"it's even worse than you thought"
I'm sorry? Dixons is worse than I thought? Nope, not possible...!
DSGI will overhaul its PCWorld computer barns and slash its fleet of High Street shops as part of a turnaround plan revealed the same day it admitted sales have gone into reverse at its computer retail business. The dire condition of the electronics giant's business was underlined by the company's decision to halve its …
that these stores have become little more than glorified showrooms for a large portion of the populace.
For my own part, if I'm buying a new electrical item, I'll do my research on line, and create a comparison list. Then it's off to the local retail parks, mooching around all the retailers (Comet, Curry's,PC World etc) to get a 'real world' look at the shortlist, then I'll make my selection. Obviously, if I can get it cheaper on line, factoring in delivery cost and convenience, then it'll be an on-line purchase. It's not often that the stores beat the on line pricing. I've even had the experience of quoting their own 'on-line price' in the store and asking them to match it, then being refused. My reaction - I take my money elsewhere. If DSGI want to survive, then the instore pricing has to match up to the on-line pricing AND be competitive at that level.
BTW, I Do Not Want to be offered an 'extended warranty' every time I buy something. By all means send me the offer via snail / email later, but my reaction in-store will always be "no thanks".
Dixons, Curry's & PC World rarely carry the latest models of most digital cameras and other items I am familiar with as a gadget freek. They sell models a year or two older and at prices that are the same as the latest better specified items. This is consistent across their stores. They are also slow to adopt the latest PC/Mac models. If they wish to compete with the online marketplace (Amazon etc) they need to keep their stock current and be more competitive with their pricing. Most importantly, they need to ensure popular items are IN stock. Curry's benefited form this recently. I surfed to Amazon to buy a black EEE PC 4G - none in stock. So I popped into my local Curry's and they had 5. Yes, I paid £30 more but if it breaks all I need do it take it back (no shipping hassles) and I had it within a few hours from making my purchasing decision. (I phoned in advance to check stock levels.) To be fair to bricks and mortar, it is cruel for them when consumers play with a gadget in their shops and then purchase from a competitor online. To alleviate this, retailers need to keep the latest models in stock and offer deals - just as Amazon do when they offer another complimentary item for a bargain, such as a memory card. (EEE PC is a very capable machine BTW.)
I used to work at PCW a long time ago (almost 10 years), in Customer Services, and moved to the Technical Dept. a year later, despite the piss pour customer services policies, most of which I ignored anyway, the company wasn't so bad back then.
The reason I left, was when they introduced "Multi-skilling", putting Technicians on the tills, and sales staff in the Technical dept. and once the sales staff had screwed up almost everything they could, they dragged us back in to fix it, it sucked, and pretty much all the competent tech. staff left the company.
The company only cared about saving money, by employing brain dead staff, and screwing over knowledgeable staff, and now they're shocked that nobody in their stores has a clue.
I don't think one of the sales staff in our store had any IT background, and wouldn't know the difference between AMD or Intel CPUs, other than Intel would get them more commission one month, and AMD the next.
For those that had a "Healthcheck" with PCW, if it was after 2000, there's a good chance you were sat with a sales advisor, who had been trained to "tick boxes" on their custom software that did, well jack.
Paris, because she knows more about IT, than the combined PCW staff worldwide.
Anyone who's been to a PC World store in the past 6 years could have forseen this! The only people who shop there are OAP's and chavs, neither of whom have any idea about computers.
For a store that charges £10 for a kettle lead, I can have no sympathy.
Paris, as I'm sure she'd like a rich OAP to mooch off (and she's very chav-like).
Went into a PC World the other day and within a nano-second was asked by a spotty teenager if I needed any help.
I said: "Yes...I am looking for a motherboard".
He said: "What"?
I repeated what I'd said and he went off to ask somoene what I meant.
That's the reason why PC World is crap and not performing. At last some knob at the top has realised that you have to spend money on training. It's only taken them 10 years to work that out !
What a load of shit, thats balls.
Stock issues are always the problem at PC World. You go there to buy a laptop becuase you want or need one that day and its NEVER in stock. I tried 4 times last year and had to goto another store on each visit becuase it wasnt available.
Even their macs wernt in stock, the only reason I got it in another store was becuase they couldnt be arsed to stick them our on display
Two weekends ago I was having a bit of a tech problem and suspected an old USB2 card of being the culprit. It was about 4pm on a Sunday.
For many years I have actively advised people to avoid DSG and PC World in particular for their tech purchases. However a thoroughly out-of-character fit of generosity came across me and I thought I might have been too harsh and/or they might have improved.
So I went down to purchase a replacement card.
The one I got was a few quid more than I'd expect to pay from a proper PC parts place, but at 4:30 on a Sunday I was willing to take the hit.
I got it home to discover that within the *sealed* box was a clearly second-hand card - the retaining bracket had been bent significantly and the anti-static bag had clearly been opened.
There was a disk in the package - after all, one would expect a driver disk to be included. However, I was not expecting an unlabelled Sony CD-R without the correct drivers on it, but with a pirate copy of Ulead Media Studio 8.
Suffice it to say that I didn't install the card.
The next morning, I was at PC World within minutes of it opening, and although I got my refund fairly promptly, what I didn't get was more telling - no apology, no assurance that this sort of thing almost never happens, no interest in finding out how this had happened and (possibly most worrying) not even a look of surprise.
Oh well, back to slagging off DSGI and PC World to anyone that'll listen - and some that won't.
I used to work at PCW too, and left when the "one team" came in.. I was probably one of the rarest PCW Sales staff around, as I actually knew what products were, and how they worked.
Nowadays, it is shocking at the lack of product knowledge the staff posess. I don't think anyone in my local PCW has much knowledge of the latest gadgets, technologies, or anything like that, and only sell what is on the endcap, as it is on offer..
I remember when PCW put up huge 60x40's at the front of stores saying "Our staff don't work on comission".. well maybe it is about time to employ people who know what they sell, are enthusiastic to sell the right product, and have to know to be able to earn money to be able to do so.. !
I'm an anonymous coward too... oh well!
I used to work for DSG some years back. Their training was actually pretty good BUT it only focused on sales technique not on product knowledge. Consequently we all got very good at selling their wretched Mastercare Coverplan, but not so good at advising on what to actually buy in the first place. Some sales staff really knew their stuff, but they almost invariably moved on to better paying jobs.
Maybe PC World will actually start living up to its name and return to selling PC related items? Over 1/3rd of most stores seem to be allocated to TVs and stationary now - thats not what people go to a PC world store for.
If I want a TV I'll go to look at them in Currys (but probably buy from Lewises due to the FREE extended guarantee)
Digital Camera... same.
If I want stationary, I'll go to a stationary shop. Printer paper I can understand. Folders/Pens etc no thanks.
I remember years ago when I could spend hours (mainly reading books) in a PC world and when books took up maybe a 1/4 of shop floor and I generally never left without buying something.
Now I have no interest in even going in.
One of the few fun things about PCW is eavesdropping on the sales people bullshitting the customers - I heard one bloke say to a woman, and I quote, "this machine has Microsoft spreadsheet, blah blah blah, blah blah blah, blah blah" and the woman kept nodding as if he was saying something she understood.
Made for each other.
As for 'extended warranty' the other day I was asked in another of those furniture warehouses to supply name, address, phone number and email address - to buy a bed! As if.
The biggest issue these guys face is that internally, they struggle with having both real world and online stores. They cannot afford to have an online presence that is too effective as it'll eat into store footfall and therefore sales, which given the costs of operating these huge purple barns is something they desperately want to avoid.
Its the reason they introduced this "buy online, pickup at store" nonsense.
They know their staff are majorly rubbish, because just like any mass-market box shifting outfit their margins simply aren't going to be there if they're also having to pay for knowledgable staff who of course will be more expensive than the YTS trainees you encounter at the moment... I'll never forget the moment I was told that USB was the same as Firewire...
They need to massively reduce their physical presence and invest heavily in their online site(s) and fulfillment/delivery service, and simply take the write down financially for doing so and play the long game.
PC World lives, currently, in the dark ages of overpriced mass-market consumer electronics, high pressure warranty and accessory sales, and a general "don't give a stuff once you've paid" mentality.
Oh come on. PC World, Currys, Dixons, any high-street store is *absolutely 100% useless* at selling anything more complicated than a toaster. Even Maplin's has suffered from this but they tend to have at least one knowledgeable staff member *somewhere* in each shop.
I reached the point *many* years ago where they were nothing more than entertainment stores - by that I mean that when the wife was browsing for bedcovers, I'd go into a nearby PC World (if there was nothing else nearby) and eavesdrop on conversations for pure humour value.
