back to article Brit retailer Currys PC World says sorry for Know How scam

Currys PC World today apologised for forcing customers to pay an extra £40 for pre-configuration on their laptops that they didn't request – a dodgy practice brought to light by consumer charity Which? Since 2015 more than a hundred customers have complained to Which? about the aggressive sales tactic. Despite ordering online …

  1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Hanging

    is too good for them.

    1. PNGuinn Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Hanging

      I've got one word for carphone whorehouse / curried bx: MAPLIN

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hanging

      Having worked for the group then I can confirm that these sorts of problems were down to bad management, the staff were trained and forced to sell and deal with customers this way. However in my time of working for MasterCare supporting every store it was not all of them and officially the group did not condone it.

      One example where a customer who "couldn't connect to the internet" was sold a new modem each time he complained to the store finally called MasterCare because he had filled every card slot and serial port with modems. After confirming that there really were 5 modems then I got him to remove all but the original suppied with the machine, got that working then gave him my name and told him to take the rest back to the store for a refund. I told him that if he got any arguement that the store manager was to call me and I would explain to him why, .

      Unsuprisingly I never got that call back instead MasterCare got a new Exec who's only qualification IMHO was from being a Leeds football club player who had met Sir Stan Kalms. This ex footballer and his "team" demanded that MasterCare support staff also sold to customers calling for support in the same way as the bad stores, after a year all the experienced support staff had left so he replaced them with ex bank staff who would just do as they were told. The new management team were IMHO offensively unprofessional lying bullies without a decent bone in their bodies and were a continuing embaressment with antics like taking the staff out for a meal and attempting to run off without paying. Just disgusting drunks with zero ethics or respect for anyone.

      Needless to say with no one to train the new staff it took six months before all the MasterCare management was sacked and Capita was brought in to replace them. I do not know if that improved things because I had already left and had stopped using the stores.

      So from my experience I can say that there were good stores and staff who were just as disgusted at the antics of the bad ones and if you were lucky enough to meet them then you would finally get the service you paid for.

      1. LeeH
        Flame

        Re: Hanging

        I worked with them when they were PC Service Call. Did myself no favours by solving the problems people had with their computers. Gave PCSC a year of my time. I left a few months after they palmed the non home computer support calls on to us under the guise of an 'every digital good is a computer' premiss that made it feasible under our contracts.

        I remember well the dancing bonus targets, desk-chains, staff employed under the promise of particular shift patterns who were promptly slammed into unworkable shift patterns, staff afraid to do their jobs because they would cost their team its bonus, ideas being stolen from their originators and passed onto others to develop (happened to me at least twice). Horrid work environment. Never known any work environment as disgusting.

        One night shift I was picked up by a taxi driver who had worked at the same Nottingham call centre. He told me he left when he was unable to sign in. He was so stressed from the job that he could not move pen to paper to sign in. His wife told him to quit there and then. He was not alone.

        I do not miss being told 'Your call times are too short, your call times are too long, you can't tell people to take their computers back, you can't tell people their statutory rights, you can't tell people their contract rights, you can't send out engineers to replace faulty parts, you fix too many problems...' all in the same meeting.

        The last straw was when my team leader said he was going to "Break me down to build me back up again." At that point I understood why one colleague quit as soon as he heard this particular team leader was taking over our team.

        The week I left with stress was the same week a hundred or so more walked off too. When I explained my feelings to my doctor he looked at me, tutted, and sighed 'Not another one' before saying "You have severe stress. Get another job." as he signed me off with depression.

        I won't shop with Curries, Dixons, PC World or any member of the Dixon's PLC group and have not done so for 15/16 years. I should sue the bastards. I'm not the only one who should do so.

      2. Scorchio!!

        Re: Hanging

        "Having worked for the group then I can confirm that these sorts of problems were down to bad management, the staff were trained and forced to sell and deal with customers this way."

        Funny you should mention it, I did have a brush with them a few months ago when my laptop broke down and I needed an emergency replacement. They also tried to persuade me that desktop computers were no good (I need a new one of those), and then tried to tell me who should be PoTUS and who should be the British PM. The replacement for my Novatech desktop will probably come from them.

      3. Port_able

        Re: Hanging

        Been wokring in IT since mid 80's, anyone remember Word 1.1a lol. Anyway often supported friends to go back to PCWorld and KH a few times. Watch as they tried to weasle out of fixing anything in favour of a sale or two "essential" to making it work right. Then I'd step in and say .."maybe ..." "Possibly if .." - the goods being under warranty still with the store. Would hear the techops voices rise a few pitches as the ground they stood on would falter.

    3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Hanging. is too good for them.

      No need to go all Daily Heil on us.

      Think of it as the continuance of the old "maintenance contract" scam they used to be so fond of.

      New decade. New opportunity for BS.

    4. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

      Re: Hanging

      I, for one, will be glad when these scumbags go out of business once and for all.

      And no, I don't care about their jobs. They deserve it, slap it right up em!

  2. TonyJ Silver badge

    Really?

    People don't want to upgrade their £600+ phone from a year or two ago to a £1000+ phone that offers nothing new? Go figure!

    In other news, people aren't spending money on overpriced tat that they can get for much much lower prices online whilst avoiding slimy salespeople trying to pull this kind of thing.

    And in yet other news, bears defecate in woods.

    Next up, someone buys a bridge...

    1. CheesyTheClown Silver badge

      Re: Really?

      I have one of those $1200 models (X 256gb) and and downgrading tonight to my 6S Plus. The problem is, the X did offer something new, a user interface of absolute terror. I have to lift the phone up and look at it face first or type a 6 digit pin which also requires picking the phone up to read my text messages.

      I’ll dump this piece of shit on my wife and take her old phone as my spare travel phone.

      1. Ishtiaq

        Re: Really?

        An interface of absolute terror?

        Picking your telephone up and looking at it (which you would have to do anyway) is terrifying?

        So you dumped 1200 dollars on a telephone that you did not try first? Pull the other one.

        I have to ask you how do you read the text messages without picking your telephone up?

        I think you are telling porkies.

        Cheers… Ishy

        1. CheesyTheClown Silver badge

          Re: Really?

          I touch the finger print sensor with my finger and that’s all. The X requires that it either sees you or have to pick up the phone to trigger the gyro or you have to get a grip to push the poorly placed power button which also if you simple squeeze side to side also triggers the volume buttons.

          And although I told my boss I didn’t need a new phone, he convinced me to at least try a new one. It was company policy that I should have one. So, I got the one my wife would want if I didn’t want it. The company paid half, I paid the other.

  3. Snorlax Silver badge

    Sharp Practice

    And bricks and mortar retailers wonder why people buy online?

    Dixon’s used to try this very same thing back in the day. Old habits die hard I guess...

    1. Halfmad

      Re: Sharp Practice

      I still remember one of my friends buying an Amiga from Dixons years ago and paying almost half again for an extended warranty I could here him repeatedly saying to the salesperson he didn't want.

      It'd be nice to know if the charge PCWorld etc were abusing included any commission for staff.

      1. big_D Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Sharp Practice

        I remember being in PC World and a salesperson was trying to sell a Psion Surfer modem to a customer. I was standing at the end of the row and listening in... After nearly a quarter of an hour of spiel, he had nearly foisted the 150 quid modem on the customer, he said, again, that it was a great modem.

