PC World is stamping me down

  bob_hope 17:08 28 Apr 2005

Attn. Store Manager
Dear Sir,

I am not satisfied with the service of PC World store in Charlton. The engineers have been very good, but after 3 house calls the computer is still not working. Basically there are so many things wrong with the pc and according to the engineers the only way to find out is by a process of elimination.
Replacing the graphic card 3 times has not worked. So does replacing the motherboard. And then what else? The hard disks? or the computer chip?

The 28 days refund policy was not spelt out to me when I first bought the unit. It was a display unit and the last one in the shop. The shopkeeper insisted that it was ok, and had assured me it can be replaced or refunded if I don't like it anytime. It is also under one year warranty.

The unit has broken down so many times that I have lost a lot of data (despite my frequent backup), my works including professional drawings and documents, and lots of precious photos. Who is going to compensate for all these? The point is not whether I have backed up my data or not, the goods that they sold me should be not defective in the first place. Also, the computer is still down, what would you do to compensate for all these downtimes and loss of production?

It is not a question of whether the faults were detected within 28 days or 2 months. For a start, I did notice the "hang up" problem on the first day, but computer nowadays has a self repairing function. I do not believe 2 months were too long to justify a replacement or refund.

I wonder why they cannot review the situation critically to avoid serious damage to customer and vendor relationship. Would they want a satisfied customer who can proudly show off their brand, thereby attracting more businesses, or would they rather have a lawsuit?
Johnny Lee

  Forum Editor 19:30 28 Apr 2005

into order.

1. When did you buy the computer?

2. You say that you noticed the 'hang up' problem on the first day - what exactly is this problem, and under what circumstances does it happen?

3. When did the engineers make their first visit, and who were they from?

4. What's all this about a 28 day refund policy - where did that information come from?

5. What do you mean by "computer nowadays has a self repairing function"?

6. What make of PC are we dealing with here?

7. Have you at any point written to PC World about the problem(s), and if so, did you get any response?

Protecting your personal data is your responsibility, and I think you must give up any thoughts of compensation for loss of that. If you have critical information and/or images on your machine it is only commonsense to back up to CDs or some other external media, PC World are not liable to you for loss of data.

You're protected against a faulty computer by consumer legislation, but in order to be able to advise you specifically we need answers to the questions I've asked.

  bob_hope 20:23 28 Apr 2005

1. I bought the computer on 30th Jan 2005.

2. The system hung up on a first boot, with the following message:
"A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer. The problem seems to be caused by the following file: ati2dvag
If this is the first time you've seen this stop error screen, restart your computer. If this creen appears again, follow these steps:
The device driver got stuck in an infinite loop. This usually indicates problem with the device itself or with the device driver programming the hardware incorrectly.
Please check with your hardware device vendor for any driver updates.
Technical information: )_x))))))EA(.......(a bunch of numbers)
Beginning dump of physical memory...Contact your system administrator or technical support..."

On second boot sometimes it worked sometimes it didn't. And then I used it for a while and it seemed to be ok. I didn't use it intensively because I was preparing for a trip abroad. After I come back a month later, the problem resurfaced again. At one time, esp. after a session of DVD movie,say, the computer completely hangs up and I had to shut if down by pulling the plug.
The last time it happened, I couldn;t boot up the machine anymore. Repeatly turning on and off resulted in a fault message saying my partition was corrupt, and so I had to do a complete recovery. I took it to the shop and asked for a refund, but the technician at the shop said it was all a matter of the device driver being out of date (I wouldn't call 2004 out of date!) But he did install a new device driver and tested the video card by running some games, (the card is Radeon X600 pro) and it seemed to be ok. He told me to back up my data all the time, but refused to acknowlege the problem of the corrupt partition, and so has refused to refund or replace my unit.

3.The enginner made his first visit to my home on
21st April 2005 to replace the graphic card, after I had complained to the technical support that it had broken down again. I then used it for the following weekend, but the computer crashed again. So the engineer came again on 26 April this time replacing the motherboard and the graphic again, after I informed the technical support that on pressing F1 on boot up, the CIMOS description for the 2nd hard disk seemed to have changed its name to BzBzBzBz....instead of the normal combination of letters and numbers, the two hard disks should be identical in name. Also the advisor instructed over the phone to me to carry out some tests, including chkdsk.exe on C drive and D drive. It didn't work on the 2nd disk. Anyway, after the enginner replaced the moterboard and graphic card, the machine now makes a whinning noise on boot up and there was nothing. The engineer admitted that there was a problem with the hard disks and partitions. He said that the bracket holding the fan needs to be replaced, otherwise the machine cannot even boot up, and because he did not have the kit, he needed to come back. The next visit is due this Friday. He said he would take it back to the shop and repair it, and return it to my home later. The engineer came from pcservicecall, the contact was made through pc world first of all.

4. One of the arguments put forward from the store people is that I have forfeited the right of refund because it is beyond 28 days as their standard policy. I don't recall having been told I must return the goods in 28 days in order to get a refund. The fault in the beginning does not at first appear to be terminal. Windows XP has a self healing function which is supposed to effect minor repairs such as a configuration conflict. In any case, a scan disk did not detect any problems at all.

5. see 4 above.

6. It is Advent T9302.

7. I have written to them on numerous occassions via emails and the responses were that they would send an engineer to us and repair the system. They did say though that after 28 days of repair and if the computer still does nto function, they would then contact the store and recommend a refund or replacement But how do you define a full repair? What happens if it breaks down again 1 or 2 months down the line? Should so many things fail in a brand new system first of all?

Johnny Lee

  Aspman 10:43 29 Apr 2005

Fron reading your post the initial problem sounds more like a problem with the display driver software. Changing the card without reinstalling the software would not solve this problem. the new card would simply try to use the same corrupted software and fail.

DON'T SWITCH OFF THE POWER AT THE WALL. Not unless it's an absolute last resort. Hold the power button in on the front of the machine for 5-10 seconds and the machine should shutdown. Pulling the power can cause voltage spikes through the system cooking componants and the read heads on the hard drive will crash.

Have your tried to disconnect the seconf hard drive. A faulty hard drive can stop a pc booting.

"bracket holding the fan needs to be replaced", I can't see how that would stop the machine from booting unless the fan was a CPU fan and it was no longer blowing on the cpu. The CPU would overheat and shutdown. A non-running fan would probably set off an alarm in the bios (beeping) and the machine wouldn't start.

Pop the case open and have a look, see where the fans are.
Sounds like the 'Engineer' is passing a little BS around about that one.

Windows Self Healing - Sorry no. It will occationally try to fix a fault after a crash but usually not much happens. You are possibly thinking of the System Restore wich takes snapshots of the systems which you can restore later. You need to have this switched on and one working snapshot before you can use this. I don't think this would solve your problem.

Give them another chance to repair the machine properly in good time. I would also phone trading standards to take advice where you stand with regards to refunds/replacements.

  slowtype 20:49 29 Apr 2005

I bought an Advent T9000 in August last year, just recently it started making strange noises and after many phonecalls to the "excellent" PC servicecall 3 engineer visits and 28 days without a PC I rang PC servicecall to say that the computer still wasn't working. He told me to take it to PC world for a replacement.

PC World swapped it without any hassle and I now have a T9003.

Try ringing Trading Standards, they are very helpful about explaining your rights. Also don't let PC world tell you that its not their problem. They sold you the computer and unless there is a note on your receipt or on paper signed by yourself and PC World then you are in the right.

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