"Dual core, sir? It means it has twice as much RAM, which means you can store more documents on it."
Seriously. I work in IT support and when someone tells me they bought a PC in PC World, the problem is already solved - they bought it in PC World, ffs. Take it back to them, I'm not interested in fixing it. I've worked in schools that *bought computers from them* (not even their business arm, PCWB, which are still just as bad) as a matter of routine and I nearly passed out when I heard.
Someone bought me a £5 voucher for Dixons the year before last (I know, they were a potless student, though, so I didn't mind). After FIVE of their largest stores, I could not find ANYTHING to buy with it (I was hoping for a cable of some use, or possibly a budget game, or a set of batteries).
Vastly overpriced, vastly inferior, technically incompetent. Oh, and "Do you want an extended warranty on that" should be written on DSG's gravestone.
The only possible use for PC World etc. is to pick up a particular product so you can actually see it in real life. You'd never BUY it from them in a million years. A two-second google in-store will show you hundreds of places with cheaper prices, quicker delivery, better specifications etc. for any product they have. I once went to PC World purely to see if a particular broadband router was 4 or 1 port based on it's model number, which I couldn't find out online because the manufacturer's website was down and it was a new product.
But when you consider the fighting off of warranty-salesman, the lack of modern products (or even just products!), the extremely mislabelled pricing (the wife was an "auditor" for Dixons Group for a while and that involved going into the shops and checking that everything was out, that prices were clear and correct etc. for about 200 items every month or so), the resident idiot customers who collar every salesman in sight to help them buy a set of curling tongs and the spotty faced oiks trying to tell you that a 10GHz laptop is much more use to you than that 1Gb USB key when you *teach* their *teachers* how to do simple IT tasks, it's hardly worth the effort to even spend time in their stores any more.
Against my better judgement, I went to PC World for a DVI cable. They wanted £50 for it. I asked why it was so expensive, and the mouth-breather in a tie who was trying to sell it to me stared at the packaging for a minute, and then pointed to a lifetime guarantee. I bought the same cable online at Amazon for £8.31.
It's really heart-warming to see that DSG's lousy commitment to customer care i coming back to bite it in the ass.
.. are the main downfalls here.
Everyone knows DSG stores are charging around double the price for everything they sell.
Just bought a Sony 40" LCD, £700 from a local independant retailer, £1100 from all DSG stores.
All DSG stores are good for is going to view the product you're intending to buy online for cheaper.
I once returned a faulty HP desktop PC that my Uncle bought in a sale about a month after it was bought.
This is about 5 or 6 year ago at PC World. One of the senior staff/manager ? managers refused a refund on my first enquiry.
He said it would require diagnosis by their staff ... blah blah blah.
I pointed out to him that it only required a literate person to understand the machine was not booting past the BIOS screen.
I enquired if he was not literate enough to be able to read the system board failure (or similar) error message; at which point he raised his tone of voice in proportion to how much redder his face went, saying, it could be a number of things, then he tripped up by saying, it required a qualified person.
So then I asked what qualifications were required to read the message... I kid you not, he actually shouted at me (raising his voice in proportion to the colour of his face going purple) , saying he meant someone qualified to diagnose the machine, not read the message.
I asked him if what qualifications are required by the staff that will diagnose the machine (looking at the spotty teenagers in the service desk booth), he went very quiet and mumbled something about internal training course on PC systems (but no mention of needing to be literate !).
By now I was enjoying this, as the long queue for the service desk had turned into a crowd around me.
I asked him YOU are not required to know how to read ?
At which point he said of course I can read.
And I then completed the circle by asking, well in that case read this error message, give me a REFUND on this machine right now, or I will complain to your head office and trading standards.
I actually got a few claps from the crowd !
I got the refund and was actually followed by one of the security staff as left walked from the service desk counter to the exit.
You don't go to PC World to get advice, or anything particularly techie, or particularly cheap. You go to buy something that you have already researched and know exactly what you want. You go to buy something that's a mainstream computer consumer item. You go to buy something you need now, today, and are willing to pay slightly more for. You go to buy something that comes in a needlessly shiny printed and oversized box with a 100 page manual for the clueless in 8 languages inside.
On no account do you expect accurate advice on anything from the staff. You don't expect them to have components that you only ever read about on overclocking forums. And you certainly don't expect to get it cheaper than the online specialist outfit that delivers in a plain brown box containing nothing but a sealed anti-static bag and a badly photocopied slip of paper with the manufacturer's website on it.
What I don't understand is why people would ever use a PC World to buy Mac or Apple items, when there are Apple Stores and Apple Re-Sellers.
PC World staff must be some of the least trained in the world, whereas almost all Apple Store staff are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful.
I was going to write that some time ago Dixons and PC World weren't that bad.
Then I realised that I meant the better part of twenty years ago that that statement applied.
And the 'overstock because of Vista' problems shown just what you get when you believe Microsoft.
Perhaps this will persuade PCW to end their tragic attempts to be Staples, dump the office furniture that no-one was buying (most PCWs are near Staples stores on the same trading estates, so what's the point?), lose the flat-panel TVs (there will probably be a Currys.digital in the same estate, so why waste the floor-space?) and get back to the core business of PCs and the stuff that PCs need: software, peripherals, consumables.
It might be a smart move to change the PCWorld Business terms so that you don't need a purchase order before buying on account. One of my companies has a PCWB account we've never used, because we want to browse the stock before we buy. Are we then going to go back to the office, write up a purchase order, take it back to the store and hand it in? No. Duh. The prices that PCWB offer for some equipment are rather better than the retail side, and competitive with online retailers, so it might be worth our while shopping there once in a while, if the credit terms were actually usable.
I have occasionally bought items from PC World/Curry's, but only after checking prices I have not been that fussed paying a couple of quid extra on say a new monitor for having the convenience of getting it on a sunday rather than waiting for delivery.
That said the level of staff knowledge is pathetic, and that is being kind.
My brother called me one day said he was in currys looking for a large plasma/lcd and asked me to come down and help. Once there I found that the details supplied for the tv's were useless. Not one label said if it was 1080p/720p or gave the resolution so I could work it out for myself. 3 members of staff later and still none the wiser. So onto his 3g HTC and found out. Once had picked one (lot cheaper than online for once) he tells one of the drones. Then the knowledge kicks in.......on the extended warranty. Reeling off detail after detail about what is covered blah blah blah. Didnt like it when I shot down his every argument because most of the stuff he was babbling on about was either covered in the 1 year warranty or by his home insurance.
As a previous poster has mentioned, and especially true in PCW that the tech staff with the knowledge are stuck on the tills and the muppets are on the floor.
DSG shouldnt bother with refitting stores, they should spend the money on training staff and making sure they have stock of the latest items in.
I once saw a chav couple trying to buy one of those "monster cable" 4 bar power filtering adapters priced at 65 quid!!!
Their card was denied.
I can only thing they were trying to attempt credit card fraud, or that they were seriously stupid. Both probably.
Why would someone pay 60 quid for a 4 bar adapter??? Get it out tesco for 1 quid.
About three years ago one of our sales people was heading off for a foreign sales trip. Unfortunately his laptop died and he needed another one urgently. It seemed that the quickest way of getting a new machine would be a trip to the nearest PC World 16 miles away. Off I went with company credit card in hand to buy as good a machine as possible, price no limit really.
I arrived and had a look at all the machines available and settled on a £1200 overpriced Toshiba. I asked the spotty youth if they had any in stock and he said yes, they had 5 of them in the back. I said I'd have one and off he went to get it. A little while later with laptop box in hand and waving my company credit card I arrived at the till...
"You can't buy this", I was told.
"What ? Why not ?", I enquired.
"You are a business customer.", came the reply.
"So ? "
"So I can't sell you this laptop. You must go through the business customer department"
"But I urgently need to buy a laptop and I've got a credit card with a massive limit on it to buy it with".
"Sorry Sir. The business department will be able to help you."
Grumbling a little, off I went to the back of the shop, laptop still in hand, to the business dept.
"I'd like to buy this laptop please", I said.
"Certainly !", came the reply. "However we can't sell you THAT laptop. We have to order one and have it sent to you. It'll be delivered within a week."
"What ?!?!?!?! I need to buy a laptop NOW and you have 4 of them in the back plus this one. That's why I'm here. If I wanted to wait a week I'd buy a Dell like we always do. Your prices are too high in comparison and if we have to wait as long for you to deliver then we may as well not use you. The whole point of a shop is that you walk in, buy something, and leave with the something you've bought. I need a laptop NOW and I'm willing to pay your inflated price to get it.", I said.
"Sorry Sir. We don't sell direct to business customers in store", he replied.