        At that point I chipped in, "yes, it has just won an award in PC Pro..." Salesbod smiles... "for modem under 100 quid." Sales person turns red.

      2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: Sharp Practice

        My response to the 'would you like extended warranty' question is 'Oh, is it so unreliable I need that? Maybe I shouldn't buy this then?' soon shuts them up.

        1. Phil Endecott Silver badge

          Re: Sharp Practice

          > My response to the 'would you like extended warranty' question is

          Mine is, “no I don’t need it, I’m only buying it for the components, I’m going to take it to bits as soon as I get home. Do you know if these are Philips or posidrive screws on the back? I chose this one because all the others have torx screws”.

          Usually works.

          1. Law

            Re: Sharp Practice

            "I chose this one because all the others have torx screws"

            What's wrong with torx?!

          2. pavel.petrman
            Pint

            Re: Sharp Practice

            @Phil:<p> Philips or posidrive</p><p>Here, have a beer for this bit alone!</p>

        2. Dunning-Kruger Trump hater

          Re: Sharp Practice

          I once was about to buy a laptop at Best Buy that i wasn't too sure about. At checkout they gave me an extended hard sell on the extended warranty. I told them "if it's that unreliable, I don't want it." and left.

      3. Tubz
        Thumb Down

        Re: Sharp Practice

        In my day at PCW, staff received a small amount of commision for gerneal sales, but a bigger lump for warranties and pressure from sales manager to flog it even if customer didn't want it. In my defence I used to respect the customers wishes and take the flak from managers, after 6 months, I left.

      4. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: Sharp Practice

        @Halfmad - thank you, and an upvote, purely for the Proustian rush of reminiscence you've just given me, about the happy times I spent with my succession of Amigas - back when computing was fun. Still remember my A500 with great fondness, and the thrill I felt when I finally was able to get a 4000/030 (a whole 25MHz! if I recall correctly, which I probably don't). Must get my A1200 out of storage soon for old times' sake.

        Now, back I go to wrestling with Windows 10 and its incessant insistence on updating me to a version I neither need nor want. Grrrrr.

        1. Byron "Jito463"

          Re: Sharp Practice

          @David 132

          My very first computer was a Commodore Amiga 2000. I still regret giving it up.

      5. CIAW

        Re: Sharp Practice

        As a former employee of CurrysPCWorld, I can say there has not been commission for salespeople within the last 12 years.

      6. iRadiate

        Re: Sharp Practice

        I find it amazing how difficult it is for some peoplw to say no.

        As soon as any retailer starts the sales pitch within a few spoken words i just interrupt and say no thanks. Sometimes the poor sales chap might start the 'lets scare the crap out of the buyer' by stating that the warranty is only for a year and that after the warranty period.... Blah blah blah to which i respond with the sales of goods act which says that the item being purchased needs to be manufactured to a reasonable standard etc. Basically it means that while you might expect a 1 year warranty for a toaster that cost 50 quid to last a year, a flat screen tv that cost 1500 is expected to last a lot longer e.g 5 years. I think its one of then reasons John Lewis gives free 5 year warranties not because they're nice people but because its deemed a 'reasonable' period of time for an expensive product to last.

        1. Snorlax Silver badge

          Re: Sharp Practice

          @iRadiate:"I find it amazing how difficult it is for some peoplw to say no."

          Some people don't care.

          Some people are too timid to say "NO!"

          Some people don't have a clue about the SOGA.

          Take your pick...

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Sharp Practice

      Dixon’s used to try this very same thing back in the day

      Friend of mine was (for a short time) a sales droid at Dixons. They used to get only a miniscule commission of the actualy goods but a much, much bigger commission of the aftersales warrantees and insurance.

      Since he's a fairly moral chap he didn't last long there. Apparently, him objecting to pushing something at the customer that they didn't want or need made him unsuitable.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Sharp Practice

        Also it's illegal to offer charge for an extension of 1st year warrrenty for a 2nd year as Apple found out in Italy. Yet Argos, PCWorld/Currys and others still doing it despite SOGA 2 year, MINIMUM.

        1. Tom -1

          Re: Sharp Practice

          No, the minimum 2 year guarantee applies in all of teh EU except Britain, which negotiated a deal limiting the warranty to 1 year for sales in the UK because the requirements of teh 1 year warranty give the consumer advantage for that first year comapred to the EU requirement. That's teh official story. Of course the real reason was that our government wanted to give our manufacturers a license to sell absolute crap. Of course there are other laws about merchantable quality, and they are more use than any of the warrantees if you can cope with the hassle of getting the supplier to believe your threats of legal action.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sharp Practice

          Why do people keep saying things that are not true? UK gov negotiated an exemption to the EU rule. Blame your government mate

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sharp Practice

        I worked for CurryPCWorld for 5 years during college and Uni 2002-2007.

        Sales people were not paid commission on extended warranties. There was however a considerably amount of pressure from management to sell the extended warranties and the shitty finance option called EasyPlan. You would get shamed by management if you sold a big ticket item (£2-3k Plasma TV) without selling the extended warranty.

        I was once dragged into a formal meeting for failing to meet my CoverPlan (extended warranty) target - about 15% of my sales. I remember reasoning to my manager that I did not think it was a good product. His response was that it was not my job to think, it was my job to sell - which is a pretty good comeback to be fair.

    3. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Sharp Practice

      I was looking at a whiteboard recently and found this one on Amazon. It doesn't sound too bad it's £10 for an A3 size and has the capability to be hung from a wall with two hooks. The optional installation is listed as £48.

      I have had this slightly in reverse from Currys they'd tried to sting me for set up fees and I said no. I did say that I'd be very interested if it was possible to get a machine without an OS loaded. They were a bit confused by this and told me that I couldn't load my own OS at which point I told them they'd lost a sale.

      In another store (I can't remember if it was Currys or not) I wanted to buy my first flatscreen TV. I was told the price for the TV, the bracket, the cables, the installation and the delivery. Enthusiastic sales bloke tells me they had several delivery slots coming up. I couldn't work out what the installation charge was for and so I asked. It was for attaching the TV to the wall and attaching cables neither of which I needed. So I politely declined and said I was going to put it on a unit I already had. I also don't therefore need the bracket the cables or installation.

      This was not the correct answer as he told me that the TV would be too low for viewing. I said my perfect location for a TV* was where the eyes of the viewer i.e. me was in the centre or just below it of the TV. There was no way to install the TV at that height given what would be on the wall behind it so I dibn't need it installing. Again the installation is pushed, this time though it was just the cabling and (expensive gold plated) cables he was pushing. I declined this again saying I made my own aerial cables out of CTF100 and had a stock of fully wired Scart and cables doing nothing. I also knew how to wire up a TV to my hifi, DVD etc. and the aerial socket. He gave up and sold me just the TV. It was the same price for both forms of this "installation" which was a real rip off.

      *Except in the bedroom where it's higher up to facilitate watching lying down.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sharp Practice

        I really don't understand why people ever get to explain themselves when they refuse some extra crap in a store while buying anything. If I hear any bullshit, I say, very politely, with a smile, "No, thank you very much". If they continue, I say, firmly, and reasonably loud, "I've just said NO!", at which point they immediately move to take the payment part of our "relationship", which suits me fine.

        p.s. of course, if I happen to be shopping with offspring, I'll soon hear "dad, you're embarrassing us AGAIN!", but I just shrug it off.

