Life for TechGuys means "backlogs, shortages, system issues"

5 January 2009

We recently reported on DSG International's efforts to "provide better service for customers through a more efficient operating model." How did they go about this? The owners of PC World and Currys made several hundred TechGuys redundant. Since they're the people who effectively are customers services, then to those outside the company the plan made less sense than a rubber nun.

The question is now - has this new operating model improved matters? It seems the management of DSG International may not be so sure themselves. A comment on Bitterwallet reproduces an email that was apparently sent by a senior director to the remaining TechGuys staff, citing "a backlog of work, colleague shortages... and system issues." If this email is genuine, then we shouldn't expect any improvement in customer services just yet:

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

If you've had first-hand experience at a DSG International store recently, let us know how it was for you. Is it really as bad as some people say, or is it no better or worse for the changes made by senior management?

TOPICS:   High Street News   Games

25 comments

  • Recently T.
    I can confirm this letter is genuine. At last some recognition from DSGi senior management that there maybe problems ahead. As I have written previously in an older post, the service arm of DSGi is struggling to handle the workloads now their staff are redundant, however there are plenty of ex TechGuys that are willing to return on an agency contract.
  • Brian
    "Provide better service for customers through a more efficient operating model." Yeah, right. If you want to help your customers, how about not attempting to rip them off? I was in my local PC World store at the weekend waiting for a [email protected] item, and the people in front of me were attempting to return a faulty PC which was just over a year old. They quoted her "£29.99 to check it, and £150 for a new motherboard from emachines". I mean, c'mon, you can pickup a motherboard from several online stores for about £30 which would be better than the crap ebuyer provide. If they started to make profits off of the number of jobs they have instead of quoting ridiculous prices for silly jobs, they might actually be able to get themselves out of this mess.
  • Brian
    Sorry, "crap ebuyer provide" in the last comment should be "crap emachines provide"
  • Bob
    Hmmm, well perhaps they should tell the Techguys to do some work then? I went into the Kingston branch to scope the crap in their sale (nothing worth having btw) and there was 1 guy working on a pc, the other 3 just stood around having a chat and then one asked if anyone wanted a coffee and buggered off out to get them while the other 2 carried on chatting, this was at 9:30am incidentally.
  • Andy D.
    Bob, that describes 9.30am of every day in every job I've ever had. To quote Billy Connolly from 'An Audience With...' - "I do, I start real slow, and I... because I think you're the same yourself, you know, when you go at.. when you go to your work. Not you people at the front. The working classes at the back. The ones they talk about in those political programs as 'the ordinary people'. All you ordinary people, up there. When you go to your work in the morning, like 8 o'clock or whenever you start, you don't sort of go "8 o'clock, tschee", and into it. You sort of relax and scratch your arse and read the paper and look out the window."
  • well w.
    I don't even open my shop till 10am. it's usually around 12 i'm ready to get going.
  • Anon
    This mostly affects the after service not the stores themselves. When I've chatted to the techs from the Tech Guys they've told me that the ones who've left have no intention of returning because they'd lose their redundancy. A lot of the ones who've stayed on aren't that keen on staying either and might take the redundancy instead. Basically management is panicking because they have lost more techs than they thought they would and might lose a lot more, and are struggling to recruit new techs who can do the job properly. They are in a spot of trouble to say the least.
  • Anon
    TO BRAIN: £150 to fix a faulty e-machine! That will include labour no doubt & having had experience working with e-machines I can tell you that they use a Bestec power supply that had prob blown causing the damage. When they blow they take out the motherboard & CPU. So a new motherboard, CPU & power supply plus labour for £150 thats seems, to me, a good price. AND TO BOB: Whats so important in your life that you need to go to a PC World store at 9:30 in the morning? & then to comment on some guys doing their job. Maybe it was a morning briefing or handover they were having.
  • PC c.
    **** PC WORLD BUSINESS CLOSURES **** PC World Store Managers have been briefed about further redundancies. These include closure of the PC World Business units within stores - even when many of them have just been refurbished in a UK wide multi million pound store transition package.
  • 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
  • Trading U.
    There is a DSGi trading update on Thu, Jan. 15. John Browett will be on hand to all media output for interviews. Make sure any share holders, upset customers and confused workers get the opportunity to forward relevant questions. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/breakfast/1818774.stm http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/news/inbusiness/contactus.shtml http://www.bbc.co.uk/fivelive/programmes/breakfast.shtml http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/programmes/081028_world_business_news.shtml http://news.sky.com/skynews/Static-Pages/Contact-Sky-News http://itn.co.uk/contact.html http://www.lbc.co.uk/send-nick-ferrari-an-email-3421
  • Deathwatch B.
    [...] are fears that the company may break rules covering its debt arrangements. Throw in a mountain of customer service problems, and it’s clear that 2009 doesn’t look too rosy for one of the biggest names on the [...]
  • Glenn