"Well, here's your laptop.", I said. "I won't be ordering one thanks. I don't want a business account thank you. I can't believe you're turning away a £1200 sale. I won't be back. Bye!"
No wonder DSG are going down the drain if they actually turn down guaranteed sales like that. Luckily, our sales guy managed to postpone his trip and we bought him a more powerful Dell for the same money.
Actually, the "buy online, pickup in store" thing is probably one of their few saving graces. With bulky items in particular this is a far better option than waiting in all day for a surly courier. I know that Comet get a huge proportion of their sales from this option and I'm sure its the same for DSG.
Their real problem is the one its always been; staff training. People ARE prepared to pay a (small) premium for good service, and the vast majority of people (e.g. NOT the typical El Reg audience) wouldn't know where to start with the likes of Scan or Dabs. If people actually trusted PCW staff for advice they wouldn't be in quite such a mess, but everyone knows someone, or IS someone, with a horror story to tell. In addition it doesn't help that one of DSG's traditional strengths, their Buying Dept. (DSG buyers used to have a good rep within retail), seems to have deserted them, compunding the problem.
I have to agree that the stores are staffed by sales monkeys and that has what has driven anyone with any real spending power in IT gear, away, that plus the online stores being far cheaper.
Went in a few years back for a nose, found a couple of dirt cheap towers, still sealed, sat on the clearance table, I only wanted them to strip down for spares. So the sales monkey starts on about monitors, no thanks, you need AV software, no I don't already have some and these are going to be stripped anyway, oh you need cover plans, no I don't thanks. So then he starts with the components might blow up, the CD drive goes what are you going to do? The graphics cards can go wrong, they are very tricky to replace! I lost my temper at that point, I hate boasting about what I know or do for a living, but in a loud clear voice I said "Listen friend, I have been working in IT for over 10 years, I am currently working as an Oracle DBA, Informix, and Unix administrator for a large worldwide services company. I build and install large SMP Sun and NUMA-Q systems for a living, I think I can handle sourcing a CD drive, OK? So unless you want what little commission your gonna make on these to walk out that door, I'd be quiet please."
PC world's grass roots support is terrible. No one has a good thing to say about them.
They're just not cool.
They seem to forget that not too many people buy a computer without asking their tech chums first what they should get, and where they should go. And hmm, they are not often on the list.
Most of us are ashamed when we go in there, in fear of being seen, but we are only after a patch cable or a quick keyboard replacement.
Now if only Best Buy does not make it to these shores.
I tend to only go there when I need something *now* and the online stock checker has already told me they have it AND their price is at least close to the same price including delivery from elsewhere. I've had a few items I've had to return, although all within a day or two of purchase, and I've had a reasonable experience with that. Certainly it was no more difficult than getting a refund out of one of the big internet brands.
If all of these conditions are satisfied and you realise that you'll have to fend off the clueless morons trying to sell you stuff you don't want, then it's actually quite handy to be able to get replacement parts on a sunday afternoon.
"training and incentives will be improved for all store colleagues."
It's the incentives that are ruining the company. The last thing they need is improving!
I know they want to become profitable but if they removed the incentives and just trained the staff then the customer would get the product that is actually right for them and they'd be able to develop a decent product range.
Of course, the ability to use common sense seems to decrease the higher up the management of DSGi you get.
Paris could probably do a better job than the sales staff at these places. Maybe her next series will include a stint at PC World.
I went into the shop just before and Christmas, not because I love PC World but because my old job gave me a gift certificate which was greatly appreciated as I got a Wii charger and something else, cannot remember what.
If I did not have the cert I would not have gone in.
I am a bit of a geek although I would not classify myself as an uber-geek although my colleagues do.
I have only ever purchased an item there on two seperate occassions as they were in a cheapy bin, about 2 years ago got a Epson 240R printer for 35£ and when I got home there was no power cable and the print out taped on the box stated a power cable. Went back complained and got a 10£ discount. The other time I purchase a 120GB SATA HDD about 3 years ago for 30£ which was not a bad price. No issues and still use, although now as an external.
But if you need help you are stuck, the people are useless in thier training.
If you want knowledgeable staff it is best to talk to a friend as I find most stores the staff are there to sell and can only repeat what they memorized in training.
I admit to PCW "staff-baiting" as well - my pet niggle a few years ago was asking them about PDA selection and anything to do with Linux. The blank expressions on the faces was heart-warming, to say the least.
More recently however, I needed a way to transfer hand-drawn sections from my notebook to PC. I bought a scanner from PCW and despite trying every resolution I could think of, the results were crap. A friend suggested doing my sketches on a drawing pad and so I decided to take the scanner back to get a refund as it was not fit for the purpose I bought it for.
A very snotty till-monkey was almost on the point of refusing to refund me the money when I described the problem and made me feel like a goddamn criminal just for asking.
And wholeheartedly agree about the "Extended Warranty" thing on the gravestone.
I went to local store to pick up a new display, but it must have been a good deal 'cos they were out of stock. I was not desperate for it so enquired if I could reserve one when they did get stock. They could not do that, but would order one for me..... for a delivery charge! I pointed out that I would be paying for the prevelige of picking it up from their store when I could just order it on line and have it delivered to my door. The sales guy just shrugged and "I know it is stupid, and we have told head office it is stupid, but that is what we are told to do" He also added that he had never actually placed an order for a customer because of this delivery charge.
And now the idiotic managers who got themselves into this situation are the same people who are coming up with the ideas of how to rescue the company !
Will do when all the real shops close?
Whilst saying I wouldn't buy from PC worlds as they are crap I can understand, saying I go there just to play with the goods, then leave and get elsewhere really gets my goat. They are more expenssive due to the fact that you can go there. I use two shops for my digital camera needs. One is cheap, but non personal and almost no useful information is available. The other is expensive, but knows me by sight, gives a lot of time and expertise away for free and when I use that I'll spend the extra 10% on the item in his shop as I have had more than that back in his advice. Recently I thought there was a problem, he had the camera overnight and printed lots of photo's at expensive sizes to view the results - he told me there wasn't a problem - saved me spending money for no reason - and didn't charge for the work he put in. If everyone just uses him for the expertise and buys online he's going to close - then see where you are when you have a problem.
Like I said, PCW is crap and I wouldn't use them, but I also wouldn't use them to play with the toys just to buy somewhere else either!
Dead bird as that's where more and more shops are going.
...you get PCW staff.
Seriously, anyone with the level of knowledge we'd like to see working there would demand so high a salary as to be untenable in a retail chain-store environment. Their staff don't earn significantly more than the Tesco checkout operators - would YOU work for that sort of money?
And that's why these places (not just PCW) will die out, to be replaced by special offers in the local supermarket and online purchases for everything else.
Yeah, we had a "special" experience with PC world three years ago.
The office PC had died and we needed to replace it RIGHT THEN, Next day wasn't an option. Grudgingly went down to PC world, and the token competent assistant helped us pick a machine, and said there were twelve in stock.
When we decided to buy it, the GNVQ reject said there weren't any in stock, when pressed he admitted that yes, they WERE in stock, but he couldn't be bothered to find them.
Yes, we asked to see the manager, No he couldn't be bothered to find the machine either.
When your own manager can't be bothered to get off his arse to sell £800 of kit, then you are, well, fucked.
It's PC-World... WTF has that got to do with I.T.?
Currys / Dixons / PC World have tried to fleece their customers for as long as I can remember. That might have worked 5 years ago when people were shy of the internet, or simply didn't know any better. These days it doesn't work.
If DSG intends to stay in business it had better get a clue. People don't like being ripped off. They don't like clueless store drones. They don't like selling-up of overpriced crap like extended warranties.
Personally I think they should do away with the different brands entirely. Many Currys and PC World stores are situated right beside each other and carry many of the same items (mainly TVs and computer stuff). Why waste 25% of the store space with overlapping product lines? Why have two sets of managers and floor staff to run two adjacent stores? Why spend millions marketing and promoting each brand separately?
They could save a pile of money just by knocking a wall through between their stores and sacking half of their staff. Or just close the physical PC World entirely and use the space in Currys more profitably.
On second thoughts, why do I care what happens to DSG. Let the rot continue. Smarter stores like Comet, Tesco, Asda etc. should get the business instead.
the reason you buy mac products from Idiot World (my pet name for PC World that is), is you go in just when Apple have launched the new range, and buy the previous range at knock down prices..
i picked up a MBPro, about 3 weeks previous range, for £899, rather than £1299 for the new one...
luckily, i don't need advice..
"It's the incentives that are ruining the company. The last thing they need is improving!"
Depends how they're improving, and for whose benefit.
