I bought my Carrera Computer because of its hi level spec and because it came with a five year warranty - three years on site and 2 years RTB. One week after it arrived (with damage to the tower case) the hard drive failed completely. I had to spend literally hours on the phone trying to get through to the warranty department. After twenty minutes in a queue they cut you off and you have to start again! Agh!!!!!!!!
A few moths after that Saga they wrote to me and told me that Carrera had been taken over by Watford Electronics and that my warranty was void. They would however honour it for a total of two years only (on site). I've never understood this - they were part of Watford Electronics before.
Two weeks before my warranty was up my graphics card failed. After two days of attempts to get through the guy on the line persuaded me that he couldn't get someone to visit me on site for 2 weeks - but could have it picked up by courier in two days. I agreed - bad mistake. They have had my PC for a month now and they are still waiting for a part.
My business has been on standstill waiting for this to be sorted. I've just bought a laptop so that I can keep doing business (a DELL!!!).
The staff at Watford Electronics range from 'hard cheese' to embarassed and under pressure. I've learned that when I started this recent repair issue with them the warranty department had only one person there to answer the calls. They were again disconnecting me after 20 minutes. The time to reply to e-mails is five days. Appalling.
I will never buy from Watford Electronics, Aries PC or Carrera SSC again!
Addendum - PC came back after five weeks and now OK again.
I wish I had read your reviews before I sent off for one of their computers with Watford Electronics. They sent the totally wrong spec of computer, I returned it but they don't want to return my money. They keep saying they will credit my credit card account with the full amount but never get round to doing it. I have tried to contact them by email, I have sent about 10 emails, they have not replied to one of them. I have spent hours on the phone but still no joy. I tried to leave feedback on the web site but it has been out of commission for the period I was trying to use it ( about 8 days )
I will never use Watford Electronics or Carerra Computers again.
I had to rate this with one star because you don't have a minus rating.
Not impressed with the service. Bought the computer as a package but when I made enquiries they were not answered. When I did eventually get a reply it was a refusal to handle my enquiry as the warranty had expired. No real problems with the product but would not recommend them due to their attitude. No documentation on the computer itself, ie what all the connections are for, I still don't know if I have an Infra Red port!
I bought a Carrera Computer about 3 months ago against the advice of my brother, mainly because it looked so good on paper and also appeared cheap compared to others. This was my biggest mistake. Since then I have spent over a £100 on phone calls and sent numerous emails to their customer support for help. They are supposed to offer a 24 hour support line, this is a joke. You get through to someone after waiting then you are told they are transferring you and thats when the waiting starts. I have been told that they would contact me at a certain time to help sort my problem out and they never showed up. In my opinion they are little less than con men and I would advise anyone thinking of buying one of these DONT they arent worth it.
I purchased a Carrera PC at the beginning of the year. The sales staff were very helpful, and the PC arrived on time. Given that the machine was several generations better than my existing one, I was extremely pleased by the power and performance of the PC.
Unfortunately, after about 6 months the PC failed. I rang the helpdesk (the 5 years warranty and technical support was a key factor in deciding to buy from them), but found getting through very hard. Once through, you are inevitably told to hold whilst someone more appropriate takes your call. You hold, and then hang up after 15-20 minutes of waiting. When I eventually got through, the engineer made a swift diagnoses, and asked me to call another department to arrange a call out. This I did. Or tried to do, since the company policy seemed to be to make the customers hold for as long as possible. It took a month to actually arrange a visit, which when it happened resulted in the engineer replacing the failed part, and then finding that other bits were not compatible with the new part. He informed me that he could not take the PC with him, and that I would have to arrange a pickup with the helpline (separate service, apparently).
That was 2 months ago. Despite ringing almost daily and sending emails, the computer is still sitting inanimate in my office. The favourite trick seems to be to get through to the service department (no mean feat) and then be transferred to someone who specifically deals with collections, who never picks up the phone. I have been given several direct phone numbers, all of which result in a long wait on hold, with no response at the end (call me picky but anything longer than 10 minutes is not acceptable).
My most recent call to tell Carrera that I no longer wanted the machine, and expected a full refund resulted in being transferred twice (I specifically told them that I did not want to speak to the service department, and then was promptly sent there), and waiting 20 minutes for a "senior engineer" to pick up his phone, which he did not.
To make matters worse, if you call the sales line, you get through immediately. Clearly Carrera have know where their priorities lie.
I am now taking legal action against this company, and would counsel in the strongest of terms against anyone using them in future. When they have your money, you can forget any service beyond that.
Buy from a local trader who will actually provide you the support you need. You may pay a little more, but for the peace of mind it is worth it, and not having been able to work at home for 3 months, whilst paying for a full broadband subscription has certainly cost me more than the couple of hundred quid saved from buying from these charlatans.
