My experience with PC Option Ltd

  Archroy99 20:45 09 Jan 2008

I'm posting a new thread, because the last one I can see about this company is locked.
I ordered a home theatre PC before Christmas to go with my new HDTV.I came across PC Option's website and thought that it looked like a good deal.The PC arrived on Friday the 21st December and I wasn't able to try it until after work.When I tried it,it would not boot into Windows.It gave a BSOD with the error IRQL not less than equal.It did boot into safe mode.
The following monday was Christmas Eve.We were unable to raise anyone on the phone at PC Option,despite the website saying that they would be open until midday.I wanted to get the pc working for Christmas, so I tried removing the wireless network card and tv tuner to see if there was a problem with them causing the error.This didn't help,so they were properly replaced.
We were finally able to get hold of someone on the 3rd January.We asked that they collect the PC and fix the issue.I was told that we should reinstall windows and all the drivers ourself.I was unhappy at being told that I had to fix a brand new computer that,should have worked straight out of the box.I had a rather heated phone conversation with a member of staff,during which I was told that if I returned the PC and the hardware wasn't faulty,I would be charged.I did agree to try and restore the PC to an earlier date,which did solve the problem of it booting into windows.However,the wireless netword and tv tuner cards did not work.There was also software missing that was essential for the running of the media suite.
At this point,I had had enough and requested a refund under the distance selling regulations.Despite the date,I was still within the cooling off period due to weekends and Bank Holidays.The response has basically been "Read the terms and conditions.No refund."I have asked for a valid reason as to why my refund is being refused,but as yet,none is forthcoming.It looks as though this may end up in court.I'll post more as it comes.

  The Muir 22:59 09 Jan 2008

FE Please don't delete this response... you have a habit of deleting my posts.. This is in open forum and I should be allowed to respond.


The discussion was only heated when you were shouting at me.

You removed the TV & wireless cards from the machine and you haven’t fitted them back properly. This could be resolved if you take my advice.

I haven’t refused to help you. If you want assistance please contact me directly.



  Forum Editor 23:27 09 Jan 2008

of the distance selling regulations you have a right to cancel a contract within seven working days, beginning with the day after the day on which the goods were delivered. You must signify your intention to cancel to the supplier in writing, and you do not have to provide a reason for the cancellation.

A contract which is cancelled in this way must be treated as if it had never been entered into by you, and the supplier must refund your payment in full within thirty days of the date of cancellation. The supplier is allowed to make a reasonable charge for the cost of returning any goods involved in a cancellation, but only if this was mentioned in the information you received from the supplier prior to delivery, setting out your right to cancel.

The supplier has 21 days from the date you cancel within which to request that you return the goods, and failure to do that means that your obligation to take reasonable care of the goods ceases at the end of the 21 day period.


You cannot cancel a contract under the terms of the Distance selling regulations if this computer was made to your specifications - in other words, if you asked for specific components to be included. The contract cancellation clause would only apply if you bought a machine that was 'ready to go' so to speak - one that was advertised on the web, or in a publication of some kind.

We obviously can't help you much in this case, other than providing you with factual information with regard to your legal rights. The error message you received when you first tried to boot the machine may be caused by any one of several things, and it's a pointless exercise to try to run through them here. Based on what you have told us it would appear that your computer was in some respect faulty on delivery, and you are entitled to expect the supplier to rectify that fault. Any action you take with regard to reinstalling the operating system at the supplier's request is something you do at your own discretion - you are under no obligation to do so.

My advice is always to try to resolve issues like this with the supplier, rather than contemplate legal action - with a reasonable attitude on the part of both sides it's almost always possible to reach a satisfactory conclusion. The important thing is to maintain a dialogue, and avoid escalating the situation to the point where tempers are frayed. You are adequately protected by existing consumer legislation, so there's no need to worry on that score - the supplier is under an oblogation to supply you with a computer that works from the moment it comes out of the box, and must take steps to remedy any defects at your request.

  Forum Editor 23:45 09 Jan 2008

I deleted your previous post because you made accusations about your customer's behaviour during a phone call. The customer has already stated that the call was 'heated', and we're n ot here so that you, or anyone else can personalise issues like this. I've warned you about such behaviour on many previous occasions, and unless you are prepared to understand once and for all, that you do not have an automatic right to behave exactly as you wish in this forum you may find yourself without any access at all.

We are here to try to help consumers resolve issues with suppliers - we provide advice for our readers and forum members - it isn't our function to act as an arena in which you conduct face to face arguments with individual consumers; that's something you may choose to do in private, between the two of you, but you're not going to do it here.

By all means invite your customer to contact you, and by all means post in the thread to indicate that a dispute has been resolved at some later stage, but do not post any more comments relating to people shouting on the phone - we have no way of knowing the truth about such statements, and they are completely irrelevant to the resolution of a technical consumer-legislation issue.

I suggest that you get on with the job of dealing with your customer, and leave me to get on with deciding who should be allowed to respond, and in what manner. We welcome suppliers in this forum, and I have always been particularly concerned to ensure that there's a sense of balance with regard to thread content. We expect our forum members to abide by a code of conduct however, and I expect no less from you. Any more comments along the lines of "you have a habit of deleting my posts" will result in your access to the forum being discontinued completely. I have previously only deleted your posts when they have breached our conduct guidelines, and I will continue to do so unless you moderate your approach. You will not enhance your company's customer service reputation one iota by taking a confrontational approach to the resolution of problems like this.