After all, doesn't "restructuring", "realignment" and "improving synergy" sound wonderful? Unless you're the poor fuck*er made redundant from Nokia after 13 years. Cutter unts.
If I was bored on a Saturday morning I would go in an say I was looking for a laptop and pretend I knew nothing about them.
As I have been happy building my own systems for best part of 10 years this wasn't quite true
My mission was to remain straight faced whilst the salesman told me all of the rubbish he believed was true (or didn't know any better)
It was a difficuly mission to accomplish!
Poor Poor Poor DSGI staff !! how must it feel for them now ? Put yourself in their shoes, they work for a company that has no idea how to treat their staff i wonder what the coming months will bring for us.. I mean them ...ha ha Wake up and smell the coffee they are all doomed ... no seriously good luck staff.. hope it works out for you ..
The thing that always killed me about PCWorld is the gold plated USB cables for £30. WTF do you need a gold plated one for ????
If they refuse to stock the basics at basic prices, you'll always shop elsewhere.
It would be like Tesco's selling Milk and bread at a 9000% markup, you'd just go to the smaller independant retailler down the road selling a crusty loaf for £1 and if per chance he was selling some fancy deli goods at a premium, then you may be tempted.
PCWorld have always had this arseways and until they change they deserve everything they get.
Suggestion for PCWorld.
Fill the tills with eastern european lovelies. ( english is not required- just a big smile )
Sell the everyday stuff that IT orientated people ( your target customer base ... remember ) need at competative prices.
Hold outdoor sessions of Pay-per-Flog beatings of TechGuys staff ( Big crowd winner )
Move into the 'Pile em high', 'sell em cheap' mode
Watch your customer base grow.
the good. sometimes their pricing is competative.
I went to PCW not too long ago and picked up a fairly good Belkin router that was competativly priced with simillar spec nobrand models that I could find online.
that's only becuase they had a sale.
at that purchase they charged me the pre-sale price, so i then had to queue at customer services after my purchase, and even take the customer service rep to the shelf to proove I'd been over charged...
this annoyed me, on the other hand it made me laugh when I stood behind the guy who was returning an IDE disk because there was a pin missing,
the pin that was missing was on the top row (or bottom depending on perspective). and in the middle of the row of pins.
it was the blanking pin that is often missing and not connected...
this didn't stop the 'tech guys' representative in the store from inspecting the disk, and even taking it to his collegues who also agreed that the disk was likely broken.
"Whitegoods – washing machines, fridges and the like – as well as personal care products will be dumped from the high street, in favour of more laptops, TVs and other digital goodies. What this says about the personal habits of the digital generation is anyone's guess."
My flat has had the same washing machine, tumble dryer, cooker and freezer for over 7 years. The fridge was replaced two years ago with a second hand one. In those 7 years, I've upgraded my PC twice (also buying two aftermarket keyboards) and bought a scanner; I've migrated from a MiniDisc player to a 512MB MP3 player then moved up to a higher capacity device; got a DVD player, Freeview box and cable TV. I've also bought two mobile phones. And I'm not even much of a technophile.
What this says about the personal habits of the digital generation isn't a guess. White goods were always such a rare purchase that I never understood how they managed to keep the city-centre white goods stores open. Surely they should be in the out-of-town parks next to World-o-Sofa, Carpets-R-Us and other such "once a decade and I'm not carrying it home" outlets.
That said, I have a soft spot for our local PCWorld. They were (as a Byte store around 93) the first big store I could wander into and actually look at hardware and software out on the shelves.
I've bough a couple of PC's from them over the years, when I couldn't be bothered with the hassle of building a new one myself, and in both cases they surprised me by being cheaper than the online alternative. The last one, bought early last year was admittedly a pre-vista XP clearance unit, but I couldn't get any of the the online stores to within £50 of their price for the same config, even including an overpriced PNY graphics card upgrade! The local store had unsurprisingly sold out of it the next day (and they'd dropped the price again), however the next nearest one still had 12 in stock as they hadn't even bothered putting the price on it! Maybe they were hoping to keep them for themselves.
They might also benefit from the fact that our main local 'independent' PC shop is run by an even bigger bunch of cowboys.
The real problem for them, and a lot of the other consumer IT vendors, in my opinion, is that western problem of always needing increasing sales to keep the shareholders happy. I think the bulk of western consumers now have a PC, and unless your interested in new games, that PC is more than adequate for their needs. So for the vast majority of the populace, they're like TVs now - you only replace them when the old one breaks, or when theres a definite step change in technology, such as the move to plasma / LCD. Also, now that they have a PC, they can price and stock check at their own pace from the comfort of their own homes.
At least they seem to have woken up to the fact that they need to drastically change to meet this changed market. Anyone got any confidence they'll get it right?
I purchased an Advent Laptop from their St Georges, Leicester site last August, and despite asking BOTH a business and a reg rep, BOTH stated the lappy I was interested in was an Intel Cord 2 Duo (Needed the 64 bit support, t which when the time is right, I would upgrade the Pista OS to 64 Bit).
Took it home, and found out after asking my 18 year old IT mate in Scotland, that the CPU was NOT 64 bit compatible.
Cue myself visiting the Castle Marina, Nottingham branch (Was much closer to home for me). Explained to the rather helpful chap @ the service desk why I was returning it, and no fuss at all, he offered me the Advent 7203 (Which is 64 bit compatible) or a no fuss refund, though he did prefer me to go back to the St Georges store to rip them a new A*se hole for their mess up.
Anyway, about 3 weeks a go, the lappy totally went belly up on me, with various pre POST booting issues, and BSOD's. Checked the lapppy as far as I could with respect to the HD and everything, and managed to conclude I had a possible BIOS / CPU / Mainboard fault, which I knew would need a major service.
Phoned Tech Guys up (Who so happen to have their main UK repair centre in the old Boots Healthcare International building, on Lenton Lane, Nottingham, close to the old Central TV Studios), and booked the lappy in for a service, also supplying as much info as possible to the fault (Detailed letter what I have done, what I have checked, and pic's of the BSOD). Was told the average turn around of repair is 14 days. Got a call one week later to say the lappy had been fixed, which was quite a speedy turn around.
When I collected the lappy from their Nottingham PCW store, I was very shocked to see what the repair team had done, and the most detailed fault / repair report I have ever seen, which even surprised the PCW staff member I talked to. The LCD Screen, Hinges, Case (Top AND bottom), Keyboard, Memory, Mainboard / CPU, and Hard Drive all got replaced. Only thing that did not get replaced as far as I can tell was the DVD Burner.
Now, I am basically as guilty as the next person here, going into PCW and baiting the staff, but I have to say the Nottingham site have far exceeded my expectations.
Maybe not ALL PCW sites are as crap like St Georges, Leicester or Derby for help etc. Certanaly surprised me.
I bought something from Microwarehouse a few months ago. Just under 50 quid. Paid on my credit card, and two weeks later the goods turned up, along with the invoice saying "thank you for paying by credit card".
The charge has never appeared on my card. I phoned them up and spent 15 minutes on the phone only to be told that it's all paid for, nothing to worry about, and that they'd got my card details and it had been processed the week before.
That was months ago. Still nothing.
If you can't even get the small details right of charging people for goods, even when they point out that something might have gone wrong, then this "business" lark really isn't for you...
I needed an extra xbox 360 controller. They had them boxed with a copy of Project Gotham Racing. In big letters on the box it said 'Only to be sold as part of bundle, not for individidual sale'.
I took it to the counter and said 'There is no price on this, how much is it?'. She scanned it with the gun and said '£9.99, cash or card?'. I paid cash and got the hell out.
So, it stupid staff like her that make PCW such a great place to shop.
The only people in this organisation you should blame for its dismal failure is their middle, senior and executive management team.
My brother worked for them for 21 years, was awesome at selling, had excellent knowledge of products beyond what it said on the label and was fairly IT literate.
He could turn a poor performing store round in minutes.
They shat on him as they did anyone with a modicum of sense and they deserve everything they get. And for the minutes, don't ever apply for a job in my management team because I'll merely put you three days of assessments only to tell you at the end you failed because you’re a tosser!
This is one company I would definitly have no issues going offshore - the further away the better!
Ordered a laptop from PCW online service even though there was no way to check if they had any stock. I assumed it would work like other retailers who would warn you if you were placing an order agains no stock. Doh! They didn't have any in stock and did not know when they would "but it won't be long". Hah!
Over a month later I contacted them to be told they did not have any stock and still did not know when they would. When I tried to cancel, they said I couldn't. I had to quote distance selling regulations to them before they backed down. (Even then the supervisor did not seem to be interested that they were breaking the law).
