back to article Blighty bloke: PC World lost my Mac Mini – and trolled my blog!

A British man says PC World botched his order, then staff trolled his blog after he wrote a post complaining about it. Open-source techie Darren Moore, of London, UK, says he ordered three items through the electronics retailer back in March. After learning his business account was set up to ship to the wrong address, Moore …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PC World

    I accidentally bought a laptop from them which immediately broke (display panel failed)

    They wanted it back for mending

    I wrapped it in bubbles etc and handed it in

    Came back like it had been kicked around a warehouse for three weeks, battered, bruised, scratched and strangely ran very slow and hot

    Thanks PC World

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: PC World

      A tip: If it immediately breaks, don't allow them to mend it. Take it back for a full refund and buy another one (maybe from somewhere else). Applies to everything from secondhand cars to washing machines.

      Why have the inconvenience of waiting for something to be mended, when it might just be a duff item in the first place.

      1. paulf Silver badge

        Re: PC World

        If an item fails in the first 28 days you prejudice your own statutory rights (in the UK) by accepting a repair as it means you are surrendering your right to a replacement or refund while placing implicit trust the retailer will actually fix the problem properly (and not just return it untouched 3 weeks later or make it worse). For that reason AC is correct - never accept a repair on an item that breaks immediately (well, within 28 days after purchase).

        (Usual I am not a Lawyer disclaimer applies)

  2. Sir Alien

    Quite simple...

    Bought online.... no product received.... contact bank and reverse charge. If a company won't deliver the product the won't get the money.

    Same thing with damage if you have evidence.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Quite simple...

      As a business customer, may of been on account, so not so easy.

      Granted, you just don't pay if on account, as you don't agree to the invoice.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Quite simple...

        If a company won't deliver the product the won't get the money.

        Appears he'd placed the order against the wrong address, and his case won't be so clear cut. Obviously if he immediately notified PCW in a time scale that they couldn't have despatched the order, and they responded in writing that they'd resolve that issue, things may be different.

        I may be a bit harsh, but I think Mr Moore was (a) careless for ordering from an account that had the wrong address attached, (b) careless for ordering from a company with such a poor reputation, and (c) should have paid with a personal credit card, so that he'd got recourse to the card company if anything went wrong.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Quite simple...

          "Appears he'd placed the order against the wrong address"

          What TFA says is "After learning his business account was set up to ship to the wrong address" but doesn't say who'd set it up that way. If it was PC World then it's still on them.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Quite simple...

            doesn't say who'd set it up that way. If it was PC World then it's still on them

            Potentially true. But on the basis of the word "after" I still hold him careless for ordering tat online and placing the order without checking where the tat was to be sent. We are talking about PCW, so there's plenty of chance it is entirely their fault, but I'm still leaning towards a belief that inappropriate care was exercised when placing that order.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: Quite simple...

              I can't remember how many months ago PC World in Stevenage closed down, but it's quite a long time.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Quite simple...

                "I can't remember how many months ago PC World in Stevenage closed down, but it's quite a long time."

                The PC World Store Finder still thinks they have a shop there. Are you sure it wasn't just that the the stand alone PC World shop didn't re-locate into the standalone Currys shop and become CurrysPCWorld as has happened in many towns across the UK?

                1. werdsmith Silver badge

                  Re: Quite simple...

                  I guess it could be technically, but the enormous sign over the entrance just says "currys MEGASTORE".

                  1. werdsmith Silver badge

                    Re: Quite simple...

                    There used to be a PC World in a big retail unit next to a Halford with a Carphone Warehouse across the car park. Those units are now standing empty and the CPW and computers are sold by the currys, though the currys always did sell the computers and stuff and usually had more stock anyway.

                    Conversely the PC World also sold LCD TVs and always had more stock than the currys.

      2. Chris Parsons

        Re: Quite simple...

        May HAVE been. There is no verb 'to of'.

    2. paulf Silver badge

      Re: Quite simple...

      @Sir Alien "Bought online.... no product received.... contact bank and reverse charge."

      AIUI if you get a Debit card chargeback or a Credit Card S75 refund, the bank uses their own money to pay you the refund then pursues the merchant to get their money back. If they can't get it back from the merchant the bank loses out. Banks don't like being deprived of money, even for a short period, and like losing money even less. If you can justify it because a company hasn't delivered an item (or it's damaged) and you've made reasonable efforts to get it resolved without success (i.e. contacted them at least twice) go for the Bank. Do this without delay as there's a 120 day limit on DC chargebacks. A merchant that causes the bank repeated grief like this won't go unnoticed!

