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I bought my current computer from PC World, and yes, I did get very good value overall but the staff seem to leave an awful lot to be desired!
Let me explain! Before hubby and I set off, we did a quick reckoning of our finances and realised we would be looking for a good value computer, with reasonable specs at a cost of no more than £1000. PC World was recommended to us by a friend as having some of the best deals at the time, and being just a mile or so away, we decided to take a look.
We were impressed with the layout when we first arrived, nice big signs pointed out the various departments and the store was very spacious with plenty of room to browse. We had only been inside their doors for a minute or two before the first salesman pounced! We explained we wanted to have a good look at the PC systems on offer and would give him a call when we were ready. This chap was tenacious though, and insisted on ‘helping’ us to make the right choice. I explained our budget, and that I wanted a good all round PC preferably to include printer, scanner and digital camera, and preferably a DVD drive as part of the deal. ‘No problem at all madam’, he beamed as he led us straight to the Desktops averaging £3000 in price! I left hubby to try to explain to the over keen salesman exactly what it was we were after, and headed off myself to check out the budget section of Desktop PCs.
I found what I wanted immediately, a good fast model, complete with DVD drive, lots of RAM and good processor speed offered at a price of £699. The only problem being was that there were no other hardware items included although plenty of pre-installed software. Leaving Mark to ward off the ever vigilant (!) salesman, I checked out some of the others, and noticed that most had a basic price and then if you paid £200 extra, you could opt for a special package to include basic but adequate scanner, digital camera and colour printer. Excellent, thought I, just the job, making a total price of £895, well within the budget we’d allowed ourselves!
At that point, another ‘very helpful’ sales assistant had spotted me and had zoomed in to check out his latest prey. I explained exactly what I wanted, only to be told that the £200 hardware package wasn’t available with the PC Model I had specified. Somewhat puzzled, I asked why, after all, it was offered with every other computer! He wouldn’t be drawn, just insisted it wasn’t available and that was that! He then proceeded to try and drag me off to the £3000 + section, again!
Shortly afterwards, we realised we were getting nowhere and left, intending to check out other local computer stores in the hopes of finding a similar system at a similar price. We lucked out, Time were very helpful but very apologetic as they weren’t able to offer a similar deal including all the options and hardware I wanted. Curry’s had very little of interest within our price range and we did wonder whether we might have to travel further afield. Disappointed, we returned home and I sulked for a bit.
Next morning, Mark decided we’d have another go at PC World and ask to see the manager, to see whether the store had any discretion over their value hardware packages. With renewed vigour and enthusiasm, I agreed this was a good idea and we headed back there.
Again, we hardly had time to draw breath after entering the store before yet another enthusiastic beaming salesman collared us. I asked if we could see somebody ‘in charge’; he looked crestfallen and begged to be given the chance to help. We showed him the system we wanted, explained we wanted to add the hardware package at £200 extra and had been told it wasn’t possible with this particular model. He looked surprised and announced that the package was available with any system we chose! To say that my flabber was well and truly gasted is putting it mildly! Mark was livid, we had wasted three hours trekking round other stores the day before only to be told the very next day that our original choice had always been available!! Muttering under his breath, hubby agreed to be led to ‘somewhere quiet’ to complete the relevant paperwork.
Battle number two commenced. Happy Larry (our salesman) was insisting we needed PC World’s own computer insurance and I don’t think was prepared to let us out of the store alive until we’d agreed! Pushy is not the word; I wouldn’t have been surprised at that stage if he’d pulled out a gun on us or threatened to dismember ever member of my family!! After a very heated debate, he finally offered us a big discount on the insurance that would keep the total price under the £1000 limit we had set ourselves.
So, finally, I had the system I wanted, at a price that was good value with the added ‘benefit’ of insurance on top. Even better, we could take our system home with us right there and then, rather than waiting to have it delivered, which is a plus point in PC World’s favour. Other plus points include their prices on a wealth of computer related peripherals and goodies, there are some great bargains to be found. The stores are spacious, lots of room to browse if the salesman will actually let you do this.
Where PC World let themselves down is with their staff training, it seemed to be that each salesperson we spoke to told us something different, and each seems to be on a mission to get you to spend more than you can afford and take out expensive insurance with them, which you can likely get elsewhere independently at a much lower price. Every member of staff we spoke to was incredibly pushy and didn’t seem to consider our needs very seriously.
In conclusion, you will find great prices and some good systems here, but expect to be hounded by over keen sales staff, wanting to get as much commission from you as possible, regardless of the budget you have set yourself. They could do so much better if they really tried.