A month goes by and I got a message that they they will soon have some in stock. I remind them that I had cancelled and they agreed that their own records showed I had.
Another two months and I get a message telling me it had been shipped!. They had also taken money out of my account and wouldn't refund it until I had taken posession of the laptop, obtained an RMA number and organised a shipment back to them. That was just not going to happen, so we got into a discussion about distance selling regulations, fraud and the small claims court before they agreed to stop shipment and return my money.
Couldn't organise a stag do in a brothel.
When Dixons stores were rebranded to "Currys.digital". Anyone with half a brain knew that Currys and Dixons were the same entity, and Currys.digital is possibly the worse store name ever conceived in the history of the universe.
Like others have said, why oh why oh why oh why can't a chain of stores offer goods that are cheaper than the so-called list price but dearer than the internet box-shifters? Like others I would happily pay a sensible premium for the convenience of a local store that employs staff who offer a modest level of genuine customer support that doesn't require phone calls, additional postage and delays.
The only thing I remember buying from PC World was a scanner but that was only because they were the cheapest and because they offered store collection at their internet price. (And I had done my research beforehand.)
And bigger stores is what we need in an era of rising fuel prices. Not.
"IT?" because PC World doesn't usually seem to have a clue about it.
I enjoy baiting PCW staff as much as anyone, however... there is a pitfall. About 6 months back I was after a laptop, so off I trotted to PCW for a bit of a touchy feely session with some real products, I wasn't prepared to the absolutly stunning sales girl they had, I ended up parting with nearly a grand in an attempt to get her phone number, and all I left with was a pitiful HP excuse for a laptop.
PCW isn't the only chain that could do with training its sales staff... have any of you been into a mobile phone shop recently? The Carphone Warehouse Broadband Experts are quite amusing, and the Orange Shop staff don't even know the products they are selling, hardware or contracts.
Its sad really, since I am sure some less tech savvy people must be taken for a ride and its not their fault the staff don't know their arsehole from their elbow.
Feel sorry for the staff, but DSG are referred to as "The Evil Empire" in my house.
They tried to rob me several years ago by charging for warranty repairs on a camera and I have gone out of my way to avoid spending ANY money with them ever since.
I have spread my advice far and wide and have lost them far more business than the £150 they tried (and failed) to rob from me.
Never bought from DSG shops since they tried to stitch me up by refusing to honour a warranty and repair a faulty camera.
According to local trading standards this was standard DSG practice.
They have a huge legal department and will fight anyone brave enough to make a complaint. Most give up.
Their "Help" desk staff were under orders to never give their names and to refuse requests to speak to supervisors. They knew they could say anything and there would be no come-back.
Just disappointed its taken so long for them to crash & burn
Another "good riddance" from me.
when my friend had his DVD player nicked, he went back to the Dixon's whence he'd bought it and, for insurance purposes, asked for a quote for a replacement.
A quote was duly prepared and my friend was charged the handsome fee of £20, which would be refundable upon his buying the replacement from this same grubby, ignorant, unhelpful, money-grabbing, bunch of no-good motherfuckers.
Needless to say, he found a replacement at a better price in a place whose name (if I could remember) I would happily mention without profanity.
My own personal campaign to keep friends and family from frittering their cash away on this wretched company has been largely successful, but in the couple of instances where friends have bought from Dixons or PCW anyway, they had to hang their heads in shame when it came to the [inevitable] point of returning what had been purchased because it was pile of old crap.
I have bought exactly one product in PCW in 50+ visits. It was a nice Belkin wireless router modem to replace one that went tits up in a spectacularly smoky fashion at 4pm on a Saturday.
Before I actually completed the purchase I did manage to almost get thrown out for telling another customer that the £200 wireless router modem the sales guy was offering him was overkill for connecting a single PC to broadband and he'd be better off with something costing about 1/10 of that.
The PFY look-a-like sales guy went ape and wanted to know what the hell I knew about the equipment anyway and threatened to throw me out for disrupting the operation of the store. I just pointed out I was doing a computer science degree at Uni and worked in a non high-street computer shop in my free time doing repair work. Suitably chastised said PFY went away muttering under his breath, suffice to say the other prospective customer left saying he'd never enter the place again
The equivalent stores CompUSA (died as recently as last year) and Circuit City (barely alive and very soon to follow) are examples. It should come as no surprise that the employees from both locations would fit in perfectly in PC World or Dixons, they even look the same, talk in the same condescending manner, offer the same crappy finance - having just enough knowledge to make the old feel stupid and the informed extremely irritated.
The curious thing is that Best Buy, no more than an amalgamation of the two stores + Curries thrown in for good measure, is actually doing ok and feels confident enough to think about opening up business in Europe.
By the time CompUSA died you could barely tell the difference between the three, except maybe they didn't stock washing machines and ovens.
Perhaps that's the answer, red and white is no good for selling electronics (yet another thing these illfated stores shared with their UK brethren) - you must paint your logos and signs blue and yellow if you want to prosper.
I used the reserve online for something i needed same day - website worked correctly and a few minutes later someone phoned me to apologise that the item was not actually in stock - ok so not great stocking but major thumbs up for taking the trouble to save me a wasted journey
i have also benefited from their confusing pricing systems - having got them to honour two discounts on the same sale of a PC to a friend of mine.
I used to work in PC World, so many arrogant customers (many posting here)
Many would claim they “worked in IT” – I’d delve further and find it was some low level support desk (call centre) job, or more often than not they worked for an IT company but did something rather mundane like sweep the carpets. Most of the staff and decent, hard working and know enough about computers to sell to most people. No, they won’t be able to tell you the finer detail, but PC World’s target audience doesn’t want that. It’s like moaning about the queues and lack of knife/fork/plate at McDonalds.
Most PC World customers are cheap ass looking for £299 laptops that are made very badly. I used to get people asking for gaming laptops. I’d run Aquamark on a £399 laptop, and then on a £599 one with dedicated graphics. They’d still go for the cheap one, because PC world manages to promote price as the main decision factor, unlike John Lewis who’s laptops cost on average £50 more than PC World (slightly different model names to avoid the price promise) but they attract customers willing to spend money, and probably have better trained staff too.
As for NickR and his big disagreement, if the BIOS is giving an error, and the machine won’t POST – that doesn’t always mean refund. It could be faulty components inside, such as RAM, Motherboard or even a USB device. The manager was right to at least get someone to look at it, and it was a month old – had it been the same day then I can see your point, but if your washing machine broke down you’d get it fixed under warranty – why should a PC be any different? If PC world can replace a £20 stick of RAM and fix a problem, rather than throw away a £500 PC, of course they will – who wouldn’t?? But like so many others, you took it too far and forgot you were speaking to another human being, I’ve no doubt you, like so many other customers, were rude and aggressive, and I’m sure the member of staff was too. A sad state of affairs really when people can’t be civil any more, and certainly nothing to boast about.
"The reason I left, was when they introduced "Multi-skilling", putting Technicians on the tills, and sales staff in the Technical dept. and once the sales staff had screwed up almost everything they could, they dragged us back in to fix it, it sucked, and pretty much all the competent tech. staff left the company."
I'd not heard about that! That's shockingly stupid. Idiocy on a new scale, in fact. I'll have to think up a new, more inventive word for "fuckwits."
Speaking as an ex manager of Dixons, with 24 years ( not 21 as mentioned in an earlier post by my brother ) I am saddened by the news that some of my ex colleagues are to lose their jobs due to the incompetence of the middle and senior management who now run dsgi. Although many people have been upset by the tactics that this company employ, it was never always that way. I left the company because I was not prepaired to continue being shat on by people who were not fit to wipe my backside, and they know who they are, and if you are reading this, St Anns sq should be a clue. I have done more in my career in the last 2 years than I did in 24 at Dixons, and that says enough. Problem is, there are still staff employed there who do want to make that effort, contrary to what the general public believe, and like me, pride themselves on making sure customers actually get the kind of service that they expect, and the respect that they deserve. So when you all slate and slag off the teams, remember one thing, the majority is shit, and that is due to the management and their incompetence when recruiting these people, the rest do it because they have standards.
Respect to all who know me:-) If you need a job, do not hesitate.
My experiences have lead me to conclude that they're a bunch of clueless lying retards who blatantly take the piss and have done for the last ten years. Last time I was in there they tried to charge me £20 for a 1m Cat5 cable. Full credit to the assistant though who directed me to the nearest maplins.
