PC retailers avoiding their responsibilities

  nookingfackered 22:59 22 Nov 2007

I own small independent computer repair shop and have noticed an increase customers coming through my door after being fobbed off by .... well lets say large chain stores who should know better, when trying to get repairs done under warranty.
The most recent was a poor customer who had a hard drive in thier laptop that was reporting more and more bad sectors on every boot-up and only managed to get to the POST screen in around 1 in 10 power-ups before powering down. The response from the retailer was if they had bought their extended warranty they would have simply given her a new one straight off the shelf. they even dragged her around the store to show her the actions of getting a replacement off the shelf. Ffter the ultimately took said laptop in for repair they then spent 3 weeks only to announce that since the hard drive still worked and that the laptop would still power up from time to time that no repairs were required. they then charged her £60 for a healthcheck before returning the laptop. to cut a long story short there was a few more weeks of to'ing anf fro'ing until the customer was totally fed up and asked me to replace the HDD regardless of cost. we wern't happy with this and have contacted the manufacturer directly who, on the same day, had the laptop collected from us for the work to be carried out.
Any way the purpose of this thread is I would like to hear of other similar occurances as someone needs to take action

many thanks for reading and happy christmas

  jakimo 02:17 23 Nov 2007

If I were you I would let sleeping dogs lie,as such poor service by others can only bring you new business

  Faser 06:17 23 Nov 2007

The above is an appalling story, I'm not a violent person but I would have thrown the the b****d through his own shop window!

However satisfying it would certainly end up in court and I would advise either of the following courses of action:-

If you have a genuine claim and are getting nowhere wait until the store is very busy and and demand in a loud voice that the problem be solved, refuse to be fobbed off or moved on and tell everyone around what your beef is. Keep it up; stores hate this but remember no shouting and do not be abusive, don't break the law just keep demanding your rights. I have seen this done in a London department store with great affect.

The other more "British" way is to use the law, consumer rights are quite clear and government sponsored Consumer Direct is a brilliant free service click here They have on-line advise and complaints templates. If you need further help you can talk to one of their excellent advisor's who can provide further backup if needed.

  crosstrainer 06:59 23 Nov 2007

Get people in similar situations contacting me. My advice is to explain to them the proper way of making a coherent complaint. I find that if all else fails, a letter to the Managing Director or Shop manager marked "Strictly private and confidential" (avoids secretary binning communication) and explaining the situation often results in a positive outcome. I vary rarely undertake work on machines which are under warranty from other manufacturers.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 08:24 23 Nov 2007

Of course it always help to forget how many people take back, demand and get refunds for laptops and computers that have had a drink poured over them or equipment that has been broken by the user, taken back with the claim that it is not 'working'. There are thousands people that get successful refunds and good service and it pays to be a little more realistic sometimes. Attitude and clear, concise explanations work wonders when returning goods.


  interzone55 13:26 23 Nov 2007

Many people confuse staff attitude & company policy.

A company may have the best customer service policy in the world, but there only needs to be one numskull on the Customer Service desk and with the best will in the world you are not going to get good service in that store.

Some tips on getting good service.

Don't shop on a Sunday, very few weekend staff are full time, they're mostly temps / students. Sundays are worse than Saturdays.

Don't shop late nights - see above

Don't shop within 30 minutes of closing time, even the best staff are flagging by closing time.

If you do need to use customer service, always remain calm, don't shout, never ever swear, stick to the truth, if you exaggerate your problems you may trip yourself up. If you have to write to HO, don't just send your letter to the MD, they'll never read it, try some other directors - marketing director might be a good choice.

Use the Say No To 0870 website to find local rate numbers for premium rate lines.

If you need to resort to court action, a good book to get from your library is click here
I used this book to guide me through a court action against GMAC (General Motor's finance wing).

  Forum Editor 18:10 23 Nov 2007

Well surely the only action anyone can take if this happens is simply to decide on another retailer in future.

The retail market is a free market, people shop where they like, and the very worst thing that could happen is for some kind of official interference in the right of individuals to make choices. If your shop provides a better service, or cheaper prices than others it will prosper - the word will spread. That's how retailing works.

I've had some great service from small, independent retailers, and I've had some appalling service from them. Similarly I've had superb and disgraceful service from big retailers. Generalising on the subject of customer service is always a very foolish thing to do, which is why I'm always so picky about not allowing threads which seek to encourage other people to boycott a particular supplier, just because the person posting the complaint had one bad experience.

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

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