Thank goodness for PCA

  ssbrit 00:27 26 May 2003

I cant believe my luck! I had decided to finally replace my old PC and was seriously thinking about one of two options, Time Powerstation + with a fantastic spec for the price (£799.00 moniter not included)or the Mesh Matrix 2500+AIW which was awarded a Buy It icon in Computer Active issue 132, price £899.00.
I was leaning towards the Mesh system and have e- mailed them for more information.
Thank goodness I decided to read through some of the threads and PCA postings.
Can any of you guys recommend an Evesham system that will include a decent TV tuner card.
I am happy to spend up to £1000.00 and I would feel a lot more confident spending it with Evesham even if it means I end up with a lower spec machine.
Any feedback would be much appreciated.


  Sir Radfordin™ 10:21 26 May 2003

Why not read through all the threads and then you will realise that buying a computer from Mesh isn't such a bad idea.

Yes you may have problems but then you are just as likely to get them with Evesham or Dell or anyone else.

You've already worked out that a PC from Evesham will cost you more than one from Mesh but you will end up with a worse spec. Don't let things get out of proportion here, this is a site that people come to complain about things so you would expect to find the bluk of postings don't give much praise.

  graham√ 12:05 26 May 2003

I saw a hp pavilion in John Lewis with a TV tuner, you get a two year warranty there. Worth checking?

  RomQ 12:12 26 May 2003

"Yes you may have problems but then you are just as likely to get them with Evesham or Dell or anyone else" been challenged countless times before?

As the FE so rightly pointed out in a recent thread (click here), companies do differ in the way they respond to a problem. It isn't so much the likelihood of encountering a problem with a new computer in the first place (though build quality and standards of quality control differ too) but the speed and efficiency of the retailer in sorting it out that can vary enormously from one company to another.

Without singling out any particular firm mentioned in this thread, I would emphatically reiterate that companies are NOT all the same.

Some indication of how different PC companies compare can be seen here: click here

  Sir Radfordin™ 12:39 26 May 2003

Your right, companies do differ in how they sort out problems if they do occur. But that can vary within the same company.

Take Dell as an example. The impression I get is businesses get very good service, but home users don't. At work we buy Dell kit and have an account manager who will do everything he can to keep us happy - including a reduction of well over £1000 on a server costing £3000 just to keep our business. When we've had problems they've been resolved quickly, but home users don't always benefit in the same way. There is enough evidence of that on this forum alone.

Even Dell with their good customer service (but high costs!) still make you wait 80 seconds before you can do anything on their phone system. On the national rate number that they use thats no doubt earning them a reasonable fee.

Even a good comapany can have good employees who will do all they can and keep their word as well as bad ones who don't care what happens to the person on the other end of the phone. The way the customer speaks to the support staff can also play a big part.

  The Spires 20:36 26 May 2003

Another MESH/Time Bashing post I think, nothing wrong with either of those two companies.

  ssbrit 22:00 26 May 2003

I do understand that levels of service differ between companies, but I personally am not content to be left to the luck of the draw.
The outdated caveat 'buyer beware'still seems to apply when it comes to computer systems which means some of us need guidence and reassurance when making such a purchase, part of my guidence involved reading the postings on PCA which related to the two companies that I was proposing to hand my cash over too.
I found very little reassurance in the many postings and threads relating to Mesh & Time (a pity because they both offer very good deals)however I was pleased to find so many "positive" responses from people who had bought from Evesham,
It's true that these boards are rife with people who have their own axe to grind and will take any oppertunity to bash a company, Evesham also has its knockers but such postings were few and far between compared to the slating that Time are getting and to a lesser extent Mesh at the moment.
My decision to buy from Evesham instead of Mesh or Time was influenced by the postings in PCA consumer watch. Or am I missing somthing crucial ???????


  RomQ 22:08 26 May 2003

"But that can vary within the same company." I agree wholeheartedly.

I have been on both sides of the fence: as a consumer and as an employee of computer retailers (both large and small). As an employee I have seen the differences in the way customers are treated at first hand. Sometimes the treatment is affected by whether it's a business or private account, sometimes by the capability (or lack of capability) of the employee, sometimes (as you say) by the way the customer approaches them, sometimes by simply which side of the bed the employee got up on that morning.

Nevertheless, as I'm sure you agree, some companies do have a much better record overall. The best ones ensure that their staff are properly trained and behave professionally, capably and courteously at all times (no matter what side of the bed they got up on!) and problems do get sorted out faster and more smoothly. The best companies care deeply about their image and reputation. Sadly, others regard it as relatively unimportant. I have worked for good companies and I have worked for not-so-good companies - and I can say there is a vast difference between them.

Your point about the way in which customers speak to staff is absolutely true. But there are companies out there which respond abysmally no matter how you approach them.

  RomQ 23:05 26 May 2003

I don't think you're missing anything at all. Buying a computer is a large investment and you are perfectly right to be wary of who you buy it from.

It is a bit "caveat emptor" when choosing a firm. It seems you have wisely had the foresight to do a bit of homework, research the comments others have made and based your decision on that.

I think others were simply pointing out that all companies get a share of complaints - particularly on a dedicated forum such as this - and to remember to put things in perspective, taking into account such factors that larger firms or those that sell a lot to first-time buyers attract more complaints, etc., etc.

I'm afraid your own experiences, no matter who you buy from, will still depend on the "luck of the draw" to some extent but you will have greatly increased your chances of good service by careful research.

(Again, I must stress that I am talking only in general terms here and am not commenting on any company mentioned in this thread specifically.)

  Sir Radfordin™ 23:19 26 May 2003

Yes, largely agree and the points you make are all valid.

ssbrit, as for evesham then yes they may get less complaints on this site but I'd never use it as a yardstick for anything.

We looked at buying our kit (work) from Evesham and requested some samples to test and see what they were like. They sent two PC's to us. One wouldn't power on, even after I'd taken it to pieces and couldn't find anything wrong. The second had the wrong OS. Not a good start. They then sent an engineer out to replace the HD with the wrong OS with the correct version. He found out he'd been given the wrong OS again and so had to do a manual install. As we would've ended up buying 100+ PC's a year from them it wasn't exactly the best way to prove themselves.

Unfortunatly there doesn't seem to be one company who you can really trust to treat you as you deserve all the time.

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