Deathwatch - DSGi cuts to hit customers, staff speak out?

27 December 2008

We've been speculating over the fate of DSGi for several weeks, and of course there was the news that the parent group of Currys and PC World had posted a Q2/Q3 loss of nearly £30million.

Last week, PC Retail announced that 250 staff from DSGi's servicing and repair division - the TechGuys - had been made redundant. DSGi didn't put it in quite those words when pushed for an comment by PC Retail:

"The TechGuys, the UK's leading provider of technology solutions and repairs, is repositioning the business to provide better service for customers through a more efficient operating model.

"This has involved the tightening and unifying of TechGuy's decentralised structure. Unfortunately, the announcement did mean that a number of field-based roles have been removed in the last few months, essentially achieved through offering alternative roles within the group and a number of voluntary redundancies."

What does the loss of so many front-end staff mean for both the company and the customers? The answer may lie in the comments of news site Pocket-Lint, several of which claim to be written by DSGi staff. Amongst the comments is the claim that 250 staff haven't left the company - that number is in fact the staff remaining in TechGuys department:

PC World (Lincoln) - Out of the remaining 250 tech guy field engineers, over 100 of them are expected to leave before 6th January 2009. Under the terms of the new contracts, they have upto four weeks grace period to stay with the new setup or take the redundancy offered to them in December. Many expressed the grace period as a reason to earn another months wage before leaving. Our head office seem to be seeing through the economic downturn by offering close to ZERO after sells service while we still sell extended warranties to our customers, knowing full well we don't have any resource to offer the product we are selling. It's going to end in tears.

PC World (Teesside) - We have had more customers back through the doors in the past month returning plasma and LCD tv than ever before. The are not getting repaired in the 28 days allowed under 1st year warranty. So we are taking massive hits on our bottom line. We are swimming in faulty product and the Techguys aren't getting to them to repair them because the aint enough engineers.

A Techguy - The plan was to reduce the head count across the entire Techguys group around 35% thus saving the company nearly £30 Million in wages and overheads, however the real figures are closer to 75%. This was not expected and has had a big impact on the customers (more so those customers with large screen TV, LCD, Plasma). There simply aren't enough trained and experienced engineers to cope. In the long run the company will have to look at the new Hub setup and review it; if it doesn't then a lot more people will leave.

If these are accurate comments from genuine members of staff, then the End Of Days for DSGi may not be too distant. Thanks to Bitterwallet reader mcozio for the lead.

[PCRetail] via [Pocket-lint]

