First class transatlantic transaction.

  phono 21:29 07 Mar 2005

It's not often I feel compelled to extol the virtues of computer retailers but in this case I feel I must, read on if you're interested.

A friend recently asked me to fix his aged Dell computer which had suddenly stopped working, the symptoms suggested a defective PSU so on opening the case I discovered that, although the PSU looked like an ordinary ATX unit, the motherboard connectors suggested it was not, a quick Google confirmed this so the hunt was on for a replacement.

After trawling through endless websites it became apparent the only PSUs available were second hand and costing anything from £75 to £90.

The next step was to see if an adaptor was available to convert a standard ATX PSU. Google threw up lots of hits showing me how to cannibalise the old PSU connectors and using solder, scotchlock or screw connectors, convert a new ATX PSU, this did not seem a very satisfactory, or safe, method so I searched on.

I eventually found a link to an American supplier,, click here as the name suggests they specialise in products to reduce PC noise and new 'quiet systems', but more importantly, to me anyway, a ready made Dell to ATX converter, priced at $13.95, £7.30 to you and me, international carriage was quoted as $9.57, which is £5.00.

I placed an order on 18 February 2005 and by return received an order confirmation by email. I expected to wait at least 3 to 4 weeks for my order to arrive and was somewhat surprised to receive it on the 4th of March 2005. The converter was plugged into the motherboard and a standard ATX PSU plugged into it et voila, an instantly working Dell PC.

I have to take my hat off to, a first class prompt service, I live in Northern Ireland and have often waited longer to receive parts from mainland UK, in fact what really galls me is the fact that some companies charge ridiculous surcharges for orders to NI. I was once charged a £10 surcharge to get a stick of RAM from one retailer, I went ahead with the order as it was cheaper than anywhere else I could find it, I was taken aback upon receiving it however, my normal postman delivered it in an ordinary Jiffy bag and the stamps on it amounted to 60p, I wonder what the £10 surcharge went towards? The adaptor supplied by is similar in size but is heavier than a stick of RAM, they posted it from the USA for £5.00 and no surcharge for delivery to NI.

If I am in need of any PC components in the future I know where my first port of call will be from now on, here's to

  jbp1982 22:28 07 Mar 2005

Where about in Northern Ireland?? There's a great little lot of stores called mplex. They are very well priced for things: try click here

  phono 22:34 07 Mar 2005

A little village near Enniskillen in County Fermanagh, why do you ask? is mplex a Northern Ireland based company?

  jbp1982 22:52 07 Mar 2005

Yeah,they have stores in belfast (Dargan RD, Duncrue, its near the docks where Norse Irish Ferries are),coleraine, the shankill, somewhere in Lisburn and Im not sure where else.

They also deliver! I got my computer from them but I live near the Dargan store.

  phono 22:52 07 Mar 2005

Just had a quick look at mplex, seems very reasonable, how on earth did you find this site?

I've lost count of the number of times I've used Google to try and find a supplier with reasonable carriage charges to NI without success.

  jbp1982 22:57 07 Mar 2005

I live near them, well in Newtownabbey-County Antrim about five mins from Dargan, girlfriends father has been buying from them for years.

They started off with one tiny little store and have expanded.

They have great service, and will try and source anything for you.

  phono 23:09 07 Mar 2005

I see they charge £7.50 for carriage on small items, their prices seem to be slightly high but would probably balance out when surcharges are taken into account.

From experience I know that local component shops are charging extortionate prices for items that can be purchased cheaper elsewhere, even taking surcharges into account.

Do you think mplex would be open to negotiation on carriage charges? My last supplier, which has unfortunately ceased trading, was very flexible with carriage on small items.

  jbp1982 23:18 07 Mar 2005

Not sure mate, their prices aren't that higher. A new set up in belfast quoted me £70 for 512mb of PC3200 RAM, mplex = £55. Looked around online and found it for £48. I got it from mplex.

I checked all their prices: well for items I'm interested in and they're only a couple of pound higher on some items. Their usb memory sticks are dirt cheap, half that of PC World. Personally I like to try and support local independant stores.

Try and ask them if you're looking a few things I'm sure they'll offer something of postage.

I never needed their del. service.

  phono 23:29 07 Mar 2005

Thanks for that, it tends to be a bit misleading when you see something advertised on one of the big retailers sites at X number of pounds, only to have carriage + VAT + surcharge added.

It looks very tempting right up until you are about to complete the order and reality sinks in.

I will let this thread run a little longer to see if I get any other responses, unfortunately it seems that if you live outside mainland UK no one is even remotely interested, including the Forum Editors.

  Forum Editor 01:54 08 Mar 2005

I'm sorry? I'm obviously missing something here (there's only one of me by the way), and your comment puzzles me - what do you think I should be doing?

Many UK couriers impose surcharges on deliveries to Northern Ireland, and we've debated it many times before. Presumably there's a commercial reason for the practice - there must be, or they wouldn't be doing it. I can well understand how infuriating it must be, however.

  phono 19:41 08 Mar 2005

Sorry FE, I actually included that comment to see if anybody else was taking an interest in this thread, I have now proved that at least you were paying attention.

BTW I didn't realise there was just one FE, I thought each category had its own, how on earth do you get time to check all the threads?

Your point about couriers and surcharges is fully understood, the further it has to go the more costs for fuel etc etc.

What really annoys me is the case that I mentioned at the start of this thread, ordering a stick of RAM and having a £10 surcharge for courier service added, the RAM was delivered by my normal postman in a Jiffy bag with 60p worth of stamps on it, even allowing for some form of insurance there is no way the company could justify their carriage charge plus a £10 surcharge as a courier was not used.

I emailed the company in question and received a stock reply about couriers charging extra for deliveries to NI, Scottish highlands and so forth. I sent another email pointing out the facts as to how the delivery was actually made and guess what, I got exactly the same email back again, I have never purchased from them since.

As you say, it is infuriating, I went to order an Antec ATX PSU tester that was on one of PC Advisors advertiser's website at £6.28 exc VAT, standard delivery was quoted as £2.56, by the time they added a £10 surcharge for NI delivery and VAT the item then cost £22.12, hardly a bargain, I am also quite sure Parcel Force or Royal Mail would be used for delivery.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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