A 46-year-old woman from Brighton has been found tired and dehydrated in a branch of Maplins, where she had been trapped since wandering in on Saturday afternoon and asking for help to choose an external hard drive.
Despite a prominent warning sign at the entrance to the store, housewife Ruth Clarke has admitted she ignored the advice and entered the store unaccompanied by a man. ‘I’d spoken to my husband the night before and so I thought I knew what we wanted,’ she said. ‘But after talking to a few of the assistants, I quickly realised I was way, way out of my depth.’
Manager Wayne Brown recalls the moment Mrs Clarke entered the store. ‘The lads clocked her as soon as she came in. As she wandered among the circuit boards and cables she looked lost and vulnerable, like Bambi in hunting season. But at Maplins we take customer service very seriously, so when it became clear she didn’t have a clue what she was talking about, we made arrangements to keep the store open as long as it took to go through every single product we sold and establish if she needed one.’
First to offer assistance was Alan Martin, who talked through the range of hard drives available and quickly established the most suitable for her needs. However, after talking about the Clarke’s existing network infrastructure it became clear that their primary solenoids and meta-transitional GUI interfaces were woefully below the required spec. His colleague James McManus then recommended some additional RAM, a USB desk fan and a tool for stripping cables, before Brown himself added a load-balancing router, an Ethernet cable large enough to support 3-hour films and a box of firewalls.
‘It’s been a difficult journey,’ said an exhausted Mrs Clarke. ‘But credit must go to the guys here, who really know their stuff. If it wasn’t for them, God knows what rubbish I’d have ended up buying!’
The Brighton branch of Maplins is currently closed awaiting a delivery of replacement stock.