TOPICS:   High Street News

74 comments

  • tom
    good info that cheers
  • Martin
    Why do you need tech guys? years ago there was a profession called cobblers... they repaired shoes.. Has anyone reading this had a pair of shoes repaired in the last 10 years? you just buy a new pair. When a computer/laptop/Plasma costs £1000+ you can afford to pay £500 a week for a repairman/van etc... if he repairs 1 per week it is worth while. Now a computer/laptop/plasma costs £400 he has to repair 4 or 5 a week to make it worth while... any week he does not repair that many he is costing you money... people don't want to pay for this kind of service, they would be willing to pay 10% extra on every item to get a new one should theirs fail, but paying 10% extra for the item to be repaired is not worth the effort...
  • Disneyfan
    I have just gone through the wringer with the 'tech guys'. 5 seperate visits to repair my Plasma TV. 1st visit, engineer notes the serial no and goes. (doesnt even touch tv) 2nd visit, turns up with a mate, opens tv, closes tv without doing anything, says he has wrong boards, goes again. 3rd visit, replaces 2 out of 3 boards, still doesnt fix tv. Hasnt got 3rd board with him, says to leave tv to let the boards 'settle in' (does he think its a fridge?) goes again. 4th visit, another engineer turns up. First one is now redundant (sorry for him but.....) looks at tv, writes down serial no and .... goes. Doesnt touch tv !! (again!) I now loose the plot and check my warranty, am out of the time period for an exchange so phone and ask for one, am told that an engineer will come and collect the TV and I will get vouchers. Fine. 5th visit, engineer turns up in a corsa (I have a 42" screen! Its a flat screen not a flipping flat pack screen!) unsurprisingly cannot collect it, but on hearing me explode on the phone to the tech guys line, manages to repair it properly this time. I am well happy as I like my tv and dont want an exchange, but it does make me concerned for the future. Should I have to call an engineer again?.......? I really cant afford to keep taking that much time off work but that seems to be the way DSG is going. WONT be buying from them again because of this.
  • Disneyfan
    As to my last post,- In fact when talking to the final engineer regarding his predecessors fate he suggested that in fact they had dropped from 650 engineers to about 150. Buy from them at your peril. Or buy an engineers repair manual at the same time! Its the only way anything will get sorted!
  • chris
    why would you let the tech guys anywhere near your less than year old plasma or lcd? still under warranty from the manufacturer.
  • Mount K.
    Bought a laptop from currys 2 months ago and it stopped booting up. After some troubleshooting with the tech guys they sent a courier to come and collect it. It came back within a week with faulty hard drive replaced! Shame if this great service I recieved previously is not to be anymore :(
  • Chris
    I second the thoughts of the 'Chris' posting above (and no we're not the same person!). Why would you pay extra for 'the tech guys' to come out and replace bits of equipment that stops working within the manufacturers warranty period? I think people are beginning to lose their faith in a company who're notoriously lacking in product knowledge, customer service, after sales care and are expensive, in my opinion, its about time too. I feel for the people losing their jobs, but I'll shed no tears for DSG.
  • Simon
    Can i just say that you have been very mis-led in the areas of reporting the tech guys situation, Yes i understand that there has been some shake up in the tech guys service but there is always problems when things change and you try to make things better, it's not easy dealing with thousands of customers problems on a daily basis especially those who demand things that are impossible and impractical - be glad that an engineer will come to your house and sort things for you in your home, the manufacturer could repair your TV at return to base and charge you for the courier! but it's not just TV's this applies to all products, i have purchased LOADS of items from DSGi chain of shops and have been very happy with the service afterwards and i think a lot of people don't realise the service COULD be a lot worse and not just with DSG, everyone is always happy to knock things when there wrong but never praise them when they get it right.
  • Ultraviolence
    Stanley must be fuming at the way this comapny has been managed since he retired.
  • Kim
    Martin, I have to tell you... I don't call my shoe repair man a cobbler, but I certainly do take my shoes there to be repaired. I would never just go out and buy new ones. On the other hand, I buy very expensive dress shoes and I only have three pairs and they must be maintained. Cleaned and polished, heels evened out, torn leather smoothed out, etc. As much as I agree that electronics aren't supposed to be kept for 20 years like they used to, I find it appalling that we must replace them so often. Not just for the hassle of having to go out and research which new toy we want, but where do all the old electronics go? They can't just get thrown in landfills.
  • phil m.
    LONG LIVE DSGi GROUP. Those who moan about it need not shop there. Go somewhere else.
  • Decron
    Why would you let Tech Guys near a TV less than one year old? The manufacturer won't swap it, they will repair it just like a mobile phone. It goes past 28 days and it's a repair or in some exceptions you may get an exchange. Thats all the retailer is obliged to give you and thats all you get. The fact they will actually send someone out to sort it says a lot as if they didn't you would have to hump that into the store everytime it went wrong. The principle of what they do is fantastic, however their business model and the management of their general affairs has been appaling. We just need someone to come along and do it better...
  • nightelf
    DSGI have for many many years relied onthe fact that the majority of their customers do not understand the sale of goods act. They will look you in the eye and tell you that your tv, laptop or whatever must be sent away for repair. Well the Act requires them to sell goods that are fit for purpose and of merchantable quality, it is reasonable to expect a TV or similar to last longer than a year, so insist on either an exchange or refund as you are entitled to, even if it's more than a year sometimes. The act also requires the retailer to reimburse reasonable out of pocket expenses, petrol, phone calls etc etc. If your request for exchange/refund/expenses fails then walk away. Go to money claim on line at www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/csmco2/index.jsp and spend a few minutes filling out the form, you will get your money back and expenses... trust me it works. ( the DSGi registered office at hemel Hempstead, make sure you use their correct address and not a store or anything like that )
  • Ultraviolence
    Posted by nightelf | December 28th, 2008 at 6:28 am "Well the Act requires them to sell goods that are fit for purpose and of merchantable quality, it is reasonable to expect a TV or similar to last longer than a year, so insist on either an exchange or refund as you are entitled to, even if it’s more than a year sometimes." That is true, only if the customer can prove the item was faulty at the time of purchase. http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/consumers/fact-sheets/page38311.html
