watford electronics, consumer advice

  madbull 11:27 13 Oct 2006

Bit of a long story this, i bought a PC from savastore (waford electronics) last november, had a few problems with delivery they said it would take 5 days max and it took 5 weeks but it did arrive and seemed to run fine, except a minor problem with the temperature of the harddrive and the RAM wasn't being reported properly inside windows, it was fine in the BIOS though so i left it.

Part of the reason i bought the PC was to play civ4, i made sure the PC exceded the recommended specs for the game. From the start every time i tried to play the game the PC would eventually to a hard reboot with a BSOD message of "nv4disp.dll stuck in an infinite loop". Checking on the internet i eventually found that this problem can be caused by the PSU.

So about 2 months ago i went out bought a new power supply and graphics card and swapped out the old components and put in the new ones. In the process of doing this i found out that the intake fan, which is positioned to blow air over the harddrive, had never been connected up so i plugged it in.

The result of upgrading these components and plugging in the bits they forgot to connect is my PC now works perfectly and plays civ4 without a hitch for the first time in a year. In the process I invalitated a 5 year warranty in order to get the PC running in the way it was meant to.

As far as i can tell the PSU they supplied me with simply wasn't capable of running the original PC with a full load.

To put this in perspective I had a 2nd problem with the PC the other week i used the recovery CD to do a complete reinstall of XP and it failed.

I eventually phoned up the watford tech support line who went through the things i knew how to do and eventually moved into an area i had no clue on. The final solution they came up with was to remove the BIOS battery and then reset the BIOS to its initial defaults. after that i was able to restart the recovery process and get the PC working again. couldn't have done it withou them.

So do i demand compensation for them supplying me with sub standard goods or do i thank them for fixing a problem i couldn't fix myself ;)

  spuds 12:03 13 Oct 2006

I think that you have left it a bit late for demanding compensation. When you approached their customer support, you was given advice satisfactory to the problem in hand. Perhaps if you had approached Watford, when you had the original problems, instead of taking the matter into your own hands,then this question that you have raised, need not have been required.

Do they know that you may have invalidated the warranty. Some companies, allow the customer to upgrade, and only invalidate the warranty on the parts the customer as fitted and supplied.

  utdred 13:13 13 Oct 2006

Speaking of warranties, whats the general opinion on extended warranties? im not a fan myself! however, such are the state of many support lines by phone or email, I am in the position where I may be swayed by a decent warranty pitch.

utd red

  madbull 14:13 13 Oct 2006

There a sticker on the back of my PC which says
"warranty void if removed" its now torn in half from me replacing components. On the other hand when i phoned the tech support line the other week they had me go into the case and remove the BIOS battery which also involved taking out the graphics card, which is why i'm curious to know where i stand now. As the insturctions i was given would have invalidated the warranty anyways;)

With regards to the PSU problem, when my PC initially failed to show up in the 2 to 5 days as advertised last November i e-mailed them, still haven't had a reply 11 months later ;) I also tried to phone using the custumer support numbers from the website, i ended up being put through to a fax machine from the sound on the end of the line. The only time i have had a response fom the company was when i phoned the tech suppprt line on an 0871 number which i payed for.

I assumed it was the game, civ4, that was causing the PC to crash, so i waited for patches to the game to fix the problem. 2 patches and 6 months later the same problem kept on occuring. I started looking elsewhere for a solution and finally found a post on the nvidea forums about an infinite loop error with the nforce4 chipset, which apparently is caused by an underpowered PSU. I replaced the PSU and no more problems, i'm not certain that the PSU was underpowered for the system but i am fairly sure is was a hardware problem rather than software.

The thing is the company is still selling the same PC today with the same components and specs, if it was a poor PSU fine these things happen, if the PSU is simply underpowered for the system they are selling than a lot of other people will have similar instability problems when the PC runs under load.

The ironic thing is their free customer service support is so poor that i can't tell them this, as i always seem to end up dialing through to recorded messages or the fax machine ;)

  utdred 14:19 13 Oct 2006

True, each time you hear of modding of laptops or pc's you tend to hear that manufacturers warranties become void?? Does this mean if you bought the computer on the beleif that you would recieve strong support backed with a warranty, that you cannot upgrade the computer yourself in the future?

If so, i shall not purchase a warranty, as I am likely to want to upgrade......

  def90csw 16:09 13 Oct 2006

Bought from savastore (waford electronics) 3 years ago and service was so poor have not been back. Novatech get my account instead.

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