I just love shopping at Currys/PC World

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
(not!)

A couple of weeks ago, as I was headed away for the weekend to see my friend, I stumbled over my own feet as I rushed for a train. My shoulder bag containing my (old, low spec, cheap) 10 inch netbook (my "travelling" computer) hit the ground ahead of me and I landed nearby. I made the train, but once onboard, found the netbook screen was internallly cracked and mostly unusable.

I had been contemplating buying a new low-spec (and light, and small) machine for travelling so I decided on arrival to do so right away. At least, then, I wouldn't be without a machine during my visit.

Nowadays, there is very limited choice as to where to shop over the counter, and so, against my better judgement, I visited various Currys and PC World stores to see what they were offering. My priorities were mainly cheap, small, light, and preferably with HDMI. And, to be fair, they were offering some comparitively good prices on various machines.

The hot offer at the time was an Acer Aspire V5 with a twin core AMD processor, 4gb and 500gb and (importantly) an 11.6 inch screen. They had been promoting this item and, aside from the lack of an HDMI port, was quite suitable, and at £279, seemed the least expensive choice. The screen on this machine, by the way, is excellent.

So, in a PC World store I obtained the attention of a staff member to start asking questions. Whether I'm actually shopping or not, this is often quite entertaining. And today was no exception. I had noted a port (of a type I didn't recognise) on the machine, and wanted to know more.

So I asked the salesperson. His reply was "I have no idea" and with no attempt to get help from anyone else, nor to find an instruction book or anything, walked away. That was the end of my visit to that store.

After an abortive visit to Staples and no other suitable retailers in the area, I ended up in another PC World store. There, I got a salesperson's attention and asked the same question. No idea, again, but this time further help was summoned. This person was more help - sort of. He said that he thought it was a MiniDisplayPort (which is what Apple tend to use) and that an adapator might work. There was no willingness to test this, and when I stated the importance of HDMI, he got a third staff member (from the instore goldfish bowl, where they supposedly fix stuff, I think) and sought his opinion. No, it's not a MiniDisplayPort; it's physically the same, but it's for an Acer-specific breakout cable that provides wired LAN and VGA ports. And there's one supplied in the box with the machine.

The lack of HDMI made me decide to carry on shopping. However, having visited several other stores - all Currys and/or PC World - decided that the best compromise on size and cost was going to be this Acer after all, and I'd do without the HDMI port. I was in a separate Currys at this point. There were four members of uniformed staff loitering near the TVs, chatting to one another. So I summon one of them. The response was that I'd have to wait about five minutes as there was already someone else waiting in Computers in front of me. What? Forget it. I'm going to PC World. He tells me that they are the same firm (yes, I know this) and that their queues are as bad anyway.

But I went to PCWorld next door, got a member of staff (right away), and, after the obligatory (failed) cross-sell attempts (we can set it up for you and provide a recovery USB stick for £20, extended "warranty", Anti-Virus, MSOffice etc), I walked out the advertised £279 lighter and an Acer in hand.

Honestly, DSG Retail did not deserve this sale at all. They got it purely for being practically a monopoly, and that's the only reason. Their in-store "service" is patchy at best, varying from poor to utterly dismal. Absolutely NONE of what I was told by any member of staff was accurate. NONE of it.

There was no Acer breakout cable in the box. There wasn't supposed to be. You have to buy that separately (although where from is another question altogether).

But here is the good part. Based on something someone had posted on a forum somewhere, I decided to risk a little over a fiver on a MiniDisplayPort > HDMI adapter from Amazon. Plugged it in to my Acer special port and to my TV and lo! Sound and picture via HDMI with no difficulty at all.

And, my insurer paid up for the loss of the netbook, minus my GBP40 excess. So the whole experience entertained me for an afternoon, cost me a minor injury to my face and hands and GBP40. And reminded me what a bloody dismal bunch DSG Retail are.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
Oh I love (to hate) DSG :rolleyes:

I have had many interesting conversations with their staff such as the time I bought my first PVR from a Dixons. The sales staff tried to sell me an extended warranty as replacing the video heads is an expensive repair :facepalm:
So I stood there and tied them in knots asking questions they didn't have a hope of being able to answer - even though I was stood beside the big PVR advert with all the answers clearly written on it.

Mark.
 

Tomo71

Active Member
Pc world idiot: Do you need help sir?
Me: Just browsing I guess but can you tell me the difference between these two machines?
PCWI: Erm.... (Scratches head) and reads verbatim from the labels in front of the items....
Me: That was really useful... Thanks... (wanders off and buys from the net)....
 