  3. Mr Dogshit

    Why oh why

    does anyone buy anything from that place?

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: Why oh why

      I was amused that he was described as a "techie" and he still bought stuff from there...

      1. m0rt Silver badge

        Re: Why oh why

        I, too, have bought from them. Sometimes, you know, you need it right away, and, well, they are there with their handy shops with parking and you walk in and you see the layout and it is too late. You keep walking to the section you need. And the worst thing? You can hear them. The sales people givein, *sob*, ADVICE. And you know you should intervene, and tell the customer to run. Don't listen to wofflings™ of evilness, but you don't. You just fix your eyes on the prize, and get the hell out of there, whilst casting furtive looks to ensure you aren't seen by anyone that knows you, (not fellows of the tech, for why would they be there too?).

        But yeah. I would never order from them, that is just nuts.

        1. James 51 Silver badge

          Re: Why oh why

          I needed some thermal paste there and then so I popped in a few weeks ago. Saw a a can of air duster and thought, yeah I could do with some of that too. The air duster was £13 and I actually laughed in the poor cashiers face when she told me the price. That went back on the shelf. Occasionally they do (probably by accident) have a bargin. I picked up my pebble steel for less than half price but I did have to bring it back three times to get one that worked.

          1. The Corner of Moron

            Re: Why oh why

            Did you actually get some thermal paste? I asked the shop floor grunts where it was and they told me they didn't sell it. I'm not certain he knew what is was.

            My best PC World story is when I needed a PS/2 keyboard (a few years back now).

            Me: "Excuse me mate, do you sell PS/2 keyboards or just USB?"

            Grunt: "errr.....just USB I think, let me check with someone"

            Senior Grunt "No we don't have PS/2 keyboards, it's all PS3 now really isn't it?"


            Me: "Ok Thanks" (swift retreat)

            Being a PC World store I didn't think I'd need to spell out the fact that I was talking about an interface port.

            I no longer assume.

            1. Stevie Silver badge

              Re: My best PC World story is


              I once took my wife's digital point-and-shoot camera into CompUSA to claim on the extended warranty and the Manager actually left the building under the pretext of "checking something".

              Another time I asked about getting some extra memory for my veteran computer (and brought one of the two boards in so they could properly ID the type - just like I would when repairing my cars back in the UK), and was told in dismissive tones by the foetus on the parts desk (who made no effort to check the stock with his spiffy new workstation) that "They don't make that sort of memory any more". I went home, put the memory back in, limped around the interwebs for a bit getting educated, then went back and asked for the exact type of memory I needed, and was promptly sold the two boards I'd asked for only hours before.

              I was tempted to call a manager and ask him to explain to Mr Wizard the inevitable self-defeating result of making it easier for customers to buy their computer stuff from this new place called "Amazon" than CompUSA, but decided nothing good could come of it.

              Two months later that store closed it's doors, soon to be followed by every other CompUSA store.

              These were the same geniuses that took two months to get a simple repair done to my Brother in Law's Mac G3. The reason? "The Apple Guy only comes in on Tuesdays, and sometimes not even then".

              Evolution in action. The internet didn't kill this retail store chain, they rigged a noose made of poor staff engagement and training and hung themselves.

            2. James 51 Silver badge

              Re: Why oh why

              Yes, they only had one kind and it was £8 but I had a CPU and a fan but I am certain my two year had been playing hide daddy's things again. I did check online before I went though.

        2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

          Re: Why oh why

          And the worst thing? You can hear them. The sales people givein, *sob*, ADVICE. And you know you should intervene, and tell the customer to run.

          A mate of mine works in a big Tesco that's literally across the road from a PC World, and he has regular horror stories about the way PCW try ripping off customers from those sensible enough to check out Tesco offerings instead.

          The most common one is PCW's vastly overpriced cables - typically about $25 for a cable that Tesco sells for £2.50. This is usually on the grounds that "it's gold plated, which reduces noise and interference". This for cables carrying digital signals.

