PC World’s crap customer service continues

PC World's crap service continues

After being sold a second-hand wireless router as new, having our email ignored and generally having a thoroughly unpleasant experience with PC World, we wrote up our sad story here and invited the company to respond.


We got a reply from their Head of Consumer PR earlier this week, and we’re very underwhelmed by their response:

Our Customer Solutions team have looked into the issue with your router and have spoken to the managers at the store. It is certainly not our intention to sell second hand goods as new.  We would normally have ‘second hand’/display models marked as such but it seems this one may have slipped through the net.

I understand you have had a full refund for the product in question as you reported it as faulty when you returned it.  However, as a goodwill gesture for the inconvenience caused, the store manager would like to offer you a £20 gift voucher.

If you could please provide more contact details we will arrange for the Customer Solutions Team to post it to you.

PC World's crap service continues
Fobbed off

We don’t want to seem ungrateful, but we’d like to think most companies would take this matter a little more seriously – selling used goods as new seems a fairly serious thing to us – and it’s not the first time PC World have been caught out undertaking such dodgy practices either.

Seeing as we took the trouble to raise several points about their customer service (including their frustrating policy of responding from ‘no-reply’ email addresses) we expected a more considered reply, and perhaps even an apology for their continued poor customer service.

Officially rubbish

After all, with a 2005 Which? survey ranking PC World joint last for customer satisfaction, a 2008 survey by the same organisation declaring them one of the worst brands on the High Street, and the latest 2010 survey placing them 97th out of 100 retailers you’d think they”d be keen to show that things are improving.

Our motive certainly wasn’t about the money either, although £20 seems a derisory amount of “goodwill” for our inconvenience, barely covering the transport costs for the two return journeys we’ve made to their store – and now we’ve got to make a third trip to cash the thing in.

Jumping through hoops

It seems that PC World like to go that extra mile to make things difficult for their customers, so they won’t let us do something useful like spend the voucher online.

Instead, we now have to print off the letter, and then physically take it to one of their stores to be redeemed.

As if that wasn’t a big enough pain in the arse, PC World also insist that we cart around two forms of ID before we can spend that goodwill-packed £20 voucher:

Please take this letter with you to any of the above stores along with two different forms of
identification (matching the name and address on this letter) from the list below who will be
able to help
Acceptable forms of ID – Driving Licence, Passport, ID card, Medical Card, Utility Bill,
Pension or Allowance Book.

They’re the worst. Really

So that’ll be a total of three trips made to PC World, a load of hassle, time and expense  – and we still haven’t got a ruddy  router!

We’re beginning to understand why PC World have such a stunningly awful reputation for customer service, and on our recent experiences our advice to readers is simple: avoid at all costs!

About mike s

Editor, wirefresh.com

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27 Comments on “PC World’s crap customer service continues”

  1. They should offer you a voucher for the inconvenience of redeeming the voucher already credited to you!
    They seem to of completely overlooked/missed the point of you original complaint.

  2. Perhaps you should respond with Winston Churchill’s words when confronted with a demand to sue for peace with Hitler:

    “I am ashamed of you for writing such a letter. I return it to you – to burn & forget.”

  3. They really are crap – I had similarly awful experiences a while ago and your article has just reminded me why I should avoid shopping with them ever again.

    It’s weird how their customer services really don’t seem that interested in coming over as reasonable. It’s a bit like the Rantner approach!

  4. Strange, I’ve honestly not had a single problem with PC World and to be honest, they’re the only ones I trust. I made the mistake of using Curry’s a while back and got ripped out of a grand. But PC World so far have been fantastic. Guess it may depend on where you are and which branch you go to.

  5. On the 31 March I bought a ACER computer from PC World Castle Bridge Road Nottingham
    It came with Windows 7 on, we require Windows Xp. PC World downloaded this for us which we paid for. Since then this computer has been back to the shop 6 times the problem seams it is blue screening. Now I am told by the shop it is not PC Worlds problem we must get in touch with ACER they gave us a phone number to ring, And guess what ACER says it has nothung to do with them. So now I have a computer Worth £426.70 sat on our print room floor and no one wants to know. I have ask for a complete refund but am told by the asst manager the machine is fit for purpose,now I ask you how can a machine that has only worked 19 days since march be fit foe purpose.The standard of customer service from this shop in Nottingham is none existence once they have your money they don’t want to know
    I now have bought a new computer for our print room a Dell because if I wait for PC World
    to to sort this problem out we could be bankrupt.