WhyAyeMan

Member
Makes you wonder where they get these muppets from in the shops... still pay peanuts, get monkeys as they say.

I work in IT, and its quite honestly hilarious how little the staff in most (not just Dixons) shops about the stuff they're selling. Its even more especially funny when you have to return something and they try and give some cock and bull story about why it happened, trying to explain it as if its a feature or something.

I usually give them just enough rope to hang themselves with before I tell them I'm an IT technician with 17 years experience, and that they are talking bollocks. They soon go quiet after that :D
 

Mo Mannan

Novice Member
The time period you went may have also played a part. During peak times, the majority of high street shops employ loads of temps and literally throw them in the deep end without sufficient knowledge. But then again they don't really get to learn a lot from the permanent staff.
 
The time period you went may have also played a part. During peak times, the majority of high street shops employ loads of temps and literally throw them in the deep end without sufficient knowledge. But then again they don't really get to learn a lot from the permanent staff.

I second this. If you went during the shops opening hours, then I'm sure you would have encountered staff without sufficient knowledge.
 
D

Deleted member 498601

Guest
I'm planning on buying a new laptop in the near future (in a fortnight actually). I will in all likelihood buy it from the DSG group. The last time I used a Currys/ PC world (for a major purchase) was around 6 years ago. I bought an LG tv for £600. I chanced my arm at some haggling in Currys, and asked them to throw in a tv stand (£200 worth) for free. They politely declined - fair enough, it's their right.
I then walked into PC world next door, and tried the same thing. This time with success. The best part about the whole experience though, was that they didn't have my actual tv in stock in PC world. Can you guess where the salesman went to collect me one from? Yep, next door in Currys!

On the basis of this experience, I'm going to take my £400 to PC world, and see what I walk out with. Who knows, I might wander out with a Macbook :)

What else I will say is this; I'm not sure that even the most competant salesperson can keep up with the exact, (and by that, I do mean down to the last nut, enough to please an IT technician, or similar traded person exact) specification on all of the various products that the DSG group sell. I'm sure even the most diligent, hardworking member of staff would struggle to maintain knowledge, due to the vast selection, and turnover of new kit that must go through a place like one of those stores.

With all the above in mind, if I do have a shoddy experience in 2 weeks, I shall simply use the visit as a chance to test a few laptops out, and then buy elsewhere - letting the staff know about the lost comission before I leave of course ;)
 

Cameron583

Well-known Member
Just for a test, I sent my broken laptop to Currys to be fixed. They quoted me 100 pounds to replace the hard drive in a laptop. 100 POUNDS - and that's excluding the drive itself. I asked why it was so expensive, and they said it was very time consuming. I was quite offended at that, considering it takes me just over 20 seconds to do it.
 
D

Deleted member 498601

Guest
Just for a test, I sent my broken laptop to Currys to be fixed. They quoted me 100 pounds to replace the hard drive in a laptop. 100 POUNDS - and that's excluding the drive itself. I asked why it was so expensive, and they said it was very time consuming. I was quite offended at that, considering it takes me just over 20 seconds to do it.

Fair play, if you can backup and remove/replace a hard drive in 20 seconds, then maybe you should get a job there! - I would imagine that this quote includes the movement of all the content of your knackered HDD to the new one, so that's your OS, your files, programs and so on. Gigs worth of data. I'm sure it probably is time consuming.
Don't get me wrong, £100 is still taking the proverbial imo too, but I'm just pointing out that it's not just a case of sliding your old HDD out, putting in a new one and 'ta-da! all done'.
 

Cameron583

Well-known Member
Fair play, if you can backup and remove/replace a hard drive in 20 seconds, then maybe you should get a job there! - I would imagine that this quote includes the movement of all the content of your knackered HDD to the new one, so that's your OS, your files, programs and so on. Gigs worth of data. I'm sure it probably is time consuming.
Don't get me wrong, £100 is still taking the proverbial imo too, but I'm just pointing out that it's not just a case of sliding your old HDD out, putting in a new one and 'ta-da! all done'.
I should have mentioned that the HDD was dead - there was nothing to back up.
 

