Barclays Sri Lanka cheating when selling computer hardware

[update 2011-11-17]
Nalin, from barclays personally called me. As per Nalin, they have got a set of cards from Singapore hand delivered to the shop. But I insisted that Nalin look in to the matter and I told him how sure I was about this. I'm putting this on top because this post is showing up in the 3rd Google hit for "Barclays Sri Lanka".

Nalin assured me that he will look into it and he will personally monitor the hardware sold. So I think we need to give these guys a small break and see.

Hope you can get the stuff done my friend. Hope we all can go back to Unity Plaza and buy good stuff as we have done in the past.



The story starts when I went to Unity Plaza to buy some RAM for a project at office. We needed five 2GB DDR 2 RAM cards to expand the memory of some of our computers used for a project. So armed with petty cash (some 'petty' cash that is!) Nalaka and I went there.

Since I have purchased a lot of items from Barclays and know the price is cheap, I went straight to the shop. Its what I normally do. If you have circled around unity plaza you might know that the final destination is most of the time, at Barclays. So I cut the crap, we needed the cards so that the colleagues installing the software can have it as soon as possible.

Once we asked the counter, the salesman asked the usual questions with his usual intentions. What is the bus speed.? I straightaway asked whether they have 667MHz or 800MHz. The man asked the question only to reply me saying "we only have 800MHz". The purpose of the question might be to judge whether we are complete IT illiterate or in the higher end of the spectrum. They do that to ether sell crap or to increase the prize of products I guess.

After that, we were told that there were two brands. I insisted on buying Kingston rather than the other which if I heard correctly was ADATA. The prize was 3300 rupees and we told him we needed five of it.

Then they billed it, as usual, and then another guy in the counter for issuing stuff was told something in tamil by the salesman.(Geez, I should have taken Kuru with us!) Then he took out the cards.

Then did I spot that three of the cards were in the Kingston packing and two were not!

I took the cards which did not have packing to my hand and gave it a good look. My Gosh! Any idiot who has seen a RAM card could say it was used!

The the following discussion took place which made my blood boil!

Me: Why is that two cards are out of the packing and three are in the packing?
Issue Guy: [silent, keeps packing other stuff]
Me: Where is the packaging of these cards
Him: We can give you a packaging, but its from a 1GB card
Me: I dont want a packaging, I want to know why these cards dont have their OWN!

And when I looked closer I could see that the Kingston stickers were rolled up in the sides, indicating clearly, the RAM was used. Usually the heat inside the casing loosens the glue of the sticker and when you remove the RAM from the slots which are usually tightly packed between the cooler and the PSU, you tend to roll up the sticker. Besides, there were marks in the gold contacts which showed insertion!

Me: These RAM are used. Mister, I'm not here to practice buying RAM, I want original cards.
Him: We're out of stock. These cards are the last. And these came as bulk, thats why no packaging!

At that point my boiling point passed!  How stupid does this guy think I am to assume RAM cards come without a packaging. What does he think I'd assume! That the cards come wrapped in a rubber band strapping them together?! I was furious over the statement. I lectured him a bit and I straightaway told them that I am NOT paying for the used cards.

After some mumbling to themselves they decided to return me the money for the two cards. Nalaka was adamant that we leave all FIVE of them behind and buy somewhere else! I just couldn't do that because we'd risk the availability factor of RAM in other shops! you know Unity, some stuff go rare all of a sudden!

So we paid for the three cards and came back. I told the salesman clearly that I would never buy from them again!

More than that, this is not the first time they tried to cheat me.

When I went to buy dad's laptop, after all the payment and stuff was finalized the salesman tries to give me the laptop on the shelf for show! On that day too they tried to give me the "last of the stock" trick. I straightaway told him that I want the money back. Then he sends someone to bring me a brandnew laptop! I think they try this trick with everyone!

And that laptop lost its motherboard in a month. The warranty is that they repair it and give it back. Those of you who think this "1 year warranty" is part to part, its a hoax! What they do is they repair it and ask you to wait 2,3 weeks till it gets back. Dad had to wait 2,3 weeks.

Same thing happened when my monitor went haywire at the end of its 3 year warranty. I had my BIT project going. I didn't claim the warranty. I somehow kept the thing going till I finish the project!

I have the following items in my PC from them
  • Foxconn 45cm-s Motherboard
  • 2x 1GB DDR2 667MHz Kingston RAM (Good thing I registered and verified them then)
  • HD501LJ Samsung HDD
  • Sony DVD+RW drive (the model number sadly is forgotten :D )
  • Foxconn 9600GT nVidia card

I would never buy from Barclays again. And those of you who are planning to buy from them, I cant stress this enough, DO NOT BUY FROM THERE!

I will send complaints to and Kingston Taiwan, whom I believe are the dealers for Sri Lanka and Asia.

And one more thing. Kingston has their website for verifying the RAM. ( you have a mobile phone or a laptop which you can access the net, do it ON THE SPOT and verify the RAM.

Facebook apps

With the boom of the social networking sites comes the apps. Facebook has almost the number of apps equal to the number of users. But with apps come security issues that is not a good thing to ignore.

I needed to develop an application at office for some test. Got me quite some time to figure out the API requirements and authentication schemes. It is with some training and trail and error that I figured the thing out.

With that, I got a warning to give out to you guys. When an application adds to your profile, it requests some rights. You might remember the window that has two buttons saying "Allow" and "Disallow". When you allow an app the right, say to post to your wall, its normally granted when you are online and for a limited time. (but, there is a certain mode that apps can request to function when you are offline)
When this right its granted, the third party site can use a token to request information in your profile from facebook.

The risk with this API is that, when you grant the permissions, its for ever. Until you remove the app from the profile, it can play GOD!
If it has the correct permissions, which you seldom check when granting by clicking "yes", it can add or remove friends, access your pictures (and even store them in their site) and even send and respond to your friend's messages.

So when you add an app next time, make sure you read what's in the rights dialog box. And refrain from adding apps like "what kind of celebrity ass you have" or "what color is your ghost's ass". I think you realize we don't need to give access to some stupid app to ruin our account. Remember, once you add the app, it takes seconds for it to gather almost all the information it can from the profile, and even if you remove it later, that information is still there in a third party sever!

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