  • Kevin
    Well if it breaks within a year it surely was faulty at the time of purchase (ie you can prove you've not smashed it with a hammer, poured coke in it etc)
  • Yessum
    Doesn't the act require the supplier prove the goods weren't faulty when bought?
  • Gemma
    Can't say I'm surprised, I've had a laptop from them for 2 years and it's been "repaired" by them six times now. Twice they've sent it back as not faulty despite the CD Drive not working. Appalling service.
  • andy
    Well there service has had a bad rep for a long time.think the reason is too much sales focus. I went for a job interview there as a tech guy not long ago,did'nt get the job despite 10 years exp and a degree.why?no sales experiance-i was told even the tech guys are required to meet sales targets..
  • DF
    Yeah, the tech guys are on targets. If you buy an extended warranty, you get a free yearly 'healthcheck' - but whereas the healthcheck is free, anything else that needs doing, from restoring the computer to clearing viruses, isn't. So they have to meet a certain average revenue per healthcheck target.
  • Recently T.
    In the middle of 2006 the CEO at the time of 14 years John Clare announced suddenly he would step down from his position, an unusual move for someone of his age and position to take retirement. At the time it was not a good career move in Hemel to mention John Clare's retirement but according to some news feeds, his sudden stand down was due to a major fall out in the board room. For several months DSGi operated with Sir John Collins (Group Chairman) as acting CEO until Tesco's John Browett would take position as the new CEO. John Browett immediately got to work and brought in some of his own people to over see major projects. For those of us on the front line John Browett kept everybody informed with a weekly diary, started the implementation of a five point plan and had drive. He was at the time what DSGi really needed, DSGi had a very old fashioned management system and outdated ethics. The Techguys had also operated for about 36 months with a Temporary MD and then took on Tom Barry from Comet. He wanted to implement a new structure that Comet used even though it wasn't much of a success. For many years The Techguys field Engineers worked from home. The new structure proposed in September 2008 required Engineers making a daily visit to a Hub (one of 18 nationally) to pick up parts. The proposal immediately put Engineers off, as for most it would incur many extra miles per day just to collect parts at the Engineers expense, also for most, a considerable pay cut was enforced. I don't think the Senior management at DSGi expected so many Engineers to take redundancy, The Techguys was made up of Engineers that specialized in certain products i.e. TV Repair, Computer Repair etc. The remaining Engineers are now expected to repair anything making them Jacks of all trades. I personally think DSGi has seriously over looked their service arm and as I understand it, are already losing revenue because they can't supply service, remember The Techguys also supplied additional service such as mounting your TV to a wall or setting up wireless networks, at the moment customers are being told they need to wait 14 days or more for these services as the Engineers can not keep up with demand. One more note for you all, The Techguys have a contract to maintain all the tills in DSGi, i.e. PCworld, Currys etc. Currently they are unable to keep up with maintenance which means gradually the tills in the stores are breaking down and not being repaired. How long before stores stop trading because they have no tills!
  • mcozio
    The tech guys are currently using engineers from pin point recruitmnet, (http://www.pinpoint-rec.com) to repair computers after too many full-time engineers opted for a redundancy package. I hear that recently made redundant employees have tried to sign up with pin-point recruitment to get their old jobs back via a contract method. DSGi have put a stop to this informing pin-point not to use to ex-tech guys for their contract work requirements. Can other ex-employee's confirm this or offer any idea to what's going on with the DSGi pin-point agreement ???
  • Recently T.
    mcozio your statement is absolutely correct! DSGi will not allow ex employees to come back via an agency to help out, however I must say this is not the fault of any agency, these terms were available for employees to agree to before the redundancies were announced and is often common practice with many organisations. It must be DSGi that make changes to the agreement before the agreement is altered and in my opinion the sooner the better for everybody. Lets see what happens but don't hold your breath!
  • pc e.
    The redundancy situation across the group is much much higher than the reported 250 - nearer 1000. Many managers throughout the tech guys have been given their marching orders, administration staff are leaving in January, head office was cut by 25%, PC World business lost major people, Ireland saw losses and when a store has a major refit in the UK all the original staff have to now apply for new contracts; many long employees don't get jobs back but a p45 instead. You have to say DSGi are trying to save so many costs to stay in business, let's hope too many costs won't be their downfall.
  • Big D.
    Re pc world employee, our local store had a "major refit" - as an occasional customer I'd have preferred that to have been spend on allowing staff to deliver decent, honest customer service (the kind which isn't driven by trying to sell you a warranty on a fifteen quid item) rather than a re-arrangement of the deckchairs. And amazingly it was just as much of a jumble sale after they'd finished the refit.
  • Storm
    As a Currys employee, I can confirm that the Tech Guys have been cut by bigger numbers than reported. We used to have an in-store tech guy that would come in and repair faulty products. This saved time in sending the products off to manufactuers and what not. Since he took redundancy a few months ago, things at my store have deteriorated. Faulty products just sit behind customer services desk waiting for manufacturers repair agent to turn up.... As others have said, DSGi staff in the whole do not know about sale of goods act. You need to read out the bit about "this does not affect your statutory rights" from the receipt wallet to them when getting something repaired or refunded. Your consumer rights also say that a product must be durable. What this means is that you would expect a £1000 TV to last longer than a year and if it doesn't than you should be able to bring a claim against the retailer. I agree with whoever said that you should take the product back to an authorised service centre (just look on the manufacturers website). They will repair your product under warranty and they won't bullsh*t you around like DSG. I hear John Browett reckons its going to take 4 years to turn the business round. He is seriously optimistic if he thinks they will even be around in 4 years. Never buy an extended warranty no matter what new name they call it, i.e. "whatever happens". Guess what it doesn't cover you for what ever happens. DSGi is definetly on deathwatch - has been for a while now... Here's hoping '09 will turn off the life support
  • Recently T.
