We contacted the Dixons Group earlier today. The teenager who answered had this to say about the economic problems facing the chain, "Erm... I'll just go ask."
Dixons Store Group International shares fell another five per cent this morning after the company reported poor results for the three months ended 23 August 2008. DSGI shares were trading at 50.5p, down from a year high of 160p. The interim report revealed like-for-like sales were down seven per cent and gross margins down 0. …
The sooner Dixons leave the high street, the better IMO. That said, if they're in trouble maybe they'll cut the price of that whacking great Samsung LCD I've been looking at. ;-)
Now if only Game would die. After those bastards bought up the whole high street and then ramped up prices (nice one, competition commission) there's only CeX left.
You walk into PC world or Currys and you get one of two things happen. You either get jumped on by an overzealous sales-drone, or you get ignored totally. Nipped in to pick up a router as they where the cheapest, to be jumped on and talked to like I was 12 years old. Now if I was buying something that I didn't understand then I wouldn't have minded, but it was a router ffs. All I asked was where they where in the shop, I did not say "Please sell me a Belkin router because the management want to shift them". Same when I was looking at netbooks. Wanted to see a Wind, the pushy salesman meant I've bought one elsewhere for more money (you may find that strange, but the salesdrone annoyed me THAT much). He wouldn't go away even after I told him I knew what I was looking at, and insisted on trying to push a 15.4" laptop on me, even after I pointed out I already had one.
As for Currys, well look at it this way. When you have a fault develop in warranty then 14 days at the very outside would seem to be about the right target SLA. Not 8 weeks. When I eventually managed to get them to agree a replacement fridge (in the middle of summer, you can image how annoyed i was getting without even a cool beer to calm the nerves) they didn't have any in stock, and I ended up spending even more money to get something similar.
The result of this? I'll be using other retailers, and waiting for Best Buy's UK rollout, because I'm due a new TV next year, and I won't be buying it from a DSG group store. Nor it would seem are many others who have had the misfortune to deal with these muppets.
Its laughable, you can train your staff to be polite and bend over backwards for the customer but at then end of the day you get to the store and get told to ring a number for customer service!!
You have a fault, they send it away regardless of if it has been caused by them or whether it was there from the date of purchase. Sort out the your policies and sort out your managers!
in how to be annoying trying to sell overpriced Extended Cover?? (well they get more comission on that)
I always answer back - why do I need this?
Reply - Errrr... because if it breaks you can get a replacement...
So is it definitely going to break then?
No well, errr......
So your'e telling me that these goods are substandard??!
Laughed the other day - my girlfriend bought a set of phones for £50 and they tried to sell the insurance for £20....
Paris - well why not!
They have improved over the past year. I bought an external hard drive from them at a very reasonable price. They also had some cheap optical cables (if you avoid the 'premium' belkin brand). It's actually worth checking them out for certain items. Every now and then they can be cheaper these days.
As a rule I generally avoid PCW etc (unless I fancy a laugh at how much they charge for some things). Though every so often they do have some genuinely competitive, if not lower, prices for the odd product.
Though I'm still not sure how they survive by allowing you to do the collect@store thing, esp when in some cases the product you've reserved has to be found on the very same shelves that you visit as a walk-in customer.
About 8 years ago, went into PC world to buy a PCI 56k new modem. As I walked in, I was confronted by a friendly sales chap who asked if he could help.
"Yes" I replied, "I'm after a modem"
"Modems over here" he said
As I was perusing the different modems, both external and internal, the chap piped up and said "So which kind of modem do you need?". I said I needed an internal PCI one.
"Ok, I think there here somewhere" he said. Then, amazingly he asked me "Actually, what's the difference between an external and internal modem?"
He genuinely had no idea. I felt like being a BOFH, but decided to tell him one is external and the other is internal.
8 years on, they're still no better (except they charge you £££'s for installing things)
If they shut down, where will I go to browse products before I buy them cheaply online? Mainly talking about seeing the look and feel of the object in the flesh.
As for their broken business model, I bet they wish they'd bought it with the 3 year warrantee now. I doubt this one is going to last much longer.
When big retailers like this are hit and there is no cushion left to take the blow it's a sure sign the economy is up sh*t creek without a paddle.
So enjoy it whilst you can, it'll be your jobs next and we can all have a good laugh at you when your house and cars get reposessed.
Paris, cause even she's got more of a clue *sigh*
Years ago I worked for a major provider of MultiMedia Hardware...