  6. i wish i had read this blog before buying an acer pc from pc world in basildon. i asked for a mchine for general emails and business use and was shown this acer aspire 5810 its got vista and is aS SLOW AS HELL WE WERE TOLD THAT WHEN 7 CAME OUT WE WOULD GET AN UPGRADE BUT THEY DIDNT SAY YOU HAD TO APPLY AT A CERTAIN TIME, ONe OF THE KEYS IS BROKEN SO ITS GOING BACK AS THE GUARANTEE IS ABOUT TO EXPIRE. all in all very dissapointed with pc world sales staff who lie through their teeth to get your money.

    will be buying all our new pc equipment from bestbuy

  7. ihad a crap experience with pc world ,cd drive on my 6 month old hp laptop packed up ,i took it to the store and asked them to fix it under warranty,told me to go back home and book it in with their ‘tech guys’ did that, dropped it back at the store(merry hill)on 12 june 2010,told me 1 to 2 weeks tops for repair,tryed to ring store to find out if its ready,nobody but nobody answers the phone 6 times , after 2 weeks,got in touch with tech guys no joy first time ,tried again then i get someone who is genuine and helpful and old me the repair was cancelled,went to store asked why and told went to wrong place twice,sat on shelf for 2 weeks and nobody called me to tell there would be a delay.and not there job to inform customers of such things,really !!pure ignorance and bullcrap all in one go ..they train em well at pc world , and told be rebooked and maybe another 2 weeks without my pc. spoke to manager same attitude from him and an apology after i prompted him and invited me to have a wonder round the show and buy some more shoddy crap..oh how i laughed, anyway got my computer back after 3 and half weeks and told it was delayed due to they didnt know the fault, more B.S ..i shall go to staples next time, thanks for nothing PC WORLD …YOU REALLY DO SUCK !!!!!

  8. Also had a dreadful experience with PC World, about to return our laptop for the third time in the 7 months since we bought it, first time they replaced the motherboard which took a month, second time they lost it, couldnt identify what was repaired and returned it after 5 weeks.(outside of the 28days agreement but they wouldnt replace when I asked) 24hrs later the same fault occured which leads me to believe it was never actually fixed.
    Going in this evening to bring it back for a third time, cant imagine it will go well, I will have to wait in a queue for a half hour to talk to someone who cant help & will tell me to arrange for the tech guys to fix myself.
    Such hassle if it was a cheaper item I would bin and replace just not to have to deal with them again!!

  9. hi,for all of you, pcworld customer services arent fobbing customers off but i beleave customers are fobbing pcworld off, if we talk about laptops, and chargers or sending parts in post,its only pcworld who send free parts without any question to any customer ,just on the basis of trust,even microsoft doesnt do that,dell doesnt even cover charger fault,pc world doesnt even charger for assessments,free pick ,free drop any where in uk,europe no one does it even not microsoft, who ever contacts pcworld customer services just trys to robe pcworld people dont report fault, they just make things from there self,but pcworld can understand ,they dont read on screen scripts,like other companies does ,according to troubleshootings they dont take more the 10 minutes after speaking to any customer, pcworld policies are fully customer oriented just to provide good service to customers but 99% customers are theif

  10. Err, that’s certainly an interesting spin you’re putting on people’s experiences, muhammad, although I’m having a little trouble buying into your claim that “99%” of PCWorld’s customers are thieves (!).

    Do you work for PC World?

  11. @muhammad

    Considering everyone of the 10 comments above yours are negative and you are making some pretty big claims about the customer service that pc world provide, can you back up a single one of your claims?

  12. @Amy.D
    for nearly 5 years ive had all of the good points stated above. like free postage for items that youve sorted out over the fone and gone through the wright channels with. for e.g. my dvd burner broke, i fone pc world, explained i had an extended worranty, within a week a replacement one came in the post with a padded return envelope for the broken one. all free of charge …mint all good
    however a week ago i got a really big supprise. i wanted to upgrade my desktop, they didnt sell anymore the new cpu that fitted my board so one of the tech guys said buy one from somewhare else and we will test it and fit it free. thay said that because i was meant to have an annual thing ,whare you take it to the shop and once a year they check it over for you..if you have extended worrenty..6quid per month
    so as a good will thing, to them, i said ide buy 2x1gigabyte of RAM 50 quid each. cash. 100 quid total. i booked desctop in and collected it when it was done…i had a funny feeling so i slid the side off the desktop and checked the RAM there was only 1 fitted…i went back inside and showed him whare the missing RAM was ..by the way this isnt the same helpfull guy id seem before this was a different guy — you know the type.. he went behind the screen in the shop for 5 seconds and came back with the unopened RAM worth 50 quid and says that it fell in a groove at the back of the table …yeah i believe you….NOT
    so thay can be good pc world. but theres allways the .one. of the staff that doesnt have any freinds and can make your life hell

    you get em everywhare… i cant believe after 5 years of paying them loyally that thay blatently tried ripping me off with that RAM ..yes i can back up my claim i have a witness

  13. I purchased a laptop it was a dislay model. 3years and 3 months on their customer services have told me that they have no intention of responding to my emails. I have emailed their legal department, company secretary to no avial.

