Today, 6/4/2012, driving by Milton Computers we noticed that they changed their sign to advertise a new Intel I3 Quad core computer for the wonderful deal of $399. The problem with their sign is that it is illegal. Yes, I said illegal. (See Florida Statute 817.06)
(6/21/12 Update. We had better things to do from 6/15 till today, but we see that somewhere in between They finally took us serious enough to make the sign legal. Only took a little BBB and legal leveraging to make John Marshall decide to play fair. We are reducing this articles foot print so click on Read More if you want the whole story, and if Mr Marshall behaves himself, we will take it off the front page at the end of the month.)
Whether by accident or on purpose the sign is false advertising at best, and bait and switch or fraud at worst. Yes we know this a bold direct accusation, but it is not opinion, but fact. You see Intel doesn't produce an I3 quad core processor as of 6/4/2012. This means that the sign is inherently false as they cannot sell you something that doesn't exist.
We know this because we are an Intel Technology Provider and have verified with Intel that they have no I3 quad core processors. They are announcing the introduction of new processors 6/6/2012 which will include a new I3 quad core(the newly released I3 is still a dual core), but it isn't available through distribution yet. Next, based on experience, though we don't have pricing yet, the CPUs will probably retail for over half the price of $399, making it impossible for them to sell a computer with it at that price, unless they are losing money. Therefore the sign at Milton Computers is false.
Now its up to you and the attorney general to decide if they are falsely advertising by accident or with purposeful intent to defraud. However we are providing the picture of their sign, before they change it, for anyone who bought one these specials so you can demand a refund, or file a complaint with the BBB, Florida State Attorney General, or the Federal Trade Commission as you see fit.
Bottom line is if you have bought one of these, I guarantee you don't have an Intel I3 quad core in it. So whether by blunder or by purposeful intent, I once again dub Milton Computers to be Cyberstupid!
Here's an update on this article. Today 6/13/12, less than 24 hours after I emailed Milton Computers about this article, they have changed the sign. As seen in this updated picture, any technically savvy person will laugh at the meager attempt to become legal that they have taken.
The rest is 100% opinion, and you can take it for what you feel its worth. John Marshal, the owner of Milton Computers, appears to be less interested in shooting straight than being legal and admitting he was wrong to mislead potential customers. He changed one word on the sign, CORE to THREAD. Technically accurate, but most consumers don't distinguish the difference between threads and cores and will be misled into the perception that they are getting a quad core, and not a dual core that processes up to 4 threads at one time.
To be accurate and honest, the sign should read DUAL CORE. Since this is true, you may still have legal recourse against Milton Computers. Click and read the FTC link above to see what is deemed false advertising, and how using deceptive (non standard) practices is also illegal.
Many hucksters use a persons ignorance against them to ply an advantage, and I believe that John is knowingly doing so here. I doubt that he or his staff are carefully trying to explain the difference to customers. The reason I believe this is their first attempt to mislead, and now his attempt to market a computer processor in a way that almost no honest business does in the computer industry. This is not atypical of the types of behaviors former customers of theirs have told us about Milton Computers.
If you read how I got into the computer business, and you will see that computer technicians are just like auto repair men, and used car salesmen, that can take advantage of those less knowledgeable. I'd suggest you consider this carefully when deciding who you do business with.
Again, if you bought one of these and feel you have been misled, I still recommend to file complaints and request a refund as indicated above. You have permission to use this article and the pictures in it in any way that allows you to seek compensation.