PCW were not part of DSG at the time - and we approached them to see if they would like free training for their staff about our products. They refused, on the basis that they really didn't need to know!!
Since then though I have used DSG when they are easier / cheaper / closer than others. Fun if you use the collect@store and the store is selling it at twice the price and they need to confirm that they can actually sell you the stuff!
They do get good offer - just because they are so big, and can push the manufacturers to make up the margin that others can't.
That said I got a Samsung LCD TV, some external hard drives and an Eee PC all from them cheaper than elsewhere, ok - got annoyed at the pitch, they clearly still know nothing about the products and push extended cover to the point where I start to scream...
Mr Jobs? Cos when I got a Mac from PCW 6 years ago - the sales guy told me it ran all the same software as a PC...
Went in to Comet for el-cheapo Freeview box - on display but computer says none in stock.
"Can I have the one off the shelf, I'm not worried if it doesn't have a cardboard box". "Computer says we don't have any, how about . . . " as I left the store.
Currys a few doors down, same Freeview box on sale, same price. "Computer says we don't have any in stock, you can have the display one if you don't mind." and it was slightly reduced as it was ex-display.
I prefer a store where the staff are not just an attachment to the tills and are allowed to think.
Currys not so bad after all?
PCW? only for small bits or Sunday emergencies.
I tend to avoid PC World, but there was one handy near the place I used to work and I needed to upgrade the RAM on my son's G3 iMac. I knew what I wanted, but I thought I'd test the sales drones' knowledge.
"I'd like some RAM for an iMac G3, please."
"Is it running XP or Vista?"
"It's a Mac."
At this point, the sales drone turned up the condescending tone.
"Yes, but it needs to have an operating system. These are called XP and Vista. Which does it run?"
After a rant about PPC processors not running Windows, I'm afraid I left the store in complete disgust. I've set foot in there again a few times (although not in that branch) in order to wind sales drones up... It's a cheap laugh, anyway.
Can't wait to see the back of them.
re "DSG = Rather unpleasant experience" - recently I also ended paying more somewhere else for a camcorder, due to their rubbish staff. I asked to have a look at one model, and then had the temerity to request that they put a battery in it so I could see how it worked/fiddle/check the UI etc. I was informed that they didn't have any and there was no point anyway as there wasn't really anything to see, and they were all the same really! Class.
I even went to the trouble of (politely) writing to them about the above, and suggesting a bit of training might be in order to prevent lost sales, but no response, or even acknowledgement, was to be had.
The chain belongs to a different era. Customers are more discerning now than they were 10 years ago. You can get everything online now - their stores need to create a new incentive for you to step through the door.
Tacky warehouses and cheesy advertising are no good anymore (not that I'm sure they ever were).
There's a reason why Apple stores are packed to the rafters with people and PC World is an empty space.
I hope their refits are substantial and forward thinking. Curry's new adverts aren't tacky anymore, but unfortunately they are dull as ditchwater.
They need to move with the times. And fast.
Mostly Dixons/currys/PC World staff are useless, I of course was the exception in that I KNEW what I was talking about and I didn't try to rip people off.
However, the company is rubbish, the sales people are rubbish, their service is rubbish (even to their own staff) and I'm not surprised they are going down the pan. I order a Wii fit from the Dixons online store on a friday. The next Friday I rang to ask what the heck was going on with my order as thre had been no change of status yet my card had been charged. they siad we took too many orders and it was delayed so I cancelled the order and got it from somewhere else. The next day I receive an e-mail saying my order had been shipped. So I rang again and they said "oh well err... sorry. Reject the order and when we get it back we will refund you." When I could actually trck the order I found it wasn't picked up by DHL untill the Monday morning!! Talk about taking the piss.
Used to work at PC World many moons ago. Actually enjoyed it. Worked in tech support -when that actually mattered.... no laughing a tthe back- and we actually ahd a good team of people who knew what they were doing.
true, we were still bound hand and feet by stupid regs, but i can honestly say I never ripped anyone off in 3 years. Never sold an Extended warranty either. And told my Manager where to go when he tride to pressure me into selling stuff to people who didnt need it.
I find it quite amusing that they have gone so far downhill, once they implimented their "One team" strategy. When will compnays learn, niot every employee, can do every role. You AHVE to have specilaists.
Mines my coat, when I told my manager to stick his job. :)
This phrase is (one reason) why dixons group companies suck so badly.