        1. Phil Endecott Silver badge

          Re: Sharp Practice

          > "I've just said NO!", at which point they immediately move to take the

          > payment part of our "relationship"

          I haven’t mastered the right tone yet. Too soft and they keep trying; too firm and they accuse me of being rude.

          I am thinking in particular of “heritage” organisations trying to get me to join for a year, rather than just paying this one entry fee.

        2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

          Re: Sharp Practice

          p.s. of course, if I happen to be shopping with offspring, I'll soon hear "dad, you're embarrassing us AGAIN!", but I just shrug it off.

          But that's a dad's JOB, to embarrass his kids.

    4. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Sharp Practice

      And bricks and mortar retailers wonder why people buy online?

      What happened here is even more egregious - these people HAD bought online. They chose to click and collect their orders, and when they turned up the B&M sales staff tried to force them to pay extra for the thing that they had already paid for or they could not have the thing they ordered.

      There must be something criminal in that.

      1. Snorlax Silver badge

        Re: Sharp Practice

        @Tom 38:”What happened here is even more egregious - these people HAD bought online. ”

        You know what I meant. Buy online and get it delivered to your door, not some click and collect malarkey...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sharp Practice

        > There must be something criminal in that.

        It would probably qualify as a misleading statement under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Practices 2008. Said act does incorporate provisions for criminal offences, although I've not looked at what the threshold would be.

    5. CheesyTheClown Silver badge

      Re: Sharp Practice

      Every time I’ve been to Dixon’s, I’ve been scammed. Last time, I saw a great deal on a prepaid SIM card and modem for while I was in ireland and after I bought it, they informed me that the SIM card cost extra and I’d have to buy that somewhere else... at car phone ware house.

      I haven’t been back.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Sharp Practice

        Carphone Warehouse and €99 Sony Xperia on pre-pay/ Pay as you go.

        "So how much is it SIM free? I have SIMs I swap."

        "Much more than the €150, that's with a SIM locked to an operator."

        "But it says €99!"

        "There is a small 'from'"

        "So how do I get it at the Cheapest price?"

        "It's €109 if you switch Mobile Operator."

        "Can't I just have the new operator as well?"

        "No, we have to move your existing number"

        "The advert should state it's €190 or whatever and discounts for locked network and transferring number. It's dishonestly misleading and wasted my time."

        "It's perfectly honest it has 'from €99', we don't have space for all those details on an advert."

        (In their own spacious shop)

        Yes, the BIG advert beside the dummy phone had in small print "New SIMs require an initial €10 top-up."

        Maybe it really doesn't break the law, but are they going to build customer relations and trust? I wondered why it was so much cheaper than online. I'll buy it online. It STILL has an SD Card slot and a 3.5mm earphone socket.

        I felt like I was in a dead parrot sketch.

    6. Mage Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Sharp Practice

      Be wonderful if you COULD buy "blank laptops". Save time that would. They all seem to have W10, unless you pay a lot extra for an OS that's sort of reasonable, like Mac OS.

      Pity Apple doesn't sell Mac OS for non-Apple branded HW.

      1. Craig100

        Re: Sharp Practice

        Dell do lappys with Ubuntu. I got a great one. Wiped it immediately and put Mint on it :) Didn't have to pay the M$ tax.

        1. Snorlax Silver badge

          Re: Sharp Practice

          @Craig100:"Dell do lappys with Ubuntu. I got a great one. Wiped it immediately and put Mint on it :) Didn't have to pay the M$ tax"

          I know. I've got a Latitude E5450 running OS X. Same spec as a MacBook Pro at the time, half the price...

    7. TonyJ Silver badge

      Re: Sharp Practice

      Dixons tried it on with my mum some years ago.

      My Dad wanted a small camcorder (gives you an idea of how long ago).

      The camcorder itself was about £200 as I recall. I went with her to get it.

      The salesmen went to town: "Of course he'll need x and y and z accessory and you'll absolutely want the extended warranty and..."

      I let him waffle on right until he'd rung up over £600 on the till.

      At which point I stepped in and said we neither needed nor wanted any of the extras. He lost his temper then because he'd recorded the sale and it would need a manager. At which point I said tough and we walked out, down the road to a local camera shop and got the same thing for around £150 with none of the crap sales tactics.

  4. Kaltern Silver badge

    Oh Currys. Their sales tactics are horrendous. I mean, I remember buying a laptop for a father-in-law, and being asked if I wanted to have a 'recovery option' for something like £50. I asked why did I need a recovery on a new laptop. The reply? 'Oh, we would need to recover the operating system for you to be able to use it for the first time, otherwise it won't work when you turn it on'.

    Experts, you know.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Oh Currys"

      Yes indeed. I had a shop there a few years back when my venerable old widescreen CRT TV decided to die the week before my relatives arrived from overseas. Popped down to my local Curries/PC World and chose an older model flat screen TV which is on sale to replace it.

      All going well so far, until I try to by the damned thing. At this point, it transpires that the remote control has 'dissapeared'. The salesman coerces me into signing up an extended warranty policy in return for which he'll apparently supply me a remote control taken from another unit in the store.

      At this point I'm very very tempted to walk out, but I don't have any other options to get a new TV at short notice... what dodgy scumbags. Signed up the warranty and cancelled it the next week.

    2. Camilla Smythe Silver badge

      I asked why did I need a recovery on a new laptop.

      Well done!

      I assume you are one of those clever L33T people, experts, who know that the first thing you do is create 'recovery media' from the 'recovery partition'... No?

      1. CheesyTheClown Silver badge

        Re: I asked why did I need a recovery on a new laptop.

        The “l33t people” probably would just download a new copy when they need it because they don’t waste a thumb drive on keeping a copy of Windows on it.... which they probably wouldn’t be able to find when they need it if they ever do need it.

        I just checked Lenevo, Dell and HP. Apparently, they all have websites where you can download the system recovery images for their PCs. Seems like there isn’t much point in making one anymore. I suppose if you’re single, live alone, on a farm... in the country, it might make sense if you didn’t keep your old laptop around for stuff like this.

        I’m pretty sure that if you’re the type of person who thinks being “L33T” is required to google “Thinkpad X1 Carbon System Recovery” and follo directions, then having the system recovery media or not is irrelevant.

        1. JRW

          Re: I asked why did I need a recovery on a new laptop.

          The reason you might want to create the recovery thumb drive is if it is the only computer you will have access to. Computer down ... internet down ... creek without a paddle.

          I did it for the laptop we bought my Dad. Fingers crossed I don’t have to ever talk him through using it.

          1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

            "the only computer you will have access to"

            I'm not sure I understand this concept.

            Why wouldn't you just get one of your Raspberry Pis out of the drawer.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "the only computer you will have access to"

              "Why wouldn't you just get one of your Raspberry Pis out of the drawer."

              I don't keep Raspberry Pis in my drawers, oddly enough.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "the only computer you will have access to"

                <BLOCKQUOTE>I don't keep Raspberry Pis in my drawers, oddly enough.</BLOCKQUOTE>

                Nor do I. I find they chafe too much, and the corners hurt when they poke me.

        2. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: I asked why did I need a recovery on a new laptop.

          I don't know who thinks themselves " l33t" these days. Pretty bloody pretentious self-regarding term even a few years back IMHO.

          And even a moderately techie minded person can make their own image with readily available free, easy to use tools (Macrium etc).

          1. Scorchio!!

            Re: I asked why did I need a recovery on a new laptop.

