OK, you've picked out a wireless broadband plan you can afford, checked the coverage is OK for your home and office, and made sure it works with your chosen operating system. Reckon you're done? Not so fast, Speedy Gonzales. No matter who you want to buy from, there's a few simple steps you can take to make sure the transaction goes smoothly.
Ring ahead to check if what you want is in stock. Not very electronic,
but it'll save a wasted trip. Most phone stores are franchisees and
only have limited stock of most items. Ordering online circumvents that
problem but adds a delivery delay.
Allocate plenty of time. Setting up wireless broadband on your PC is a lot faster than buying it. Even if there's no-one else in the store, you can expect to spend up to half an hour dealing with the credit checks and sign-up forms. Avoid weekends if you can, the queues are almost always longer.
Stock yourself up with suitable ID. You'll need photographic proof of who you are, evidence of your address, and a credit card or two. A drivers' licence can handle both the first two points, and possibly as a result most systems are ill-equipped to handle people (like me) who don't have one. A passport plus a utilities bill (less than three months old) is the next-best choice. The requirements may not be quite as onerous if you already have a service from that provider, but why take the risk? Don't be like me this week and have to return to the store twice to get the deal done.
Remember, you have a cooling-off period. If the device doesn't work, contact technical support. After all, you're most likely on a contract, so make them work for the money. And if it still doesn't work, take it back and seek a refund -- signing a contract doesn't obviate the need for sold goods to be fit for purpose.