Survey says PC World worst place to buy a PC. Oops.

27 August 2009

When it comes to rating computer purchase customer service satisfaction, 7,683 Which? magazine panel members have spoken, and guess who came out worst? Step forward PC World and get a slap across the cheek.

Yes, the DSGi brand that everyone hates to love fell horribly short, even though their name suggests they’d be just the kinds of places you’d love to go when you need to buy a computer. The survey gave them a small and twatty customer service score of just 42%.

PC World’s big cousin Currys fared little better, with a crappy 45% score in the survey. In case you were wondering and are one of those positive types who likes to celebrate winners instead of naming and shaming losers, Apple came top with a tidy 88%, with John Lewis just behind them on 73%

Surprised by any of this? Tell us why. Meanwhile, there should be a fresh dollop of DSGi sleaze to follow later in the day…

TOPICS:   Consumer Advice   Games

43 comments

  • Steve
    DSGi suck
  • Alice C.
    Business rule No.1 - If you're going to fill a niche market, make sure you do it well for fucks sake. Business rule No.2 - Don't talk about fight club
  • Anonymous c.
    Negative article on DSGi on here? Quelle surprise!
  • Tom P.
    "there should be a fresh dollop of DSGi sleaze to follow later in the day…" Can't wait, will hold off emptying my colostomy bag in case i miss it.
  • Ben T.
    Anyone been to the refurbished Currys in Durham. It has a better stock of computers compared to the PC world next door.
  • Gus
    "Apple came top with a tidy 88%" I wonder why... with those fanboys that they have.
  • Alex
    I still think they're going to shut down PC World and merge it with Currys. There are so many PC World stores next to Currys that it would be a huge operational saving.
  • substance
    I like how Apple came out as the top store to buy a PC, when they technically don't actually sell what they deem to be a 'PC' at all...
  • Joff
    Coincidentally, yesterday marked my first visit to a PC World store (Peterborough if you're interested) for about 3 years and what an experience that was. Instead of what I'd normally expect to find in PCW, you know, PC's or even maybe bits of PC's (components), I was confronted with a sea of aisles showcasing TV's, radio's, etc. Every fifth aisle or so was manned by a purple-shirted member of staff, with various arrangements of cafe chairs where old people were sitting. Not wanting to sound ageist or anything, but they didn't appear to be doing anything other than sitting so... WTF!? In the past there would be a massive display of (admittedly overpriced) Belkin cables and whatnots but now I actually struggled to find anything of relevance. I was in there to buy a new HD but found it a genuine struggle to find everything. Software was pretty much non-existent, being reduced to 10,000 copies of Windows Vista, MS Office and every bit of AV/Firewall software you could want. Nothing of any use then. Printers were on the other side of the building to where the PC components were. Oh it's just a horrible mess. The only thing that seemed to work was the counter for some TechPeople or something, where queues of housewives clutched failed notebooks and base units (probably due to a covering of milk and rusks or similar). Now I've never really been a fan of PC World, but they served a purpose when something needed to be bought urgently or you wanted to see and touch peripherals. PC World needs to go back to basics and stop trying to be another bastardised Currys / Dixons.
  • yeah
    its no surprise at all. the current selling model of 5's is supposed to give great customer service and tend to all the customers NEEDS. though if the customer doesnt need one of the things that are measured on the KPIs, the staff are supposed to empathise and then overcome their objection and magically the customer will produce more money and buy said item. the KPI and the 5s model contradict each other though and the customer is met by a desperate sales colleague who tries their hardest to hit as many targets in the one sale as possible to achieve their strike rate. a customer who just wants what they've come in for and nothing more, even if they are happy to listen to the colleague's spin on why they should have these extras, is treated unfairly. All customers should be treated the same. trying to get good customer service and impartial advice is impossible when sales targets are set up on very specific things. to provide an excellent customer service, there should be no KPIs, increased wage for sales colleagues and a much better incentive scheme for staff.
  • Dave
    @Alex - DSGi didn't originally want to merge any stores incase by doing so it gave Best Buy the opportunity to use the resulting empty retail units to open a store next door to them. But now, with quite a few tenants of big retail units having gone under (MFI, Allied Carpets etc), creating plenty of empty units, the logic behind DSG's decision is looking pretty weak.
  • Dave
    @yeah - Totally agree. DSG present FIVES as this amazing new customer experience, but in reality, it's a tool for CA's to hit their KPI's. The whole culture of having to hit specific KPI's is the single biggest thing that is damaging the customer experience at PC World. How can a CA offer their own impartial advice on something like what anti-virus to pick, when they know that they'll get a blasting for their manager (and potentially sacked) if the customer goes away with anything other than Norton 360.
