PC World "PC Performance" Cover

  Tilly Flop 16:21 04 Jun 2005

Like cactusjack I also have a problem with the PC World "PC Performance" cover regarding my Packard Bell IMEDIA 1324 computer I bought on 15/4/05. I was pursuaded to take out the PC Performance at £6.99 per month, but later decided to cancel the agreement as I felt any repairs should be covered with the warranty. I have since received a letter telling me that continuing the agreement "really does make sense" & "why run the risk of everyday mishaps". Worryingly the monthly amount has gone down to £4.99 so if I hadn't cancelled the agreement I'd have paid an extra £24.00 per year. It's made me question my decision to cancel the agreement which is no doubt what the letter was intended to do. Surely I'm covered for repairs under my warranty without having to pay out additional expenses?

I'm a newcomer to computers so any advise from all you experts would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you

  Dizzy Bob 16:35 04 Jun 2005

The £4.99 is for the tower unit. The additional £2.00 will be for the screen.

The PC Performance cover is banded, £4.99, £6.99, etc based on the price of the unit. Monitors are £2.00 per month unless the cost over a certain threshold then the cost moves to £2.99/month.

There are many varied opinions as to the value of in house extended warranties or service agreements.(which have been covered in the forum a few times), and you are correct in saying that the manufacturers warranty covers parts and labour in the first year (and possibly longer in some circumstances). you need to decide if the additional services (ie software support, access to in store clinic) are worth the monthly payments.

For an experienced user, software support may be needed only infrequently, but for a novice a 'helping hand' may be needed more often.

Weigh up the benefits vs the cost and make a decision based on YOUR needs, not necessarily on others opinions.

hope this helps,

Dizzy Bob

  Tilly Flop 19:19 04 Jun 2005

Many thanks Dizzy Bob for replying; the information you've given is very useful. I'll need to get my head together now & decide once & for all what I'm doing instead of dithering on the fence. I've already spent ages on the phone to PC Support thinking it was normal rate & got a shock when I realised it's premium rate - I'm dreading my phone bill. Now I send emails instead. Thanks again

  Arnie 16:38 05 Jun 2005

Buy the monitor separately and get a 3 year pick up and repair/swap out service.

Many of the big companies that supply computer/monitor packages, get their monitors cheaper, by cancelling the 3 year manufacturer's swap out warranty. I have argued this point with a number of sales staff at the well known outlets.

If you live in a town close to the monitor company's outlet as I, you can take the monitor in person to be repaired or exchanged. This is why I use 2 Iiyama monitors.

  Tilly Flop 21:47 05 Jun 2005

Arnie - I already have the monitor so that isn't an option. As I'm a beginner to computers I felt pressured by the salesman to take out the PC Performance & I honestly still feel that any queries I have can be obtained via email to PC Support. I have Windows Restore if I make a real blunder & also I have Norton GoBack which I got free with Norton Internet Security, but which I haven't as yet installed. The letter I've just received makes me sound irresponsible & that if I don't reinstate the agreement I will be doing my computer an injustice. I can't be a total numbskull as I set-up the computer & later a printer myself; plus connected to the Internet.

  spuds 22:38 05 Jun 2005

Tilly Flop--As you say, your computer is covered by warranty for at least twelve months, and this could extent to six years under consumer law.The first six months, will give you a stronger position, as any faults in that time are regarded as manufacturing faults from the time the product was built, unless the manufacturer or retailer can prove different.

PC World warranties can offer different things, and it is always best to check what you are being offered. A couple of years ago, PCW offered most, if not all, their monitor range with a twelve month warranty, the extra years were available by purchasing an extended warranty. You could perhaps purchase the same monitor from another source with a three year warranty, but this is how PCW gained extra money.

I had a similar PCW Performance cover, when PCW purchased a liquidated company and took over the previous warranties.In my case, I was given a 'free' yearly computer healthcare check.This was a simple check for virus and other minor items [something that everyone should do on a regular basis].

  Tilly Flop 23:00 05 Jun 2005

Thank you Spuds - you're all giving me such useful information. I don't really need PC Performance with you guys to help me. Perhaps I should save the money in a tin & buy you all a drink at Christmas.

Now I've said that all the replies will be in thick & fast no doubt.

  Arnie 00:51 06 Jun 2005

Tilly Flop.

I'm sorry if you misunderstood my intention. I do understand that you do not have the option to change the situation you are in. It was a general warning to anyone who may fall into the same position as yourself. Four years ago, I purchased my first Cruz computer as a package from a local company when I was 65 years old. At that time, I knew absolutely nothing about computing. The monitor was a Video 7, a Sampo clone I believe. I only got a one year warranty on the whole package. Luckily the monitor is still working perfectly, connected to a friend's computer.
Since I have now improved my computing skills, I have built two computers and rebuilt another two for friends.

As you say, you are certainly not a numbskull. I am sure that with the help of this forum and your ever increasing knowledge with time, you will be more than able to diagnose and swap any faulty parts yourself. Even if it costs a little more than the money you may save by excluding further warranty costs. Think of this as paying for gaining experience and skill.

A further note to all novices. Since computers are built in modular form, one does not need to reach for the soldering iron. Just the odd diagnostic check and one's eyes and ears, can sometimes reveal a faulty component. Just remember to make sure the computer is switched off at the mains before disconnecting leads etc.
Also remember to discharge any static imbalance between yourself and the computer, by touching the metal chassis of the computer case, or use a wrist strap.

  Q-Bie 10:45 06 Jun 2005

If you have a Packard Bell pc, don't install GoBack.. the way it locks the hard drives might not make it possible for you to restore the PC back to factory settings if you need to.

click here

  keithlik 10:58 06 Jun 2005

Too late for anyone who has already bought (forgive me) but it has never been easier to glean much information about suppliers and their customer service/warranties before taking the plunge. Read the reviews and recommendations in a couple of good PC mags and then before making the purchase check out help line charges and general warranty terms.
There are a few really good suppliers who are more than helpful if you approach them in a courteous manner. Many cases exist where they have exceeded their obligations. On the other hand there is plenty of information about dealers who have not been helpful so- spend a little time before purchase.

  Tilly Flop 21:02 06 Jun 2005

I was taken to various places that sold computers & I liked the one I bought; typical female I know (looks as opposed to what it can do). Anyway I love it ... I must confess I didn't think of looking in magazines for ratings.

Since I bought the computer I came across a newspaper article about a man who had taken a laptop back to PC World faulty. He was told his warranty didn't cover the repairs needed because he'd used it on his lap. THIS IS NOT A JOKE; I HAVE THE NEWSPAPER ARTICLE IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME. Anyway I began to question PC World after that which made me doubt the PC Performance.

Many thank for the advice on Norton GoBack; I clicked where it said (isn't that clever how that works ..) I'm not up to doing that yet unfortunately. Still waiting to hear about an online course I've registered for.

Symantec told me to disable System Restore as Norton GoBack has the added protection of user data files, but I didn't want to do that. I was going to install GoBack & use that for the instances where System Restore didn't cover. In fact I was going to do it tonight so you saved my bacon before I blundered. So far I've learned a lot by my mistakes, but it isn't the best way to learn. It's got me in a right old state.

I've come a long way since I first decided to buy a computer though - my sister told me I'd need a Firewall & it was only after I'd bought the computer I realised she didn't mean I'd have to have my room re-decorated. Go on guys fall off your chairs laughing, I don't mind. I'll save more laughs for another occasion. I think you all need some light relief!!!

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