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Here comes an insider view. I worked in PC World for 4 years, in 3 different stores and in Customer Service, Sales and Business Sales so my opinion is at least well founded.
The main problem that PC World has is the head office. By and large the staff that I worked with were actually quite keen to please but were put under pressure to sell the 'coverplan', were badly informed, not given enough training and support. I shall take each of the points raised in previous reviews:
1. Lack of staff at customer service - VERY true. In fact in one store I worked in any staff that tended to be 'sick' were put on customer services so as not to affect sales - hence the staff shortage. Also staff are told to get anyone after 28 days to deal with PC services - which I agree are terrible!!! PC World staff often complain about them as well. Technicians - and there are some reasonably knowledgable ones around are often too 'important' to talk to customers and will try to get the person on the desk (who generally is in charge of the admin) to deal with the queries. Managers do not kick off at the technicians because they are scared of losing them, and at the rate of pay that they get they will not find anyone else willing to do the job.
2. Commission - now this is an interesting one. As a member of sales you generally (does vary from region to region as well as with age) get national minimum. Commission is based on % margin and volume of sales NOT on coverplan sales. Having said this coverplan is high margin so indirectly you do benifit. Certain manufacturers also offer one off bonuses of anything ranging from £1 to £50 for selling towards certain manufacturers (this changes weekly).
3. Spotty geeks.... well this is also true!!! PC world like to employ part timers as they are then available for busy periods but they don't have to pay them for hours that are not needed. Great money saving but unfortunately it does little for staff loyalty as by definition most staff will be students who will not stay with the company.
4. Business - the business department is generally better and you do get discounts. The main advantage is that you get an account manager who will 'fight your corner'.
5. Changes afoot - the company at the moment is starting to move towards a one-team structure which means no specific customer services / sales. In theory this should mean that anyone can deal with your returns as well as your sale. There is also no commission on this structure so the 'sharks' should be removed from the pool. Having said this, it does mean that PC World staff will be paid overall even less - so you can guess what is going to happen there - more students, less care.
6. Coverplan - aka extended warranties (not that any member of staff will ever call them that). You WILL get a better discount if you ask for it, so if you are going to take it make sure you push for a % off or at least some goods free (of you are prepared to take goods you will do better). Ask to see the leaflet and read it yourself, do not rely on the sales person. If you are planning on taking the coverplan go in late on a Saturday or early on a Sunday, the new week begins on a Sunday and managers are keen to end and begin the week on a 'deal' with coverplan so will often offer a larger discount to get it in the bag.
7. My insider top tips: 1. Read the promotions yourself - staff are not hiding them from you - they are not told about them!!! 2. Push the 'price promise' issue - if it can be found available in another store, it will be matched. Beware though that managers will phone the other store and if it is out of stock you will not get it. 3. If you get a problem try and befriend an assistant, as an individual they will normally try to help you but head office can be a right pain!
Hope that helps - and for the record I am reasonably intelligent, working as a lawyer and I' m a non-spotty female!!! (Probobaly explains why I'm not still working there!!!)