  • Alice C.
    Mmmm, house wives covered in milk and rusks, ohh baby... (opens Google window)
  • Jeffrey A.
    Newsflash: Fire is hot! Water is wet! Good job on the whole stating what everybody knows front! If you thought their consumer sales were bad, you should try their business sales. Called up trying to order a server that I'd already chosen the exact one I wanted (I'm good like that). Account manager insisted on putting me through to specialist server team to help me choose my server. No, don't need help/advice/putting on hold to some gits who have no clue. But unfortunately my account manager was completely incapable of ordering the part codes I'd given him, without me being 'helped to make my decision on what I needed' by the server team. So, stuffed that idea off there and then. And their in store business sales are even worse. Called them up as I had a switch blown in an electrical storm. Business sales didn't know what a 16 port ethernet switch was and had to go get help. Help didn't have a clue either even when giving them their own part codes. They didn't know if they had any in stock, or anything. The call I was promised in ten minutes never materialised. Pathetic really.
  • Dr S.
    I year ago, I purchased a Asus Linux netbook from pcworld, over the 'phone. I explained that I had never used Linux before and was worried that I might not get on with it as I am used to Windows... The sales guy assured me that I could return it (within 7 days) if I wasn't happy with it - just keep all the packaging. After using it for 4 days, I found I couldn't get to grips with Linux (OK - I'm not very computer savvy; but to be fair, I did make that clear before I ordered). When I 'phoned the returns department to ask to return it, then asked me if I had switched it on? I answered "yes" and was then told I couldn't return it. I complained that, before I purchased it, I had been told I would be able to return it as long as I retained all the packaging - no mention of "not turning it on" when I placed the order. The returns lady said that it was stated in their terms and conditions on the web site. But I ordered on the phone; how am I supposed to know what the terms and conditions on their web site say? Since then I have learned that this is against the distance selling regulations - it a condition such as 'not switching it on' is placed, then it must be clearly written on the packaging. It wasn't, but pcworld still refuse to accept it. OK, I probably should go to the small claims court, but I haven't got time. Still, as I run a business, they've lost many thousands of pounds worth of custom. I'm sure with their short-sighted attidude, they don't care .
  • Mewling P.
    PC world only has 1 good thing going for it, and that's fone jacker.
  • Hi O.
    I once went into Curry's to get a 2Gb SD card for the Wii. I was already at the shopping centre complex for something completely unrelated, and they're about 4 quid off Amazon, so I figured hey, they'd maybe be about 2 quid more - fair enough they have overheads to cover. I went in there, and they were £19.99...exactly the same make that Amazon were flogging, only FOUR TIMES CHEAPER. Shop assistant came over, and I asked her if this price was wrong. 'No, sir, it's the correct price Can I help you with your purchase?' I walked out and never turned around. Horrible, horrible, horrible place.
  • Hi O.
    Sorry, should be FOUR TIMES MORE EXPENSIVE....
  • PC E.
    PC World rule and you all suck
  • Ginger
    As a member of staff at a PC World store I can say that PCWORLD doesn't (seem to) care about its customers. The stores survives with handouts from people like Norton hence why it's always forced upon customers. This is why sales staff seem "shit" its a sell it or loose your job situation. Now we all know companies have KPI's targets so thats no excuse, but surely they should be based on margin, sales, happy customers. Fives is killing staff and worse still it's hurting the business. In principle it works but in the real world it just doesn't all it does is piss the customer off. Gone are the days when you would have the discussion about pc desks surge plugs cd/dvd games etc now its all norton office services as a minimum. Sure sales people are there to "help" the customer spend more money what company doesn't? but surely sales guys/gals should help them get what THEY NEED! not what kpi the company thinks THEY NEED. I also tend to agree to Joff pc world is no longer pc world its currys without washing machines and fridges. It need to reclaim that WOW factor that you used to get when walking in. It used to be a treasure trove of pc bits and latest pcs etc now its dull. even the winning new revenue stores are lame. Look more upto date but still same old shit. I urge all people that read the posts here to email John Browett and voice your opinions, he does listen but i think he listens too much to jorge and keith jones about how fives will save the day , while sales people on the shop floor watch powerless as people turn elsewhere for their computing needs.