            "I don't know who thinks themselves " l33t" these days. Pretty bloody pretentious self-regarding term even a few years back IMHO."

            As was Ha><ors. (Eyes rolling)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this because of Currys using new technology salesmanship ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Go

      >Is this because of Currys using new technology salesmanship ?

      No the implementation of CUNTS had nothing to do with it, it was down to "working a new kinder engaging responsible salesmanship."

      1. TRT Silver badge

        I thought it was General Retail of Electronic and E-Devices - Yield Buoyancy And Sales Tactics to Augment Returns, Dividends and Surpluses.

        1. Bill M

          And there was I thinking they were just greedy bastards

  6. Timmy B Silver badge

    They offered the service when I bought a laptop in there (it's a Dell and was actually cheaper than direct from Dell) and were fine when I declined and they gave me no rubbish...

    but...

    Without my knowledge, approval or say so sold it to me as a business purchase with 30 days instead of 1 year warranty and opened me a business account too. After complaints and further mess ups by the store (too much to go into) I eventually got £125 back from them and a free echo dot. This, by all accounts, was a fairly well known scam and had been on Watchdog.

    1. VinceH Silver badge

      "Without my knowledge, approval or say so sold it to me as a business purchase with 30 days instead of 1 year warranty and opened me a business account too."

      Yeah, I got caught similarly when I bought a desktop PC and a laptop a few years ago. The sales droid asked if it was a business purchase, which technically it was, so I said yes, blissfully unaware of their terms and conditions. It wasn't until after, that I spotted the much shorter 30 day warranty.

      I'm a sole trader, so generally I get the same legal protections as an ordinary person for most (if not all) things - so I suspect the same would be true in this case. Luckily, I haven't had to find out, though - the kit has outlasted their dodgy business warranty and the one I would have had as a member of the public.

      If I ever buy any kit there again, though, I'll be saying no to the business question.

  7. TRT Silver badge

    Set-up...

    Pre-done? The only one's on the shelf were the ones that had already been set up. Well, they were setting SOMETHING or SOMEONE up alright.

    What does this "service" consist of exactly? I've no idea. I'll never shop there again, ever. Two illegal sales practice experiences with them and that's the lot. On the banned list. I would have said borderline illegal, but thinking about it, these WERE illegal practices. Refusing to offer a full refund on goods that were defective and including an insurance product in a sale without disclosure of that product (they are required by law to explain the credit portion of the agreement explicitly; simply printing a URL at the bottom of the receipt and labelling it as "full T&C at:" is not sufficient).

    1. Timmy B Silver badge

      Re: Set-up...

      What does this "service" consist of exactly?

      I asked that and got the following answer... They complete most of the windows setup process including creating the recovery media and installing updates.

      So press a button, enter wifi settings and wait... Not bad for nearly £50.

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Set-up...

        They then charge extra if you want to actually have the recovery media they created.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Set-up...

          That’s a lie mate I work there would be mental for us to keep all the recovery drives for customer think about it !!!

      2. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Set-up...

        Except the manufacturer does that and the cartons were probably still factory sealed...

      3. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: Set-up...

        I got one. Wasn't charged for the service, but, if I right-click in Windows File Explorer on a text document (RTF, TXT), every File Explorer window closes. So I need to remember not to do that. I hope that if I'd set the PC up, this wouldn't happen.

        I also am not awfully impressed with the included "ASUS GIFTBOX" software, particularly as the "gifts" are not necessarily for free.

      4. shah27

        Re: Set-up...

        Curry's offered a service which a lot of people never went for. It was meant to involve a member of staff spending a hour setting up the laptop, installing all relevant software's and showing the customers how to use the laptop (I know of one elderly couple who bought it).

        But Curry's staff started lying and claiming stuff like "laptop won't turn on", "you have to buy the Operating System", "only experts will be able to set up the laptop" etc... in order to force people who didn't know better to buy this service.

      5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Set-up...

        "I asked that and got the following answer... They complete most of the windows setup process including creating the recovery media and installing updates."

        Does that include some sort of legal agreement in writing that they have the power to accept the various click through T&Cs on the customers behalf? Sounds like it could be legally sticky.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Set-up...

      This fee includes installing all the Currys Crudware. KnowHow Cloud Service, KnowHow Backup, KnowHow Remote access for their "support" staff....

      So they add even MORE crapware on top of the crapware already on the laptop. They also tend to sell a copy of McAfee to the customer even though there is one on the laptop already. Ah - and then there are the copies of Office 365 that they sell at mysteriously low prices.

      Oh - and of course in the Win10 world there is no need for recovery disks. But they still put a pile of crapware tools onto a USB drive to make sure any recovery attempted always puts all the KnowHow crud back.

      Now remember how cheap and nasty a low powered laptop this is for £200 - and realise the horrendous experience of attempting to use something like this!

      I also offer a £40 setup service for my clients - but when I hand the laptop back to the customer all that crudware has been removed, all the half working demos gone, and all the nice free tools installed instead.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Set-up...

        What is so mysterious about the prices

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bought laptop from Dell online - pre-configured with Linux

    Saved money. Works better.

    Who the fuck shops at PC World?!

    1. Tim Jenkins

      Re: Bought laptop from Dell online - pre-configured with Linux

      "Who the fuck shops at PC World?!"

      Parents-in-law. That's who.

    2. Timmy B Silver badge

      Re: Bought laptop from Dell online - pre-configured with Linux

      "Who the fuck shops at PC World?!"

      I did as the Dell I got was cheaper as it was on sale and they were giving extra off if you spent over a certain amount. Even after I bypassed PCW and bought the extended warranty direct from Dell it was over £120 cheaper and as my warranty is now with Dell I don't have to deal with PCW.

      It's not always more expensive.

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: Bought laptop from Dell online - pre-configured with Linux

        It's not always more expensive.

        But even with the compensation, was it worth the hassle that you allude to a few posts above?

        I bought a kitchen appliance from DixonsCurrysCarphoneWorld just before Christmas. It was cheaper than all other retailers, but when it failed it was a load of hassle getting it replaced. I wish I'd paid more and used AO or John Lewis, and advise others not to be seduced by apparent bargains from shit retailers.

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: Bought laptop from Dell online - pre-configured with Linux

          John Lewis price match.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Bought laptop from Dell online - pre-configured with Linux

            Gotta watch our for John Lewis price match. It may have changed, but they hd a habit, a few years back, of using their own models numbers for the same item. As in, we can't price match the W11zzB model because we are selling the ( identical ) WW11zzA model.

          2. Ledswinger Silver badge

            Re: Bought laptop from Dell online - pre-configured with Linux

            John Lewis price match.

            Which only applies to store versus store purchases. The item I foolishly bought from DCPWCetc was an online order because that was cheaper than in store.

        2. Timmy B Silver badge

          Re: Bought laptop from Dell online - pre-configured with Linux

          "But even with the compensation, was it worth the hassle that you allude to a few posts above?"

          The price excludes the compensation and if none of the mess up had happened it'd be fine. the last PC I got from them was a Lenovo Yoga Pro - again on a special offer so cheaper than online and that went faultlessly. Good laptop actually - still going strong.

      2. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: Bought laptop from Dell online - pre-configured with Linux

        Did the same with an A3 inkjet printer, online from PCW (picked up in store) - cheaper (with an extra set of inks thrown in too!) than any online / bricks & mortar price for same model. One of teh rare occasions a PCW special offer was actually genuine!

