Product Type: other in Misc Systems
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Big problems for small companies at PC World
PC World Business
Author Name: phill
PC World Business
Advantages: Cheap to buy
Disadvantages: When they make a mistake they don't care.
My name does not seem to matter to PC World, I run a small building construction company and I recently purchased a computer from PC World, and suffered the following unacceptable consequences.
On Tuesday, 20 April 2010, my brand-new PC (Packard Bell 14521 desktop PC) was having trouble getting onto the Internet, although I knew my Internet connection was fine after testing it using a laptop.
I phoned Packard Bell technical department and, after talking to them for a while, it was established that it was a hardware problem. I was advised to phone PC World's tech guys as the computer was still within its 28 days cover. After contacting PC World's technical centre it was confirmed that this was a hardware problem (100006 customer number 3329021335) and I was instructed to take the PC back to the shop where I purchased it. In fact I contacted the shop and asked if the offending item could be taken out and exchanged for a new part and this was agreed in principle.
After arriving at PC World in Farnborough at approximately 9:30 am on Wednesday 21 April, a technical representative (named Dave) took my PC behind the glass screen in order to diagnose the problem; after a while he returned to tell me it was a hardware problem and advised "The solution is we will take a bit out of a new machine and pop it into your machine" the snag was that the only machine in the store was the display model. I had no problem with something being taken out of the display model and put into my machine. However, after a while, he returned to explain that "it was a software problem, from the manufacturers set up" and that he would have to change or wipe the hard drive.
At this point I became worried since the reason I returned the PC was because it wouldn't connect to the Internet - everything else was absolutely fine. I explained that I had various programs on my computer including a pricing program, DragonDictate, Norton, Microsoft Office etc. and that the pricing program and the DragonDictate were absolutely imperative to my work and I needed the files for both of these!. He indicated to me that all files would be saved before doing anything to the hard drive, but I once again expressed concern over what I might lose and suggested that the old hard drive could be slipped back into the computer without any loss of data, if he used a new hard drive for the rebuild. I even offered to pay extra for this to be done but was told "it could not be done sir". I also asked if there was anything we could connect to the PC like an external router that would achieve internet connectivity, and again, I was told "it cannot be done sir". On more than one occasion I repeated the question about reusing my original hard drive without having to wipe it but, every time, I was told it could not be done (I now know from Packard Bell it would have been very easy to do!) To put my mind at rest I was assured by David (your representative) that all my data would be saved. At 2pm I received my computer back in its original box and I left.
On Wednesday evening I got back to my office and opened the box, but one look at the PC told me it was not my computer (mine still had the original protective plastic film on it) I plugged it in anyway and to my dismay nothing happened; the computer would not even start up.
On Thursday the 22nd I arrived back at PC World in Farnborough and delivered the boxed PC back to the technical department, where I was told that Dave (your representative) who had been dealing with me, was on holiday. I explained the situation and what had happened the day before and a PC World tech guy took the PC behind the glass to have a look. Whilst waiting I walked around the store, and, to my horror, found my PC on display for sale! I asked to see the manager and went back to the technical area. The tech guy came from behind the glass screen and confirmed that the computer would not even load up. The manager appeared (Stewart). I told him of the recent events and then asked him why my computer was on sale, to which he replied "I assure you sir that is not your computer". I then explained how I knew it was my computer and, once again, he assured me that this was not possible. At this stage, one of the tech guys said "I think you'll find it is his computer". Stewart and the tech guy disappeared behind glass screen and a few minutes later Stuart returned saying "yes sir that does appear to be your computer but I assure you that everything is wiped off of it" .
Because David, your technical guy was on holiday, trying to follow the series of events that resulted in my computer that didn't go on the Internet being replaced by the display model (which didn't work) and then finding my own computer on sale with the hard disk overwritten, was completely beyond me. Gross incompetence, negligence, a total of lack of product knowledge and protocol is my answer at the moment.
Stewart had given me a similar specification computer and the tech guy managed to get some files back i.e. my invoices, but not the vital Easy Price Pro files nor DragonDictate files etc. Unfortunately, Stewart went on holiday on Thursday evening.
Friday the 23rd - back to PC World in Farnborough where I talked to your acting manager David and David the tech guy. I retrieved my hard drive (from whence and which computer I have no idea) and have been told the matter will be discussed at a higher level. I'm going to take my hard drive to a professional to see if any files can be retrieved.
As a dyslexic, Dragon Dictate plays a significant role in the running of my business. The user profile has to be very finely trained and tailored to avoid costly mistakes when producing quotations, estimates and invoices. This, along with the dictionary, has been evolved over a significant period so that it recognises my voice, plus thousands of technical terms specific to the building industry.
A supplier of specialised building quotation software (Easy Price Pro) had spent many weeks perfecting the set-up on my machine and I had recently worked on complex quotes exceeding £500,000.00 that took many days to prepare.
In addition to this loss of vital data, there is the question of the licensing of the programmes which you have lost for me and the time spent going backwards and forwards to PC World in Farnborough. My work time is valuable and any time out is detrimental to my business. I have wasted three days and the consequence of your engineer's ineptitude in catastrophic.
When I returned the PC to you to rectify internet connectivity issues and specifically explained the importance of the software installed, I can assure you that I had not expected to be returning with an ex-display non-working PC.
I look forward to hearing your justification for the problems I encountered and to knowing how you propose to compensate me for the devastating effect on my business.
So far PC World have offered £90 towards the licensing fees (which doesn't come even close) and £90 compensation. As far as PC World are concerned the matter is closed .
Summary: At this moment in time, I will never buy from them again
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