    The issue is that it was password protected, i could log on as a guest but unable to instal software.

    I need a £30 o/s disc from HP but instead they are wanting me to spend £200 on an engineers report!

  14. I had a router that didnt work, a ‘plug and play’ external hardrive that asks for a disc (not supplied), a printer that doesnt work.

    Every time you goto the store they tell you its the manufacturers issue, or contact customer services.

    On one occasion i emailed customer services with a pdf of my receipt, their response was that i should supply sufficient proof of purchase. Is it my fault that their own receipts are not sufficient.

    another occasion iwas told that scanners can be returned if they are not compatable with my system but printers require confirmation from the store manager. Couldnt i rely on the expertise of the sales staff.

    The only reason why i go to there stores is I have no choice the only other similar store within 30 miles is Argos where you cannot look at the product until you have purchased it.

    Nice to have a monopoly

  15. I sent a letter to their head of PR and giving her dues she replied stating that she will pass on my email to customer services solutions. As yet I have received no reply. the email is as follows

    I have been a ‘loyal’ customer of your company for years however it has not been through choice. Despite contacting customer services and your legal department (who have yet to reply to my letters) I appear to get no satisfaction. I would say that 50% of my purchases dont work or do not perform in the manner that I was told that they would.

    As head of public relations i thought you may look at this and maybe with the help of devine intervention something positive could be done, BT have vastly improved.

    The market of the supply of computers and their peripherals your company enjoys a near monopoly there appears to be only 2-3 companies within 30 miles of where i live. One of which, assuming you are able to access the internet with their products, appears to be strife with a contradictory and incoherent trading policy and void of consumer rights. A regular favourite is that if there is an issue then it must be addressed directly with the manufacturer. On one occasion the manufacturer was Advent, who are owned by your company, but alas after two- 60mile, 2+hour trips there is still no satisfaction.

    A lot of people are apprehensive of buying goods and services over the internet, there is the Distant Selling Regulations for assurance but there are goods such as software etc that do not qualify, although the Sales of Goods Act should cover most other instances. Also with companies going into administration etc most people like to deal directly with a store. When I came to purchase peripherals for my computer I looked at retail stores in my area. Unfortunately there appears only to be three. One of which you are unable to view the product until you have purchased it and there are exceptions to their sixteen day return policy the other two are owned by the same company.

    I was looking for a printer and a scanner. The devices would need to work with my computer, after all why would I want something that is not compatible. Under the Sales of Goods Act (SOGA) this is referred to as ‘fit for purpose’ when I spoke to the sales person they stated that a particular printer would satisfied my requirements but when I asked if I could return it, if it were not compatible they stated that as I had used it then no. Your customer services appear to confirm this stance adding that it is the discretion of the Store manager and if I wanted reassurance I would need confirmation of its conformity in writing from the Store Manager prior to purchase- dont you think the sales person whould of told me this when the suggested a particular product. Later when I enquired about their policy regarding scanners I was assured that as all scanners came with the requisite drivers, therefore in the event that it was not compatible I could return it. So why the difference in stance, would it not be easier to have one policy? What happens if I go for a printer/scanner combo. ? On another occasion it was implied from customer services that I should not rely on any statement that a sales person makes, which I would of thought goes against case law and SOGA. After all if you cannot rely on their ‘expertise’ when making a decision then how do you know whether the item meets your requirements. I even asked customer services if they can recommend a particular product to which their response was ‘our sales staff in store will help’!


    As mentioned i have no choice but to buy from these cowboys next time i will record my ‘instore experiance and post it on you tube’

  16. From experience of PC World, I would advice you to leave them, their are competitors out there to go to, avoid them.

  17. why do customers complaning then that router they choose was wrong…so ofcourse we have to exchange and we never sell to you customers..if u picked up by ya self its your fault next time check better…if u think this way..so many unhappy customers goes online and text comments and no happy customers do that cuz they are happy and dont see point to go and do something…so ofcourse only bad reputation goes to us..