          The most egregious example was back when Windows 7 was the latest version. Chap came in and asked about Win 7 machines and was pleasantly surprised to find Tesco were charging about two thirds what PCW were. He then asked "how much will installing Windows 7 cost?" My mate explained that it was pre-installed. "But PC World said they'd have to charge me £50 to install it!" They lost two sales that day, the guy they'd tried to rip off and the one passing who overheard the story and abandoned plans to go to PCW later.

          1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

            Re: Why oh why

            Cables PW Wonk

            "Have you got a HD to DVA cable?"

            'Certainly' (sounded like 'what?!)

            eventually finds one -- Look at price

            'fourteen quid?. Your firm's taking the piss, mate''

            CPC £1.50 (or was it cheaper?)

            1. JimboSmith Silver badge

              Re: Why oh why

              I went to Maplin (pre DSO) for some CTF100 to make a cable for an aging relative (like the anonymous poster who was in Dixons) because the Chelsea Flower Show would be on the red button and the cable they had was produced I think pre-war (Vietnam but might have been earlier) and the tv that had just been replaced was circa 1980s. The signal at the house was marginal for digital signals and I selected a nice long length of cable that I could make up into several smaller cables of the correct length. The girl at the till took the nicely coiled length of cable and despite my explaining it was a 4m length insisted she had to measure it. I said she could ask her colleague how much he'd cut but no it was stretched out to check. It was then not coiled again but she bent it at various points way past 90° to get it into the plastic carrier bag.

              I explained that I no longer wanted the now bagged cable because it was no longer as effective as a cable. She remonstrated with me that the cable was perfectly fine and I had to buy it now it was cut. I said I wasn't having that cable and she could call a manager if needed to resolve this. The manager (who was apparently on a smoke break came to the till and I explained why I was unhappy. He listened patiently and offered to straighten the cable out again which I said wouldn't work and explained why. He said I knew more about this than him and whilst he was happy to exchange it he would need to explain it to head office. We visited the web and I found a site backing up my claims which he noted down and added to the computer. He then personally cut 4.5m as a gesture of goodwill, told her it was 4m. I ordered a reel off CPC for future use after that. So roll on the Flower Show and we do indeed get a digital signal, red button (or whatever it was called back then) and all. Sadly they had Allan Titchmarsh presenting who is not popular with my aunt and spoke to celebrities about their gardening ability rather than looking at the gardens in the show which just made her angry. Don't know why I bothered really.

            2. Phil W

              Re: Why oh why

              "Have you got a HD to DVA cable?"

              Perhaps he was confused because neither of those are names of connectors on a cable? Perhaps you meant HDMI to DVI?

              PCW staff can be useless but if you can't get your question right you can't expect to immediately get a proper answer.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why oh why

          > Sometimes, you know, you need it right away

          Yes, but they won't have it. Whatever it is. They will have something almost, but not quite, entirely unlike what you need.

          You go in, you hang around for half an hour trying to collar one of their slippery assistants and you tell them you want to buy (say) a laptop. The assistant will then disappear for another ten minutes before telling you that they are out of stock thus negating the one reason you are in there in the first place.

          If you do manage to find something that is in stock then you'll have to wait another half an hour at please-pay-here purgatory as the only person at the tills is the clueless youth at the 'know how' desk who's never actually seen a computer before and is deep in conversation with a middle aged lady who's trying to return her no-brand laptop because it doesn't match her wallpaper.

          I tried to buy an ex-display monitor that they had up on their bargain shelf; it was a decent deal. Only it turned out that they'd lost the power brick and the cables etc. so it was next to useless. It was still allegedly for sale 3 weeks later.

    2. The Indomitable Gall

      Re: Why oh why

      "Why oh why

      does anyone buy anything from that place?"

      In my case because my (very) old laptop took to switching itself off without warning and I was (still am) working on my masters dissertation and wanted something that day.

      I went for a crappy wee HP netbook with Windows 10 at £200.

      "Can I ask what you'll be using it for?" asked the shop muppet.

      "Basic web browsing, word processing, Python programming."

      Cue confused look. "What?"

      "Python programming."

      "Well it might not work, because of the processor."

      I pointed at myself "Python programming. I'm a programmer. That means I know a thing or two about computers."