    May be you think they should bury their heads in the sand and keep employing the same number of personnel until they go bust??
  • iAn
    I agree that "Customer Service" is an issue with any part of DSGi I ordered stuff from partmaster in November - the items was missing one component Nobody at partmaster is answering emails (and believe me there-are quite a few)- not even the CEO of DSGi PLC! I know partmaster is run by connect-distribution (another poorly run company with absolutely shocking levels of CS), however it does carry the DSGi groups logo and obviously its customer service policies! like none DO NOT USE THEM
  • PC B.
    [...] Oh. [...]
  • Colin
    When we took redundancy this was because of the weekend cover going from a 5 day cover to 7 day cover which was forced on us as part of our 40 hour week and the so called 90 day consultation period was one sided and up until the day we left decisions were still being made to the T&C's that engineers would work too. we would gladly go back to the company either as staff or contract but due to the fact that we have taken redundancy we are unable to work for DGI for 6 six months and they have also stoppped agency's who have been asked to fill in with contractors fron recruting us? They are in big trouble but to proud to admit to it for fear of loosing trade? and face?
  • tom t.
    pc world will always be an overcharging rubbish store with rubbish staff because its not about getting the best product at the best price, its about getting the "apparent best product the average joe might have heard of" and any price they can get away with.
  • tom t.
    Sorry to clarify that's no dig at the staff, but they cant provide a top service is the company is setup like it is, but its not the staffs fault.
  • Exclusive B.
    [...] support workers and the company’s customer services. Even DSGI management themselves have recognised problems with the newly introduced plan to improve the company’s [...]
  • Unemployed T.
    400 Techguy staff were made redundant early December. It was all the experienced workshop and field guys doing plasma , lcd and TV repairs, and PC engineers forced to do plasma/lcd repairs. They offered us 8 till 8 working days incl. Sunday, a reduction of wages of around 6K and removal of our enhanced redundancy if we stayed. As I was there 24 years it didn’t take long to think about. The vast majority of the experienced long serving staff to walked. Now of course they can’t find many people to work for them. virtually nothing is being fixed on the road like they planned and the structure has gone into meltdown. Now it seems they may have to make more changes to their ‘plans’. I am not on the PC side of things but I know how bad the service was for that and it’s jusy got a whole lot worse. The descision to get rid of all workshops will kill the Techguys off for good. They are so desperate they are using temp staff from agencies that have no experience in repairs and giving them a few days training apparently. Wish I had known then I could have forgone my 5 year apprenticeship and jumped straight in. And no we can't go back for 6 months. I would be surprised if they have any service running at the end of that. If it is still up and running then I bet they will be making some calls to ex employees. They have done it before ! Instead of trying to fix everything on the road they should have gone the other way and bring it all in where the strongest force could deal with it along with all their resources. The only problem we really had was our fantastic delivery service that smashed 50% of anything they touched. That's where they should have looked to improve service.
  • Sasi p.
    All Pc world store managers and assistant managers are being put on 90 day notice as of 2nd feb ! Just read the letter
  • -.-
    I find it pathetic how a number of DSG employees on here clearly pass on false information on what is happening with the company; it would be interesting to see where "Sasi patel" received his information from, as it would " PC world Business closures". Customers have their right to an opinion on DSG, but those people visiting these websites are the ones who have received bad service. What about all those that receive excellent service? I think people should be careful before before putting forty thousand employees into one basket.
  • TechGuy
    The information from Sasi Patel is from the GM's mouth that's where. As for putting 40,000 staff into one basket, it would help if 3/4 of them worked more than 8 hours a week and actually gave a damn about their job. Therefore putting the customer first and actually knowing something about the products they sell. If they did give a crap, they'd get the bonus's they're all complaining theyre not getting and the full time staff would get what they deserve. Simple maths.
  • PC B.
    [...] we’ve published stories concerning tumbling share prices, staffing issues, shock management departures, store mergers, sales techniques or redundancies, you’ve been [...]
  • Former g.
    Hi, I can't confirm that this letter is genuine but I can confirm the entire firm's a big joke. The technical support department isn't there to help customers - more keep dsgi's shareholders pockets full. They just constantly instruct staff to get customers off the phone as quick as possible and give them as little of the service they're overpaying for they can; and don't get me started on the amount of "lost" laptops and games consoles that the company blame on the garage and the couriers...which are surely under the employ of the dixons group? or whatever they go by today. Add on top of this doing everything they can to get out of giving premium customers the loan laptop they pay that little extra for and I for one, after seeing the group from the inside, will never purchase anything from p.c world, dixons or currys....and to think they reprimand people for not giving "goo customer service" when it's not possible to please the customer when you're powerless to help them on 75% off calls...rant over!

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