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                             ESCOM UK ATTITUDE
  Andrew George Elia                                   odin@dcs.qmw.ac.uk
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[Originally posted to comp.sys.amiga.misc, and of considerable
interest...Mr. Elia is not a corporate spokesman, but his views as
something of an insider are worth reading.-Jason]

Hi guys!

It`s about time we started to give Escom (not necesarrily AT) a good
kicking.

I have been working in one of the Escom stores for the past four months
with the hope that I would be participating in some way towards the
re-introduction of the Amiga.  If nothing else, I might be able to do
something from the inside or even get a staff discount.  It seems that I
assumed that Escom UK would be just as willing to welcome back the Amiga as
the German parent company.  Big mistake.

When I first applied for the job, I was asked to sit a test which contained
things about memory access times, and IRQ values.  When I got the job I
would have had to go to a training session led by reps from Intel, and IBM.
I didn`t (couldn`t) go.

The bottom line is that I have contacted every single department in our
head office, and they don`t know a thing!  In fact, some of them tried to
tell me that Escom bought the name and ditched the rest.

The reason that I am inflicting this on you all is that Amiga Shopper and
Amiga Format (November issues in each case) state that Amiga Technologies
have told them that Escom stores WILL be selling Amigas.  I contacted a
certain person in AT, and he informed me that this would not be the case
because negotiations with Escom had failed.  You may or may not know that
both Intel and IBM have pumped a hell of a lot of money into the new Escom
stores.  I have a feeling that they have objected to having Amigas in the
stores (primarily because it proves that Intel processors are kludged 70s
crap, and IBM have blatantly tried (and failed) to copy
AmigaDOS/Workbench).

Worringly, AT told Amiga Shopper that the staff in Escom stores know the
Amiga product well and are ideally suited to selling them.  This is
blatantly untrue.  Not only do 70% of Escom staff consist of former
Rumbelows staff (ie.  gormless box shifters), but those that I have spoken
to seem to be quite antagonistic towards Amigas.  As for knowing anything
about them from either a software or hardware point of view, you have to
see their ignorance to believe it.  They REALLY don`t know what they are
selling.  This seems to apply to the 30% of new staff who are wholly PC
nerds.  The branches I have talked to confirm that they get tonnes of Amiga
enquiries.  I have found out from the Amiga Format letters page from
October (I think) that some shops have been denying that they had anything
to do with Amigas all along.  In fact my own collegues drop customers like
hot potatoes the moment they find out they have Amigas.   Fortunately, if a
customer hasn`t already left the shop (some do so without bothering to ask
-unsurprising considering the response they others give) I put the record
straight.

Basically, I think it`s suicide for Escom stores not to deal in Amigas,
their software and hardware.  Although Escom and AT want themselves to be
considered separate entities, the link has already been established.  If
the public can`t SEE Amigas, they will find it more difficult to make a
decision about buying one.  For goodness sake, if you are near an Escom
store, don`t be afraid to go in and ASK about them.  If they give you the
wrong answer, put them straight.  Don`t let them give you any rubbish about
what they think is happening.  They simply don`t know.

I have to confess that I hold a relatively menial position at Escom (higher
only than the window clear and the guy that collects the rubbish bins).  As
such I am trying to get some management staff to back me up.  I`ve already
compilied a survey which I`m planning on faxing over to every store in
London (and elsewhere if necessary) to try an accumulate some evidence of
demand for Amigas in Escom stores.  I just have to wait for managerial
approval.

By the way.  If it is true that AT are ditching the AAA chipset, they
should get their heads examined.  Another thing: AmigaDOS is for the Amiga,
so why the hell do they want to develop it for machines with a more limited
architecture ?  Here`s an idea: why not develop AmigaDOS for the Amiga ?
Smart people.

I challenge anyone from either Escom or Amiga Technologies to prove what
I`ve said is wrong.  I hope I am.  I HAVE sent E-Mail to Gilles Bourdin
twice, and had no reply.

Andrew Elia
(Escom UK)