PC Spec Different to Display Item!

  TimC 23:40 12 Apr 2004

Hi - I would be interested in the collective views on this.

Last Thursday my mother sent me on an errand to get a new PC base unit, as her old laptop had expired. No joy in Lincoln's PC World, however Comet had a choice of two. Both had identical spec's and were the same price - so the decision was made on brand preference.

When I unboxed the PC, I discovered that there was no integral card reader, whereas I was sure the display PC did have one, as did my young daughter who accompanied me. Foolishly I rang Comet, and was eventually put through to the store, and asked whether the display PC had a card reader - to be advised no it didn't. Oh well, it wasn't crucial and I thought I must have confused myself due to looking at all those PCs!

Next day, I ended up in PC World for a set of speakers so popped into the neighbouring Comet to see if I was going mad?! Lo and behold, the display PC had been removed. Now this was an item which when I asked whether they had any in stock there was no need to check the stock computer, it was a "Yes" straight away - so why remove the stock item. Now, I'm starting to get suspicious!

On returning home, with this still nagging at me, I check the Comet web site - well what a shock, they have the PC on-line, same price, enlarge the image and it has a card-reader.

So, is it worth following up - what really annoys me is the principle, I suspect I was lied to. The card reader is not that important, my mother had a USB one on her old machine, and it is more accessible with how the PC is set up. I'm tempted to see what my local Comet is displaying.

So, finally, my question is, is it worth following up? If so, to what end? I don't appreciate being misled, and am prepared to take action on principle! Thanks in anticipation.

  Forum Editor 00:28 13 Apr 2004

is a very sensible question, and I can see why you ask.

On the one hand I sympathise with your sense of having been deprived of something, yet on the other hand I sense your feeling that there may be a rocky road ahead. That isn't to say I'm advising against any action - merely that my experience tells me it might prove difficult.

'Caveat emptor' is an oft-used phrase, but it does have great relevance in some situations, and this is one of them. The law takes the view that it's every sensible person's duty to make sure that what he/she is buying is what he/she wants, and to exercise common sense when approaching a buying situation. It sounds as if you did that - you certainly remember seeing the card reader in the display machine, and presumably you knew what other components/software would be included in the purchase price. In such a case you would be said to have 'relied' on the description of the machine when making the purchasing decision, and the computer would be 'not as described' if the specification was changed in any material way.

The problem comes when you subsequently try to prove that the display description was as you say - especially when it's been removed. It's now your word against the store's, and that's why I sounded a note of caution above - they've already told you that the display model didn't have a card reader. It's now your word against theirs, and that's never a happy situation. The online machine image is interesting, and I would certainly mention it, but it's that in-store display machine that is the clincher.

In the final analysis you have three choices as I see it:

1. Contact Comet and say that the computer isn't the same as the one on the display (the one on which you based your decision to purchase), and ask for one with a card reader.

2. Tell them that the computer isn't as described and you want a full refund.

3. Do nothing.

It sounds as if you don't intend to settle for option 3. and I imagine you'll be on the phone tomorrow.

  Phil930 03:43 13 Apr 2004

The road may be long and rocky but this is almost theft. You have not received what you thought you were going to and should follow up otherwise things like this will continue and the consumer will lose all power in England. I live in America now and the market is completely consumer driven. This would simply not be tolorated.

Make some comparisons. If you were to buy a car and told it came with Air Conditioning or a CD Player and when you got the car it was not there what would you do. To me the principle is the same and therefore i would follow up.

Good Luck and power to the consumer!!

  accord 06:56 13 Apr 2004


This is certainly not theft as it wasnt there in the first place to steal.


Take a print out of the PC on the website and see the store manager in the comet store in question. Explain in such a manner as to not ruffle their feathers and you should get what you want, if you go in with all guns blazing then expect to be treated in the same way and come away with nothing.

My partner works for comet and the manager at the store where she works is an amicable guy, who im sure would see this through to a satisfactory end if it were purchased in her store.

  Forum Editor 07:06 13 Apr 2004

for none has occurred. The consumer has plenty of power in the UK, and in fact many people say that European consumer legislation leads the world.

Good, commonsense advice from accord - I'm sure that being calm and pleasant beats being aggressive every time.

  accord 07:23 13 Apr 2004

I have just looked on the comet website and under the pc base unit section there are photos of product with card readers shown but not mentioned in the description. Card readers are shown and mentioned in the higher specd models. From that, it would suggest that they use generic photos. Obviously, this is not the case if bought in the store.

However, your issue could be a result of the sales advisor simply picking up the wrong box in the warehouse.

  simonp1 07:41 13 Apr 2004

Personally. i would just walk away and be happy that my Pc works and all is well.

The web site offers seem pointless as you brought from the shop. The shop PC has gone so you cant really prove your argument. I totally understand your point, but your not 100% sure what was in the offer you got from Comet.

  Inky 12:14 13 Apr 2004

The PC market seems riddled with this kind of misleading marketing. To say that generic pictures have to be used is nonsense for a web site. A digital picture can be taken and posted in minutes if it was in the manufacturers interest.

I share your sense of of injustice. Too many combi-drive machines are advertised with a picture of two drives, and PCs that are a base unit only pictured with a monitor, CRT machines pictured with a TFT to name 3 crimes off the top of my head. I recently bought a new PC and found plenty of examples of online and printed advertising being akin to smoke and mirrors. Bottom line is they get away with it.

  accord 12:35 13 Apr 2004


Dont you think that we should wait until TimC reports back as to what the store has to say before painting comet with the same brush as the company you are referring to (although not named)in your thread above. This could just be a simple mistake.

BTW: The only connection I have with Comet is that my partner works there.

  arricarry 13:34 13 Apr 2004

Hello - Before I start I would just like to say that I have no particular "axe to grind," and just report my observations as they occur. I went into my local Comet to look at VCRs as I wanted to get a cheap player to input tapes to my PC. Looking at a row of models I noticed that none of them was described as having any SCART sockets on the small white ticket stuck on the shelf. In fact they were described as SCARTS 0, when you looked on the back they all had 2 SCART sockets. I asked an assistant why the discrepancy and was told,"You don't want to take any notice of what is written down there."

  Phil930 18:35 13 Apr 2004

sorry for the lose use of the word 'theft'. i did not mean it in a literal sense. lets say this is more like 'daylight robbery'.

In other words i am disgraced by the behaviour of the store and feel they know what they have done.

If it were me i would not tolerate this kind of thing.

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

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Honor 9 Lite review

How Social Media has Propelled Political Graphic Design and Art in the Last Decade

The best kids apps for iPhone & iPad 2018

HomePod d’Apple : date de sortie, prix et fiche technique