I ordered a PC system from Carerra SSC on 8th December 2003. The balance of £1031.66 was swiftly taken from my credit card. A promise that my machine would be ready for delivery by January 16th was not kept, nor was I given an alternative date. I therefore cancelled my order on 23rd January. After being initially promised my money would be refunded on January 30th, I finally received a refund on 6th February. During the above process, I contacted Carrera twelve times by email and once by letter. I also left a telephone message. Only once (after the refund had been made) did I receive a response or acknowledgement. On two occasions, having endured lengthy queues, I did manage to speak to Carrera staff (including a director, Mark Johannson). Although limited apologies were offered, I generally found their attitude to be dismissive and apathetic. Carrera admit to prioritising enquiries from potential new customers over those from exisiting ones. Had I ever received my PC, I can only guess what the after-sales service would have been like. It appears from other postings on this and other sites that my experience is not a unique one. My overall impression is of a company trying to expand far too rapidly. Perhaps, when they have sorted themselves out, their quality of service will improve.
Early this year I placed an order for a Carrera Octan System. My credit card was immediately debited. I was verbally promised delivery in 10 to 14 working days. This was confirmed on the order confirmation. A month later the PC turned up. The pc wouldn?t boot into windows. Sticking with a bios error message about a improper CPU speed setting. The PC would only boot with a manual speed setting. I contacted Carrera?s Warranty Company who emailed me back telling me my processor was faulty and wanting to arrange a visit to replace the CPU. A couple of days later I tried the CD writer. ?Focus Errors? appeared at all writing speeds and with different brands of CD . I contacted my company?s IT department for advice. I had a faulty CD writer. At this point I had had enough and wrote to Carrera Customer Services rejecting the system and requesting my money back under the Sale of Goods Act. I wrote 3 times, once by registered post without any response at all. All this time the Warranty Company was trying to arrange a repair. When I finally convinced the Warranty Company I didn?t want a repair. The Sales Manager of Carrera wrote to me apologising for the ?challenges? I was having with my PC and telling me he?d personally arrange for the Warranty Company to get in touch with me to arrange a repair. I then went to my Solicitor. He wrote a letter for £30+vat reminding Carrera of their obligations under the Sale of Goods Act. I was offered a new PC if I returned mine first. I arranged an exchange at my home. The new PC turned up minus Software, Windows XP activation number, Mains Lead. I had checked with the Sales Director before despatch of the replacement PC to see if they wanted me to hang on to them. I was assured that I could use the original XP activation number. Needless to say I couldn?t! A week with the replac
ement PC and the bios error message about a improper CPU speed setting appeared. I was able to step though it this time with the PC working at 2Ghz. Carrera Technical services have sent me a bios update which I have not been able to able to load successfully as yet. About the On site Warranty. The first year is with the external warranty company who I found to be very keen. The other 2 years are looked after by Carrere themselves.
The SSC PC is my first and only PC and what a nightmare it has been! I bought the PC in 1998, about the time everybody else was having problems with them, unfortunately I didn't know this then! My PC arrived about a week after it was scheduled, I connected it all up and waited for the next day (a family member was doing the setup for me). My family member arrives, switches on the PC and finds that it is loaded with problems. For a start, the wrong motherboard was sent along with the wrong motherboard manual, meaning that it needed sending to a specialist who knew what he was doing. This was an instant extra £200 after just having the damn thing for 2 days! After weeks of diferent people coming to fix the problems with this thing it was finally working. I got a good 10 months out of the thing before it knackered again. This time the motherboard had completely blown. Not a winkies out of it! Knowing that this was going to be an expensive problem to sort out I quickly got on the phone to the guaruntee line to enquire about what to do. The first time I got an hour of elvis presley music interupted by a frequent 'please hold'. The second time it was opera music with the 'please hold' for an hour before I gave up. The third time I got through after 45 minutes to a man who sounded like he didn't know where he was or what he was doing. I explained the problem to him and explained that i had on 3 days left before my warranty ran out. At this he quickly made up an excuse of 'sorry you seem to have dialed the wrog number'! I hadn't because the first thing he said was 'SSC custoemr service, how may I help you!' I eventually went to a cheap computer shop in town where they managed to get it done and fixed in a week for just over £100 but I still had to pay the £150 phone bill which I had accumalated on the SSC customer service line! Since then I have only had a minor graphics card problem but I still
hate SSC! Trust me, don't buy from them!