  18. I bought a compaq laptop from pc world in Truro Cornwall. I wass sold a help line packet at the time of purchase
    .I was told that if I had any promlems they would help me out.I had a problem which they are saying cant be fitted,it was not like it when I got it.I have written to customer service department and asked for a manager to call that was a mouth ago.Still no response from them.They after sale is crap and I will nver ever buy anything again from PC World or Currys

  19. I bought a Acer desktop pc from pcworld and i got the pc but after 30 seconds of having it i had to take it back because it wouldn’t boot. so we took it back to the shop to send back and its been 3 weeks and they said they haven’t even sent it off to be fixed yet!!! PLEASE DO NOT BUY FOR THESE BASTARDS. all there care about is money

  20. Please don’t use PC world. Their customer service as we already know is awful and now I find they have passed on my details to other companies who have used those details to try and gain access to my PC! I have now had to return the computer to Knowhow (what a joke) who will have to “clean” the PC and return it as new. I will lose my e-mails and most of the files and documents. Do not use PC world, please, you will regret it. I regret ever walking in their shop and hope they go bust to save others from having to endure any hardship.

  21. @Sam
    Sam, do yourself a favour and be very careful. PC World pass on your details to other companies, one of which has tried to hack into my PC! Having used my details they called saying they were Microsoft and needed to do a check on my PC at no cost, once they started going through the checks they cleverly got me to log onto a webiste which they then used to hack my PC. This has happened to loads of PC world customers as they told me today whilst in their Knowhow section.

  22. I dont think you can fault PC world on the quality of the hardware, that is unless they refuse to fix or replace the item. My main gripe on PC World is the customer service of the in store staff. When you ask where an item is, they never seem to know.

    Still fare enough, i do not mind looking myself, but I get a funny feeling they always seem to distrust customers browsing around. I went to buy a tablet priced at £400 and when the staff member got the item for me, as I reached for it to head to pay for it at the counter, she snatched the thing away from me. What the hell? they have a security guard on site. Well no matter, I followed her to the check out while she carried the item for me.

    Asked how I would like to pay for it, I said cash. which I handed over. Only then for the lady to call over another instore assistant and stand there counting and checking for fake notes. So I am standing there with other staff members giving me the eye, while they are counting the money. I will shop at PC world again, but for sure I am not buying anything so pricey, so they wont get scared that I will nick it. Maybe I ll buy a mouse pad at £1.

  23. I can not believe a massive company like PC World are so rubbish with their customer service skills!!!!! I have had nothing but problems with them, I purchased a lap top for a Christmas pressy, 4 days later the circuitboard failed, took it back to PC World at Catstle Marina Nottingham, guess what, I am still waiting for this problem to be resolved, nobody in that building seems to either, know what they are doing or want to help!!!!!!!! I will never buy anything from this place again, I have also told all my family and friends to shop elswhere too.

  24. Bought a HP laptop and after two weeks a key came off, they took it back and sent it off the someone !!! and said that if it’s fixable they will do it but otherwise it’s 60 pounds for their trouble, they also where not bothered about the situation even though it was brand new.
    They delivered it back to my house, someone knocked on the door and handed it over with no packaging whatsoever and dirty, the key that came off was now missing and no explanation as to what went on since i gave it to them. Complained to customer services who said they will look into it, never heard anything so tried again, same result. So the moral of this story is do not buy anything from these cowboys as the shopping experience is totally awfull and sterile. I always shop at JOHN LEWIS and have realised WHY now 🙂

  25. Copy of an email I sent to pc word this weekend…

    I spent Saturday trying to purchase a Chrome box from PC world. I visited my local store in Crewe who told me that they don’t have Chrome books or boxes. However if I visited your Chester branch they have them in stock.

    I checked your web site and decided Warrington was a better bet, since they had 3 in stock so I set off.

    I spent almost an hour in your Warrington store while they tried to find one of the 3 Chrome boxes that your staff said they had in stock. Eventually they returned to say they didn’t actually have any.

    So off to Chester, when I arrived they said yep they had one in stock besides the show model. Guess what, 10 minutes later they decided they didn’t have any either.

    I made an 80 hour round trip and wasted my Saturday afternoon, with 3 kids in tow because of the inept management of stock at PC World.

    When I got home I went onto Amazon and ordered a Chrome box, it’s already been dispatched and will be with me on Monday morning, that is what I call service.

    I shall be going on every forum I can find to recommend that people give PC World a very wide berth, and certainly not to travel on the promise of something reportedly being in stock at one of your stores.

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