  Archroy99 23:48 09 Jan 2008

To the forum editor:Take a look at section 3.38 here.

click here

“3.38 Unless you have agreed that they can, your consumers cannot cancel if the order is for:
services where you have had the consumer’s agreement to start
the service before the end of the usual cancellation period and you
have provided the consumer with the required written information
before you start the service, including information that the
cancellation rights will end as soon as you start the service.
Goods or services where the price depends on fluctuations in the
financial markets which cannot be controlled by the supplier.
The supply of goods made to the consumer’s own specification
such as custom-made blinds or curtains. But this exception does
not apply to upgrade options such as choosing alloy wheels when
buying a car; or opting for add-on memory or choosing a
combination of standard-off-the shelf components when ordering
a PC, for example” (emphasis added)

It seems clear to me that the distance selling regulations do apply.

  Forum Editor 00:17 10 Jan 2008

(or thought I had)

that the distance selling regulations 'right to cancel' clause would not apply "if this computer was made to your specifications". I didn't imply or mean to imply that the cancellation exception clause would operate in respect of what are called 'upgrade options'. For instance, if you say to a supplier 'I want you to build a PC with the following hardware configuration' - and then went on to list all the various components - the exception would apply. You would be ordering a computer to be made to your own specification, and would not have the automatic right to cancel.

If however, you go to a website like the Dell site, for instance, and select from a list of published 'upgrade' options - things you can change in a specific machine configuration, then the exception would not apply, because you would not be ordering a computer that is built to your specification, you are merely selecting options that are being offered by the supplier.

I had no way of knowing which of those situations applied in your case, because you didn't tell us.

I hope that makes it clearer?

Contact the company and discuss the matter - it's usually the best way forward in these cases, and there's almost always a satisfactory conclusion. Confrontation is to avoided if at all possible, it's not necessary or desirable.

  Archroy99 00:33 10 Jan 2008

click here

If you look here,the options are listed as upgrades.I firmly believe that the regulations apply in this case.I have tried to resolve this matter with the company.Frankly,it feels like banging my head against a wall.As far as I'm concerned,even if the distance selling regs don't apply,which I'm sure they do,I am entitled to reject the goods under the sale of goods act,as it is not fit for purpose or of satisfactory quality.I just want a refund so I can deal with a different company.Given the difficulties that I've had from the start,I am not confident that were I to accept a repair/replacement,I would not have the same problem in the future when something else went wrong with the machine.

  Forum Editor 00:48 10 Jan 2008

and it isn't our job to make judgments about individual cases - we are rarely in possession of all the facts. What we do is express opinions, often on the basis of a good deal of experience with problems like this one, and offer commonsense advice.

The best commonsense advice is always to try to avoid a recourse to legal action - it can be protracted and stressful, and my view has always been that in the main life is too short. The decision to take action or not to take action is something only you can decide - you will never see anyone in this forum advising you to go to court.

On the evidence you've presented it seems pretty obvious to me that this machine didn't work when you tried to start it for the first time, and in that circumstance you are perfectly within your rights to look to the supplier to put matters right. Selecting items from a menu list of options published on a web site like the one in the link you've now provided does not, in my opinion constitute having a computer built to your specifications, any more than selecting alloy wheels and leather seats on your new BMW constitutes having the car built to your specifications, and that being the case you do, in my opinion have the right to cancel under the provisions of the distance selling regulations.

That's my opinion - the supplier may think otherwise, and as I've already stated, I'm not a legal adviser. This is something you must pursue as you think fit, and no doubt you or the supplier will update us in due course.

Any talk of an impending legal action will automatically prevent anyone from commenting further, however, so please bear that in mind. I hope that things don't reach that stage.

  MAJ 01:20 10 Jan 2008

Not wishing to get involved in your dispute and not sure whether FE will permit a post from someone not involved, but it seems clear, from what has been said, that the PC didn't work out of the box, which isn't right. However, Archroy99, you did remove the TV card and the wireless card, that wasn't right either.

It isn't clear from this thread (I haven't read the locked thread) whether the PC has been returned to PC Option, or not. If it hasn't been returned, how does The Muir, know that the cards were not re-fitted correctly? How does one fit a TV card and a wireless card, incorrectly?

A lesson for us all I think, if it doesn't work 'out of the box', don't fiddle with it, leave well alone, then there's no come-back from the supplier.

FE, if this post is inappropriate, please delete it, just a few things that sprang to mind when I was reading the thread.

  laurie53 07:39 10 Jan 2008

I think MAJ is right.

Once you start to to go inside, either the hardware or the installed OS, a whole new set of regulations apply.

  Archroy99 08:20 10 Jan 2008

The PC has not ben returned.It's sat in my front room in its box and has been for some time.I never would have removed the cards to try to resolve the problem normally,but I effectively had an £800 doorstop.I had a pc that I built myself in the past which had a problem that gave the same error message.It turned out to be one of the cards at fault.Removing it fixed the problem,so,wanting to be able to use the PC over Christmas,I attempted a repair.I don't see how doing this invalidates any of my consumer rights.I've built systems for myself before,but honestly had neither the time nor inclination to do another one.I wish I had now.I want a refund from PC Option and for them to arrange to collect their merchandise.If they had agreed to collect and repair the machine to begin with,rather than telling me to fix it myself,we would not be in this position.
I don't want to go to court over this.I've done it before and although I won,I'd rather not go through the hassle.I await PC Option's response with interest.

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

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