In January 1998 I handed over £650 of my hard earned cash to then SSC (Sight & SOund Computers) after finding their advert in a PC magazine. Eventually, the computer arrived, only 3.5 weeks later than scheduled. I removed it from the packaging, set it up, switched it on....silence! No whirr of the CPU fan, clicking of the hard drive, not even the remotest flicker of the little green LED on the front. That was machine #1. Replaced 4 days later. Machine #2 arrives, so I open it up, connect it all up and switch it on. This time something does happen. The monitor flickers into life and I'm greeted by a black screen with white text reading "No system disk found". On further inspection I found i had been sent my Celeron 300 PC minus its 6Gb hard drive as advertised. So back went machine #2. I had to wait another 10 days before machine #3 arrived. When it did I was hoping it would just be another case of 3rd time lucky. And thats how it appeared for the first 4 months. After about 4 months of trouble free computing the CPU fan suddenly failed. I thought a simple call to customer services would resolve this. So I dial the national rate number @ 8p/min and I'm put in a queue. I wait.............and I wait...................still waiting........untill my call is answered. I explain my predicament and I'm informed that the person I am speaking with is not technical and cannot continue this conversation any further and that I will need to be put in a queue to the technical department. So I agree to hold again. (Bear in mind all I want is a replacement CPU fan). My call is answered after about 15 minutes and after explaining I need a new Slot 1 celeron type CPU fan, yes, thats ok, they can send me a replacement fan. They can even authorise me to carry out the repair myself without invalidating the warrenty as i feel confident enough to do so. I was impressed with this as I was expecting to have to return the machine to base.
£ days later a box arrives in the post. It is indeed a replacement CPU fan, for a socket 7 type motherboard. Back on the phone, back in the queue. After a phone call lasting 45 mins at 8p/min and about 1.5 mins spent explaining what I need I'm told as they sent the wrong part, the new one will come by courier to 'swap' a Slot1 fan with the SS7 fan. Several days pass, nothing, except another box in the post. This did infact contain a Slot 1 CPU fan, so i fitted it, started the computer up, but did the fan spin? Er...nope! I check the power lead, fine. Back on the phone. Eventually the agreed to take the computer back to be tested so it was picked up the following day. A week passed and I heared nothing so I called again. I finally got through to a member of support staff of 'technical' mind and was told "yeah mate, found a problem in yer bios so wer're gonna change it for ya, yeah? er...you should get it back in about a week, ok?" As Mr 'technical' said, I received the computer back within the week, and yes it started up, just. Before I sent it in, I made a note of the BIOS details. It was an AMI BIOS dated 1998. What I had now was still an AMI BIOS, but was now dated 1996. Was this some mistake? Or had I really be charged 1998 prices for 1996 technology after several weeks of wasted time? The computer never did function properly and in the end I brought a new motherboard with a whole new BIOS chip on it. I fixed the computer myself and the total repair cost, incedentally, came to less than phone calls to SSC while sat in holding queues in their phone system. I thought maybe I was just an unlucky customer. But as it turned out, one of my best mates from school had a similar experience. He too had brought a new computer, coincidentally from SSC as their old was was showing its age somewhat. He too had problems with the motherboard and got through several SSC computers before fi
nally demanding a full refund and taking his business elsewhere. Please bear in mind, This was before SSC and Carrera merged. I have never purchase anything from Carrera so this opnion is in no way about carrera. Just how SSC were when they were trading under that name alone.
In September 1998 I ordered my very first PC. It was a high spec (400mhz!) one from Carrera. I had decided that, though their prices were not the very cheapest available, I liked the sensible choice of models on offer & the fact that I could adjust the specification to my own taste. The consistently very good reviews of Carrera PC's I had previously seen in the computer mags, was also very comforting. I ordered on a Thursday & on Friday my Order Confirmation arrived (it is VERY important to check an Order Confirmation thoroughly in case of mistakes).The following Tuesday the complete package was delivered to my home, including the scanner & printer of my choice. Even though I was a complete novice, I didn't bother to read the very comprehensive Carrera manual (what's the point of them writing a superb manual if I am too excited to read it?)& the whole package was unpacked, fully up & running within 1 hour. It would have helped even more if all the cables & their ports had been colour coded (I expect that they ARE now). I made lots of mistakes in my first 12 months of computer ownership, like expecting Windows 98 not to freeze or crash for at least 5 minutes at a time, & by deleting files I shouldn't have! Carrera's free telephone support proved invaluable the many times they helped me work around problems caused by software & myself; they also reminded me that with Carrera, free telephone support was provided FOR LIFE! (some companies, like Hewlett-Packard, only give free telephone support for 30 DAYS)! Just before the 12 months' warranty was due to end, the DVD-Rom drive expired; at my own request a brand new (& better) drive was sent to me the same day, complete with fitting instructions. I have run the PC for another 20 months since, & it has been thoroughly reliable (unlike Windows 98)& I would thoroughly recommend Carrera to everyone.****(MAY 2001)- PLEASE NOTE: "CARRERA" IS NOW "CARRERA SSC" and their web
site is: www.ssc.co.uk ****.
My last PC was brought from Carrera Computers from an advert in a computer mag. The computer I brought was found in a small corner of PC's to come. This was the best way to go as the Ad has been written about 2 weeks before, and therefore the computers to come are probably the new ones on offer. This may not be a great deal of difference but in the fast moving world of computers it may get you a much better PC. As for Carrera they were helpful and cheap (although overall they are not the cheapest but this PC was cheaper than anywhere else). The surface was good and there were no real probs. One moan though is that the memory slots for expansion are located under loads of wires making installing memory much harder than it should be. Although it was a while ago since I brought my computer the company does not seem to have changed much. Hope this helps.