      No further hard sell.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why oh why

      I was visiting a Dixons (same group for those who aren't as old as me) and had a lovely conversation with a sales chap about a flatscreen tv. I said I need just that and nothing else and it needs to be in stock. Normally I wouldn't have touched them with a barge pole but I needed the thing next day almost for a spare bedroom that someone who would be bed bound would be using. He was attempting to sell me a TV but something I didn't want, couldn't have and was outside the budget anyway. I stood there whilst I was told that for that little bit extra cash I could have a television that was a fair few inches larger. I told him that I would then have to pay a builder to make the alcove where it was going bigger and that wouldn't be cheap. So having agreed that I do only want a 40 inch HD as opposed to the 50 inch (they obviously had loads of that they couldn't shift) he tried to up-sell me peripherals. This was where I became seriously unhappy. I was told that my existing aerial lead wouldn't work and I needed a new one with gold plated ends for HD. For the DVD a new (probably Monster brand) Scart cable again because the old one wouldn't be up to much. The piece de resistance was the Gold plated, Oxygen free, insert marketing gimmick here HDMI cable which I really couldn't do without apparently.

      I explained that I made my own aerial cables out of CTF100 and didn't need a new one thank you. I had a fair few Scart cables knocking about at home so no to that thank you very much. For the HDMI I asked what the benefits were of it being Oxygen Free and Gold Plated etc. Well gold is a very good conductor and Oxygen free is for the audio but he couldn't explain why it was better, just that it was. I said I had some gold plated ones at home and would use those thank you very much. The short Aerial lead was ~£10, the Scart cable ~£30 and the HDMI cable was ~£60. Obvuiously unhappy that I was about to reject the £100 he had tried to add to the cost he told me that cheaper HDMI wouldn't look as good. I explained that most people wouldn't see the cable as it want in at the back of both the Bluray and the TV. No he says the picture it gives won't look as good as my expensive shiny one that I want you to buy.

      Me: The HDMI signal is digital isn't it?

      Him: Erm yeah I suppose.

      Me: In which case so long as enough of the signal sent from the player reaches the TV then the picture won't look any different no matter what cable I have will it?

      Him: It might do.

      Me: Really and what qualification do you have to base this on?

      Him: What qualification do you have?

      Me: I have the job title of XXXXXXXXXXX Engineer for a firm that deals with technology

      Him: Oh!

      Me: And yours?

      Him: So you just want the televison then?

      Me: Yes but not from you anymore. You had the sale and then you tired to sting me for another 10% for peripherals I don't need and are overpriced.

      Him: I can ask the manager if there is any leeway on the price?

      Me: Sorry I have to go I'm late for my train (I wasn't but I wanted out of there)

      My partner was in John Lewis had found the same model and had sent me a text with the price which was slightly better. I realise that people will be on commission but at the same time adding 10% in accessories I had already said I didn't need was pushing it too far.

      1. Down not across Silver badge

        Re: Why oh why

        My partner was in John Lewis had found the same model and had sent me a text with the price which was slightly better. I realise that people will be on commission but at the same time adding 10% in accessories I had already said I didn't need was pushing it too far.

        Not to mention that JL has 5 year warranty as standard as opposed to DSG trying to sell you an extended one.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    i have a wonderful support call story about dixons.

    but i got paid enough not to share it.

    suffice to say this is not the first time customers have been rather unsatisfied

    1. Martin Summers Silver badge

      Re: i have a wonderful support call story about dixons.

      So you came on here anonymously to tell us nothing and then something we already knew. Cheers!

      PS: That's what the anonymous coward feature is for, along with some changes to your story I doubt they'd be able to identify you amongst the many others they've no doubt pissed off.

      1. paulf Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: i have a wonderful support call story about dixons.

        Frankly, the thing I took from AC's comment is Dixons are gullible enough to pay out money to keep people silent about their shitty service experiences, like it's some massive secret that has to be kept under wraps at any cost. I was going to say anyone who doesn't know they're the most egregious bunch of customer shafting (icon) sharks must have been living under a rock for the last 40 years but seeing they're still in business I guess some people STILL don't realise this (or there's a lot of people taking a calculated risk in buying from them).

  5. colmaclean

    That's nothing, some people have been waiting nearly 3 years for new Mac Minis.

  6. Ian Emery Silver badge

    PCW have someone capable of writing a reply?

    Who knew.

    As for the mac, they probably sent it via a non Apple approved carrier - so it exploded - causing the laptop ban on aeroplanes to be announced.

  7. RogerT

    Go into Dixons/Currys/PC World dressed as a rich idiot and the droids will swoon all over you. Dress as a geek and they leave you be.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Dress as a geek and they leave you be.

