Sallymos 11:17 16 Jan 2008


Recently my Windows XP MCE, which is only just 20 months old, developed a fault and the hard drive died. So PC World came and replaced the hard drive at a cost of about £150. (By the way the monitor, purchased at the same time from them, had also recently died).

After spending a lot of time re-entering things I had lost a message popped up reminding me of birthdays - nothing to do with me! So on looking further it seems that a person called Ron has all his details on my 'new' hard drive including; his personal diary, his personal bank statement details (though not thankfully bank account no., etc, etc. (We have not delved too deeply - just to find his address or telepnone no.)

We are about to contact PC World about this and try and contact 'Ron' to tell him - I expect him to be furious as some personal things of his are now on my PC.

I write this as in other posts on this site I see some people are saying that it is virtually impossible for this to happen, so I thought I'd tell you my story.

If anyone would like to inform me of my rights in this case, in case PC World just try and say 'it's one of those things' I would be most grateful.


  gardener 12:35 16 Jan 2008

PC World have been caught doing this before. PC Advisor magazine reported a few incidents some time ago I seem to remember. It seems they (PC World) haven't learned the lesson.
£150 to change a hard drive seems a bit steep!

  iscanut 12:40 16 Jan 2008

Your local Trading Standards office would be interested and I suf=ggest you have a word with them.. It is not good enough.

  Sallymos 14:15 16 Jan 2008

Thanks Gardener and Nuts for your advice.

We have rang PC W

  Sallymos 14:22 16 Jan 2008

Thanks Gardener and Nuts.

We have rung PC World and are waiting them to ring back. We contacted Trading Standards who advised us to put everything in writing to PC World, which we will do. They also said to contact the Information Commission, which we have done who said any action would have to come from 'Ron'.

Our problem is, if we let PC World take the hard drive there will be no proof of any problem, we could take samples of data for proof if that was enough.

Also, would you want to be told that someone else has all your very personal stuff on their PC? I think yes, but I would like to know what anyone else thinks.


  Pamy 14:39 16 Jan 2008

More to the point, what do you think about having a second hand HDD installed in your computer for £150

  Sallymos 14:54 16 Jan 2008

Not very happy Pamy.

We have been offered £40. compensation and they wanted to come and 'fix' it today!

We said we were pondering what to do and mentioned Trading Standards and the Information Commission.

They said the 'Tech Guy' could have accidentally installed a hard drive he had just taken from another job. We live in Cumbria, 'Ron' lives in Surrey!

  gardener 14:58 16 Jan 2008

Installing a new hard drive isn't difficult, it's just a matter of unplugging the old drive taking out the retaining screws and putting the new one in using the reverse of the above procedure. You just have to take precautions against static electricty by using an anti-static wristband.If you needed detailed instructions I'm sure a forum member could guide you through it.

Large capacity hard drives can be had for around £50.

You could then keep the old drive and give it to 'Ron' as evidence.

  gardener 15:08 16 Jan 2008

Here's the link to the PC Advisor story, you may find it interesting:

click here

  Sallymos 15:40 16 Jan 2008

Thank you Gardener for the link. They're still doing it then!

If we did what you suggest we'd be even more out of pocket but thanks anyway.

Would you want to know about it?

  gardener 15:50 16 Jan 2008

Yes I would want to know, I think it's bordering on criminal that a company thinks so little of their customer's privacy.

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