  • Ex-PC E.
    Curry's rule and you all suck.
  • Ex w.
    Currys and PC World suck! Fantastic, delivery with two hands and thats a GOAL! (Fives speak for the un-brainwashed amongst you.)
  • Joff
    Ginger, have you got an email for John Browett?
  • Dale H.
    PC World is part of a trend towards simplifying computers and trying to get away from the nerdy stereotype. Sadly this means getting rid of components and "geek" stuff in favour of massive tv's, the latest laptops in a trendy colour (we don't need to know the specs just make it pretty) and the latest range of apple macs (see past comments regarding pretty but crap). As for anyone looking towards the cutting edge or running Linux etc etc you wont find much here anymore. Its computing for the mass market now. Hey atleast we have the internet right?...... Everything is cheaper and finding that exact part is a Google search away (or Hotbot if ya like the ol school!) Ah it makes me kinda sad when life moves on though. Anyone else remember AOL, Altavista, Lycos, Dialup and Windows 95........ The days when having the internet made you part of some exclusive club lmao! Even if it was only 56Kpbs!
  • John
    With PC World stores looking increasing like a Currys store it will eventually bring about a merge with PC World ending up an area of Currys. The trail of that format is in Weybridge.
  • KPIs F.
    I've seen one sales guy make 4 times as much margin as another guy on the same hours, but he can lose his job because he has under 5 KPIs (strikes). So the guy making the company 75% LESS money gets to keep his job just because he has the 5+ KPIs! Make sense? This is where the problem lies: They think the stores getting 7+ strikes must be using FIVES to give customers what they need. However, using FIVES will result in less strikes because the targets are NOT based on what customers have said they need (e.g. 55% of people do not need or want Norton. Most have free Internet Security software from their IP, or have another license on their recently purchased Norton, or are very happy using AVG/ Kasperski/ McAfee). Instead, the targets are based on these top performing stores that are either full of hard sellers, play the figures with discounts, or are located where people know little about technology and so will buy everything. It's more likely that the stores with few KPIs are using FIVES to give customers what they really need. Sacking all the staff with low strikes will leave the stores full of pushy sales people, and no one will want to shop there anymore. Sadly, I think this will only be realised when it is too late.
  • Anonymous c.
    FAO Hi From Orange unless you're on the windup, i find your arrogance amazing. Was the person who served you in currys doing her job? Yes. Well if you're basing your experience on that then you've got no right to slag the place off. If anything, it's better not having people like you who are seemingly full of their own self importance wasting our time.
  • jb
    [email protected]
  • Barry S.
    Yes, its all true, both PC World and Currys are a useless mess of a shop, p!ss poor customer service, choice and generally full of staff who can't tell the difference between LCD / Plasma TV's and Toasters. I stopped working there when I was offered a much more satisfying carrear as a cat litter tray. Oh and Ex-PC World Employee if you loved Currys so much, why didn't you get a job there, did you get confused by the toasters? "Posted by Ex-PC World Employee | August 27th, 2009 at 1:15 pm Curry’s rule and you all suck."
  • Mel
    Barry Scott. Not the one who used to work in training at Tech Guys call centre? Where can I can in on that cat litter tray business?
  • Ent E.
    Pay peanuts, get monkeys.
  • Matt
    Pc World & Currys are two of the worst places on earth. I once used Pc world for a component for a pc build I was doing that was out of stock online. In Pc World it was nearly twice the price, the customer service was absolutely terrible and I felt sorry for the hordes of (mainly old people) that were buying thier sub-par junk. Needless to say I've not been back. Currys, similar experience with customer services - returned a faulty Xbox 360 a couple of years ago that was well within 30 days and got treated like a criminal. What should have been a simple exchange, took around 30 mins of faffing about with managers coming down and all sorts - Leave well alone!!
  • Ian F.
    I am not a big fan of PCWORLD but i do go into my local northwest store because of a nice young man who works in the technical area. he has helped me loads over the years and I always plan my visits when he was in, recently ive been told that he is leaving and just wanted the right people if they read this to know that how he made an old fool understand his computer better and help towards repeat business and that they have lost a asset to thier company. I now have no reason to visit PCWORLD because the staff are pushy and too look very glum. so this is a thankyou to that young man and whatever you doing now good luck.
  • not a.
