French Mac Marginalization in Nova Scotia, Canada

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
April 19th, 2004 • 11:13 pm

Here in Nova Scotia, we are not exactly blessed with top-notch service from reputable local Apple authorized resellers. I suppose that the market is simply not big enough to generate sufficient competition and force existing resellers to provide decent support.

Add to that the fact that French-speaking Mac users in Nova Scotia are doubly marginalized (they use Macs and they speak French), and you get a pretty horrendous experience. Here’s the latest example.

For the past month or so, one of my tech support customers has been trying to acquire a copy of Microsoft Office X. I provide mostly tech support services and am not particularly interested in becoming a reseller (too much overhead). So I leave it up to my customers to choose their preferred avenue to purchase hardware and software products. There are a handful of on-line resellers here in Canada with half-decent Mac service ( and But of course many customers still prefer to purchase things off-line through a local reseller.

The main Mac reseller in Nova Scotia is Terra Consultants, formerly known as Atlantis Kobetek. My own experience with them is rather mixed, but I haven’t had to deal with them in a while. They seem to be going downhill fast.

My customer contacted them a month ago in order to obtain a copy of Microsoft Office (French). I told her that Office 2004 was coming soon, but that if she purchased Office X now, she would get a free upgrade. (I instructed her specifically to double-check this with the reseller.)

Several weeks later, she still hadn’t heard back. This morning, she phoned me to let me know that she had contacted them again and that this time, they had told her that they didn’t think that Microsoft was making a French-language version of the product anymore!

Now, I realize that the French-speaking community in Nova Scotia is pretty small (less than 5% of the population). But still! Such a level of ignorance on the part of the main Mac reseller here in Nova Scotia is unforgivable. Of course Microsoft continues to make many localized versions of Office for various markets. The French-language market is still pretty big (France, Québec, many African countries, etc.). I even wrote an item the other day about Microsoft’s approach to localizing software for Mac OS X.

To make matters worse, my customer then phoned MicroWarehouse Canada (now, and again she was told that they would have to look into it.

This morning, it took me the whole of two minutes of my time on a dial-up connection, doing a simple search for “Office 2004”, to locate the product pages for Office 2004 Standard French and Office 2004 Pro French on the web site. In other words, the guys that my customer talked to weren’t even able to check their own web site to see if the product was available.

What is wrong with these people? Don’t they want to sell their stuff? Isn’t it what a reseller is supposed to do?

Good grief.

There are days when I really think that I should get into the reseller market after all!

Comments are closed.

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.