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I have to admit to a constructive bias towards Simply. They're just down the road from me (they're at Blackhorse Road Tube Station in Walthamstow, East London). So in most cases, I can buy something from them by phone or web, and just pop down to pick it up.
That said, I've been buying components from them for several years. They have a good range of stock, and their estimates of when things will be in stock have always been accurate in my experience. On one occasion when they'd told me something would be in stock and it wasn't, they forwarded it to me and waived the delivery charge; I've also had this happen when I've gone in to get several different things and all but one of them was in stock. I've bought hard disks, network cards, cables, memory, cd readers and writers, PCMCIA cards, consumables and mice from them.
Normally I ring in advance and then pop to get something, but once or twice I've just turned up; they have a 'call and collect' system on site. To operate this you use a phone onsite to their sales staff, get an order number, queue to pay, and then queue again to pick up. This sounds onerous but is no harder than buying things from Argos.
Only once have I had a problem, and that was my problem, not theirs. I wasn't sure whether a particular memory chip would suit my system, and ws dithering about whether to spend more for Kingston memory. They suggested that I buy the much cheaper generic, and return it and buy the Kingston if it didn't work. In the event that was exactly what happened. Returning it (again, in person) was slightly fiddly but not unduly so, and I was glad to have tried the experiment.
Their prices aren't quite the lowest, though they're reasonably competitive. Their website is well designed and informative, and I often use it when comparison shopping (or buying on Ebay etc) to see what I'd have to pay from Simply.
I've never bought a system from them. Whenever I've been ready to buy a system, I've either found their offerings uncompetitively priced or insufficiently adaptable. So I can't comment on the quality of their systems.
I can't comment on delivery speed, purchase tracking, etc., because I've never used them. However, the Ciao system doesn't let me leave them blank, so I've set them as 'average'.
I will have to take a look at this site, we usually use scan.co.uk for most things that we need. It could be time for a change. Thanks for the info - Donna.
ashford 11.02.2001 12:14
A well written and interesting review Illyria and fully justifies a very useful rating
Freespirit 10.02.2001 21:52
I can add a bit about buying a system. I've got one but it must have been put together during their office party. Every single bit from motherboard, 3 hard drives CD and monitor has had to repaired or replaced. I was not a happy bunny.