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PC - no, the other kind.

I once went into PC World. I had an old 386 PC (yes, it was that long ago) and the mainboard battery had died. Which meant that every time I switched it on, the thing had to be told it had a hard disk, what size, how many drives, and so on. All I needed was a button cell and it could once again remember what it was when I pressed 'on'.

Button cells weren't in supermarkets then. So I thought  'Aha, there's a shop called PC World. They'll have one'.


Not only did they not have one, I was assured by their technical support staff that computers don't have batteries inside and that I must be some kind of idiot to think that they did.

I never went back.

That whole episode had drifted into the dark recesses of my memory until I read Constantly Furious's diatribe on his more recent experiences. It seems things have not improved in there.

If anything, it's worse.

There was a time when shops actually tried to be helpful so that customers would come back. Certain retail chains appear to have moved on from that business model to one where they hold you upside down, shake the money out of your pockets and throw you into the street. It's a profitable move in the short term, but not a particularly good long term strategy. As some of those retailers are now finding.

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( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
10th Sep, 2009 10:46 (UTC)
PC World have long been infamous for being hugely overpriced & staffed by useless idiots who only know how to operate Windows (if you're lucky), and have absolutely no technical know-how whatsoever. If at all possible, I will avoid buying anything from them. Ever.
10th Sep, 2009 10:58 (UTC)
I'm all for this kind of attitude from the large technology shop chains. The more they mislead, patronise and outright deceive with arrogant, badly informed staff, the more people will take to researching technology for themselves and will find vendors who are able and willing to treat them like adults. Eventually this will feed back to the highstreet retailers and everything will get better.

Either that or people will stay ignorant and willing to hand over their giro for whichever bauble looks shiniest.
10th Sep, 2009 11:35 (UTC)
Yes,I made the mistake of going there with my father when we bought our first system. A total rip off both on price, & spec. Fortunately I have learnt a bit since then, and now go to an independent local shop, where I'm treated as a customer, not a cash cow. The replacement we got this year is much better, and cost half the price - AND we got the original install discs...

I still occasionally shop there, but as one of CF's commenters said, ONLY if I know exactly what I want and the typical price.

10th Sep, 2009 12:03 (UTC)
Similar experience here ...
About 5 years ago, attempting to install a new peripheral, I discovered that my PC's case did not contain screws for the empty slot, and neither did the peripheral.

So, I trundled along to PC world, hunted the massive store for case screws. Nada.

After an hour-long wait (just as CF described), the 'customer service' personage advised, exasperated at my ignorance that "we don't do screws"!

That was my last visit.
10th Sep, 2009 12:34 (UTC)
Find a trusted online retailer and buy your PC from them. Vastly, vastly cheaper, far superior and they aren't run by idiots.

PC World is only of even marginal use if I need something now instead of being able to wait a couple of days, e.g. a toner cartridge, etc.

Never buy a PC from them, ever.
10th Sep, 2009 13:30 (UTC)
PC World is part of DSG, which also own Currys/Dixons. I had a bad experience with Currys and have bought fuck all from them since.

Rab C.
10th Sep, 2009 21:26 (UTC)
I went to Currys once.

10th Sep, 2009 13:44 (UTC)
Serves you fucking right.

I buy EVERYTHING online, that way I don't even have to look at these mongs, let alone talk to them.

Ebay is your friend
10th Sep, 2009 17:50 (UTC)
Don't get me started on ebay - I'd almost sooner go back to PC fucking World. At least you get fucked over 'accidentally' at PC World, rather than deliberately by the malevolent goblin that tout their shite at ebay.

In fact .. in fact, I feel a rant coming on...
10th Sep, 2009 21:28 (UTC)
Ebay is a risky place. Plenty of cut-price online retailers though. I've been a customer of Maplin for so long I still have a five-digit customer number!

That's a dangerous shop to visit with a credit card. The gadgets, oh, the shiny shiny gadgets.
10th Sep, 2009 15:11 (UTC)
I never ever buy anything from PC World. I left my PC with their "technical" staff for a week once, so that they could configure the router which they sold me and which I couldn't get to work. When I went back, they hadn't done the job because- wait for it- "we aren't connected to the Internet anymore at this store" (PC World, Greyhound Park, Chester). Why didn't they tell me that when I asked them to do the job in the first place? Useless, lying, incompetent arseholes.
10th Sep, 2009 16:15 (UTC)
Holy God.
Greyhound Park, that's in my old stomping ground; the first PC World I ever went into. Still remember the first time they annoyed me....ah, nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

That makes you and me practically brothers.
10th Sep, 2009 16:01 (UTC)
Re: PC World and such
They really are a waste of time and have been since they were 'tricky dicky Dixon's'. When my daughter was about to go to uni - back in the 'bad old Tory days' with tuition paid for and grants, you remember - we went to Dixon's to see about a PC - a 386 would have been about right for the time.

'Any questions, just fire away!' we were told, breezily.

'How big is the hard disk drive in this one?' asked my daughter.

'Err, disks - I think they come in boxes of 10, you'll find'.

Don't go near them, any of them - they're cr*p, and expensive, too. If you're lucky, you might find a good local supplier, like my local outfit, Web-Systems, or use CCL on-line. They actually know about PCs, care about their customers, don't try to upsell you and offer a good after-sales service.
10th Sep, 2009 16:25 (UTC)
Don't even mntion they bastards to me.

Gary Glitter
10th Sep, 2009 21:33 (UTC)
Yep, you thought they had something called a 'privacy policy', didn't you?

When the GG story broke, the place I worked was using PC World for computer repairs. I voiced concern that they were rummaging about in the personal files of computers they were repairing and had a lot of those 'Oh? Something to hide?' comments.

Yes I had something to hide. The personal details of every student in every class I was teaching, all on my computer and all of which were my responsibility under the Data Protection Act. No way would I let some spotty drooling oik get hold of all that.

So I backed the data on to CD and kept nothing but 'Doom' on my office hard drive.
10th Sep, 2009 21:56 (UTC)
Aww, they're my best friends!

The amount of business that's come my way due to their incompetence is of god-sent proportions. I hope they remain trading forever.

Mind you, it's a sobering thought that so many people still use them.

I've had a a couple of t-shirts printed with my knowledge and expertise on them and wear them whilst out and about and it's amazing how many conversations start with; 'We've been to PC World...'

Do you know that I can't get a job with them? Far too 'maverick' in my approach, apparently. Not a team player etc.

Total knob-jockeys.

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )