For all you car aficionados out there, how's this for an operating system analogy from PC World? Installing Linux onto a laptop sold by the computer retail behemoth is like putting a Ford engine into a BMW, apparently. Earlier this week a mysterious PC World customer, known only by the name of Tikka, posted a story to Slashdot …
@ Luke Wells
You do raise a valid point about anyone tech savvy not using PC World. But if it's a branded product (Sony, Acer, HP etc.) and it's cheaper than anywhere else, surely logic and common sense kick in and tell you to save money rather than pride?
Installing Windows Vista on a PC is...
...like taking the engine, dash, steering wheel, and seats of of a car, replacing the windscreen with a fancy shiny new one that looked like the old one, installing a HUD that shows some numbers that don't actually mean anything, and then setting the whole car on fire after 2 hours, with a BFOD (Blue Flame Of Death :)
I have read another forum regarding this issue, and the guys name was Morris...hmmm, but still, the point is that installing Linux ( or any other OS ) should not void the warranty on hardware. Did PC World put this in a clause when they sold the device? I don't think so!
PC World is just great!
I would willing sell my house (and family) to help PC World. They're just wonderful. All you communists should stop knocking big businesses and realise they're with all of their customers all the way ...
"Linux? MY ARSE!!"
Will it run a standard distro or must we compile a kernel especially?
"By the way, Linux is utter utter rubbish and is for fat sweaty bearded nerds with glasses like Clark Kent."
My god - it's like he watching the security camera point right at my desk!! It must have been recently though, I literally only just got my "clark" glasses this week....
In my defence, I only really started using linux properly this year since I tried a cracked copy of Vista and almost threw up my 10cups of coffee all over my spiderman-figurine collection!!
FYI, PC World is crap... has been since forever. I bought a laptop a couple of years back from there, it was an acer (I know I know...), the thing kept freezing for a second at a time, when it froze it didn't register any keypresses.... because I bought the thing for programming and ANY missing characters causes problems I took it back... they told me to p*ss off, and they couldn't do jack for it. So I took it home, threw it into the pond. Rang up their warranty/repaire people and told them I had an accident.... within a week I got lots of nice vouchers to replace my substandard laptop... this time i got a fujitsu seimans.... best laptop ever...
My next will be an Apple I think... linux is great and all, but I want to compare all 3 properly. Not just be a uninformed tosser like our friend Ex-Pat! :)
PC World Rocks...not!
I have asked both via the DSG web site and the store what's they do for the 50 point PC health check.
No-one could tell me.
I also asked if they would repair a laptop running Linux and they said "what's that"?
Is anyone actually surprised?
Seriously, this is PC World we're talking about here.
You might, if all the stars and planets align, and the wind blows in just the right direction, get lucky and find a tech or salesperson who actually knows *something* about computers, but when you walk in there you're pretty much walking into a clue-free zone. I suspect the only training they give their floor staff is on how to sell those stupid extended warranties for any piece of hardware (I bought a mouse there once before I knew better, and they tried to sell me extended warranty. On a 15 quid mouse, for pity's sake! My response wasn't very polite, I must confess.)
I've no reason to believe their techs receive any better training. I wouldn't bring a PC there for repair under any circumstances!
As a Linux user I'm not remotely offended by this, and the only surprise is that a Linux user would set foot in somewhere like PC World in the first place.
PC World know they're wrong on this one - not because of Linux, but because of the consumer's rights under the Sale of Goods Act which uses a legal term called 'strict liability' - essentially, PC World have to prove that there was no manufacturing defect with the machine.
The consequences for a company found to breach SoGA are deliciously many, varied and nasty.
If you have trouble with a product breaking or being defective, take it back to the retailer (with whom you have the contract - not the manufacturer), if they object, mention SoGA and trading standards.
I just got a out of warranty Toshiba TV repaired gratis because of a manufacturing fault with the HDMI card. Toshiba, unlike PC World, were completely professional about the whole situation.
1) Friend's brother-in-law goes into PC World.
"I want a computer that will play this game my daughter is buying me for Christmas".
Salesman: "You want this one expensive one here, it will cost you this ££££"
Rings PC Service Call at first opportunity after Christmas Day - game won't work.
