Battery shops in Lesotho and other scurrilities

by Stefan Hinum

We know every notebook–shop in the world

Many of you probably opened this side because they want to know what's behind this obscure title. No, the Notebookcheck team isn't making comparison tests of battery and notebooks retailers in Lesotho – no, no and no again. Sure … one might think, but missed by far. I've probably got to answer a question that quite a few are asking. Where the heck is Lesotho? I can proudly announce – I didn't have to look it up in an atlas because as a geographical interested person I knew it off by heart. Lesotho is a sovereign country and entirely surrounded by South Africa. I googled for the population of 2.1 million and a total area of 30 355 km2, though. This country is therefore not even half as big as Austria (and for Germans Austria isn't much more than a tiny smudge on the map), has 4 times fewer residents and for a Central European it lies on the other side of the world, if I may mention this casually and politically incorrect. The economic performance of the entire country is probably less than that of the Austrian Federal Railway (oh, hopefully they won't sue us now). But before I wander off into a national and natural study about Lesotho, I should maybe explain what this quiet country has got to do with Notebookcheck. Notebookcheck also has an English presence and I received a mail with the inquiry to please explain in which shops in Lesotho one can buy notebook battery. Till today I still haven't figured out how this reader came to the idea that we might know this. Our imprint makes it obvious that we are situated in Austria – even if barely anyone outside of Europe can start something with words like Österreich or Austria and Austria is often mistaken for Australia. But even if one doesn't trouble looking at the imprint, the first guess is by a magazine in English that the editorial office is in the U.S.A or maybe the U.K. or Singapore, Hong Kong or Australia. But without a solid evidence it's not the first idea that the editors are native in Africa and even if so Africa is big … we get these kind of inquiries all of the time, from Indonesia, Croatia and different African and Asian countries. We don't know where one can buy graphic cards, laptops and batteries in Brazil and as for the notebook commerce in Mongolia, we have a knowledge gap. It is absolutely ridiculous when the model type isn't even mentioned: "Plz can you advice where i could buy this model of laptop. i am staying in Nigeria."

What's it all about?

Besides the never ending stream of spam mails one receives over the contact form, with  the respective operating distance, dozens of mails are apparently meant seriously. The communication need of some people is obviously so immense that they send questions by hook or by crook, without the slightest idea who they are asking. In this editorial I want to present a few highlights. Many of these inquiries are probably frauds, but others are simply carried out in a too dilettante way.


We deliver worldwide...

An absolute classic (received dozens of times) are inquiries about our prices. We should sell this and that notebook (often enough devices that we haven't even tested) and send our price list along with it. Obviously I have to disillusion a few readers – Notebookcheck is not a notebook shop. We don't sell any graphic cards to Brazil. We don't sell anything apart from advertising space. We give our expertise on to our readers, and even that isn't a sales item by us. Sure, many people think, it's only a joke that we refer over the input form in big fat letters that we don't sell laptops or equipment on our English contact side. Maybe we should write on a trial basis for deterrence: "We sell very bad, horrifically overpriced notebooks." That would probably be seen as a unique marketing gag and making our server suffer from a tsunami of purchase requests. Therefore requests like these always elicit a mischievous smile from me again and again: "Please send me a quote for: 1 x Toshiba A300 Satelite Notebook plus the shipping costs to South Africa." or "We are Ugandan Importers of electric products and we would like to purchase laptops from your company as state below: Lenovo ThinkPad R61i Notebook ============ 50pcs Quote the total price to ENTEBBE INTERNATIONAL AIR PORT KAMPALA-UGANDA EAST AFRICA.We would like you to send the pro-forma invoice as an attachment on this email." Marginal note: The sender forgot the attachment and I don't dare to ask what a "pro-forma invoice" could be. If they have something like tax investigators in Uganda…

Read in the contact form? What for?

We refer in our contact forms, in every language division, that we don't give any purchasing advice via mail and don't want to answer technical questions. This reference is taken about as seriously from our readers as if we summoned them to buy shares from the Icelandic main banks. But everyone thinks "maybe I'm the exception and they will answer my question, where I can attain a handbook for the Belinea o book 3, in any case…" Nope, there are simply too many questions like that; we could hire legions of employees in order to give purchase advice via mail. But who wants to pay that? It makes especially much sense to ask us which components are built into a notebook, if one doesn't know what model it is. Maybe the reincarnation of Nostradamus works for Notebookcheck and can answer that…

A mail simply doesn't need more content

Apropos Nostradamus: "DATRON MOBEE N011-FFD" That's all. More wasn't in this memorable mail, besides a Turkish mail address. That's what I call minimalistic information transmission. No unnecessary address phrase or any other needless content. I looked up the product by Google, for that matter. It's obviously a Turkish notebook for which there are so few search results that it's probably only sold in Ankara or Istanbul.

"I 'have a look on the list of the mobil card tested but i don't find at what resolution the test have been done. Could you tell me it if it possible." At all mediums of the world: What graphic card is this person talking about?

Instant Classics

Even we are completely helpless at such technical inquiries as: "my lap top… is not functions before we turn on my lap top… i don't know what happened. can you help me to make successfully my lap top?!!! ummm i think the defect of my lap top is hard drive..." More information couldn't be extracted from this mail, either.

Here is a small gem (original text, the message didn't have more content): "i need to open the cover of the qosimo f20, am stuck with the two screw in the middle. plz advise" Those are the true problems of life…

It is also popular to send us every kind of inquiry with adding a mail address. The senders are probably very angry that we are so impolite and don't answer. By the way, one won't more likely get an answer if one sends us the same mail five times in a row.


Especially cunned people think we'll more likely answer their questions, if they use the name of  a Notebookcheck staff member or founder to ask, for instance if one can play Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 on an Acer Aspire 4530-801 g16mn. Of course I'm highly motivated to answer a question that I seemingly sent to myself… That reminds me somehow on the film "The Bourne Identity".

Guarantee for damaged notebooks

My absolute favorite was the following short message from which I, unfortunately, can't quote the original text: The mail author demanded that we should repair his damaged notebook, free of charge, due to guarantee. The device was merely specified only with the serial number, there was no hint of which model it was or where he might have bought it. Should the author really have thought he bought the notebook from us…?! I nominate this message for the "Dorky-Cocky Mail of the Year 2008" Award .

Not found in any other hardware magazine other than Notebookcheck: instructive geographical representations of remote world regions
Many people are going to call "Oh, that's why: If one doesn't write one's mail address, one won't get an answer."
Command and Conquer Red Alert 3: This game potentially runs on Acer notebooks, as well
One of the biggest mysteries in the world: how does one open the Toshiba Qosimo F20? One could try using clam cutlery, that's been reliable opening hard shells
Rare endemic species of Central Anatolia: DATRON MOBEE N011-FFD
Wanted: Michel de Nostredame
Urgently needed in Uganda: Lenovo Thinkpad R61i
Warning: This editorial contains unambiguous, breft of content, spam and junk!
...and now with a topographical view, too
No chance - the notebookcheck-legal department blares off every notebook-garantee-demand sovereignly
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Column: Battery shops in Lesotho and other scurrilities
Stefan Hinum, 2008-12-21 (Update: 2012-05-26)