Don't rely on PC World (UK) to repair your PC!

By Derek Sooman on November 9, 2006, 9:55 PM
PC World is one of the UKs largest chains of mass-market computer superstores. They are part of DSG International plc, and as of March 2006, there were 161 PC World stores in the UK and Ireland. Sales in 2004/2005 totalled 1,695 million. They are the only big chain in the UK that repairs PCs, and so are the first port of call for many computer users who have no one else to turn to when their machine breaks down.

PC World has performed dismally in a test conducted by Computing Which? magazine. The magazine visited several PC World outlets, bringing in PCs for repair that had had problems deliberately created. On half of the systems, a critical file used to boot the system was deleted. On the other remaining half they loosened a cable connecting the hard disk. Then they waited for PC World's diagnosis. The results were horrifying:

- There were 'staggering' differences in the level of know-how and charges.
- Correcting the missing file problem generated quotes from 20 to 260.
- Correcting the loose cable problem ranged from 10 to 139.
- One branch completely misdiagnosed the software problem as a corrupted hard disk, advising a hard drive replacement and even a new machine!
- Some PC World stores would not even look at the faulty PC as the Windows disc or Recovery disc had not been provided.

How useful does this make PC World's repair service? Well, in my opinion, about as useful as using an anvil as a parachute. I've never had any faith whatsoever in PC World, their company, their stores, their bargains or the expertise of their staff, and it's my personal recommendation that anyone reading this never buys anything from them ever. As far as I am concerned, if you have a broken PC you need fixed you'd be better off asking Daffy Duck for help.

User Comments: 10

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nz_skater said:
The sad thing is, anyone reading this probably isn't retarded and wouldn't go there in the first place.Things like this need to be broadcast in the middle of a dismal soap opera between 7-8pm to be even noticed by the masses.
canadian said:
How are they still in business if they do this to customers?
Phantasm66 said:
Because the majority of their customers do not know any better. They think they are getting great service, probably. They think they are lucky just to get their data back.
Soul Harvester said:
The same problem exists in the states. Many of the larger repair centers (through places like Best Buy) have very little pre-requisities for qualifying someone, and training is dismal at best.Many of them have a time policy about software repair: If it takes more than 30 minutes, fdisk, format, reinstall. Absolutely ridiculous and shameful.
Phantasm66 said:
In fact, you will find in general that there are many people going about calling themselves "technicians", "engineers" and "consultants" who are nothing of the sort.
drhesq said:
Thanks for the advice although I am pretty sure I will never have the occasion to have them screw up anything I own.
disciple said:
It's the same old story; people buy a PC and have no knowledge of them whatsoever. The slightest thing goes wrong with them and they panic. They go to PC World because of their name to have it fixed; get charged X amount which is extortionate; but have no clue that they are being ripped off, because they he no clue about the PC in the first place. PC World gets their money so there happy; thick computer owner gets their computer "fixed" so their happy and so nothing is said and nothing is done. I have no sympathy for the ****** being ripped off; i mean, you would not buy a car without passing your test would you; so why buy a computer to use which you have no knowledge about???
tweekyd said:
[b]Originally posted by Phantasm66:[/b][quote]In fact, you will find in general that there are many people going about calling themselves "technicians", "engineers" and "consultants" who are nothing of the sort.[/quote]ABSOLUTELY!! The problem is not fixed to one store, I have worked 'in the field' as a freelance emergency response technician. As such I have taken contract work from various 'Computer companies' who have transpired to be some of the most computer illiterate people I have ever met ... the sad consequence is that I usually find my time being spent educating THEM as well as the hapless customer.PcWorld can not in any way be let off the hook for this though. The problems sent into them by this covert-op are SO basic it hurts!!
voyagerdicko said:
Don't knock PCWorld as a self employed technician offering a hardware maintenance service and they get me most of my work. When they mess up, their dissatisfied customers come to me!!! - and i never lose a customer,
m0nty said:
PC World are useless end of.This isn't the 1st time they've been in the spotlight for this type of thing, yet they continue to keep doing it.. I have no formal qualifications in PC repair, just experience of many years. My old job was at an independant computer shop doing troubleshooting, installations & repairs.I only left that job because of an argument with the boss about the very thing PC world do (extortionate prices on repairs). This came about after a couple of incidents, 1 in particular was a laptop that came in faulty from a customer. The laptop was sent to the manufacturer, 1 week later it was returned to us still faulty with a covering letter explaining that the fault on the motherboard was unrepairable and that a new laptop was needed. This was from the manufacturer by the way! the ones that supposedly built it.I took the laptop home and dismantled it on my workbench, got the multimeter out and the soldering iron. ran a few checks on certain components.. the next day, went to the local electronics store, picked up a total of 3 surface mount resistors, 2 surface mount diodes and 1 surface mount fuse. did the required repair.. put the laptop back together & switched on!the laptop lit up, & booted without any problems whatsoever. I took it back to work and contacted the customer to let him know the good news. I charged my boss 80 for the repair (yes most of it was labour charges) but he was paying for my knowledge of fixing it my disgust, my boss then printed an invoice out for the repair, and invoiced the customer 195. i was fuming with him for doing this as i considered that a ridiculous amount for the work done. the whole job only took me a total of 3hrs to diagnose & fix. I didn't usually do board level repairs and it certainly wasn't my job to do that, so i thought 80 was a reasonable fee.. i expected my boss to bill the customer 100.that same laptop is still in perfect working order 5yrs later. not bad considering the manufacturers themselves had condemned it as unrepairable.although this is a long post, there is a point to it! the point is that manufacturers *should* at least have some qualified technicians who can do board level repairs instead of condeming machines in order to probably gain a sale of a newer laptop.oh and i'm just a hobbyist electronics enthusiast where most of my skills in electronics are self taught or from school days back in the 80's. If i can fix em, then surely they should be able to.
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