deciding factor : cost versus customer support

  Cal 17:54 24 Oct 2004

I am about to purchase my first notebook and have done the usual amount of investigating and deliberating in to the subject that any other careful purchaser might do.

Please correct me if I'm wrong but it does appear difficult to get the best of both worlds when it comes to value for money and satisfactory customer support.
These two factors don't seem to appear together very often when you read other peoples reviews and comments.

Although I'm just stepping into the notebook market for the first time I have owned several desktops over the years, the current one being an Evesham.
I really can't complain about this company as in my experience their customer support is first rate.
However at the time of that purchase, there were cheaper, more powerful and more generously specified machines than mine, it was the rating of customer support (of which has been used on several urgent occasions) that swayed me aswell as the top 5 PCA rating (of course).

There are some fantastic deals over at Dell at the moment - £150 off list price, free 1gb ram upgrade, free extended warranty, free delivery etc and a similar specced machine from Evesham does seem to be about £200 more expensive.

I'm sure there are many satisfied Dell customers out there who have not let their feelings be known on the likes of this forum but some of the horror stories coming from unsatisfied ones leave you wondering whether this is the only reason why Dell's prices appear so cheaper at the moment.
Good value for money but poor customer service.
Is it not worth paying more for peace of mind?
I think it is.

Thats why although its costing me more than I originally wanted to spend, it is the Evesham and not the Dell that will probably get my order.
I know there are other manufacturers out there who can probably forfil my requirements but it makes sense to me that if you are comfortable with something then stick with what you know.

I'll probably get replies now telling me about the awful level of support that people have received from Evesham but l'll be interested to hear anyones views on the cost versus customer support situation.

  spuds 18:57 24 Oct 2004

"Is it not worth paying more for peace of mind?".Those words seem to ring something of a miracle, but at the end of the day, do you really have peace of mind. Yes if all goe's well, but no if all goe's the problem way, and the reliable fully recommended computer producer doesn't respond to your requests.

I purchased one of those titled Peace of Mind warranties, which added a further third of the price onto the computer system purchase.When things began to go wrong, I and many others were left in the wilderness.The only thing that saved the day was the Consumer Credit Act.

So going back on the original title, purchase from a recommended source who offers and gives a good support service,without the expensive telephone call centre premium charges. Make sure that you fully understand the warranty/guarantee, and pay by credit card or a computer finance deal, that is covered by the relevant Act.Then you should have peace of mind, and perhaps the bargain buy.

  Cal 19:06 24 Oct 2004


Yes wise words and I agree with your point of view.
There does appear to be a gamble of sorts involved in these situations but I do think that there is also an element of 'better the devil you know' which is why after a lot of research I decided to just stick with Evesham.

By the way, to which company are your experiences referring to?


  spuds 20:49 24 Oct 2004


Tempo Electrical Superstores was the company that left many people including myself in a vast mess with their titled Peace of Mind warranty. At the point of sales everything was promised, but in actual fact nothing materalised.It was only the Consumer Credit Act that saved the day, when the finance provider eventually agreed to pay for a new computer.

Your selection of a Evesham seems a very good move, better the devil you know than the devil you don't, as the saying goe's.

  Forum Editor 21:49 24 Oct 2004

over the life of this forum it's that people's individual reasons for selecting a supplier are as varied as the suppliers themselves.

In the end you make a judgment based on a very personal set of criteria, and it's probably the best way. You'll always have someone telling you that they had a bad experience with this or that company, and then someone else will say they've never had a problem, and it's sometimes very difficult to know what weight to attach to these opinions.

"Better the devil you know" is one way of putting it, and whe all is said and done it's not a bad method.

  Belatucadrus 21:55 24 Oct 2004

I remember buying an end of line clearance mini Hi Fi, from Tempo. I rejected the offer of extended warranty pointing out that as it was end of line, their claim to "Replace with an identical item" had a few logistical difficulties. It was only after they folded that I found out their warranties issued at that time weren't underwritten and were absolutely worthless.

  Cal 22:36 24 Oct 2004

Yes I think that after researching something like this its only then you realsie just how diverse peoples opinions actually are.

But as you say its a personal decision at the end of the day and one which you would hope that common sense prevails.

I've probably tempted fate now I've raved about Evesham but for the time being I'm more than happy sticking to what I know.

For your information I'm probably going for the Voyager XT PM17.


  Starfox 23:59 24 Oct 2004

Think you've answered your own question there,if you were impressed by Evesham then stick with them.BUT on the other hand you say you have owned several desktop pc's so you should have enough experience to ask yourself if you really do need that extra customer support anyway,you could save yourself quite a tidy sum without it.

Just a thought.


  Cal 09:49 25 Oct 2004

A fair point and yes I suppose you're right in saying that perhaps experience should play a part in how comfortable you feel with your own ability in addressing certain customer support realted issues yourself.

I guess I'm like many other people though in my situation in that by running your own business can prevent you from devoting the amount of time that it may take to solve more involved problems.

From my past experience with Evesham though I know that I can rely on them to sort out anything that is beyond me or something more time consuming which I may simply not have time to address myself.

I suppose there is a big difference between those who use their PCs for leisure and those like me who rely on them for business use - I simply cannot afford to waste time with unanswered telephone calls and e-mails which, from my research, seems to be all too evident when it comes to many other companies.


  Stuartli 10:00 25 Oct 2004

The simple fact is that highly competitive prices and top quality after sales service are incompatible - no business could survive on such a basis these days.

  Cal 10:13 25 Oct 2004

My thoughts exactly.

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