Having gone through the process of buying a palm pilot back in the day i had to spend about 20 minutes trying to make the person who had just taken my money card that I emphatically did not want an extended warrentee. It was such a painful experience that I have given them a very wide berth ever since.
Originally they were not owned by DSG, first store was croydon, i remember reading about it in a magazine the buzz was huge, great new store pushing pc systems. at the time the good old PC was not big on the home scene as it is now.. these days its either a mac or pc for a home computer. at the time both the amiga and atari were dominating the home computer front. despite this me and friends who were all pc users decided to drive down to croydon and check this place out..
This is the part i tell you how great it was.. well sorry.. we were young not alot of money and a clapped out A reg ford escort.. travling from milton keynes. well we got as far as between junction 9 and junction 10(Luton) when the car died.. then spent the best part of 4 hours pushing the thing of the motorway to avoid towing costs!
Errm and if the owner of the car reads this (you know who you are) it was not that clapped out and i really appriciated all those lifts you gave me back then!
So any one else tell us how great the original was befor DSG got their claws into them?
1. Make sure your staff know what they're talking about.
erm that's it. The story about the difference between internal/external modems is a classic and even if it's made up, it's still believable!
You expect instore prices to be higher than online. A place where you can physically test out products is still worthwhile. If you can return to a nearby store and get good customer service I think they can still sort things out.
Of course I've shopped there before and don't feel sorry for them - they've created this mess for themselves!
I tried to buy a printer from there once. They only had the display one left so I had them package it all up for me and had a fistful of cash ready to give them. And then they demanded my name and address. I refused. I asked why they wanted it, they said they wouldn't contact me if I didn't want them to. I said I didn't so they wouldn't need it. But they wouldn't sell it to me without so I went down the road and bought one from Argos twenty minutes later.
An empty coat pocket, because that's all Dixons shareholders will be left with.
but they need to know what it is, and aim at it. I go there for things that I need right waya, not have to wait 2-3 days to be delivered. And for things that i need to try first.
They need to change their marketing to highlight these points rather than claiming to be a good deal for a pc.
My keyboard breaks, and i go to pc world for another, as i need it there and then. I've had a laptop HD die at 3 on a sunday morning before, i went to pc world at 9 when it opened and bought a replacement, it probably cost me £10-20 more than buying it online but i got it straight away. If I want to try a mouse out. If i want a headset/microphone etc. It's generally very good for selection and being able to see/try things.
Pretty much the only thing they are not good for, is buying a pc.
Did a collect @ store just in case it was dearer in the store. it wasnt. it was just after 9am. the keyboard was right at the front of the store, picked it up and went towards the till, one man (I assume member of staff) was wondering behind the tills near the door, he looked at me (with the keyboard in my hand and looking at the till) and asked if i wanted to buy it.
Yessssss came my reply
because im nice i just said yes. however i wanted to say "What gives you that idea?" or "no, not today. I'm stealing it, Where's the Exit?"
I also remeber buying my first pc from pc world (as i was young and needed credit, wanted to build my own but didnt have the cash upfront) i knew more about the pc than the sales person did. he of course offered me the warranty. I declined his offer.......
What operating system has your mac got, vista or XP, thats funny!
Good. They deserve to be struggling when they treat their customers like scum/morons.
For instance: a USB A-B lead, yours for only 75p-£1 online. In Curry's you get the very same Belkin lead for just £39.99. (But it did have a pretty LED that lights up when it's in use).
Instance #2: a 10m Cat5e patch lead. Yup, that's £49.99 please. But it's "snagless" so it must be worth it!
Those prices from Currys in Sevenoaks last week.
I'm all up for convenience pricing, but rip-off pricing is appalling. I just feel sorry for the suckers/those who don't know better who think their prices are the genuine going value.
That said, if you want genuinely useless "advice" about any product, then there's still a market for you in their stores.
Paris because she wouldn't know the difference between a USB and an ASBO.
My neighbour asked for advice on what PC to buy for their daughter, who was orft to college to study some media related guff. So I said get a Mac, gave her enough info to get the right thing & told her specifically NOT to buy a windows machine. This was written down in crayon for the sales droid, so she would get the right thing for the job in hand, there was also an advisory from her college.
Unfortunately she went to PCW.
She came back with some poxy "media centre" PC the size of a brick, a 42" wide screen monitor/tv, all manner of wireless chaff, extended warranty, full MS Orofice licence, Norton PC fucker etc. etc.