    hello people, i work for PC World Peterborough. we have this shit reputation which does not surprise me at all and thats down to the fact that the company used to employ people who know jack shit, didnt give a shit about the customers and what they think. Just wanted to take the money an not care about after sales. NOW though it has changed, a bit late obviously but we have a good team an the truth is we're fucking honest, FIVES is not a tool to help you rip the customer off, some might think that but i honestly use it to just find the solution for a customer an if that means they go home with just a laptop then so be it, i'll go inform my manager and whats he gonna do? try an start a fight with me, nah dont think so... i'm well aware that people out there have friends, family or colleagues that can help them with the problems, if there is 1. i'm one of them. I dont wanna go on, im someone who will always speak my mind so if DSGi had continued to go down the shitty yellow brick road to destruction, i'd say something but in all seriousness we have changed an again thats down to having an honest team for once. Pop in 1day an see for yourself, an for peace of mind come in with no MONEY just incase you think i'm trying to get you to buy something, just have a look at how we've changed, the store has changed... specifically to suit you the consumer. I'm just a regular Customer Advisor so i have no real benefit of backing up this company but i am fed up with being slated especially when i try my best to do a good job. ...!Not Shocked At All!...
  • Terry
    Bought a HP laptop at my local PC World, it lasted 6 days, on the 7th day the screen was broken. Not externally cracked. Took it back, they could find no external damage but said it must be my fault, and no they won't send it to HP because HP have no base in Britain. I have not dropped the laptop or mishandled it in any way, yet mysteriously I have 'damaged' it, even though the laptop has not been out of the house. My previous Dell laptop worked fine for years, with lots of handling and carriage. Unfortunately this seems to be a common problem but I can't find any examples on-line of anyone who has gone to court over this issue. Whatever the outcome, I will never again shop at PC World for anything.
  • shocking
    @Terry I am guessing that you did not take out their "insurance" that is not insurance?
  • Mo
    worst customer service. 21 days gaurantee repair 10 hrs in store complaining 20 phone cals to customer service etc day 42 and still waiting for my "repaired" tv Dont buy from DSG1 group
  • abdullah
    customer service choice value and generally properley trained staff will never exisit even though they have some plan called customer plan.. whatever that is about.its all bullocks no change if you dont pay staff any respect and dont pay them decent money what do you expect. Also Health and Safety at work DOES NOT EXISIT IN REALLITY accross any of their brands.its simply too expensive they dont even give pens to their staff writting pads calculators measuring tapes nothing to work with at all. you go to ikea ppl have pads pencils customer toilets the lot well trained staff happy customers its all too much force selling at Currys pc world.THey use a model called 5[s which makes every collauge a drone zombie and they assume every customer is a drone zombie and dumb ass toooo not really they need to stop. I am hoping they go bankrupt within the next 12 months or get taken over by another company maybe Walmart.
  • David
    Terry, The only way to deal with PC world on warranty issues is to take them to the small claims court. I did after diabolicle customer service and won. They had to repair my HP laptop and I was awarded costs. Even then they could not deliver it back on time. Dont waste your time trying to talk to anybody in the organisation it is like talking to a brick wall no you probably get more sense from a brick wall. I will never buy anything from them again and will celebrate the day they go out of business.
  • Ovall J.
    Things look like they are picking up in your area
  • martness
    people have trouble taking things back to pc world and getting their money back on the occasion I had trouble I gave the manager two options 1.. give me my money back 2..or I will continue this converstation when you leave work mate! guess what ..I got my money back in all shops that piss me about with policy flim flam they get the two options on one occasion a guy at microbridge took me up on the 2nd offer ..he lost four of his front teeth don't piss about with these people ..stuff their company policys just knuckle the bastards
  • Chris R.
    I was interested in a TV on sale - the LG 42". Called customer service because the order and pickup in store was not available. The woman says order now because we will get a huge shipment in a week (January31). Ordered the TV - and of course PAID FOR IT AND THE MONEY WAS TAKEN FROM MY BANK INSTANTLY! Now it is already A WEEK LATER and when accessing the status of my order it says TWO TO FOUR WEEKS! In other words - I will have to wait THREE to FIVE weeks AFTER PCWorld TOOK MY MONEY to get what I ordered - IF NOT LONGER! I am very, very angry and of course no response from PCWorld except an automatic email response saying you will hear from us. AVOID THIS OUTFIT - they are using your prepaid money to pay for orders from the manufacturer - a very bad sign.
  • OSWALD C.
    PC WORLD IS FUCKING SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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