      I'll put my carnie outfit on then.....

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      How does a rich idiot dress?

      Same as any other idiot, but not in designer labels like a chav.

    3. Boothy

      Last time I went in to a PC World, dressed as a geek (my normal look), one of them started asking me about Chromebooks, and if they could use it for college work!

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Why would you get a Mac Mini from PC World?

    The place to go is eBay, to get a 2012 quad core model... if someone is silly enough to part with theirs.

  9. Duffaboy

    The tech guys

    Aka the non tech guys

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The tech guys

      A name they've not used for, oooh, 7 years?

      1. Duffaboy

        Re: The tech guys

        and your point is ?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not the branch in Stevenage that's at fault here, any corporate PC on the network in any Dixons store will report a Stevenage location as that's where the data centre is.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      AND PC World in Stevenage closed down months ago.

  11. 's water music Silver badge

    Can I be the first to say...

    [icon to avoid blowing own cover]

    The Brazilian Jungle Frog can mimic human speech and grows to the size of a small child.

    Mud Frogs can live for up to eighty years but spend all this time in hibernation under dried river mud.

    Frogs have excellent reception and can be used in place of your standard television aerial.

    While frogs have a varied diet, which includes nuts and corn, their favourite meal is the cheese quesadilla from Applebee's for $6.69.

    Due to the fact that frogs do not require oxygen and can withstand extreme pressures, they can often be found searching the ocean floor for their second favourite food, krill. These deep sea abilities make the frog a perfect companion for skin divers as part of the buddy system.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm barred from all PCW's....

    By my wife. Apparently staff baiting is NOT a sport.


    1. Redstone

      Re: I'm barred from all PCW's....

      Surely we can fix that by setting up an international regulatory body for the sport?

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: I'm barred from all PCW's....

        Surely we can fix that by setting up an international regulatory body for the sport?

        Doping. There's got to be doping.

        Err, maybe there should be "checks" in there somewhere.

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

          Re: I'm barred from all PCW's....

          But but but but... it's so much fun to do!

          And I think maybe you're mixing up doping with dopey...

    2. Boothy

      Re: I'm barred from all PCW's....

      She's right, it's not a sport.

      For something to be a sport, it needs to be a challenge, so I don't think baiting PC World staff would qualify in that regards!

      Pint, because, well why not.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The Stevenage Branch of PC world closed down some time ago as there is a Curry's just up the road.

  14. Redstone

    I thought PCW was...

    why forward planning and the internet were invented. But I will admit that both can fail. When I need a 'why-the-f-did-they-fit-that-connnector-to this-device' adapter immediately, I tend to go with Maplin who almost always have that strange adapter in stock.

  15. MacGuru42

    Troll 2

    Troll 2 is currently available on Netflix (other streaming systems are available) so bad.. its good!

    @Dan55 .. Yes, Quad Mac Mini + 16GB + SSD makes for a great ESXi system :)

    Oh.. on topic.. PC World.. thats where you go in.. fiddle.. and leave.. or are asked too..

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "He says he contacted PC World support, and got an apology from a help desk operator for the half-arsed troll job someone pulled on his blog"

    So an apology there.

    "there hasn't been any compensation or decent apology from the PC World branch in Stevenage that defaced this blog"

    Why on earth would you need compensation for some call centre oik "defacing" a blog? The blog has comments open on it, suck it up. It's also suspicious how quickly the call centre oik was aware of the blog, almost like someone taunted them with the fact they were writing it... What does a "decent" apology look like as opposed to the original apology?

    There's too many holes for it to be the full story. Why an "open source techie" would have a business account with PCW (and an incorrect delivery address) being just the tip of the iceberg.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cash on delivery

    Over here in that developing country Vietnam, you pay the delivery guy. I order stuff online, computer parts etc, they have cancelled a couple of small orders for mice and a webcam but it's way more forgivable when they've never seen the cash!

    The "west" getting more backwards every day!

    1. gerdesj Silver badge

      Re: Cash on delivery

      "you pay the delivery guy"

      What? and miss out on the opportunity for the postie to drop kick it over your fence?

  18. Derichleau

    Fight back

    If you want to get back at a company that pisses you off, then opt-out of all direct marketing with them under Section 11 of the DPA. Most companies are utterly clueless and at some point in the future, will likely send you further direct marketing. At which point, you can claim compensation under Section 13 of the DPA. I've given £1,500 to charity so far this year by settling out of court with companies that abused my data protection rights.

