PC World is one of the UK's 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.