Oh yeah, the PC is also running Fista (bloody slowly)
Over 2½ grand lighter in the pocket department too.
OK, Caveat emptor and all that, but the PCW droid knew he was onto a winner & really went for it. I'm told there were the usual "Macs don't run any software", "Fista is the only O/S", "You can't write a letter without Office @ 350 squids", "you can't connect to the internet without Norton PC fucker-upper @ 50 squids" etc. etc.
Sod bombing Slough, let's wipe these gits off the map :-)
Bye, I'm off to give Paris her daily portion of Mushy Peas :-)
What if anything have PCWorld got right?
They think their name means that their stores need to be massive warehouses, boasting shelves upon shelves (in the day) of ... identical 1.5m parallel cables .... amongst other oddly overstocked items, whilst lacking reliable stock of essentials, and any kind of useful product range - Belkin and Dlink anyone?!
Last week I visited finding only one inferior type of heat sink compound and this only in a chipset heat sink pack... in fairness, Maplins was not impressive, but their small outlet had ample on the shelf, though with equally poor stock management and so higher quality product was out of stock.
A small neighbourhood computer shop always has these bits to hand, maybe better, and without the profit killing overhead of an unnecessary huge warehouse.
They think that when getting things badly wrong (viz PC tech work) the customer ought still to trust their competence and return at customers inconvenience to give them the chance to put errors right, e.g. an HP restored to base Vista O/S factory setup, with MS office 2007 student teacher trial ... PCW tech then installs, bizarrely, Office 2007 Enterprise Edn trial version... Doh!
Compensation for woeful error through lack of experience, training, wit, supervision, expertise ... PCWorld so far cannot comprehend the word, far less their staffs incompetence and the implications of such an error.
PCWorld/Currys/DSG ALL remain good as a showroom, where you can browse, touch, get hands on, read the box, and, if nervous, purchase with a view to easy return if 'faulty' or not fit for purpose (UK law).
I'd miss it, a bit, if it were to disappear, but the range of products is poor, the maintenance of stock of essential items is terrible, their staff knowledge is, by and large, a joke, their care after things go wrong is absent, the queue if you choose to return something on a Saturday is bad, and their 15% filled warehouse is rather draughty, not to mention environmentally wrong; how do they heat that? Their utility bills must be killing them.
I reckon PCWorld will have to change of slash stores if a recession visits for a year.
Paris, 'cos someone will more likely always have Paris.
Overheard at one PCW store: "Oh, yes - it has a dual core processor so the Internet runs faster". I nearly fell into a nearby stack of antivirus software boxes I was laughing so much!!
I went to buy an Acer Aspire One in Chichester a couple of weeks back (Linux model, of course) - they had one on display, but none in stock. They checked Portsmouth for me and the system said they had 5 so the next day I popped over - they had none on display and had 'never heard of it'. 'You have 5 in stock - Chichester checked', I said.
10 mins later and they gave up looking for the stock on their system, phoned Chichester and got the inventory code from them.
Another 10 mins and, hooray, they had found them - and they price matched Dabs. I kindly gave the salesperson an overview of the Acer as he had no knowledge of them at all.
Next week I went back to Chichester to grab a neoprene sleeve for the Acer - there was nothing ideal in stock except for an ill-fitting, generic one that was something like £14.99. In the end I got one off ebay from Hong Kong for £3 + £3.50 carriage.
Paris - because she's had lots of dabs on her over the years.
I would wish upon a star that that company burns and dies!
My mother had to take them to court to get a TV we ordered... even the they f***ed us around.
They operate shops with poor service, range and poor security, although I won't go in to that here.
Their customer service sucks and I sincerely hope that some other massive electronics retail chain somehow spawns out of nowhere and takes over the UK consumer market.
Hmm. Must depend on the manager or something - I had the opposite experience trying to buy an iPod HiFi speaker. Told it was sold out and also sold out at nearby branches. I was offered the display model, and asked if it would be reduced as half the world had been trying it out etc. Flat no: full price for a seriously used unit. Needless to say I went round to Argos and got a new one for a couple of quid less (as it turned out). Stupid, stupid, stupid...
Meanwhile the likes of John Lewis, Apple Stores and local retailers are doing fine, thank you, because once you've had good service you tend to go back to where you got it. I'd happily pay a little over the odds for it, the irony being that most of the time you don't!
