Deborah Ross: Did the people who bought Comet also have to take out a warranty?

If you ask me...
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The Independent Online

If you ask me, I am interested in the news that the electrical chain Comet has just been sold to retail turnaround specialists OpCapita for £2 and although I am not a business person and am baffled by financial matters – why, for example, do all countries appear to be in debt? Are any in profit? – I believe I can answer all your questions about this particular deal:

Was OpCapita's first point of contact a bored young man who could not stop yawning in its face and hadn't the faintest what he was talking about?

It was, and at this point OpCapita rather wished it had opted for John Lewis, but it was just that bit further away and it had already tried two other places and the rush hour was building up and it didn't have the energy. It knows it only has itself to blame.

Did OpCapita consider legging it?

It did, but as a spokesperson says: "We hoped we could get in and out quickly although, as it transpired, it was an extraordinarily lengthy process during which we were often tempted to return to our vehicle and ram the front of the building, such were our murderous feelings."

Why was the process so lengthy?

Because every time Comet put a deal on the table and OpCapita accepted – "OK, we'll take it," they said – Comet then shuffled off for half an hour, returned, said it didn't have it in stock, might be in the warehouse, couldn't check with the warehouse because the system was down, wasn't trained to work the system even if it had been up, and so maybe OpCapita would like to go away and phone back later, when it could hang on for several hours before being cut off?

And still OpCapita did not consider legging it?

To be fair, Comet did offer an alternative deal, even though it was of the kind that might be in stock next week, but then again might not.

Does OpCapita think it £2 well spent?

Yes, although they did also have to spend £56m on one of those warranties which means that, should the deal break down in a couple of years, they can wait in for several weeks for someone to come round and tell them they don't have the right spare part and even if they did, it's not worth fixing, love. Sorry. Now, can I use your lav before I go?

What does OpCapita say now?

Thank God it was just a takeover and we weren't trying to do anything truly complicated, like buy a kettle.

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