Here in sillycon valley, we have lots of places to spend money. While some places do offer reasonable prices (Fry's Electronics is but one) and selection. The problem is (as always) the service. There is none. Some of the people do understand that the customer CAN have more knowledge than the sales droid, and act accordingly. Other places in the store, you may find another customer with "the knowledge". As for me, I look at the adverts in the newspaper to see what is available (today it is a pair of 1Gbyte thumb drives for $19.95) and think about what I really need.
Then the really "hard core" go to the surplus stores (Halted Specialties) where you can find nice functional stuff, and with a little work assemble a working box.
Yes, we are lucky here being close to the "source".
Oh, and I hear the dollar is cheap today.
Even when I was a kid ( and I'm in my second half century now) Dixons were sucker bait.
I can remember, as a teenager, buying a replacement self-winding camera ( St. Annes Sq as it happens) for one that had been damaged. But the identical camera to the broken one at Dixons was a rebadged version, they didn't stock the original. That wouldn't have mattered, except that they'd replaced key items like the steel film drive cog with a plastic one that just didn't work. It looked like the original inside and out, I have nasty memory that it was priced like the original, it had the same specification and description as the original. But it was utter crap. The low quality components just didn't do the job. The film slipped off the plastic cog and didn't wind properly.
So nothing's changed over the last few decades.
Paris 'cos she's totally useless, but looks good, just like that ill fated camera..
"the most detailed fault / repair report I have ever seen, which even surprised the PCW staff member I talked to. The LCD Screen, Hinges, Case (Top AND bottom), Keyboard, Memory, Mainboard / CPU, and Hard Drive all got replaced. Only thing that did not get replaced as far as I can tell was the DVD Burner."
So rather than replace the fault, they stuck your old DVD burner in another laptop then? Sounds like these repair people are even smarter than their customers.
I went to the Stoke PC World to look at an EeePC. A Suited chap went and got one of his collegues to help me and did'nt get cross when I picked up said EeePC and set the alarm off.
The colleague turned out to be a very nice young lady (not that one..) who stood patiently by while I mucked about with the said Eee and put no pressure on me at all.
Well done PCWorld Stoke - I might even go back there when Im ready to buy.
PC World is becoming more like Staples.
I was shocked to see the other day that nearly a 1/5 of the store was devoted to stationary than digital goodies, before long the store will be crud just like the local Dixon, sorry Currys.Digital store where they sell 1Gb SD cards for 10x more than I can buy at Amazon (The other day I brought 3 Sandisk 2Gb mini SD cards for £1.69 each, numptie Dixons £34.
I have recently resigned from the company after many years service, I started when they still had red shirts. I have worked with all the changes that have taken place over the last few years in the vain hope that things will improve, I am from a technical background, and even when they started moving staff around I stuck with it as I hoped that I personally could make a difference to the customers that I dealt with.
But the way that there "incentive" scheme is worked out is by a robotic sales patter thinly disguised as a question process to try to identify the customers need's, but which is really designed to trick them into commiting to a product; and all this is sold to the staff on the basis of a mystery shop. these happen 5 times a month and the store has to score over 88% average in order to get a bonus, obviously there are so many elements to this crib sheet that unless it is repeated parrot fashion to every customer you are going to fail to get any bonus, the store I was in has not recived any bonus for 12 months.
On top of this the management are hard on the staff for not selling PCP, and getting Norton and office on every machine that goes out of the door. they manage the staff perfomance as if they are on commision, even though thay say "put the customer first".
They also screw you over about cristmas working, forcing you to work boxing day, my children think christmas is only one day!
And also screw you out of your days off that week "because of the needs of the business"
As for increased incentives , all they have proposed is to up the avalible, and already unobtainable mystry shop bonus from £3000 PA to £6500 PA. just a bigger carrot to trick the gullable immigrant and student workers that they seem desperate to employ.
I am glad I am out of there as it got to the point where my morals as a human being where really being pushed, as a customer I would not like to be treated the way the staff are expected to treat the customers.
By the way, I didnt have any other employment lined up, I just couldn't stomach the place any more.
Personally I hope Best Buy buys the place out and rip's it to pieces.
I still have a good laugh everytime i read something on here. it seems that the internal message is not to panic, then i come on here and its the complete opposite!
Anyway, i still find it amusing that people come into pcworld to annoy the staff. trying, with complicated questions, to confuse and belittle the staff.. Well to any other knowledgable pcw member of staff, turn the tables... answer their question, then see if you can think of something to confuse them back.. ITs hilarious watching them squirm. We get one guy who comes into our store tells customers what to buy tries to show off to his mate, so now, he gets me. As soon as i spot him i will greet him and wait expectingly for his "googled" question ( its quite obvious that he googles this crap first ). Oh how i enjoy watching him get all defensive as i smash his hopes and dreams. He is "my mate dave" everyone has one of these, someone who says "yea ill set it up for ya" and then claims its fualty when he cant do it. Its fantastic!
Anyway just one note, yes the majority of staff don't know everything, but when you go to a car salesman... a lot of them don't know anything but the basics about the car, and even then thats with a limited product range. PCW has a massive product range so cut em a little slack. I will admit i try my best to learn about new products... I will admit that my weak area is apple's, generally i can use them, i can navigate around i can install a new OS... but in everyday use i arent as knowledgable as i am with windows based PC's. on a similar note, since when is Alt + 3 a good combination for the hash key??? why not have a bloody hash key!!!
And don't worry I am as guilty as you lot i quite often bait the staff it is hilarios... and the one about playing dumb and listening to the bull they feed you... classic!
I hope upper management get whats coming to them. But i do feel sorry for the people who depend on these jobs.
OOOOOOOOOONE more thing... I love these people who feed me the line "look I'm a computer science student" BWAAAHAHAHAHA I'm sorry but that just gets you laughed at... Majority of computer science courses teach you about software, not hardware so don't spout this crap, If you want to prove you know something, list your diagnosis and results. If not we will just walk behind our little glass screen and laugh our bollocks off at you... Oh and the "I'm a microsoft certified engineer" line man i love that one! especially because it generally comes from F**ktards. tell me do they give these things out in packs of cereal? If your a qualified microsoft engineer, please tell me you should be able to diagnose a boot problem with windows? these people presume that because windows isnt working its hardware related.
Anyway that was a long rant. Enjoy your baiting! ;)
Although the crap customer services has been pointed out and the convenience of a local shopfront too, ultimately the thing that will kill them is their unrealistic prices.
They are trying to sell much of their IT type kit to people who have already been on-line and see the box-shifting etailers' pricing. And whilst they have loss-leaders and the occasional realistic price most of their stuff is so OTT on the price it will never sell to anyone but the most desperate or naive.
Recently my OS died, so a simple matter of getting out the disk for the newer version that I had been waiting to install anyway. Half way through my DVD Writer died. Not a huge problem, I had an old DVD reader stashed away, but I also had some disks I needed to write so looked for a replacement. I could get a really cheap (how can they do it so cheap, cheap) Lite-On for £11 + £3.99 P&P, but it is totally crap and I would not have touched it with a barge pole. PCW Price? £24.99. An LG that was £12.50 + £3.99 P&P is £29.99 in PCW. In the end I got a Pioneer for £18 all-in.
PC World have lost the plot, and I agree with the AC that said "I'll spend the extra 10% on the item in his shop as I have had more than that back in his advice." I would probably be willing to pay up to 20% more for something if it was from someone that gave good advice, but 100% more from a store that the last time my wife came with me told here her handbag was to big to bring in to the store? Nah, bollocks to them, they will not be missed when they go.
I feel for the staff though, there is never a good time to lose your job, and now is even worse. But they are working for a retailing supertanker that probably won't turn round before it hits the rocks.
Jewish I presume?
Probably one of the loyal Dixons customers from yesteryear who only bought as you got discount as goodwill, probably from me as it goes.
As for all the "anonymous" people posting, stop for a second and remember this, a good deal of these staff are doing both what they are paid for, and don't know the reality of what is beyond Dsg, give them a break, you should be slagging the employers only, especially the new area manager for the Manchester area who employed a vast majority of the tossers who unfortunately gave genuine staff the same tag just because we worked for the same company. We are not all thieving coverplan selling con artists, some have values. plus, while I am on one, it could be you in their position, it's always different when the shoe is on the other foot.
So "red and white is no good for selling electronics (yet another thing these illfated stores shared with their UK brethren) - you must paint your logos and signs blue and yellow if you want to prosper"?
Is that why the UK's (and probably Europe's) largest 'seller of electronics, RS Components, has a red & white logo? Doh!
Biff 95% of the stock.
Have a range of six items:
- cheap laptop
- expensive laptop
- cheap desktop
- expensive desktop
- cheap printer
- expensive printer
Keep the price points the same and upgrade the spec according to supplies and to stay competitive. Have six aisles with hundreds of these items in their boxes ready to go.