    It has been considered that DSGi want to move forward without a service arm. It is possible now to buy goods like televisions and computers from supermarkets and of course online, something DSGi didn't have a problem with as little as 5 years ago. The big difference is, Sainsburys and M&S etc don't have an expensive dedicated service arm, if your product goes faulty they will exchange it. People no longer want TV's repaired, its a disposable market and perhaps DSGi no longer require The Techguys, if this is the case, they should be making the The Techguys ripe for selling rather than breaking it. DSGi has had it's day, It's best days were the 80's and early 90's. DSGi had strong presence, the sales staff had careers at DSGi rather than a job that pays the bills. Stanley Kalms was in charge and knew his business well. Today he has no control or very little, he didn't like the idea of losing Dixons and re-branding to Currys.digital and why would he, Dixons is what he and his father built up from the late 30's. Best Buy are on the way here and I think It will make a very pleasant surprise. Take a look at Currys website then take a look at Best Buy! Wow what a difference! If you have shopped in best buy as I have, it is so much better!
  • Ultraviolence
    Storm: You say you are a Currys' employee, yet at the same time you "hope 09 will turn off the life support". Do you really want to be made redundant at a time when we are recession and everyday you see jobs disappearing?
  • Storm
    Ultraviolence My job at Currys is my second job. I work there one day a week and to be honest I don't need it. I am fortunate in that I have plenty of other oppurtunities available to me should the life support of DSGi be switched off.
  • The E.
    Ultraviolence: 2 jobs, fortunate, a Currys employee AND with plenty of other oppurtunities (sic).... You lucky, lucky thing.. Get out of the business you poisonous little numpty.
  • Nightelf
    The fundamental problem is that DSG have, for too long, avoided the basic principals of shopkeeping. The idea is that as a shopkeeper you attempt to sell products that your customers want. DSG have for too long tried to sell high margin products that they want their customers to buy rather than trying to sell what the customer needs and wants. This is unsustainable for any shopkeeper and now DSG are realising this, probably too late. I rember going into a PCW to buy a 512 agp graphics card.... no stock but plenty of little wooden signs saying Santa this Way... for £9.99. The target price for DSG shares was reduced to 6p...no wonder !
  • Tech F.
    Consider this people. There is a 50/50 chance that the 6pence you mention will one day make it big. I myself gambled on a grand and went in at 10.25 pence. I believe that the company really has got a good chance of getting through this bad patch and has a decent man at the helm..(A bit like Aston Villa...) If they can navigate through this next year then who knows. The tech guys was over-staffed and to be perfectly honest, full of 'techs' who worked at 2mph if they bother to turn up at all. The products are sound, I am told that the training has improved no end, whilst customer service is the #1 priority. I know most on here want the company to die a painful death and I can understand it has been absolute toilet in the past but I think there is a fair chance my 1k gamble will see me alright whilst tens of thousands enjoy class products at 'almost' net prices. One last thing to consider: Over 100,000 people pass the tills at dsgi each day, most threads of this manner have about 30 posters covering many weeks, my conclusion is that unhappy folk shout loudly and it can sometimes look that everything is bad and everything is wrong when in reality less than 0.0001 really is. Discuss.
  • mcozio
    PC world has seen off stores from Gateway, byte, escom, time, tiny & others. Staples is growing it's PC Share, Best Buy are coming with the geek squad are hitting us nationwide. There ain't room for all of them. Which one's will survive ? Discuss that Tech Friend.
  • close i.
    interesting reading as someone who is employed within the group it made me very sad to hear of these redundancies....the tech guys role has now changed and better tuned towards the customer... no more have 2 jobs all day and be home by 2 in the aftrernoon ......dsgi will survive for sure and come out the other end stronger the reason ...it has a majority of great people that want to get it right
  • PC U.
    To All TechGuys, Notification of Extension of Trial Period We are now 3 weeks into our new operating model and we have made a great start in developing a business which is an asset to the group and of which we can be proud. As with most change, there have been some challenges, such as a backlog of work, colleague shortages, gaps in our management team and system issues and as a result an increase in pressure has been felt across the business. I realise that this is having an impact on your current working environment and I thank you for all the hard work, commitment and support you have put in over the last few weeks. We are making good progress in resolving these challenges and you will continue to see improvements on a daily basis. It is important, that you continue to provide us with your feedback and highlight the challenges you face. I am aware that for most of you, we are now nearing the end of your 4 week trial period and I do not believe that everyone has had a fair opportunity to fully experience what the business will be like to work in given these challenges. We want everybody to have a fair opportunity to make an informed decision and are therefore extending the trial period until 30th Jan in order to allow this to happen. Hub managers will be providing full briefings on this extension and as always please raise any questions you may have. I thank you, once again, for your continued support and we look forward to growing a strong business together. Warm Regards, Stephen Campbell HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! I AM DESPERATE SO I'M TALKING OUT OF MY BACKSIDE AGAIN!! Posted by PC World, Currys, Tech Guys and everyone at RSC, UK
  • nightelf
    'One last thing to consider: Over 100,000 people pass the tills at dsgi each day, most threads of this manner have about 30 posters covering many weeks, my conclusion is that unhappy folk shout loudly and it can sometimes look that everything is bad and everything is wrong when in reality less than 0.0001 really is.' Hmm now let me see...for a few years another well known brand thought that they had it right and that their customers had it wrong. trust me you dont stay a succesful shopkeeper with that approach. Dont take my word for it though ask Woolworths Directors.
  • nightelf
    and another thing... you bought shares at over 10p when the target price is 6p... why on earth would you do that ? But then the Chief Exec bought at 35p or whatever and the board bought £100 M at £1.60 or so...sharp cookies eh !
  • also d.
    I work for the tech guys and really don't agree with the comments by "close to it". He/She states that things have changed for the better. The real situation is TTG have made too many engineers redundant. The internal memos on this site proves beyond any doubt that TTG's are struggling to keep people from leaving. An extension has now been set up so people can work until 30th January and still accept redundancy packages offered on 9th September before consultation began. TTG is close so serious collapse - this is certainly not good for the customer or DSGi has a whole. The only reason why PC World exists is because of the profits made from extended warranties and installation services offered by TTG. Remove TTG team, customers will cancel their direct debits and the business will fail. FACT.