  19. jahill

    Back when this outfit was called Dixons, I made the mistake of allowing these guys to 'fix' a brand-new Walkman.

    Every time it went away, it was gone for four weeks and came back (still) broken. Eventually (after seven months without the unit), I decided I'd had enough and asked for my money back - to which the store had the cheek of offering me half its new value on the basis 'it was now second-hand and more than half a year old''!!!

    After a discussion with the store manager, I did eventually get all my money back. I think they have improved since then, although this article suggests this is not always the case.

    1. paulf Silver badge

      "Walkman" somewhat dates your comment. I had a Casio music keyboard thingy back in the late 1980s which had a minor fault and Dixons were doing the same back then - pop it in the back of the shop's store room for a fortnight to pretend it's "been sent away for repair" then return to the customer in exactly the same state as when it was brought in.

      I wouldn't trust them to sell me an AA battery without it going wrong within a week despite them ensuring I bought Norton for it, a 5 year warranty (that costs almost as much as the battery and doesn't cover this *particular* fault) and a fucking [incompatible] gold plated monster cable.

      Credit to you for being persistent in getting your money back though.

  20. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge


    Frozen frogs make a healthy and fun addition to any kid's school lunch box.

    Thanks for the link. I hadn't heard of this, so at least my finding a new source of amusement qualifies as something good coming out of a bad situation... Right?

  21. rhydian

    There's a special way to shop at PCDixPhoneWhorehouse...

    1: Don't

    2: If you have to get a laptop form there (usually a cheap HP laptops for Aunt Mabel) reserve a device online and then send said person in to the shop to collect it, having instructed them not to take *any* add-ons like a warranty or "backup". If you do that the prices for standard HP kit isn't too bad, and as its branded kit the quality should be no different from the same model sold by other retailers.

    1. TonyHoyle

      I'm not sure their reservation system actually does anything.

      For various reasons I needed an extra hard drive caddy.. could have got it next day from amazon but this couldn't wait, so I did a 'reserve' on the PC World website and set off up there... so arrived maybe half an hour later. It's a £10 fairly common item.. should be easy, right?

      They had the reservation on their system, sure, but it took the staff completely by surprise that anyone would actually want to pick one up - it took multiple staff hunting around the back of the store.. I was stood at the till for another half an hour before they turned up with the caddy. I would have walked out, but needed the damned thing.

      In my head a reservation would mean that a little thing would pop up and a minion would go to the right place in the stock room (catalogued.. if your'e searching for stock you're doing it wrong) and put it behind the till.. 2-3 minutes tops. That's clearly not what happens..

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "I'm not sure their reservation system actually does anything."

        When my breadmaker broke, I needed a new one, fast. The model I wanted had to be programmable, found what I wanted then searched for the best price. I was pretty gobsmacked to find that PCWorld, of all places, sold them and a local branch had one so I placed a reservation for in-store collection and merrily went off to buy it.

        "Hi, I'm here to collect my breadmaker, here's the reservation code".

        "Breadmaker? Are you sure?"

        "Yes, Reservation code, here, look.""

        "Oh, hang on. Ah, is this it? I didn't know we sold those!"

        I think this was about the time they store merger was starting with Currys.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I'm not sure their reservation system actually does anything."

        It saves you money. I was gobsmacked to discover that you can reserve their "special web price" on the reservation, turn up and pay that price in store.

        I bought a Nest from PC World for £160. In-store it was £200. I literally stood in the store using my phone's browser, reserved it, showed the nearest member of staff my reservation code and had it in my hands 2 minutes later. £160 was the cheapest I'd seen it (others had it for that, but added postage or you were waiting days for delivery).

  22. Wupspups

    Every days a school day

    So DPD is Dynamic Parcel Distribution well that it a misdescription going by the drivers that deliver here. They have parcels and they distribute them, but the dynamic thing not so sure about.

    PC World and DPD not a good combination

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I tried to shop at PCW once...

    I was completely nude except for the ski mask & running shoes. I think they had issue with where I kept my money?

    *Runs away to "The Streak"*

  24. Stevie Silver badge


    Here in NY I'd have the answer: Chargeback.

    I understand this is not as straightforward in the UK though.