I had a great experience at PCWorld (East Kilbride) two weeks ago. Young, enthusiastic sales guy was very helpful. All I was buying was a memory card interface. He asked me what cabinet slots were vacant, explained that mounting kits came with my cabinet (he knew the model!) and spent a few minutes chatting about cabinet, processors latest games etc. Very helpful, not pushy but pleasant and enthusiastic. I left the store feeling great. That being said, I didn't buy my pc from them.
PS, hope they don't fire the guy for being too helpful....
Quote: "What operating system has your mac got, vista or XP, thats funny!"
Dont quote me on this but im pretty sure you can run Windows XP / Vista on a Mac now so perhaps its not as stupid a question as it would have been years ago. After all since they dropped the propriatary IBM CPU for a generic Intel one its capable of running Windows XP/Vista as its just normal PC hardware. My boss's wife has a Mac laptop that runs Windowx XP / Max OS dual boot.
Quote: "I saw a 12 year old looking to buy a router at Currys. The sales drone was clueless, all he knew was "is it a BT or cable connection"."
He probably ment is your ADSL connection based on a BT (PSTN) fixed line or a cable connetion. This is a perfectly reasonable question. Its no different to saying is your ISP Pipex (BT PSTN Fixed Line) or Virgin (Cable)
"He probably ment is your ADSL connection based on a BT (PSTN) fixed line or a cable connetion. This is a perfectly reasonable question. Its no different to saying is your ISP Pipex (BT PSTN Fixed Line) or Virgin (Cable)"
ADSL = phone
DSL, or more correctly Cable = cable
"There's a reason why Apple stores are packed to the rafters with people and PC World is an empty space."
Yeah, but I think you'll find 99% of the people in the Apple store are there to stroke and fawn over all the new shiny white stuff out of their price range.
Your average Apple store probably sees 200 people an hour through the door, against 20 sales. Your average PC World probably sees 100 people an hour through the door, against 40 sales. Rarely do I see anyone at the tills in Apple stores, whereas I have to queue most of the time in PCW.
I don't like PCW by the way, but I'm a grudging iPhone owner.
Not all PCW shops are bad. Some of the staff at Northampton are ok.
The ones that aren't have learnt to avoid me. Its up to you to educate them.
I recomend a set of rubber gloves that way they never forget.
PCW is still cheaper than Maplin.
When you need something in a hurry sometimes the price is irrevelant.
Management have yet to learn the value of staff empowernment thats why I go out of my way to talk to them.
Actually most apple store can take payments by any member of staff on a little portable device. As payment is usually by card they will email the receipt to your home email address.
I take it that you have never paid for anything at the apple store, so would not be aware of this. In 30 minutes in Milton Keynes they had sold around 20 systems mostly laptops. These are only the ones that I counted.
PCW could do well to learn from Apple.
However I did notice that Apple sold mostly computers and Ipods, wheras PCW sells third party add on kit and very little systems.
I guess Apple has a higher average sale value compared to PCW
.... I used to work as a engineer for DSGi before they made us redundant in aprils cost cutting and one of the reasons they have crap customer service skills as a whole is because they spend too much time and money into employing bits of kids who's only role is to earn beer money between and during uni, where'as they used to take on people who wanted to do sales for living. In one store I used to have to sort out cockups in the average age of the staff there must have been about 19, even the manager looked like he had just graduated from college.
A lot of the older staff are pee'd off because they took commisson of them year or two back, and they introduced a "team bonus" to make it fairer on people who did say warehouse work, as they couldnt earn anything extra on top of thier min wage. The idea was to give them targets in certain area's, conversation (sales against people coming through the door), EasiPlan (one of the finace packages they push which earns whoever sells it £8 per plan as long as store hit its monthyly target on it) WEH (whatever happens, extended warrenties £1 per plan if targets met) and so forth... the only trouble was.. they constantly make targets impossible for them, so they hardly ever get any sort of bonus for months, so thus, as i have heard many of them say, they cant be arsed to sell or they have the attitide "feck em" regads customers.
They employ d!cks at the call centre in which I myself have been reported by some of them because off my atitude towards their stupidness, ie, I need to book this machine for a new power supply... operator, can i run through some checks, please turn the pc on... etc etc, so I can see why customers get mega pee'd off..
They asked us once how they could save money... i suggested they get rid of the top of the range company cars, and get smart cars etc, save on petrol and so forth, needless to say it fell on death ears
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