No more sales skill required than selling baked beans. If it doesn't work, then return it, they count the bits are there and give you another box, or your money back.
Come to think of it, maybe I should try such a business. I could become as rich as Paris's dad.
Working in the place i can understand customers preplexed impressions i.e half the shop full of stationary and TV's, believe me working there it's easy to see why the profits aren't what they should be.
My fellow colleagues, it has to be said aren't sharks like other stores (i would say that , i work there) but i've yet to have a customer complian about the service they received from any member of my team
Personally i feel a few things cripple DSG:
1. Currys.digital - Like consumers i have NO IDEA why you would put washing machines etc on the high street, I mean a fridge you can browe the internet on? Why? - There is no such thing i know but humor it!
2. Wrong products in stores - expanding on the above to include PC World selling TV's and stationary - I understand Computers to Computing but WHO wants a 50" Plasma to do thier account on?
3. RSC (Retail Support Centre) - All i shall say there is What Support?
3. Outsourcing - To get issued fixed at PC World you have to call RSC to get The Tech Guys* to come fix the issue, Now what gets me is that most (if not all PC World stores) have Tech Guys* in them SO why not cut costs and get them to fix it?
* I understand people have grievances with The Tech Guys, Please remember this is a seperate arm and are NOT connected to PC World.
PCW is a joke I ordered two different sets of memory on line to pick up at store on two different occasions. I was a tad miffed when they didn't have stock on arrival. I use a local computer shop for most of my needs which mostly cost less than PCW. I build my own boxes so this type of outfit don't do much for me. The local shop is also ten times better than most online retailers if it don't work it gets replaced ASAP and I don't have to worry about all the crap associated with sending it back. If I want advice I usually get a cup of coffee with it. Amazon would be my second option.
I boycotted Pricey C*nts World/Dixons/Currys back in 1991 after the manager of the local Currys refused to do anything remotely connected to the Sale Of Goods Act after a £17 kettle exploded not 2 weeks from purchase. Even though it had black scorch marks he would have to send to the manufacturer to have it tested and repaired. (Said he wasn't qualified to take it out back and boil a cup of tea with it - doesn't surprise me). Told him I wanted a new kettle or £17 - something fit for the purpose of boiling water, couldn't do that.
Life is too short to argue, so bought a replacement at ASDA and so far have managed to spend £0.00 at DSG in the last 17 years.
I just hear horror stories from others now (the ones who ignored my advice not to shop there), like the Packard Bell piece of shit that was so badly designed it ran at 50% speed due to thermal overload just looking at the BIOS.
If you must buy gear at DSG:
1. It is a Sunday and you need it immediately.
2. Know the Sale of Goods Act verbatim - you will need it.
The invisible pile of steaming crap icon.
I once bought faulty goods from DSG. Not their fault but their responsibility. I never did get satisfaction and have made a point since of buying from companies who do care about their customers.
When Doctor Who was brought back, 'The Now Show' on R4 asked the audience what new monsters they thought that the Doctor would face and what threat they would present to him. 'The Dixons teen army of Saturday workers' was one suggested monster. And what threat would they present? 'I don't know sir, but I can ask the manager.'
Alien? Customer servis is alien to DSG.
And a perfect example of why DSGi is failing, arsehole staff who think they know it all when they obviously don't have the faintest idea of how to treat customers and very little idea of how PCs work. Let's face it, if you actually knew enough about the equipment to do the job properly, you'd have a proper job in IT wouldn't you instead of bullshitting customers who know less than you and feeling all l33t about it.
I can honestly say I've never met a full time member of staff at any PC World store who actually knew anywhere near enough about the stuff they were selling or repairing to be able to do the job properly.
FYI, I repaired PC's to component level (that's using diagnostic equipment to work out which *chip* is faulty and then replacing said chip, not replacing whole boards) and still repair the odd board when I need to, I've been working in IT for over 22 years now so I *think* I might know a bit about it by now. Oh, BTW, you're right about the MCSE bit though!
Paris, she's a fuckwit too.
I confess I used to go into Dixons to have a laugh about just how knowledgeable (not) were the staff. So here's my little story. It was some years ago but I don't think matters have improved greatly.
I spied a Mac iBook clamshell in orange (as I said, it was some years ago) with keyboard damaged.
Me: "Why don't you take care presenting your products? Look at these damaged keys."
Dixonian: "It's the kids."
Me: "Why don't you make something of the Mac's features? Like 'Airport' for instance." (The Airport card was a new feature of Macs).
Dixonian: "We haven't opened our airport shop yet."
Me: "Oh, right. Thanks. Bye."
And the company is probably wondering why sales are not what they should be! And will they listen to their customers or staff? Er ... I think not!
Mines the one with the running shoes tied around the collar.
Yeah, and what are they putting in the staff tea at DSG now? We are customers. We are the ones with the money & we decide where to spend it. If you dont deliver what we want in terms of price and service, we go buy someplace else. Simple really, dont need a degree to work that one out.
An open message to Sir Stanley Kalms?
Tell me Mr Kalms,
What would your father think of the the situation that the company is now in, remembering his efforts and values when building Dixons from it's first store all those years ago?
John Claire, gone, Tony Croft, gone, Tony Griffiths, gone, Steve Blan, gone, shall I go on?
I was proud to say I worked for the group for 24 years, it now embarasses me.
You could have give John Claire what he richly deserved, and worked damn hard for, maybe then the business could have been in a much better, and better respected, place than it is now.
Sir John Collins?
I think their forward strategy is wrong, ocer the next year or two people are going to have LESS money in their pockets due to the massive price rises in food , energy etc. I just got a letter from my Energy supplier wanting to up my direct debit from £48 & £52 for Gas and Electricity respectively to £90 & £89 a month. Every week I see food prices rising from 10% to 100% (e.g. Tesco 500g Pasta from 31p to 79p in less than six months) or 500g minced beef (20% fat) from 99p to £1.65 in the same period).
We all know we are not going to get a salary rise matching these percentages so we will have to cut back on "nice to have" purchases and stick to essential electrical purchases that have gone wrong, like Iron's Washing Machines perhaps a TV. Consumers can always struggle on with a Laptop, but if the iron breaks it will be replaced in a matter of days.
Dixons needs to move customers to a lower cost of sale and this means moving them to online sales with kit supplied through warehouses rather than retail. It is right to get rid of leases on shops it does not own but should also let shops that are not performing but on which it owns the freehold. This way it ties the rental income and can ride out the inevitable drop in property prices over the next two years. As for shopfitting, I don't think PCW is that bad but Currys is awful, go compare Comet and Currys and you will immediately see what I mean.
As for PC World, well you should never insult your customer's intelligence, the tag line of "internet prices in the high street" is crap and we all know it (See Scan or almost any online retailer). The staff need to be honest and stop selling things based on what is best for PC World and start selling things on what is best for the customer. That is called advice, only then will uninformed customers trust them and pop back to buy something else.
As mentioned above the prices in the shops need to match their internet site on everything and they need to make more of price matching. Now that JL is variable on "undersales" Dixons can pick up the mantle.
Encourage consumers to go check the prices at Comet, Argos etc and then give them a place on the website to price match. If enough people do this they will be able to get a feel for the real street price and decide to undercut it based on a computer algorithm.
.....It's the customers that buy the stuff, We don't hold guns to thier heads and MAKE them buy it.
Re: The sales of Goods Act, Your quite right, if you don't know about it don't mention it or you'll just make yourself look a twat.
Best ones are warrenties, inside 28 days it's the retailers problem and you're statutory entitlement is that of a refund, Outside 28 days (but inside 12 month) It is the discretion of the retailer to either repair OR exchange the item, This is the retailers decision NOT the cutomers.
Inside 28 days - Our problem
Outside 28 days - Yours
Er no. From which.co.uk:
"Six months ... and counting
Generally, if your claim is about a problem that became apparent within six months of buying the product, it's up to the retailer to prove that the goods weren't faulty when it sold them or something you caused (for example, because you had an accident with the item that damaged it). Beyond six months, it's up to you to prove that the fault was the retailer's."
So AC 13:37, in your own words "if you don't know about it don't mention it or you'll just make yourself look a twat"
... why not ditch the bunch of tards and start afresh?
Here's a story... about 6 months ago, me, a computer scientist fresh out of first term of third year at university (doing computer science), walked into my local PC World store to buy an ADSL router (normally i'd have ordered from the internet but it was needed that day). Aware that I was about to sell my soul to the devil, I took in an application form to see whether I might get some winter work somewhere possibly slightly more tailored to my skills than a generic office temp job.