    I recently had trouble when ordering something from the UK - not computer related. I received a confirmation that my registration with the firm's website had happened, then a second mail giving details of the 'shipped" order.

    When I tried to follow the link the website denied all knowledge of me. I contacted the firm (a reputable one I'd done business with some years ago I might add) and it was suggested I set up the account again. This, naturally had zero effect since the new account showed no order activity.

    However I was aware I was on a script here so had to go through the motions if I were ever to get my item.

    Two months have now passed so I wrote again pointing out that I was not trying to be difficult but was between a rock and a hard place. The firm was saying they had shipped the order, yet I had no way of checking that it had gone out and no way of tracking the package (assuming that provision for doing that had even been thought of). Additionally, another firm affiliated with the first had delivered a related item to me two weeks before, and I had placed the order with them almost three weeks after the one I was having trouble with.

    I then wound up the email by asking when my representative thought it would be appropriate to contact my credit card company and request a chargeback.

    Those were the magic words. A mail was waiting for me this morning informing me that the package had been returned to the firm because the address was malformed (typo in the zip code). Now it is quite possible that I typoed the Zip (unlikely, but possible) so I'm not complaining about that. What I *am* complaining about is that it took me making a veiled threat to get someone to go and have a proper look at the situation. The item must have been sitting there for weeks.

    This sort of nonsense is why I avoid doing business with UK-based small firms.

    To cap it off, the account registration page, the one that accepts the password for the account, is not served over HTTPS. Oh, and the Javascript was buggy. It would only show me UK counties in the drop down list until I submitted the page and let it yell at me for not selecting an "area" for my address. The capcha device was also risible, ordinary bolded text with a background graphic reminiscent of a "Twister" mat. Even I could have botf*cked my way round that.

    I'm not naming names because the original mistake was possibly mine and a good faith effort has now started to put things right.

    But Gordon Bennet, what a needless run around the houses for all concerned.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      Chargeback works just the same in the UK, I've used it and it is very easy. But things rarely get that far because of the SoGA, the Distance Selling Regulations and other consumer protection legislation.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The way of things

    This is the way of things at any retail electronics shop; any staff good enough to know *anything* about technology can just go out and get a job in that sector and double or triple their pay. Why bother with the store? It's shit work. Having to deal with live, hu-man customers, idiot managers, the lowest pay, just nothing good about that work. Nothing.

    Even at the mighty Fry's Electronics here in sunny California, the staff are not the sort you would ask anything other than; do you have product X here? Or to match a price. Simple stuff. I once called first, this is in the 1980s, to ask if they had the special giant thick Ethernet connector of the N-type, they said no. I went down to the store and found the item on the shelf. Never bother to ask a sales droid anything other than; do you have this product? is it on sale? where is the bathroom? There are no other valid questions to offer, and none will be answered with useful information.

    And why would you want it any other way? If Best Buy actually hired people who had any real computer knowledge, they would have to jack up the prices and be noncompetitive in their market. That's why they hire marginal staff for low pay. Everyone is happy except the customer, and what is a muggle customer going to do? Fix it themselves?! HAHAHA! It's a win-break_even scenario, bros and gals. And the "house" always wins.

  26. Walter Bishop Silver badge

    Open-source techie Darren Moore

    Do please define what an Open-source techie is, as compared to any other kind.

    1. Alvar

      Re: Open-source techie Darren Moore

      One that can be freely cloned and genetically modified, as long as you include access to the source DNA?

      Mine's the one with the tongue swabs and latex gloves in the pocket ;-)

  27. Chris G Silver badge

    Started as they meant to go on.

    In the early '70s I bought a Zenith camera from Dixons on the never never, I passed the shop regularly so it was no bother to go in and pay each of the 24 monthly payments at the beginning of each month.

    Each month within 2 or 3 days of paying the installment, my girlfriend's father who was my guarantor (and also a bank inspector,so a bit anal about things financial) would receive a letter saying I hadn't paid the latest installment.

    The first and second times I had a bit of a barny with him but Dixons I must say are nothing if not consistent, for every one of the 24 payments they insisted I had not paid until they were made to check.

    They were crap then and as far as I know they are crap now.

    Bootnote: The camera worked perfectly for years until it was stolen from my car, so communist East Germany was more reliable than Dixons.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My insurance company always replaces stuff with Dixon Group. There are corporate reasons why they are useful. Personally I wouldn't.

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