"Of course it won't sir. The graphics card isn't powerful enough"
2) Sister-in-law buys new router but it doesn't work at all.
PC World guy "It's because it has the Super G wireless access point built in. That doesn't work with AOL" (I know - level of S-i-L's inteligence indicated by PCW & AOL!)
3) I also worked with someone who had previously worked at PC Service Call in Nottingham. He claims they were banned from PCW because they confused staff by asking for "a bag of IRQs" and then watching them go and 'ask someone else' or 'check the stockroom'.
@ Zzzzzz By Ex Pat
What do you think allows you to surf the net fuckwit? LINUX
Check the checkout
last time I had the misfortune to go into PCWorld, the checkout software appeared to be running a version of Nix.
When I read the original article I wondered if this might be an Acer laptop. Between me and my parents we've got 3. Different spec from the same year, but with identical cases. All started with tiny hairline cracks, always above the back-left hinge, then suddenly massive splits in the case that destroy the screen. Told by tech. support at Acer that it was from 'opening and closing the laptops'. Never again.
PC world == shite
When I was younger they refused to give me a job because I had long hair (I'm a bloke). Best thing that ever happened to me.
Never heard a good word said about them since.
Re: Windows marketing "Search results for: "linux"
"PC World Recommends Windows Vista® Home Premium"
All dealers do this in adverts - they were (don't know if they still are) required to do it or they didn't get the MS products which they were obliged to install on every computer sold.
As Linus Torvalds said "Bill Gates can't tell me anything about computers, and I can't tell him anything about business".
Hm... reminds me of yesterday's situation with a friend of mine. He was having trouble with the DSL modem, and called the ISP to get the thing working. He bluffed his way through the "Windows" setup (he was running Linux) and even smoked up an "Error" message for the guys. They fiddled with the line, and the modem started working! Just as he was about to hang, he told them "HA HA, I was using Linux!". The "huh?" from the tech support guys before he hung up was priceless.
...the spokesperson had said "buying a Jaguar and squeezing a Ford engine in" they would have perfectly illustrated PC World's problems...
@ When is a Tech Guy not a Tech Guy.............
Didn't know how to restart the Internet.
Maybe he assumed there was a button marked "Start".
Simple Solution, Fire the Tech
Fire the Tech, this was an idiot who is undeserving of a job, it can't possibly be the company policy that a purely hardware defect or failure has anything to do with having Linux or some other OS instead of Windows.
Well, then again maybe some loon did try to circulate such a memo, and should also be fired.
The thing to remember is that your point of contact with a company is supposed to be a rep. for the company but is (sometimes, unfortunately) a human being. If that human made good judgement calls would they even be in a retail store return tech position?
Doesn't Surprise me
Wanted to buy a laptop at PC world
Was told that I needed to buy a new version of MS office as I wasn't allowed to install it on the new machine. Ignored that, found an acceptable one, and was about to pay for it when the hard sell on the warranty came in.
Was basically told buy the warranty, or we will refuse to look at your machine, even if there is a hardware fault covered by the SOGA.
Credit card back in wallet, walked out, not gone back
Right Then, i realise im probably gonna get the sh**te ripped outta me for this...
Anyway I am and have been an employee of PCWorld for about 3 years, i am a student so i only work part time. I am one of the techies at the store. Now majority of this is negative comments although i do genuinely want to know how many of you are talking from personal experience because this seems to me like the whole "vista scenario" of well my mate says its crap and i read.....
Basically PCWorld is far from perfect and i am in no way defending many of their actions. But PCWorld warranty doesnt apply to software, hence software isnt covered by warranty, you screw your operating system, you fix it!
The fact he had installed linux shouldnt have come into it.
I have also experienced some of the "very special" people who work within the company and have expressed my views on many opinions which has landed me in a great deal of trouble.
The point of this post is that we're not all incompetant fools, infact the PCWorld which i work at located in Hull is actually pretty good for service. Some people will complain about us, some will praise us. But as with all retail sales, thats how things go. All i will say is that if you come in with you "im superior" attitude you will get nowhere, we can refuse refunds (against the SOGA, you say?) well no it isnt because we can refuse to deal with any customer who is rude to us, we are employed to serve, not take sh**t from some trumped up "IT techie" who believes he knows more than he does.