      3. Nick Kew Silver badge

        Re: Bought laptop from Dell online - pre-configured with Linux

        "Who the fuck shops at PC World?!"

        Me, several times since moving to where they're within walking distance. Particularly good for emergencies (like this one), and also somewhat useful to see the physical goods before buying. The latter helped me get a cheapo ultrabook whose trackpad I find exceptionally comfortable to use, and a fridge-freezer that fits exactly in an unusual space.

        Checked prices against online, and they are competitive. And I certainly haven't experienced the kind of nonsense the article talks of, perhaps for reasons like (from memory) my sales droid for the ultrabook said he used Linux too.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bought laptop from Dell online - pre-configured with Linux

      I used to buy odds and sods from there if they were in stock and a reasonable price. Of late there seems to be very little in stock at my local store. My last experience of buying a new telly there was pretty horrendous. I'd already decided what I wanted so ordered on-line to collect, but the odious salesman was determined to sell me something else. I was seconds away from walking out before he passed me on to a colleague who sold me what I actually wanted - and gave me two free HDMI cables.

    4. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: Bought laptop from Dell online - pre-configured with Linux

      AC Who the fuck shops at PC World?!

      Guilty as charged, m'lud, but in mitigation: only when no compelling alternative presents itself. On my increasingly rare visits back to the UK I will occasionally drop in on old friends who live near Portsmouth. I do tech support for them. What alternative is there to PC World when you need to get a new laptop/NAS box/external HDD on a Sunday, and you're only going to be there for 5 hours?

      For less urgent stuff, of course, I've been steering them towards Scan or Amazon for years.

  9. Tim Jenkins

    Who would have thought it?

    The outlet famous for £9.99 USB leads added to every £40 inkjet purchase ('because there isn't one in the box, you know'), its £80 metre-long HDMI leads ('to get the best from your new TV'), and the compulsory Norton box / Office key / Extended warranty with every £299 laptop turns out to have dodgy sales practices...

    1. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

      Re: Who would have thought it?

      Don't forget the special 3D HDMI cable specifically for your 3D TV

  10. VooDooMonkey

    ""While setting up machines in advance enables customers who want the service to benefit from it straight away, it is not something everyone needs."

    Utter bastards. This is something nobody needs. They simply prey on the ill-informed, elderly people who think they can trust a shopworker, expecially when they are in a big national brand shop like this. Utter, utter scum.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was getting a Surface Laptop from PC World, the and guy was telling me how amazing it was. I told him, personally I thought they where a piece of shit and it was for work to test our product. He then agreed and started slating them too, telling me how cheaper laptops where better.

    That little oik was quite content letting me part with a grand on something that he knew was shit.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      I'm pretty sure that little oik didn't have the authority to knock 15% off the sales price.

      After all, he was just a little oik, blindly repeating his cue card data like he is paid to.

      The days you could count on salespeople knowing what they're talking about is over. The only thing they know is that if they don't sell enough stock by next Tuesday, they're fired.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Look how people talk about us? Asking for advice then not taking it, blatantly calling their “tech guy” a 15 year old kid who knows nothing to overrule what you’re suggesting to the customer....

      After your first 3months you stop trying to help people, they just spit in your face. So yeah mate I would let you spend £10k even on something I know for a fact is shit because you, the general public have just beat any decency out of us. So thanks, I won’t loose sleep over selling idiots like you crap they don’t need :)

  12. James 51 Silver badge

    I do not understand how currys managed to avoid being charged with fraud.

  13. Bob Vistakin
    Facepalm

    Can't work out who is thicker

    Their staff or their customers. And no, being rumbled on this latest scam doesn't change that.

    1. Graham Jordan

      Re: Can't work out who is thicker

      You're a bit of a dick really aren't you.

      I've worked for them, and I've had some fucking appalling experiences with them, (the latest included an £1800 laptop with a faulty motherboard KnowHow had back at their workshop 6 times and put the wrong screen on 4 times), and yet - despite many promises not to shop there any more, still do because it's bloody convenient and cheap.

      John Lewis price match? Sure they do, but that means parking in the city ctr and having to carry huge boxes around a busy shopping ctr; or I could just rock up to a business park, park for free, then get some useless cunt to carry a TV out to my car for me.

      They absolutely should get pulled and fined hard for their fucking awful sales practises and shit ethics, but - and this is almost certainly going to be the case for the majority of people else the company would have sank a long time ago - when you buy a piece of kit for a cheap price and it just works, you can't argue.

      That being said if Currys sank tomorrow I wouldn't lose any sleep. In fact I'd probably take a massive shit at the Arnold branch in Nottingham. Yes Barny you useless twat who installed software on my phone without asking just so you could print an invoice of mine out that you couldn't find on your own fucking systems, I'd fling my excrement in your direction.

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: Can't work out who is thicker

        @ Graham Jordan

        John Lewis deliver for non urgent kit, ... if the kit is too big to carry on the (usually pretty good) Nottingham public transport system.

        I'll get my coat (the one with the tram ticket in the pocket)

      2. paulf Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Can't work out who is thicker

        @ Graham Jordan "...(the latest included an £1800 laptop with a faulty motherboard KnowHow had back at their workshop 6 times and put the wrong screen on 4 times), and yet - despite many promises not to shop there any more, still do because it's bloody convenient and cheap."

        Back the truck up a moment. You've just said you returned your lappy 6 times, of which 4 included the wrong screen being attached, leading to self inflicted returns. I'm guessing that incurred at least 6 weeks (likely 12 weeks plus) loss of use then the various phone calls or store visits to return it and get it back; but you still claim they're convenient? This must be a new use of the word convenient I'm not familiar with.

  14. Swiss Anton

    Soon to be rebranded as ...

    Currys PC Who

  15. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Linux

    "Blank" PC ?

    for me, that's a selling point ....

    1. Snorlax Silver badge

      Re: "Blank" PC ?

      @JimmyPage:”for me, that's a selling point ....

      Not so much when the cost of a Windows licence is built into the price of the PC.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm ashamed to say I worked at best buy. W When you bought a computer from best buy and load the cart up with accessories . If you decline we would often say sorry we don't have the PC in stock. You see it was the accessories that had high margins on them and that's what my manger got a bonus on.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Did you write this using a Best Buy keyboard?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Interesting.

      So they could sell computers at a "loss", knowing they'd make it up with extras.

      1. Colabroad

        My first job after deciding Uni wasn't for me was as an Xmas temp at Comet.

        Laptops and PC's had maybe 5% margin at most. printers, cables, AV, speakers, warranties, etc were where they made their money.

        Some of the oilier colleagues (especially in the TV section) would drop sales onto other staff or put them through under a cashier's name to preserve their figures.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Oh I left out they over priced warranties.

    3. rh587

      Best Buy

      I have to say, my limited experience with Best Buy's short-lived foray in the UK was overwhelmingly positive.

      Went in to look at DSLRs. They'd struck that staffing balance where they weren't sidling up to try and sell to you, but there was someone at the end of the aisle when you needed them (instead of spending 10 minutes traipsing around wondering if the store was actually staffed or whether you could legitimately just walk out of the unattended entrance with armfuls of merchandise).

      What's more, the young lady in the camera section had an opinion. She knew her product and wasn't just telling me that this one had more megapixels than that one by reading the labels.

