispatched to shops in town to see if I could track one down, but visits to Argos, Toys R Us and Currys proved fruitless. I rang Mrs P to share the sad tidings and we were bracing ourselves to face a disappointed Master P come Christmas morn.

In desperation, I typed Xbox into Google and clicked. It led me to the Currys website. Little dots followed the word ‘checking’ and lo and behold, it said it was in stock. Pausing only to phone Mrs P, I ordered it there and then.

But when I went back to the page, it now said ‘temporarily out of stock.’ Now either I was successful in ordering one of, if not the last, Xbox or they had run out in between me hitting checkout and filling in all the details before the order was completed.

I rang the helpline and they told me the order had gone through okay. But the terms and conditions do state that it is subject to availability. I’ve had one email confirming the order and another saying it is being processed. I’m awaiting the third saying that the order has been despatched.

Yet another cheap marketing ploy?

Our suspicion is that Currys might apply the availability condition next week, or whenever, knowing that we’ve no chance of finding an alternative supplier and that we’re stuffed for Christmas (appropriately), and perhaps they will then have secured our advance order for when stocks arrive in the new year.

Or am I just being a corporate-cynic? Fingers-crossed I’m wrong.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

3 comments… Add yours
  • Mosher 9th December 2004

    Argh, Currys. Part of the evil Dixons Stores Group chain of evilness!!!!

    I used to work for PC World. All nasty, horrible and evil. Oh, but the story about the Suez thingy is true. I believe it's also held up all the new pint-size PS2s so you'd have been scuppered if Junior wanted that as well!

  • Jennyta 10th December 2004

    It's not just Curry's but the suppliers as well. Our main supplier of printers, having sent up all the advertising stuff and encouraged us to promote a special offer on the Epson PictureMate has now told us there are no more available – just when we have sold the last one and have customers queuing up for the things. The R300 is becoming rarer than hen's teeth too. Did you manage to get one?

  • Shooting Parrots 10th December 2004

    Thanks for the thought. No, we haven't got an R300 yet and from you say we probably won't, at least not for Christmas. The pix will just have to stay on disk until the Spring.


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