If someone comes in to ask me a question i will gladly serve them to the best of my capability. No i am not perfect, but amongst our tech team, we have one weak link (dont come in on a wednesday morning).
Oh and all of you spouting this sales of goods act rubbish, WE DO NOT HAVE TO GIVE YOU A REFUND AFTER 28 DAYS, we are well within our rights to repair the fault.
And to the guy who worked for "the tech guys" call centre, i have on many occasions had a good chat with some of your software supports, of which many know what they're doing, and some do not. like in all things it isnt always black and white, you and i both know you dont talk through the tests with all the pcw tech guys because some of us actually know enough to diagnose a PC.
The problem with PCWorld is the complete lack of touch with the computer industry. Theyre investing in stupid pilot schemes, releasing videos on youtube and generally making a ballsup of their hiring process. (For the job i was not asked a single technical question). Their recent brain wave is a knowledge training scheme which again is flawed because it is designed by head office who have the technical knowhow of a small shrew. e.g. this is a question posed for a "knowledge test"
What are three common features of a PDA
Apparently FM radio is a common one and email is not. Nuff said.
Any questions email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sales of Goods Act gets so widely miss quoted by customers it ridiculous.
Any way, the only grounds to have requested the original Windows infected state of the machine would have been if there had been graphic related issues. In which case it would be perfectly reasonable to expect the machine to be restored to factory settings. Now given this on top of a non-existent DOA period and severely lacking support for Acer products (ask your small indies about Acer) then you start to see why big retailers (Currys/Comet/PC World etc.) are all becoming more fussy.
Before victimised Linux fans come down too hard on the rational behind it, the same approach is applied to Windows if versions are changed from the shipped version (Vista OEM Upgrades exempt naturally).
Unfortunately given sales people are human they require motivation to learn and be knowledgeable about the products. No amount of training is going to overcome a 16 yr old working 8 hours a week not wanting or caring about the product. Stick them in a super market and no one would ever notice their lack of motivation or commitment to the job. Put them in a position where they have to put the pieces together and go the extra mile and that's when you see the difference.
We all remember the bad experiences more than the good. And despite what most people think, Comet, Currys & PC World are all commission free. They get biggest team bonuses from high customer service scores, i.e. trying to keep as many people happy as possible.
That's... nice, really.
But seriously, your friend is a loser if he thought he'd caused the guy any grief. He probably went 'Huh?' because your friend apparently just blurted out 'HAHA I WAS USING LINUX!!!' at thrice the volume that a normal person speaks at. I guarantee that the entire office likely laughed at your friend's ridiculous behaviour after the call.
Bad comparison on two counts
The "Ford engine in a BMW" comparison is bad enough. Saying that the Acer laptop is a BMW, on the other hand, is FAR worse...
Not Linux but another PCW cock up.....
Perhaps there is a better thread somewhere for this but.......
About six weeks ago, I bought a Linksys CIT200 skype phone for my kids to keep in touch with me (they are in UK, I now live in Aus). In the local PCW there was an entire wall of these Linksys phones, and they were an ok price. Now, having been caught out before, I asked one of the assistants whether the phone was compatible with Vista. "Of course sir". Logical really, given that ALL the wintel pcs/laptops in that PCW had Vista, like it or lump it. (Sorry, have to admit I bought a Vista desktop for the kids - unashamed product testing by stealth!). Took it back to the kids place, tried to install it, and surprise surprise, its not supported by Vista, and Linksys have no plans to do so.
How the hell can PCW be pushing a skype phone that doesn't work with Vista, when they will only sell Vista pc's/laptops (Macs notwithstanding)?
Same deal with webcams too I noticed, on a later visit.
Anyway, I just checked their on line store - no more CIT200; an admission of guilt?
"The problem with PCWorld is the complete lack of touch with the computer industry."
I couldn't agree more.
The notion of "experts" at PCWorld always makes me laugh. Anybody worth their IT salt will not be working down at PCWorld. If I buy anything there (and it's rarely), I don't bother talking to the sales people. They wouldn't know a serial bus from a Routemaster.
From what I've heard, the majority of their techies aren't much better.
How about this?