      I was kind of sorry to see them disappear.

      As compared to the one time I bought a laptop from PCWorld (for the office. Emergency that unfortunately required a device today) and the sales drone was trying to extoll the wonders of Win8 (and upsell something that not only did I not need, but which no one in the history of IT has ever needed) when I had to stop him and say "I honestly don't care. The first thing that's going to happen is I'm going to wipe it and install W7Pro."

      Your average computer enthusiast would understand that this was a business purchase, but in this case his face instead clouded over into a puzzled expression as he asked "Why would you want to do that?".

      Why the f- do you think?

      1. rickykemp

        Re: Best Buy

        I'm not sure I'd agree regarding Best Buy - they marketed that they would have the best selection of PC gaming components of any UK retailer - ended up being 1 row of shelves of stuff from two generations previous at the price of the (then) current generation stuff.

      2. Jamesit

        Re: Best Buy

        After reading this I will never shop at Best Buy:

        https://www.stallman.org/archives/2017-may-aug.html#31_August_2017_(Water_at_$43_a_case)

        31 August 2017 (Water at $43 a case)

        Shame on "Best Buy" stores for price gouging on bottled water in and around Houston.

        Generally you shouldn't buy bottled water in the US. When a contaminated flood has made tap water inaccessible is one of the exceptions.

        https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/29/stores-accused-price-gouging-wake-hurricane-harvey

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doesn't the device have to have Windoze on it..

    I thought that was a Microsoft tax, er requirement for most OEM's to have the hologram label with your key on it (which rubs off just before you need it)

    I don't recall what the options were for escaping recovery media provision, but I don't have the papers to hand.

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge

      Re: Doesn't the device have to have Windoze on it..

      I think that was stopped when EU (pointedly *not* UK) courts decided that if you hadn't activated it, you were entitled to a refund.

  18. KTF

    Details of what this charge covered here: https://www.teamknowhow.com/connect-it/set-up/computer-set-up

    1. ukgnome Silver badge
      Trollface

      Wow such value for money

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What do you actually get for the £40?

    If they're bypassing the OOBE on Windows, they're breaking MS license terms that the mug who bought the machine needs to accept the terms personally.

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: What do you actually get for the £40?

      Hmm, you mean you get Windoze without ever accepting the EULA?

      Sounds like it might have value to someone. Not sure who.

  20. The Dogs Meevonks

    The One Retailer you want to hear go out of business

    If there's one retailer out there that you want to go bust... it's this bunch of arseholes.

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: The One Retailer you want to hear go out of business

      Whilst I get your sentiments, it's a shame it'll be the coalface staff that suffer, not their shitlord bosses.

      As your Maplins, Comets, (and soon to follow) PCWorld/Dixons/CPW all go, leaving the internet as the prime tech supplier, I have a nasty feeling that general IT literacy in the UK (which, let's face it, is hardly starting from a high point) will simply sink further.

      Which is a tragedy, when you consider that for a brief sneeze of time - BBC Micro and compulsory computing in schools - we had the US shitting their pants.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The One Retailer you want to hear go out of business

        It is true, that for a large (and growing) amount of computer-related hardware, you're already fucked if you want to actually see what you're buying. And yes, in some cases, when you have to spend more than just a handful of quid, it is essential. And then, when not a single (...) store stocks in the the whole of the country (literally), you turn desperate and e-mail the hardware manufacturers trying to get answers to questions their marketing droids didn't think might be handy. And then, as things go, they don't bother replying to either this or any further e-mails you send their way. And that's hardware worth approx. 1500 quid. Hell, I mean, perhaps this hardware doesn't exist at all, just a page with a few fake images and specs taken out of their arse? Well, perhaps even the company doesn't exist, it's a strange world we live in...

    2. Mage Silver badge

      Re: The One Retailer you want to hear go out of business

      Curiously they started by selling bicycles and moved into radio sets due to demand on recharging the 2V lead acid LT cells.

      It's been downhill since WWII?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The One Retailer you want to hear go out of business

      Yeah fantastic thousands and thousands of people with no jobs to provide for their families you do realise we employ a lot more staff than just sales? I hope you loose your job mate

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. J27

    I'm surprised they're still in business, all the big box stores around here are either going out of business or just teetering on the edge of going out of business. The business model made sense in the 90's, but it's quickly going the way of the video rental store. Just ask Circuit CIty.

  23. Milton Silver badge

    Still in business ... why?

    I was surprised when Comet went under, some years back, rather than DSG: we had both in our local retail park, and Comet's prices were often cheaper and its staff vastly better for information and sheer courtesy. There was much less of the witless insistence on selling you worthless five year warranties and other overpriced "services" that Currys/PCW/DSG worked so hard to scam us with.

    If ever a high street brand seems to deserve oblivion, it's DSG, with its tricksy pricing manipulation, expense and the atrocious staff and sales practices: why won't it just die?

    And if they refuse to die, perhaps they could at least adopt an honest-labelling policy, so that naive customers will, on the way in, see that there is an entire team of spotty oafs called—

    Ex-Spurts Bar Devoted To Lightening Your Wallet (Plus *FREE* Bad Advice).

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: Still in business ... why?

      Yeah, Comet had competitive prices. Which is why I ordered a bunch of white goods from their website when I moved house in 2005.

      Nothing happened. After three or four days I 'phoned to ask why, and all was confusion. I told them cancel the whole order, and ordered from Argos instead. It's no wonder Comet went under. Happily my order from Argos arrived first thing the following morning.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Still in business ... why?

      We are still in business because idiots buy the extra crap from crafty sales people. Comet didn’t do that so they went bust

  24. zaax

    Yeah, they tried that on me. The sales assistant could not work out why didn't need an operating system (Ubuntu is a wonderful thing), after 10min told him forget it and started to walk out. I got the PC.

  25. Anonymous IV
    Happy

    @zaax

    > The sales assistant could not work out why I didn't need an operating system

    You should have told him (since undoubedly male) that you were just going to use the firmware, and so didn't need an operating system...

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Factory restore

    Reminds me of a time when i was in there as a customer and i overheard a unhappy customer talking to the (not so techguys) that he was advised to do a factory restore and all his data had gone. I struggled to stiffle my laughter

  27. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      Re: Nice story

      You really make an effort to come over as a non-stop arsehole, don't you.

      1. Duffaboy

        Re: Nice story

        takes one to know one

    2. Duffaboy

      Re: Nice story

      Oh its 100% True as the default answer from their help line is to do a factory restore back to its out of the box settings. There is a valid reason to do this as the customer has most likely installed something to cause their problems. What is unacceptable practice is not stressing to your customers that your personal settings will be gone.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bad enough DSG putting their employees in this position especially considering the first thing they do on the company induction is show you a video of why it's not a good idea to steal from the company.

  29. Stuclark

    Let's not forget that if they actually managed to sell you a "blank" laptop, they, and the laptop's manufacturer, would be in breach of their licence agreement with Microsoft!

  30. pAnoNymous

    Never go there for this reason

    Had the hard sale/unfulfilled promotions in Dixon's too many times so don't even bother to look there any more. Can't be the only one. Not sure it's a great strategy to annoy your customers but I guess they reckon another one will be along soon...

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't worry folks...

    Going by current trends they will be inline after BHS, Woolworths, ToysRUs, Maplins, and maybe before or after Prezzo, Chiquitoes and many more.

