Something new has come out, something advanced. Normally a mobile phone of some description. There is one feature you can guarantee, which is a complete absence from any shelves in Guernsey.
When it comes to being a consumer and purchasing new technology those in Guernsey have a massive advantage, in the fact that the island lacks VAT. This means that we get the chance to own technology for 20% off the UK retail price. However, local stores often take the complete mick, taking weeks to get the item in and then when they do it is at a pricing point nowhere near the UK RRP of the product.
Take iPhones for example. the price that local telecoms companies sell them for actually exceeds the UK price, and that is a price that is inclusive of VAT. When I have asked for breakdowns before I have been told that it is due to shipping and insurance. Which let’s be honest, is a lie. It doesn’t cost that much to ship a mobile phone somewhere which is considered inside of Royal Mails UK internal boundaries.
They also have blamed prices on suppliers. Well if you’re buying iPhones; try buying them, from somebody like, oh, I don’t know, Apple? I don’t want some iPhone that has fallen off the back of a van or been stolen by balaclava wearing motorcycle gang-members.
Sometime this isn’t a problem as you can order the item from Amazon or similar online retailer, get it shipped to you. However, it’s now becoming harder and harder to find Amazon retailers willing to remove the VAT, which is a completely separate rant for a future time. Not to mention that if I extend the example above, and continue talking about the iPhone, that is available only from Apple, who will not only not remove the VAT, they point-blank refuse to ship to Guernsey. Which takes me full circle back to the point of, if a consumer can only buy the phone from Apple, and no Amazon resellers can buy them from a wholesaler to resale on, then who the be-jesus are the Guernsey Telecoms companies buying theirs from?
I was told last week that some retailers in Guernsey have got the new iPhone 6 in (No sign of any 6 Plus’s yet), but only in 16GB sizes. What use is 16GB to anyone in this day and age. If I am making the investment for a new phone of £500-600 then you are going to find the extra £40-100 for the larger memory to actually use the new and wonderful features that your device allows and to store the wonderful content you generate or wish to consume.
I can rant on for as long as I want but the fact is that is that we are in Guernsey, almost 6 weeks after the iPhone 6/6 Plus announcement and we still don’t have anything available to the Guernsey public at either a fair price, or with more storage space than writing it down on the back of a napkin. Hardly the bleeding edge of technology.