Search results for: "linux"
PC World Recommends Windows Vista® Home Premium
HP did the same to me
Right after buying a HP desktop computer I've installed Debian GNU/Linux on it. A few months later, the hard disk stopped working so I had to call the help desk in India. After a while trying to let them understand that the disk was f*ed they told me to run some tests. When I told them I could not because I had Linux on it they refused to replace the disk because installing Linux voided the warranty!
I was so fed up!! I called the a couple of days later saying that I could not run the tests because I had a 'No disk found' message from the BIOS and two days later I had a new disk on my doorstep :)
Not all Staff....
Not all Staff working for pcworld are complete and utter idiots
personally am willing to bet that the store in question was one of a couple of stores (one of which is staples corner) which have a bad rep even among pcworlds.
it doesnt help that the call center has changed hands, the technical test for the job has been well not dropped but dumbed down, when i joined it at least had questions like "what is this slot called" with a circled slot on a motherboard. now the test has questions like "what is the latest version of windows", training has been cut from 5 weeks to 3/4. training when you move up grades has been dropped (you used to have to pass MCSE and A+ before you could move to the top grade, now its pretty much the windows question above)
the store staff and many of the engineers for desktops are a joke...
if elreg would like the full story once i leave ill be happy to explain the drops in quality and staff moral along with stories of poor diags/customer fools when i chew through the chains on the desk
In order not to mis-quote the sale of goods act, here it is
"(1) In section 14 of the [1979 c. 54.] Sale of Goods Act 1979 (implied terms about quality or fitness) for subsection (2) there is substituted—
“(2) Where the seller sells goods in the course of a business, there is an implied term that the goods supplied under the contract are of satisfactory quality.
(2A) For the purposes of this Act, goods are of satisfactory quality if they meet the standard that a reasonable person would regard as satisfactory, taking account of any description of the goods, the price (if relevant) and all the other relevant circumstances.
(2B) For the purposes of this Act, the quality of goods includes their state and condition and the following (among others) are in appropriate cases aspects of the quality of goods—
(a) fitness for all the purposes for which goods of the kind in question are commonly supplied,
(b) appearance and finish,
(c) freedom from minor defects,
(d) safety, and
It seems reasonable that you can replace the OS on a computer as that is why there are different ones (and PC world once sold other ones). If durability is in question i.e the hinge is weak or faulty, then the warranty should be honoured.
analogy more like this...
Putting a Ford engine in a BMW is like installing Linux on an Apple Mac.
That is, pointlessly replacing one of the components in an over-priced system bought only by knob-gobblers with more money than sense who are more interested in brand styling than anything else.
... direct on 0870 853 1000 and arrange a collect & return to Acer's own repair shop. All charges paid by Acer. Anyone who shops at PC World these days deserves exactly what they get.
Another analogy ...
Isn't installing Linux on a laptop kinda like installing Linux on a BMW 7 series with iDrive?
Funny that analogy...
If PC World sold cars, then you could probably buy a Ford (Ka) for the same price that other dealers sell Porsches.
Free Laptop with Orange
Was in PC World recently with a mate who's just moved into his own flat and wanted a computer and broadband. Was happy with the 2gb Orange service so we went to look at the laptops. PCWorld had on display a machine that I was sure would be suitable for his needs and was only £50 on top of the Orange contract. Needless to say, that machine wasn't in stock but they did have 'this other one over here' which was £80 extra and had a higher model number.
Said friend would have bought it on the spot but the helpful member of staff forgot to mention that it had
a) half the amount of ram (and running Vista as well, mental!)
b) had a slower processor
c) had a smaller harddrive (40gb vs 80gb)
We were told in no uncertain terms that the higher spec laptop would never be back in stock (if indeed, it ever was in stock) and we'd have to buy this one.
Anyway, we went next door and bought the higher spec one for the advertised price. I'll never shop there again, bunch of bloody chancers the lot of them.
Erm, Windows Vista, Internet Explorer 7 and my ADSL connection. That is what allows me to surf the web. So, instead of being a complete tosser, why don't you go bore someone else with your Linux tripe. See you next tuesday.
They are still refusing to fix the hinge!
If you look at Tikka's website, you will see that PCW have still been refusing to fix the hinge even after DSG's public statement about this.