    ...Sorry about any spelling mistakes can't be arsed

  32. Rabbit80

    Bought a laptop from them a few weeks back.. Was fun watching their sales pitch.

    Would you like our antivirus sir, its only £50? No - I work for a reseller of ESET

    Would you like a backup memory stick sir for just £20? No - I'm wiping W10 home off it as soon as I get it back to the office and reinstalling it

    Would you like a years subscription to Office 365? No - Did I mention my company is also a reseller for Office?

    We can set it up for you sir for just £x? No - like I said, I'm wiping it as soon as it gets back to the office..

    As I asked for a business receipt another guy took over.. same questions again then he offered to set it up for free! 10 mins of questions for something that could have taken 10 seconds!

  33. Jon Smit

    Also offer free software that never appears

    I bought a laptop from Currys just before Xmas. Supposed to come with free software from Intel. I'm still waiting.

    1. .stu

      Re: Also offer free software that never appears

      I think you have to go and download it yourself. I got mine no problems.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Also offer free software that never appears

      I made an account just to tell you how unintelligent you are. You need to claim the software pack on items website by providing your receipt number. No wonder you people get taken for a ride you make it too easy

  34. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "One punter was ordered to pay an extra £40 or she'd be sold a blank laptop, Which? said."

    Fine. Let's see, advertised price includes the OS so that'll be £40 less than advertised. Yes, I do have Trading Standards on speed dial.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wow

      No one is forced to do anything in life it’s a backup of your operating system it’s a service you need to pay for IF you want it. If you don’t fine

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm puzzled

    First, that there are still people buying ANYTHING from them, and second, that people who buy from them AND then, let themselves be submitted to a quickie (aka thinking of England).

    That said, if you buy from them in the first place, you deserve everything that follows...

  36. Matt Gumsley

    I worked at PC World (a few years ago now). Enjoyed my time there, surprisingly, but then I have morals :/ Services are almost pure profit for them, so there was always a lot of pressure to sell attachments. The big box stuff is sold essentially at a loss (less than 5% margin), especially the stuff they promote, so if they don't get the attach % they can't get the 20% margin they need to stay profitable. If you employ unscrupulous people,then have managers pressure them daily to perform then this will continue to happen. You can't even blame commission culture because there isn't one, it's perform or get sacked. I always thought C/PCW would be a lot happier as a business if they finally get around to deciding whether they want to be Tesco or John Lewis, rather than dithering in the middle :/

  37. shah27

    Saw staff at Curry's do this deliberately

    I remember once visiting Curry's In Mile End London couple of years back.

    I was waiting at the counter to pay for an Xbox 360 controller and listening to the guy behind the till lying to the customer "The computer needs to be set up with all of the software, if you take the laptop home as is you won't be able to use it as it will not turn on. We can do this for you if you pay £40."

    The customer was confused and didn't understand (mainly because they had no idea what any computer jargon meant).

    I paid for my controller 10 minutes later and decided to butt in. Will try and translate what i said "This guys is lying, you don't need to pay anything. Everything you need comes inside the laptop. If you want I'll show you how easy it is".

    The clerk got annoyed and started telling me to leave the store and not to call him a liar. We argued until another guy in the queue got involved backing me up. The security guards came up to me and attempted to usher me out of the store.

    The customer decided to leave the store without buying anything, I could hear the customer say "we'll just ask your brother to buy one tomorrow".

    Thought i'd share my story,

  38. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    "...sold a blank laptop, Which? said."

    Which? is a silly name.

    Imagine if other organizations were named Who?, What?, Where?, and When?.

    Refer to this: http://www.psu.edu/dept/inart10_110/inart10/whos.html

    ...

    Costello: Well, then who's playing first?

    Abbott: Yes.

    Costello: I mean the fellow's name on first base.

    Abbott: Who.

    Costello: The fellow playin' first base.

    Abbott: Who.

    Costello: The guy on first base.

    Abbott: Who is on first.

    Costello: Well, what are you askin' me for?

    Abbott: I'm not asking you--I'm telling you. Who is on first.

    ...

  39. BeigePete

    Silly Names

    It was sad seeing Comet go under, slightly so again now Maplin is shutting up shop but I doubt a tear will be shed when it is the tikka flavored chain is no more!

  40. PaulR79

    Decent experience

    I see all these horror stories and I've heard them over the years but the few times I've gone to PC World (as it was then) I knew what I wanted, what it cost online and got it. There was sometimes mention of warranty extension which I declined but the store never pushed anything.

    In fact I had one of the most "wow" positive experiences when buying a laptop. It was £800 for a pretty decent spec, sales guy knew which of a few had the newer CPU and it fit my budget so I took it. I don't remember why but I was looking at their site and saw the same laptop being offered with £100 cashback less than a week later. I had nothing to lose so went into the shop and pointed out I'd bought it just a week prior and asked if they could do anything about it. They refunded the original charge, redid the sale with a new receipt and printed out the thing I needed for the £100 cashback which I later got.

    Is my experience unique? I doubt it but I do know that they have a terrible reputation for all the things in the comments here. I just wanted to show that although rare there are exceptions.

  41. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

    Money is a terrible incentive

  42. Fihart

    Typical Dixons

    Buying an HP scanner, realised on getting it home that box had been opened and power supply cube was missing. Took it back and given a replacement scanner. That also turned out to have been opened and wouldn't work. Third time we got a scanner which worked. Clearly, customer returns were being put back on display without being checked.

    This isn't/wasn't the only High Street retailer willing to bamboozle customers into buying Extended Warranties. In a national chain store that sells car accessories and bikes I overheard assistant explaining to customer that an EW was a good idea because the warranty only covered the bicycle frame. I was so angered I wrote to the company. Received an unapologetic reply noting that things like tyres and brake blocks were considered consumables. That's reasonable, but it's very different from claiming that only the frame is warranteed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Typical Dixons

      You mean Halfrauds? Didn't exactly have to make this nick up....

  43. Brian Allan 1

    Seems like their customer service is in line with the going-out-of-business model!?

  44. Stuart Castle

    I normally support retailers if I can, but when they pull shit like this, it is difficult.

    I remember a few years ago, my local curry’s was selling Monster cables (which are snake oil). They had a flash looking stand with two identical Blu Ray players playing the same film on two identical TVs. The picture on the tv with the monster cable sticker on was noticeably better, and I was impressed. Until I had a look at the back of the TVs. The one with the monster sticker on it was hooked up to the blu Ray with an unbranded HDMI cable. The other tv was hooked up to the blu Ray with an unbranded composite cable.

    1. andy bird

      I snorted once when overhearing a sales girl telling a couple how her grandad.. who normally never comments on anything.. was shocked at how much better the £75 hdmi cable made his tv

  45. smartroad

    Part of the reason I won't go into a Dixon Stores Group store is because I don't what to deal with sales people pushing stuff I don't want.

    I am very polite and find it hard to be forceful and get stressed when I have to be. So I just don't go.

    How much money is DSG loosing because people like me refuse to go as they make a stressful shopping environment?

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like Wells Fargo type quota target tricks

  47. Leopold_the_irrascible
    Stop

    And another thing...

    When you buy a printer the sales bod claims that you need to buy an additional set of cartridges "because the ones in the box only have enough ink in them to do a test print." Obvious rubbish to someone like me, but I wonder how many people have bought their overpriced carts?