  • tech f.
    Quote:-"and another thing… you bought shares at over 10p when the target price is 6p… why on earth would you do that ?" Because I strongly believe I can make a few thousand quid on this stock. The below bbc link shows that the shares are now worth 18.5pence. The stock has made me about £800 in 3 weeks. That is why. http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/fds/hi/business/market_data/shares/3/34400/one_month.stm
  • Life B.
    [...] recently reported on DSG International’s efforts to “provide better service for customers through a more [...]
  • wikipedia
    .. and now the recent overpsend on store refurbishments its causing store redudancies. PC World seems to be hit hardest. A number of updates Staff speaking out and refereces have appeared on wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DSG_International_(retailer)#2000.E2.80.93present
  • close i.
    first week of the sale traded above last year fantastic performance from all stores..sorry some people on here may not understand the bigger picture..how many retailers in this sector can say that...if you are a tech guy please understand the changing world and choose the attitude of lets delight our customers every day
  • Mastercare d.
    As an ex mastercare (Tech Guys) manager and engineer who left the business a couple of years ago i would say this: The enginners were always focussed on the custtomer 100% Senior mangers (hemel) were intent on selling the business, and in fact at one point were in the final stages of negaotion before it all fell through. The hub structure ensures that engineers now have to pay to drive to their place of work to pick up parts that were previously delivered to near their homes, these guys have all effectively taken a pay cut and signed new T&Cs saying that if they are made redundant in future they will receive only the legal minimum. It is now hard to imagine it being sold as the trade is in its final death throes.
  • closer i.
    Regarding the comments from Close to it, DSGi (like alot of retailers) is all about making money in peak. The fact is DSGi can only shift stock when it's heavily discounted which means you make take more money in your sale but your profit is way down compared to last year. The store refit program will remove any profit you will make and your shareholders don't have four years to get a return on their money (following your CEO's comments of a 4 year rebuilding package). Coverplan cancellations will rocket due the collapse of the tech guys and you'll probably end up being made redundant. These are the facts. DSGi is going one way and don't believe the press releases or it's in-house frontline magasine. You may be close to it, but I was closer until I jumped the sinking ship. BYE BYE Hemel Hempstead.
  • ex t.
    I have been looking around the web recently at comments about DSGi and seems one thing is very clear, a huge proportion of people, ex employees or not would like DSGi to disappear for good. I wonder is this something we really want? I agree that DSGi is in a bad position at the moment and yes they have many customer service issues to address, however if they turned over a new leaf and fixed the problems, made themselves more focused and had a good price point, would we still hope for them to die? Any Comments?
  • CRN
    more BAD news for DSGi http://www.channelweb.co.uk/crn/news/2233432/dsgi-suffers-further-insurance
  • Mastercare d.
    price deflation is what is killing DSGi, loads of extra boxes have to be shifted now just to make the same margin as 5-10 years ago. Mastercare (sorry The Tech Guys) are doomed due to how cheap it is to replace someting now and increased reliability. If stanley was still active would he be able to turn it around? My opinion is no, the days of these retailers and business model are over. I have a lot of affection for the business still so I dont enjoy saying these things.
  • Si c.
    Personally i believe that a lot of the comments posted across the web are by the people who have already left DSGi and unfortunately are just bitter and twisted or people just wanting to have a cheap shot. I feel sorry for everyone at my local store as there always willing to help and i for one believe it would be a shame for them to fall. There is a lot at stake for these people who work and are trying to turn the company around so wouldn't it be nice for a little support or are you really all the bitter?.
  • Nightelf
    It isnt a case of ex employees being bitter ( they usually are), it is a case of potential investors looking to perhaps buy shares to help support the company. The part that makes us bitter is to see a great business being eradicated through very poor policies driven by senior management who seem to make no effort to understand the needs of either the staff or more importantly the customers.
  • Ex G.
    I'm one of the ex engineers of the tech guys and I can say hands on heart that the service has got progressively worse. I'v been to customers whose computers has been broken for six weeks and we keep turning up with the wrong parts....Ive been to customers who has waited in more then once and no engineer has turned up because he had too much work on due to over booking. I can tell you 101 and one stories about the Tech Guys. I'm not bitter just very happy to be out of that rat race. All of these changes will only effect the customers. How can you get the rid of your experience staff and replace a fraction of them with contractors...PURE MADNESS.
  • disgruntled c.
    Isn't it illegal to sack all your staff and take new ones on at a much lower wage ? Have a look at these vacancies. http://www.jobserve.com/JobListing.aspx?shid=F2CA7DEA61690558 It's an absolute joke. disgruntled customer
  • PC h.
    Came across your website by accident. Just wished to contribute the following. Some PC World stores in the West Midlands are giving out the details of local companies and ex-tech guys who have recently been made redundant. From reading this site, it's presumably a short term solution to resolve a problem with staffing issues. REFERENCE : http://www.computerservicesnetworkingsupportupgrades.co.uk (there is a PC World section on this site on the top menu) It looks like some people on this "bitter wallet" site may have a grudge with the parenting company of PC World, but it looks like our local stores are offering help for it's customers by offering advice of other local companies. I know things are difficult for people at the moment with the credit crunch especially those made redundant bit I am sure it will improve later in 2009. Good Luck all.
  • PC w.
    Reuters report sales downturn http://uk.reuters.com/article/rbssConsumerGoodsAndRetailNews/idUKL95312820090109
  • John B.
    It's going to be a bumpy ride this Thursday John!!! http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/consumer_goods/article5488500.ece?Submitted=true The mess is slowly being revealed - partly thanks to bitter wallet
  • Mastercare d.
    The Tech Guys MD Tom Barry seemingly resigned today............oh dear!
  • computerweekly