It is ridiculous and irrelevant to say people should know better than to shop at PCW, or run Linux, or to rely on PCW support. The issue is really very simple: DSG's practices are in breach the statutory and regulatory obligations governing the retail trade. This should not be tolerated.
Personally, I am troubled by the fact that regulatory authorities seem to have very small teeth when it comes to discouraging repeated and systematic breaches of the rules. Their role is often appears to be one of offering support to individuals who have the time and patience to threaten small claims cases, rather than fixing the problem at source once and for all.
I had a problem the other day with one of my clients brand new laptop (pre-loaded with windoze vista).. I was tring to re-install this PC with XP, After taking the PC back because it was impossible to do an XP installation install without having to build my own recovery cd etc, they told us that the PC's warranty had been Voided because it didn't have Vista installed.. great news for me, my client happened to be a solicitor and took immediate action.
As a re-seller of Hardware, there has to be a clear Hardware Warranty which can not be bundled with the software that was pre-loaded. The software comes with no warranty.... do you not think MS would have gone down the pan years ago if this was the case. WAKE UP GUYS! MS is for people who want to throw there money into Billion$ companies who dont care about good software just the £$€ signs.....
Welcome to the Open-source revolution. (about time)
Ex sales now a dev
During university i used to work at pc world. I also worked there full time for 1 year before that. This was from 1996-1999.
I was one of those people who actually knew what I was talking about, as did a number of the people in tech support (now known as the 'tech guys').
I had a really bad issue with the attitude of PC WORLD and that was that sales counted above all else. Sure customer service was an issue but if you didn't sell you didn't keep your job and the 'coverplan' extended guarantee was focused on very heavily. In those days pc world were selling p75s for 1.5k and then another service plan for say £450, they were absolutely laffing.
The problem I had was that when I tried to explain to some people about ram compatibility, or linux operating systems (yes they sold them), or give them general advice on what they actually needed (as opposed to what pc world wanted to sell them), I was pulled up and told 'we don't really like people with technical ability to be employed here'.
In fact I was told to keep away from customers and in the end just turned up to collect a wage but I always pride myself that I always tried to sell people what they needed as opposed to what they didn't need.
PC WORLD are what they are, they are a profit orientated retail outlet and care little for the technicals. They have also realised this mistake too late as the ticket prices have fallen, they have scrapped commission selling and a lot of people left because the wages are so poor.
They are now realising that customer service was oh so important as peolpe are now more tech savvy and know much more than in 1996 about pcs. The trouble is the damage has already been done to their reputation and is probably undoable.
All because they tried to run it like a branch of dixons, which was always a mistake.
A good thing (yes shock horror) about PC world is...
< good bit >
..that you can get their online pricing and pick up the thing in store! I buy most of my PC parts and spares for me or other people from dabs.com and only ever had one problem (they sent me 3 routers instead of 1, and didn't charge me extra yay). But if I want something in a hurry, like that day, it's good to know an hour after ordering, if it's in stock, I can boogie over and collect it in person.
< /good bit >
< bad bit >
However I won't disagree with the attitude of the staff advising (if you can call it that) customers. When I was helping choose my sisters first laptop 3 years ago, I saw one particular unit that looked like a good choice - I had a query, however, over works suite 2000. Collared the nearest smiling person in purple shirt, and asked him "do you know if works suite 2000 comes with proper word 2000 instead of the pansy on-board works word processing component" - I expected a two part answer, a) did he know the answer or not, and b) if he knew the answer, what it was. All I got was "I work here" and an arrogant grin - tempted to swear at him for his unfounded arrogance - I said "that doesn't impress me - either you go and find the answer or I tell your supervisor you shouldn't have a job here, and I know more than most of you put together". I'd imagine most readers of this fine e-zine know more than most pc world staff - here's the funny thing, I was rejected when I went for a job with them when I was 17! Might apply again for a non-sales role just for a giggle to see if I get any further now I'm 24...
< /bad bit >
- Geek's Guide to Britain INSIDE GCHQ: Welcome to Cheltenham's cottage industry
- 'Catastrophic failure' of 3D-printed gun in Oz Police test
- Game Theory Is the next-gen console war already One?
- Analysis Spam and the Byzantine Empire: How Bitcoin tech REALLY works
- VIDEO Herschel Space Observatory spots galaxies merging