    I bought a laptop there for a friend last year and they tried the pre-built-with-usb-stick-for-£30 ruse on me. Told them it was no use to me because I could set the PC up myself, and did not need their crummy USB stick. Tool 15 minutes of standing my ground before they backed off. And when I got home and powered up, it was an out-of-date build of Windows 10!

    I do actually buy stuff at PC World quite a bit because its local and its easy to take things back. However, this is only after I have done my shopping around and checked specs etc online. I would NEVER ask advice from them about a purchase. I'd get more sense out of my cat.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And another thing...

      'Starter' cartridges. Because loss leader product, £ on accessories and consumables....

      Cloverleaf or keyed power leads because a two-pin '8' or a 'kettle' lead can't be commodity sourced. Have you noticed how 'kettle' leads don't actually fit kettles any more!?!?!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And another thing...

        "Have you noticed how 'kettle' leads don't actually fit kettles any more!?!?!"

        Most of what people call 'kettle' leads are fitted with C13/C14 connectors that are only rated to 70C but obviously kettles run a bit hotter (except in the US where 'tea' is made with warm water) and use the C15/C16 notched connectors rated to 120C.

        My Dixons/PCW run-in was the old days of the extended warranty where I was offered a 2-year extended warranty for a mere 50% of the value of the lappie... I pointed to the sticker on the machine offering Sony's free extension to 5-years for just the price of a stamp

  48. SilentMetro
    Facepalm

    False advertising

    Yeah and didn't you ask them for statistical data on the amount of rejected cashback claims?

    They are driving up business with false cashback deals on websites like Topcashback and Quidco by rejecting cashback with no due reason.

    Honestly, I fell for this as well :/ I have proof of purchase and used their affiliated link but nope still no reply to their claims process. Was owed £30 for buying a laptop over £399; don't fall for their deals.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wasn't it PC World that were distributing hooky ms licenses with their machines not long ago?

  50. ItsAMeMario

    An inside view!

    I worked for the company for 19 years until 2 years ago. The stories I could tell of the underhand sales practices that go on!

    This one in particular wasn't actually supposed to be an underhand tactic in all fairness. The idea was that some customers will want to pay for their laptop to be setup, updates applied and software installed. Because that's time consuming we would set up a percentage of each model in advance so when a customer wants that service we can say "ta-daa, here's one I made earlier!"

    Now, where the issue came in (constantly) was this: We get 10 of a model in, set up 3 of them. The 7 in-setup ones sell first and we are left with 3 set up ones. The sales person is targeted heavily on seliing setups and software and a laptop without is considered a major negative. So a customer comes to buy said laptop, the sales person will try to sell them the setup, the McAfee AV, etc etc. If the customer says no, the sales person sees an opportunity to say "Oh, sorry we only have set up ones left" (Meaning either buy it with the setup service or don't buy it at all)

    You might think "Crazy to turn away a sale of a £400 laptop" - but the sales person is only judged on how many addons are sold, so they would rather lose the sale (we used to call it a 'flat' sale) than to sell one with nothing. (Management used to put a 'flat sale' on a par with summoning the devil to earth)

    I could write a book on some of the stuff that goes on, that would dwarf War & Peace! :-D

  51. andy bird

    A few years back before the pc world stores were merged with curries we tried to buy a laptop. After half an hour of saying no to all the up sells we walked out. We went next door into Currys grabbed a sales rep and got her to walk next door and fetch the laptop.. she had the good grace not to try any up sells.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What went wrong?

    Many (many) years ago, I had a Saturday jib in my local Currys. It was a small store in the centre of town, and the manager had this bizarre notion that the store should provide a valuable local service rather than just be box shifters. This would include repairing small items for free that were a) obviously years old and b) may not even have been bought in there. We'd sometimes make smaller deliveries to customers ourselves if they needed it quickly.

    We'd also nip across to other branches to get something we didn't have in stock. Staff had been there for years and knew their stuff.

    Obviously you can guess the eventual fate of a small market town Currys store that didn't have a large sales volume....

  53. Gurhurk

    Charlatans pulled this on me...

    Bought a Lenovo laptop in the New Year. For no apparent reason (and I'm not blaming PCWorld) it bricked itself within a week. I took it back to the store and was offered a replacement, which I was happy with, but when the storetard returned with the new laptop, he announced that it had Windows already installed on it, so he would have to charge me an extra £40. This would cover the time the nerds had spent installing Windows, I was told. I countered that I had already spent several hours of my extremely expensive time doing just the same on a piece of kit that turned out to be defective and that I would pay them the £40 if they refunded me my own time - and how about the 40 miles worth of petrol for the extra trip to the shop. Suffice it to say that they lost a sale that day, and I will never be returning. So dumb... that's how they will end up being Maplin'ed...

  54. post-truth

    In emergencies I buy kit from such stores - they're all at it.

    My tactics are simple and practical. Once I've chosen the kit and physically verified they do have it in their store, I cut off the next hour of "paperwork" sales BS and exasperation on all sides by giving them a simple ultimatum, goes something like:

    "I have to go. You have five minutes to do your paperwork and get this box to the cash registers. If this is too difficult, I can help you out by carrying it there myself. If it's not there in five minutes, I'm gone."

    The fact that I mean it, and that they can see that, results in a happy outcome every time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Lol

      If you were my customer I’d say this is gonna take more than five minutes part of my job is to go through a journey with you to make sure this machine works the way you want it to work. See if you’re rude? I’ll just be rude back. If you wanna walk out bloody walk out, a sale like yours would have a negative impact on my overall figures. Listen we are targeted but not on commision. What do you think that means? Hit target or bye bye.

      Target meaning the add ons. Sales target hits itself. Just be nice you may get stuff for free

  55. se99paj

    They aren't all bad

    I'm not condoning the behavior of PC World/Currys and I can probably come up with a few horror stories of my own, but every now and again we can get a good experience.

    A few years ago my Nexus 9 tablet received an Android upgrade and bricked the device, it was stuck in a boot cycle. I took the tablet back to PC world as it was less than 12 months old, they said it would get sent back to Asus to get repaired and should be back in a few weeks. After a month the tablet hadn't been returned, the Know How rep told me as the tablet hadn't been sent back I was entitled to a replacement tablet at no cost.

  56. x 7 Silver badge

    the kids in the store don't get a commission on the sale of the laptop, because they are sold at near cost. (most of the "margin" is in the form of end-year supplier rebates). But they do get a commission on any warranties, setup fees or peripherals they can bolt onto the deal.

    Thats why when they throw in "free" antivirus, its actually charged on the invoice, but the PC/Laptop is discounted by the same amount. On one of those deals they actually lose money but it doesn't show up in the books

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nope

      You don’t know what you’re talking about mate there has been no commission in Currys for over 12 years. We are targeted with the threat of sacking so you’re only half right

  57. GKirkwood

    Suicidal

    I wouldn't let PC World "Know How" staff near any of my devices. If I want crapware like McAfee on my laptop, I'd install it.

  58. E net

    Some Good Guys, even here

    You do occasionally come across someone who really knows what they are talking about and you end up having an intertesting conversation. The last time was I think we a student and AV hobbyist so he I suppose he was just doing this for quick cash.

    1. rickykemp

      Re: Some Good Guys, even here

      the only time i've ever had an intelligent conversation was when they had a Google concession - the Google Droid knew Nexus devices inside out, and we talked at length about how good the Nexus 6 was.

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