    http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2009/01/14/234228/pc-world-parent-company-faces-increased-financial-pressure.htm
  • EX T.
    To the two'Chris's' regarding not having their product repaired within the warranty period. If you bought a new car and it developed a fault in the first year would you ever have a chance of the car manufacturer giving you a new one? NO - it would be repaired. As for Tom going I predicted at our leaving bash he would be gone in 6 months, boy how wrong I was, just under 6 weeks !
  • DSGI e.
    just to clarify, having studied law at uni and specifically consumer law the sale of goods act states the supplier after the first month is only obliged to repair the product "in a reasonable time" there is NO obligation to replace on the spot. the term reasonable time is very vague and depends on situation. it is very possible for a competent lawyer to argue any period of time is reasonable if he can give details of why. DSGi do not take this front, instead of working as fast as they can and it taking however long it takes to get parts etc etc they have self defined a cut off period of four weeks (28 days) if the product is not fixed in this time then vouchers or replacement products are arranged. the company goes above and beyond what is expected in order to keep things simple and fair. it is true that the customer is obliged to prove that the fault was inherent, many things that go wrong can be the fault of wear and tear or the result of shoddy design/parts DSGi again do not insist on this proof very often except when it looks much like the customer has been negligent (torn power cables for laptops have most likely been triped over or yanked, machines that "caught fire through overheating" but coincidentally smell like diesel, etc etc) customers are all the time given the benefit of the doubt, millions of routers/networking equipment/ other pieces of equipment are returned "faulty" because, as most people can tell imediatly, the customer does not know how to configure/ use the equipment properly, if we have the time to test it after taking the customer's word for it we can sell it preowned at a discount if we do not have the time, (as is usually the case) we cannot verify the fault, neither can the manufacturer when they receive the product back and dsgi loose money not because we sell crap but because we sell to people who don't know how to use what they buy. we don't question, nor insult our customers with these facts we happily refund products despite being under no obligation to. similarly people who buy stuff without knowing what they are buying rip the packaging to pieces then bring it back when they fancy demanding a refund are not legally entitled to this. people who buy laptop chargers and return it opened two weeks later on the other side of the country have almost definately gone away and forgotten their charger bought one for the time being and then returned it, they are given this despite the fact that the product is now often unsellable and we have either been conned or cost money due to the customer's laziness to find out what they should be getting or carelessness at not caring cos they can always bring it back. all these and many more show that dsgi customer service gives much more than the law dictates if you asked me for my opinion dropping down to the legal rights of customer's would save the company millions of pounds each year, if the customers were only refunded products actually faulty or unopened/ undamaged packaging unwanted products were only returned within 7 days of purchase instead of just smiling and giving money back to anyone who asks for it because that is good customer service. customer's would then start having to think for themselves either research what they wanted or asking advice in store. one last example. i was asked by a customer for a crossover cable to connect his xbox to his router, i explained that firstly we had none in stock and secondly what he really wanted was a patch cable this customer told me i was wrong and he knew better than me. (btw i am comptia and microsoft qualified and do know my facts) i told him it was entirely up to him but using the wrong cable could damage his equipment. this customer left and acquired a crossover cable somewhere else. two days later the customer was back with an xbox with a non functioning network port on his xbox and hanging from it a cross over cable he'd attached to his bt homehub. this customer insisted we;d sold him a faulty xbox and the incorrect cable had nothing t do with it. (given the circumstances very unlikely) and demanded a replacement box legally he had no leg to stand on as he'd been advised not to, in the name of customer service he was given another box and offered a 50% discount on the correct cable which he rejected. the xbox was tested as working by his insistence before he left using our hubs and cables, another few days later he returned again, same problem same reason, this time he was refused the swap as it was his fault both times and we'd already humored his foolishness once, he shouted ans swore for a good long time until management and a nearby community support officer removed him from the building. he is probably going to file a court claim, and has probably added his name to the bottom of as many dsgi related blogs as he can find on the net. dont believe everyone's opinion, there are idiots everywhere most who are refused help are refused for a reason but despite that most who should be refused are still not. this post is not here for you to question why someone of my qualifications and degree history is working in a store for personal reasons i can currently only have part time work and pc world was what was available at the time question my content but not my personal descisions.
  • Ex G.
    True there are a lot of stupid people out there who will bring anything back to the store they can't get to work. On the other side of the coin though a lot of people feel conned from the over selling of the product in the first place. Told next day service. Rarley possible. Told the insurance covers everything only to find out later when their monitor malfuntions it's not included. I & S installs in my last few months were a nightmare for me, as they oversold the product and promised the customer everything would be setup including peer to peer network, printer file sharing etc. When the engineer turned up and just set the pc up customers were left dissappointed. All the store sales staff care about are their selling bonuses or are under to much presseure to meet targets. Getting 9- 10 jobs a day you had no time to realistly do anything as everything is rush rush rush. Customers have noticed this and are left wondering what service they are paying for!!! I just feel sorry for the few Tech guys that are left. My advice is get out now and take the Redundancy. There are plenty Of IT Jobs out there...
  • DSGI e.
