It's not very often I hear about a retailer refusing to sell something to a customer unless there is a very good reason - such as mispricing. But Tony Olsson soon discovered that, as far as PC World was concerned, he was simply not the right person.
"Following your review of the Brother HL-1230 laser printer, I went to my local branch of PC World in Barnstaple to buy one. I also planned to buy a computer and some extra software at the same time," he said.
But Mr Olsson was astounded to find that the salesman refused to sell him the printer. Had PC World had given him any reason why?
"I was told they only sold this printer to business users. Just to check this statement, my father then tried to buy the printer from PC World's Basingstoke branch later that evening. He had exactly the same response," he said.
I asked PC World if perhaps there could have been a misunderstanding between the sales staff and the Olssons, but apparently not. There are some products that the store will not sell to the general public.
"We have the consumer retail outlet and business channels. This means we have products aimed solely at the business customer that we wouldn't sell to the retail channel or promote in-store to consumers," said PC World.
"But there is some good news. We have a very good laser printer that has a higher onboard memory which is on sale at the moment for £99.99 if Mr Olsson is interested."
I asked Brother if it placed any restrictions on who was able to buy its products but was told this wasn't the case.
"This is most bizarre. That printer is aimed at consumers as much as the business market. But we can't dictate to retailers who they can and cannot sell products to," said a spokeswoman for the manufacturer.
It is not uncommon for retailers to keep their business and consumer retail channels separate. There are different deals for these sectors and different requirements. But I have to admit I find PC World's stance over this printer somewhat off-the-mark.
Slotting a budget small office/home office product into its business portfolio of products, therefore cutting off other buyers, doesn't strike me as careful targeting of its customers needs.
Not only that, it has lost a customer who was eager to spend more than £130 on a printer.
"If they won't sell me the printer I want, I won't buy one of their computers. This is ludicrous," said Mr Olsson.
"Brother has no restrictions and then you find PC World won't sell it to you. I will go elsewhere."
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