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.

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  1. GayanNR Says:

    Oh well, they sold me a Netbook they had in their showroom (head office), no usage marks, not even a single bit of dust (probably cleaned). How did I get to know ? it had a saved Wi-Fi access point named in Sinhalese :P
    I didn't bother to take it back as it was almost 1 week gone :-/

  2. a_a_a Says:

    most of the guys in the market are no different to this. dishonest & cheating...HW these incidents should give wide publicity. at least someday peoples' voice may work...

    why dont you remove this word verification, is it really necessary?

  3. Tharaka Devinda Says:

    Looks like there are many affected people than i guessed. Gayan, good point there. I should check that too when I go buy a laptop now.

    And a_a_a, i cant disable the verification. this is the least annoying type. I need to keep the bots away.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I thought Barclays was better than thee others (PC house !#@!). But yeah all those people in Unity are bloodsuckers.

  5. Anusha Says:

    only couple of places you can trust in SL. redline, eglobe and even us lanka is way reliable than these people. heck, you might get better stuff off ebay than from the local stores.

    @Gayan: wouldn't a new laptop ask you to setup the laptop when you power it ON for the first time? should have powered it ON there. anyone buying a new laptop should.

  6. GayanNR Says:

    Not exactly the case with most of the Lappies sold in SL,
    besides mine doesn't ask for setup even after a backup image restoration.

  7. a_a_a Says:

    hey I was googeling barcleys prices for a processor. right undenetah to the barcleys link, this blog appeares.
    good lesson for cheaters.

    by the way to remove word vrification , log on to your blogeer account and underneath the setting tab , ther is a option for inactive word vrification

  8. Susil Manchanayaka Says: This comment has been removed by the author.
  9. Susil Manchanayaka Says:

    Dear All

    If you receive previously used articles, you can lodge a case with the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA). They will handle the issue and the seller will be asked to compensate you. That is what buyers can do. Do not keep your mouth shut. Open it and make a complaint. Consumers have rights as sellers do. Buyers will always be protected. When you want to buy something, go with someone knowledgeable.

  10. Tharaka Devinda Says:

    Thanks Susil. I should have lodged a complaint with them first. Next time I will certainly inform the authority.
    In case of things like PC hardware, these vendors should be caught red handed. If I took the RAM, it is as good as a new RAM for the law. There's no way of proving it old.

    Thanks for the tip.

  11. Anuradha Edirisuriya Says:

    Why don't you try Tech Zone. I have been buying equipments and even laptops for friends from them but didn't have any issues upto now. I can say they're more trustable than any of the shops in Unity Plaza.