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My Radio Shack experience

Please feel free to laugh at anytime while reading this. At the time I couldn't but now I just shake my head and chuckle because I can proudly declare myself a Radio Shack survivor.

Since Best Buy opened in our area I go to them if they have the product I need. I started shopping their instead of Radio Shack after my first time in the store. I really like the their product knowledge versus Radio Shack's salespeople. Since Best Buy doesn't sell scanners I went to the Waterloo Radio Shack and found out why I don't miss them.

I had been contemplating buying a new scanner after I read online some Pro-94 keyboard shortcuts and some how managed to clear every frequency from the scanner and had to manually reprogram it. I bought my first Radio Shack scanner at a garage sale in the mid 80s and have always liked them. I made the trip to the Waterloo Radio Shack to see what they had. I decided on the Pro-97 and was told the price was the price it would be all Summer.

Several weeks later I had an opportunity to sell my Pro-94 and was planning a trip to Minneapolis so I decided it was time to purchase the Pro-97 so I could easily program the Minneapolis frequecies into the scanner using what I was told was the included software.

I returned to the Waterloo store to find the price was up to $199. The new salesperson (Javier (sp?) (J A on the receipt)) told me that was the sale price before and it was off sale. I had been reading about the Pro-97 on RadioReference so I asked again if the software to put the frequencies on the scanner was included and was told yes again. I thought maybe I had read old fourum posts and Radio Shack started including it with the one less thing to purchase. Of course, they didn't have any in-stock and asked if I wanted him to order it online. I had to ask him to call the other local store (In Cedar Falls which is 10 miles away) to see if they had any in stock. He did and told me they didn't. It was Monday and I was leaving on Saturday for Minneapolis, he said it would take 3 to 5 days so I said go ahead. (Any bets on if it made it?) That night I also bought the USB Scanner Programming Cable and a new power adapter and an adapter plug that I could leave packed for when I travel. Javier was nice enough to get them for me. I also had to ask them if the scanner went on sale if I could get the sale price. (Want to make another bet on if it goes on sale before 26JULY2007?)

The next day I called the Cedar Falls Radio Shack just to check and sure enough they had the Pro-97 in-stock. I asked the salesperson what the + and - signs on the display are for. He told me that means they are opened or closed. When I asked what that meant. He said,"It's more open than closed." (Trying asking your local salesperson how to program EDACS and see what they say.) I was told that they would just clone it with their scanner. (I wish I would have asked him to show me how to program it.) At least he was smart enough to know that the frequency uploading software wasn't included. I was upset and told him about my experience at the Waterloo store and he was nice enough to tell me that he had filled in at that store and saw the same salesperson doing the same as he did to me. (How nice of him to confide in me.) I also asked the salesperson that talked to Javier the night before if he told him that they had them in stock. He said that he told him they didn't because he overlooked them because they were way in the back. But I find it amazing that less than 15 hours later they are in view.

I purchased the scanner and was told I also got a free year of Technical Support and Frequency Programming Experience. (If programming the Pro-97 was anything like learning to program EDACS into the Pro-94 I knew I would probably need it because the manual won't be any help.) I had them clone the scanner with theirs and of course their clone didn't have many good frequencies. I went home read some more on RadioReference and purchased Win97. (I highly recommend Win97) I read the manual and found out it's as big of a joke as the Pro-94 manual......back to RadioReference to find out the finer points of the Pro-97.

Back to the free year of Technical Support and Frequency Programming Assistance. On my way home I got to thinking about receiving a "free year". Isn't customer support a part of good customer service and shouldn't it be free? Especially for a large corporation like the Radio Shack Corporation. When I got home and looked at the receipt not only do they charge you for Technical Support and Frequency Programming Assistance the call is long distance unless you live in Dayton, Ohio. Stay tuned! I'll call it and see what happens.

Bet you thought the saga ends here......wrong. I decided to try the new power adapter I bought to check that it worked before I left. When I went to plug it into the scanner I found out Javier had picked-out the wrong adapter plug. Another trip to the Waterloo Radio Shack just to find out they were sold out and was told it would be at least two weeks before they got any in. I figured they got merchandise in once a week. It was Thursday (I was last in the Waterloo store on Monday) and out of curiosity on my way out the door I asked if they had gotten any Pro-97s in and they had. (another chunk of my hair is now missing) I almost forgot to let you know...the scanner did come in the mail on Friday.

I'm happy with the scanner and Win97. It's nice to have 1000 scanning channels instead of two groups of 500. I miss some features of the Pro-94. Especially being able to have a priority set for each frequency bank and each talk group bank

A few other observations along the way:

  • The sales staff at our two local Radio Shacks don't have a clue what their talking about.
  • USB Scanner Programming Cable $29.99 - I guess the blinking lights make it worth $29.99!
  • 9V Ac-to-DC power adapter $16.97 and adapter plug $5.79 for a total of $22.76. It would be worth the price if it had blinking lights!
  • Deluxe Antenna for Handheld Scanner $19.99 - Radio Shack put an inferior antenna on the Pro-97 so they can make more money. The stock antenna from my UHF/VHF Pro-34 works better on the Pro-97 in the 800 MHz band than the Pro-97 stock antenna.
    Everyone knows the Pro-97 stock antenna is a joke including Radio Shack. If you look at Radio Shack's website they sell a deluxe antenna. In its description it says, "Better reception than stock antennas." Personally, I would sell the best product possible.

WOW, I need a drink!!!

If anybody ever reads this please feel free to add your story.

--HeartThrobs 02:16, 3 July 2007 (CDT)

PS - Had a great trip to Minneapolis including seeing the motel's automatic sprinkler spraying inside a car that had its window part way down and sunroof open and remembering that the motel didn't ask for my license plate number when I checked in. (Yes, I did say something to the front desk and yes, I was told there was nothing they could do.) I know it shouldn't affect the leather seats in the car. Being from Iowa I know cows don't shrink in the rain. :)

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