PC World again

  ami 16:43 07 Mar 2011

Just before last Christmas my cousin bought an HP desktop computer from PC World.
It pretty soon started making an intermittant screetching sound which by referance to downloaded break-down sounds she identified as a sticking hard drive spindle.
PC World took the computer back in early January and returned it a week later with a ticket saying 'no parts replaced', and of course the screeting continued, getting worse every day.
Further complaint brought a technician to the house with a new hard drive, but no system disc to re-install Windows! Something he hadn't realised was needed.
After a further complaint the computer was collected for repair 3 weeks ago.
Having heard nothing since she rang last Friday and was told the computer had been written off and she was to go to the shop with the supplied referance number to collect a free replacement.
The shop categorically refused to replace the machine and after consulting their records said it had in fact been repaired, a new hard drive and OS had been installed and it would be returned today - that much was true, the rest not!
A ticket on the computer read once again 'repaired no parts replaced'. Switching it on prooved this to be corrct, an applling screetch from the hard drive worse than ever.
Buyer beware as they say, PC World it would seem are as bad as ever.

  Muergo 18:08 07 Mar 2011

I would never buy anything from DSG group, Dixons/Currys/PC World after all the bad experiences by myself and friends and relatives.

They consistently appear at the bottom of many surveys and have been taken to court frequently by Trading Standards as well as customers.

But beware, there is another one, viz; "Best Buy" appearing here from the USA and they have a similar reputation over there but have only just started here.

Just wait and see.

I have never had any problems buying from Amazon or John Lewis and will continue telling friends about them, and they are usually cheapest as well, taking into account customer service and extra guarantees free.

  birdface 21:43 07 Mar 2011

You get 1 years warranty with it not sure how long you have to have it for them to replace it.
The FE would be able to give you some advice as to what to do next.

  Forum Editor 23:20 07 Mar 2011

and was told the computer had been written off and she was to go to the shop with the supplied referance number to collect a free replacement."

That's the part to concentrate on. Your cousin was supplied with a reference code for a replacement computer. Presumably PC World hasn't denied that this code was issued, or that it isn't a valid one? Your cousin accepted the offer, but a PC World branch has refused to honour the agreement.

Please tell your cousin to write to:-

Customer Services Department
PC World
DSG Retail Ltd
Maylands Avenue
Hemel Hempstead

Telling them what happened in a clear and concise way. She should tell them that she has asked us for advice, and that I have suggested she write to them as she has received no satisfaction from the branch. Tell them that we'll be monitoring this case in our forum.

Under the terms of current consumer law your cousin is entitled to a repair or replacement if a fault develops within six months of the date of purchase. The law is perfectly clear that the supplier is liable in a case like this.

The letter should be sent by Special delivery - not recorded delivery.

Please update us as soon as your cousin hears anything in response, or if she receives no reply within 7 days of the date of her letter.

  Muergo 13:16 08 Mar 2011

I am sorry that the Forum Editor has it wrong again.

Under current consumer law not only should the goods be "Fit for purpose" but also that they should last for a "Reasonable time", which means there is no time limit on claims irrespective of what the guarantee/warranty says, the small print may be deemed "Unreasonable" so you need not be intimidated by that.

For all the definitive information on all of this I strongly urge you to subscribe to "Consumers Association" and not only will you find the accurate information as to where you stand, but if you need assistance they will take it up for you.

On several disputes I have had I only had to mention that I was referring it to CA via Which magazine than I have had an immediate resolution.

  ami 15:08 08 Mar 2011

Thank you all for your helpful comments and suggestions, I'll up-date this post as information becomes available, in the meantime I've passed your thoughts onto my cousin for her attention.

  Forum Editor 17:36 08 Mar 2011

I've been advising on Consumer law for over ten years, and I'm well aware of the provisions of the Sale of Goods Act.

My advice was based on the distance selling regulations however, and I have not got it wrong. This machine was purchased just before Christmas 2010, and is still well within the six month period that starts on the day of purchase. As I explained in my previous post, any fault that develops within those six months is deemed to have existed at the time of purchase, unless the retailer can demonstrate otherwise. The fault is considered to have been inherent, and the supplier must repair or replace the item.

Please try to understand a little more on the subject before making yourself look silly by accusing me of being "wrong again". We've been providing accurate information in this forum for a very long time, with a considerable degree of success.

The Consumer Association is an excellent organisation, and has a very good reputation; I wouldn't dream of deterring anyone who wishes to subscribe. They charge £9:75 a month for membership however, and our advice is completely free.

  Muergo 18:18 08 Mar 2011

I did not give wrong information at all, I was basing my assertion of your innacuracy was that you somehow you went down the route of saying there was a six month limit, I have not only been advising but taking court action as well.

The better course of action is the overriding "Sale of Goods Act" which is paramount over Distance Selling" which are regulations and not very well regulated at that.

I have pointed out to e-Bay that they still have sellers that flout the D.S.R. but all they do is to exclude them from the site under that name, they then pick another name and carry on.

As far as DSG is concerned they seem to have successfully strung along this customer until he becomes exasperated and gives up.

At the very beginning of their troubles they should have rejected the item and insisted on a refund on the grounds of notbeing of merchantable quality.

  Forum Editor 18:43 08 Mar 2011

I didn't say that you gave wrong information - you accused me of that.

Neither did I say there "was a six month limit". Please get your facts straight.

The Sale of Goods Act is not "Paramount" over the Distance selling regulations at all. The Distance Selling regulations have the force of law, and came into being because the Sale of Goods Act couldn't adequately deal with the special circumstances surrounding the purchase of goods via the telephone or the Internet.

The Distance Selling regulations are specifically designed to address the kind of situation that the thread originator finds him/herself in. The computer was purchased less than six months ago, a fault has developed, and the law (in the form of the DSR)provides a clear remedy.

You use the law that best applies to a set of circumstances, and in this case that means the DSR.

It's no earthly good saying what the thread originator should have done "At the very beginning of their troubles" - that doesn't help at all. We're dealing with things as they are now.

  ami 13:58 09 Mar 2011

An up-date on my cousin's tussle with PC World.
Monday she was told an engineer would come today to fit a new hard drive and re-install Windows for her.
This morning the engineer phoned to say he would be coming, but only to 'evaluate' the problem. On being reminded that a promise had been given that a new hard drive would be fitted she was told that PC World had no hard drives to fit, and that they had no Windows installation discs either.
She was told the earliest a hard drive could be fitted was next Saturday and that a Windows disc would take 2 to 3 weeks to obtain.
She has written to the address given by FE (thank you) and also emailed the Dixon's group CEO, so far with no response.
PC World's complaints phone line were polite but ultimatley un-helpful.

It's a pity my cousin isn't more forceful, she's too polite and well mannered for her own good and isn't into conflict, which she doesn't handle well, and is thus being taken advantage of.

I'll post further information as I get it.

  961 14:10 09 Mar 2011

For what it's worth having read similar threads over a long period of time I really don't think it matters how forceful you are, this organisation just doesn't seem to be set up for good customer service

One way forward may be to consider complaining to the credit card/Visa debit card company saying the goods are not fit for purpose if you paid in that way

Credit card complaints rely upon s75 of the consumer credit card for card items worth between £100 and £30,000

Visa debit card complaints depend upon "Chargeback" with payments of any amount

In each case ask to be referred to a higher official if you are told "You are not covered" by a branch or call centre clerk

But don't delay, there is a time limit for complaints usually measured from when you became aware of the problem

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

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