    well yes this generally is a problem that starts from the top the stores themselves all strive to perform the best customer service and issue refunds etc etc whenever possible however you are right, when something we are attempting to do is not entirely controlled by store we start to hit snag after snag when the paperwork we hand a customer to symbolize the service they've handed cash over to which includes a detailed description of what they've just bought and a phone number to book the service at a convenient time often the paperwork will promise next day work from when the call is made so therefore when the call is made and they are told of 2-3 days wait or sometimes more then it becomes difficult for us in store to actually tell them the truth and hand them written paper that states the opposite. my store used to get by this by giving the customer a receipt and the phone number but then we hit against a company's policy problem we have to scan barcodes instead of typing in product codes, if we have the package at the tills to scan then the customer can see what we hve and it is very obvious from the packaging we are supposed to hand itto the customer so we have to. similarly the paperwork often tells a different story as to what is included than what the engineers are briefed is their jobs so customers pay for one thing and another happens, this is down to cross company communication being appaling and is a managment issue. often for big customers with specific requirements we daren't take the risk and we attempt to send someone from store to do the job if we have the manpower rota'd in and we are not too busy, this actually makes our jobs harder as if i'm out of hte building my colleagues have to cope with less support and such but stores do do as much as they possibly can to perfect customer service, (im not denying that somewhere in the company is the occasional brown nosing sales guy who will say anything to sell margin rich products but they are by far the minorityand unfortunately their actions tar the honest effort made by the other 95% of staff). the problems here are all communication if a product we sell gets tweaked/upgraded to market better then engineers should know what new is involved now i hear there are major changes going on within head office and i hope and am led to believe that this is being addressed because in my opinion the stores and store staff do an excellent job generally working within the company guidelines and it is merely the communication left hand to right hand that lets us down. if service descriptions in store matched what was offered out of store either by changing the promises made or by changing the engineer's instructions to make them match said promises then we'd be much better. similarly if engineers were sent a much more complete selection of parts per job then first time fixes would be up. i know of countless warranty fixes where there is a problem with the machine and engineer turns up with two parts, he swaps them over and finds that a third part was actually what was needed. he has to rebook the job and comes back the next day with the third part, job complete. twice the time is taken because the selection of parts sent tothe engineer is stingy and not sufficient now they are using hubs it should be even easier to get this right but still happens i myself have booked jobs telling we need a graphics card and hte engineer turns up with a power supply and a motherboard, low and behold he goes home again pc not fixed, its not his fault and he'll happily turn up again tomorrow with the part originally asked for at all stages the systems are what hold us back everyone does everything they can within the confines of their jobs but we fight a poor system i do not blame any staff on the ground but the head office management and their way of running the system. im going on and on but in short the customer service is amazing until it is something that the people you are dealing with are not able to make descisions/put into place the solutions that is when it all falls down communication is the falling point and needs addressing with such fixes the company can be expected to survive forever send me
  • annoyed
    My story - After 6 weeks and no fix, we ask for replacemnt or vouchers. After asking for that, it takes over 2 week for someone to come out and stick some stuff on the tv. We were told someone would phones with a LDO which was needed for the TV to be lifted. After 10 days and no call I phoned the tech guys to ask about this LDO number, the guy went away to speak to his supervisor and came back to tell me, "You don't actually need one, everything is already on the back of the TV my supervisor says". I said are you sure? Your field guy said we did and we should get a phonecall about it, but we never did. Again I was told, "No, you don't". So, we get a phonecall saying they were coming between 3 and 5PM to clooect our TV. When they arrived, they wouldn't take because there was no FRIGGIN LDO number. He got on the phone and I didn't hear what he said, but by the looks of it he was told to rip off the documentaion and start the process again. What a load of crap! For 10-11 weeks now I've had no HD TV and still paying for this coverplan and a Sky HD and multiroom package. Are they going to cover those costs that are rising due to their ineptness? I doubt it!/ Now we are told someone will phone up tomorrow with this LDO number and it should be collected this week. It god damn better be. Now i know the trouble this company and it's parent group is in, I wont be getting a new coverplan when I get a new TV with my vouchers, that's for sure. I now like most people here hope DSG fail. Bring on the yanks (Best Buy), who becuase of their general public know damn well how to complain and do so rather effectively, actually treat their customers half decent! Morons! Thanks for reading my rant :)
  • new g.
    I have been employed by the tech guys since the new hubs started, i quit last week i started in december , had basic training in flat panel tv`s - 1 day lcd and 1 day plasma. Then 1 day pc training. Luckily my trade has always been in tv and pc repairs so i had a fair knowledge before i started. I feel sorry for the ex van drivers and new engineers with limited knowledge in these areas as they are really struggling and the management do not care. All they are interested in is statistics and figures. The customers are just 'punters' (managers words) we can fob off. We have been instructed to never tell customers their rights as to 'whatever happens' or 'coverplan' even if we are still trying to fix the equipment 6 months later. If the customer is to thick to read the agreement then tough (manager again). I can`t work to those ethics and always treat customers as i would expect my elderly parents to be treated , and not ripped off by a firm who doesnt care less as long as the bonus targets are made. . And before anyone says i can`t do the job, my repair stats were between 60-80% since day 1 And i worked till 10pm some evenings I feel sorry for the guys left behind as the system is failing badly and more customers are getting aggressive (and rightly so). And there is more to come guys as soon you will be trying to repair all those returned store tv`s (some stores now have more faulty tvs than stock in warehouse) so expect the job volumes to increase. Tom barry has rightly been sacked, there is one more person who should own up to the fiasco called the techguys and fall on his sword as well. if any one has seen the childrens program , Big cook Little cook , the tech guys have their own version 'lying mc cook'.
  • Martinandev