Handed in the application and CV (listing all my previous hardware and software experience, retail experience, top grades in computing at college and listing my degree at a respected university - not directly applicable to the job but they at least showed i probably knew what i was talking about), had the manager look over it and say to me "hmm well we are short staffed, and we do need more for the christmas period. I'll give you a call sometime in the next week."
Turns out later that I didn't get the job. But this is the important bit...
On the way out I picked up the router and wandered over to the nearest couple of staff and asked a typical question about the router and had one of them ignore my question and say "umm, i think you need a seperate 'modem'" (wrong) and - this just had me in complete despair - the other guy (around my age) took me to one side and said "i don't know mate, to be honest i can't use that bloody internet thing... no idea why i'm working here really!!"
Why waste time employing rejects like those guys and turning away actual knowledgeable people?
I purchased a laptop about a year ago. I checked out the prices online (price comparison, other online retailers etc) and instore and I decided to pay an extra £30 because I could get it immediately.
After 10 months I installed some softaware and screwed it up. I tried using the rollback but with no success. What was frustrating was that I needed the laptop to make a presentation the following day. The presentation was on the laptop and I had no access to it. Also to make matters worse I had to travel to my destination later that afternoon.
I went into my local PCW store (not the one I purchased it from) and expalined my problem. They were very helpful and sympathetic to my situation. I had hoped that they might be able to resolve the problem there and then but it wasn't possible to complete within the hour I had.
However I was amazed at what they offered. They said that they would fix the problem for free even though I had caused the problem and to boot that they would arrange for a delivery to my destination by noon the followign day. This is something I was very surprised with and to be honest I wasn't sure. But I had little choice so I agreed.
The following day I received the laptop at 10am fully repaired, all my data in tact and the main thing was the presentation was available.
I can honestly say that I was hugely impressed with the service. With all the negative posts on here I think it's only fair to give credit when it's due.
Thumbs up for my eperience!
I've had good and bad experiences; the good more recently, so for balance:
DSGi put the Dix... in Dixons and the Cu... into Currys
Like an above poster I bought something (a TV card) from PissyWorld that, when I got home, had obviously been returned and wasn't what it was supposed to be. I got a refund but got the distinct feeling they felt *I* was the one ripping them off. I wasn't, for the record.
But I do have the feeling they have tried slightly more in the past couple of years. That might not be saying much, but at least they appeared to try.
I don't know why we imbue them with a sense of "decency". They want your money. I said this before elsewhere here. They're a business. If they get it wrong, like any business, they get found out. Yes, it takes years sometimes, but they got found out.
To me it seems a classic case of senior management not knowing what's going on. In PC World's case, it's the old triumph of marketing over content, until it fell apart.
Shed tears for the staff losing jobs if you must, but they'll get jobs elsewhere if they're any good (insert gag here).
I've always found it good to ask: would I buy shares in the company with whom I'm dealing? If not, don't spent too much cash with them.
Or put another way, there have been plenty of companies whose shares I would sell, if I owned any in them, if my experience of them as a customer was unhappy, and I felt it was systematic. We can all surely empathise with THAT situation. Common sense really. In fact, I now I think about it, I might buy £50 of stock in most high-street shops JUST so I can sell them out of spite...
I just tried to buy a TV from Curry's. Online and at a good price with a 6 month interest free option. Delivery was up to 28 days. No worries there, I don't need a new TV urgently ( just wanted one).
I tried to buy it but no interest free credit option appeared on the screen
One phone call, an explanation and it's no deal. They can't offer the credit on a delivery that is in the future.
Now, you'd have thought an immediate order, payment guaranteed and 28 days to deliver would be waht they wanted...
I went into a store 3 times in one day with a friend, the 1st time to get a freeserve cd as they had them in store, the 2nd time to browse and the 3rd time to buy a monitor. This was back in the late 90s. Well the 3rd time we went in my friend noticed a security guard following us around and mentioned it to me I told him he was been paranoid. We found a guy standing near the monitors at the back of the store and I told him which one I wanted and we waited whilst he got it from the stock room. By the time he came out the security guard had 3 of his buddies next to him and all 4 were staring at us and I started to think my friend wasnt been paranoid. The guy with our monitor immediatly turned to them and said its ok there is no problem now and they walked off so presumably they were for us, the monitor was £400. My friend then told the guy well he can give me a free extended warranty for the embarassement and he agreed without arguing at all so got a free 5 year warranty on it. A young guy then walked with us to the till as he was moving the monitor for us on a trolley and he told us how the week before the security removed a new member of staff and that they were been really paranoid at the time. The guy who we asked for the monitor was actually the store manager. Because of us getting the free warranty I have no idea if they would have attempted to sell me one or not. I have been to pcworld probably 10 times or so mostly during the late 90s for browsing or to buy a game, the most recent time was on a sunday when I needed a graphics card that day. I agree with the others pc world is only good now probably for emergency purchases, when I brought that monitor online shopping was far from common.
As for their failures although the staff are badly trained I wouldnt put that as their main reason for failure remember that the vast majority of people dont know what things like motherboards are.
For the same reason as places like woolworths, during the course of the year they making very little money and still paying staff to man their stores all year round and then a rush at christmas makes the rest of the year bearable. But the rise of online shopping has marked the death for these stores. The reason they been able to pay people to man empty stores all year round is because of the huge markups for the stuff they do manage to sell. I have heard when you see something on sale it is still sold at a profit and the normal price is a huge markup to cover all the wasteful overheads. Personally I think the only way they can turn their fortune around is to downsize, the days of large stores like that are history as online is now king, they should concentrate now on components that have high failure rates and computer repairs, because its that kind of thing that people wont necessairly go online for. I expect selling software has been hit by computer piracy as well.
Some valid points but you are clearly not a retailer, I am, and an ex DSG manager of 24 years. They are in the state they are in because of one main reason, greed. They thought that world domination ( buying up foreign electrical retailers ) was a good idea, and whilst doing this, they neglected the uk core business which made them the monster that they became. A massive majority of that european business has failed, leaving them with big headaches, and a big loss on the balance sheet and lower dividends for the much loved shareholders that they pamper to. Couple that with the fact that they have consistantly lied and shit on the staff, like the scrapping of all commissions, no more top sales awards ( cost too much ) and the fact that they fail to develop staff anymore, also drags them down with less profits. While I am on one again, I knew 5 years ago that they intended scrapping commissions so lower salary expenditure looks better on the books for a potential bidder, and guess what? Yep, it happended.
Roll on Best Buys future bid to buy Dsg.
I just hope they remove all the chebs who ruined what was once a shining star in uk retail.
Clearly a man with a sensible head and a thorough understanding of the DSG group. Amazing you were not one of the management to help solve the problems. I suspect you say it like it is and those in positions of power who should turn around the ailing business saw you as a major threat and like many before you - kept you off the radar for fear of highlighting their failings.
They don't like proactive, no nonsense management when it gets in the way of their regional targets, cushy bonuses and highlights their failings in big flashing lights!
They don't deserve managers like you.
How many of those so called middle and regional managers were doing what the icon on this post appears to be doing ;-)
When they really screw up on the price, it doesn't get beyond the stock room.
Exaxmple: 15 Geforce 5900s come in - RRP £139.99
Price on stock system: £13.99
Suffice to say Ebay was well stocked on 5900s that day, and some of us had nice new trainers/jackets the next week.
Funny thing you mentioned that.
I was re-interviewed a year ago for the then vacant manager position at one of my old stores, only for it to be given to someone who "did the area manager a favour once".
He managed 3 months and was removed.
That store is one of the ones on the closure list:-)
For all the staff-baiting and comedy prices, the thing that convinced me that PCW is a waste of space from the top down is the sign in my local store - in huge letters, it proudly announces
"ALL MAKE'S OF COMPUTERS REPAIRED".
I'm no grammar-nazi, but if Head Office request that a sign be made and it gets all the way from initial requisition, through design, choice of font, colour scheme, final approval and right the way through to the bloke on the step ladder hanging it up above the doorway and no-one, but no-one, has an adequate or even basic enough grasp of our language to say "hold on - that's wrong", then they can whistle. That, and the £20 for a USB lead, because it's gold plated so "gives better signal quality". The Morrison's equivalent at £1.50 seems to get all of my print jobs from here to the printer, without being gold plated.
My favourite Currys moment was being assured by the senior manager of a Currys Digital store during his hard-sell of the Asus Eee PC that Linux was much more expensive than Windows . . . . hmmm. *Really* more staff training required, I think. And not to assume that women who wear ribbons in their hair don't know anything about IT . . . Maybe we should form an elite corps of IT-illiterate-looking people to go undercover and test out the sales information? What's it worth, Dixons?
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