    Just to add my two pennies worth, if DSGI/PCworld are so intent on trying to save a few quid, then imagine this, I have a 5yr coverplan document for my PC, god thank god i did may i add,.... however my monitor has been on the squiff for the past coupleof months, so, the repair company is based in dorset, i live in glasgow, now the monitor has been sent down 4 yes 4 times for repair, as the first time told me there was nothing wrong.... there was more wrong when it was returned as the LCD screen was bruised after the way it was packaged, so back it went, new LCD screen, new main board ,returned back to me again, still screwed, back again to dorset, changed the main power board, returned again, changed something else, back to me again, and now on monday its going back again, so let me think 4 trips via DPD, from Dorset to glasgow and back so basically 8 trips, all the new parts, wouldnt it have been easier to send a new one after the inital call????? would have saved them x amount, i should have thought at least a couple of hundered quid!!!!! simply put, if ya cant fix it, write it off....... save the hassle....... so now anyway, on tuesday once it arrives in dorset again, they are going to write it off, and send me vouchers, mind you god knows how much, they aint told me that yet, all i know is that my monitor was worth £271 four and a half years ago. so ill probaly get about £10 lol lol lol
  • existing t.
    old techguy I agree with you completely. mccook and Turner should also face the firing squad. In my opinion they are both as responsible for this fiasco for allowing it to happen. So long as those two clowns stay with us I have little hope for the future and like most people I work with I am skilling up and training in other related areas for when we all lose our jobs. If the company somehow survives another 12 months I doubt I will still be around anyway, they should be ashamed of themselves for what they have done. The workforce needed reducing without question but the amount of people who left on 8th december was frightening and the pople who stayed behind only did so because they didnt manage to find another job in time for the redundancy package and didnt want to risk being out of work in the hope of getting another job. I suspect the company will lose most of these pople over the coming year unless the terms improve drastically. This will result in only contractors and totally unskilled people left behind and I am not lying when I say most of these people should NOT be doing this job. They will go out to a TV and replace every part sent, if this doesnt fix the problem they will order whatever is left, this is no way to fix a product and cant possibly be making the company any money.
  • existing t.
    as an addition to my previous point I think the biggest problem is that my colleagues and I just dont give a shit any more. Where once I would bend over backwards to fix a TV nowadays I see little point in stressing over something I have now completely lost control over. There is so much oppurtunity for a job to fail before I even get the job in the morning that I just dont care any more. As a company we fail from the moment the customer gets through to some underpaid unhappy call cantre guy right through to the moment I am given the job. Many jobs will have wrong addresses, wrong contact details, no parts sent, faulty parts sent, wrong parts sent, wrong diagnosis, customer isnt aware we are coming, customer has been promised a timed call but absolutely no provision has been made to meet that promise, an assist hasnt been booked for a 50" TV which I obviously aint gonna lift myself etc etc..... It may sound awful but not caring any more is a natural defense mechanism when you can no longer control your environment and it is the only thing that will prevent me from getting very ill or worse.
  • Martinandev
    Well in a follow up post, I got £299.99 in vouchers, well they were actually sent to my mums, because the name and address hadnt been updated, (long long story), but in the end went to PC world to get the new monitor (ASUS PG221H), but they didnt stock it and refused to get it in and then told me to go home call the voucher customer services then go back to branch to see what i could get??? hmm 50 mile round trip, i thought no chance!!!, so currys were next door, so i thought ok ill try them, so after an hour and a half, I got my ASUS PG221H ordered from PC world in Chesterfield it was going to be shipped up by DHL to currys, now please bear in mind that currys DO NOT stock this brand of monitors, it is a PC world item!!!! I got the phone call as promised from claire ( one of the managers) and i went to collect the monitor, is amazing monitor. So anyway, My thanx have to go to Currys Braehead to Tom and Claire, try customer service agents, and PC world in Braehead, you really need to sort yourselfs out.!!! So another bit of news, Im awaiting a new Power pack, processor, ram stick and heat sink, they told me on the 8th Feb that it would be 10-14 days, so yesterday out of the blue, i got an engineer call me up and told me that he would be at my property between 11-1??? hmmm ok, so i had no phone call to let me know that the parts were in stock let alone book an appointment. But after another 1hr on the phone to complaints, i found out that they only ordered a fan a heatsink and a powerpack, so...... they have rearranged the appointment for next thursday... lets see what happens eh. for now martin
  • Ttg s.
    I am a employee of a store working in what used to be the Pc clinic. I am becoming increasingly worried by the techniques being advised by senior management in the store. It seems that fleecing the customer for as much as is possible has become a priority, not making sure the customer leaves with what is appropriate for them. I have raised this during briefings that by doing these things they are alienating people and been called a nay-sayer and told that I need to "shut up". I feel strongly that when it comes to business repeat/loyal customers are far more important to business and when it comes to a choice between customer satisfaction and procedure customer satisfaction wins every time! I do not understand how dsgi intends to survive if everyone gets fed up with the after-sales red tape. If you are paying 10% of the cost of your product yearly on an extended warranty (at least) then you should be entitled to a replacement! And now that your local desk staff have targets to meet be very careful when you ask for advice as this is now chargeable even if you intend to buy a product after seeking the advice. Employee concerned about letting their parents go into their local store.
  • Hayden B.
    i love cb forever i am a true fan !!
  • hub
    here we go again.
  • computer r.
    Hello there, You have performed a great job. I'll certainly digg it and in my view recommend to my friends. I'm confident they will be benefited from this web site.
  • james43
    That image has gone viral do a search for "pc world" in Google UK..
  • Chris
    Seems Google's auto image selecting algorithm hasn't worked in PC World's favour! ;)
  • james43
    Looks like the pc world logo has been fixed in Google..
  • PC M.
    [...] is replaced with ‘Like hell, only with worse customer service’. In 2008, an article about job cuts in the company’s servicing and repair division was written with an alternative logo created for that occasion, and this is the very logo Google [...]
  • PC A.
    [...] superstore’ is replaced with ‘Like hell, only with worse customer service’. In 2008, an article about job cuts in the company’s servicing and repair division was written with an alternative logo created for that occasion, and this is the very logo Google [...]

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