Cameron583

Well-known Member
Being a proper PC enthusiast I'm quite offended by their ignorance and greed for money. I've been replacing parts for PCs and building PCs for 2 years now, and I've never charged anyone more than 30 pounds - and that was to build a mid tower system, and naturally thanks to my slight OCD with cables I must say it looked quite fantastic. I must shamefully admit I was jealous. Here's me with an i5 and a 760 when I built them a 4930k and a Fire pro card (the model escapes me). It looked, as Nigel Thornberry would say, SMASHING.
 

woodygamer

Standard Member
I remember being a kid and going into PC World. It was like being in a candy store! Watching the tech guys behind the glass window like it was some area 51 operations room. Time passes though and to be fair PCWorld just seems full of greed. Sooner or later once the older generation have left us they will be consumed by internet sales.
 

a thicker plot

Standard Member
To be honest, I think you did well in actually getting what you wanted out of them.
I've never (and I really mean NEVER) been in a store where they have the thing I want in stock!
from Macbook to washing machine - advertised on line "available in store" but not actually in the store when I go, perhaps I'm just unlucky?

conversation goes..
me, can I buy xyz please?
them, just check for you........... oh sorry, we've not got one in stock.
me, but it's on line as being in stock... oh never mind, can I buy the display model please?
them, oh sorry sire we cant do that
me, why?
them, it's against company policy, we need to have the display model on show.
me, why? you cant sell one, you've not got one to sell ... oh never mind I'll go elsewhere.

learnt my lesson now, I don't even bother anymore.
do you think anyone from the company reads these posts?

ATP
 

Cameron583

Well-known Member
Just bought some HK Soundsticks from there (bloody amazing for the money - sound very much like Zeppelin Air which is what I wanted) and they were the only ones left. 100 GBP - thank you very much!
 

Eddzz!!

Active Member
To be fair, you should be able to tell what a mini-Display Port connector looks like if you have at least a basic knowledge of computers (you should also know that it sends data in the same way as an HDMI cable, though usually without audio). PC World is where the general consumer goes to get ripped off. I've been in one before with my Dad whilst he was shopping for a computer for my younger brother. I decided to keep quiet during the torrent of farcical nonsense the salesman spouted at my unknowing parents. It actually made me quite angry in hindsight that some of these salespeople can get away with outright lying to good honest customers in order to seal their deal. You're better off coming onto these forums, asking your questions and then buying online. You get good advice, from honest people, just like yourself, and ultimately you pay less!
 

jouster

Moderator
I fel bad saying this but I ONLY go to DSG group stores to view something before I buy it online. If I could get it for the same price, I would obviously buy it from them (and whenever they have a good deal online I do buy it from them).

But there are still a good few things about the places that irk me.

Firstly, why is it that the price son the web and the prices in store aren't always the same. The quite often have web only offers. Now I know you can reserve these items online and pick them up in store, but sometimes you don't have a 3g signal where you are and sometimes you didn't realise you could get it cheaper online from the same flipping shop. I went into a store once having reserved an item....went to the store and they couldn't find my reservation and refused to sell me the same item for the price id seen on the web. regardless to say I just waited for the price to drop a ;little and purchased elsewhere....it wasn't something I needed urgently anyway.

Secondly, I agree with the comment above about it being hard to keep up with all of the new advancements in tech....to be honest things change fast. Yes in the Apple store the guys really seem to know what they are talking about, but pretty sure they are trained on specific sections and have a area of expertise. That being said, there is no excuse for not being able to find something out for a customer to get a sale....the internet is a fantastic thing and nearly ALL manuals can be found online nowadays and therefore give an answer to everything...in fact there should be like a shop floor tablet to enable little things like this in my opinion. But most of the time the people working there are doing so because they just want a job, and don't care what they are doing. No pride in their career as it isn't necessarily their chosen one. I remember when I was a younger lad I had a Saturday job in a Sony store...and I loved working there. As soon s something new came in I had a pay about with it and learned all the new features, and I loved going out and doing home installs and making sure everything the customer wanted doing was done. But I did enjoy doing that and enjoy the tech side of things which must really help.

Unfortunately Dixons/Currys/PC World will eventually go the way of Comet....too high a price being charges and little or no knowledge means you are just as well off buying online, and with DSR you can return anything even if its been opened and used within the 7 day cooling off period....and this applies to these stores in question when purchased online too, yet if you buy from them in store and the seal is broken thats it, if there is nothing wrong with it...you are keeping it.

I quite often like going into there stores for a perusal of the odd bargain and when approached by a member of staff, I ask them few questions about something I was glancing over, just to hear them tell me lots of whimsical and made up stories about an item that I already know fully about....I never say anything to them, why bother,..its just nice to know that Im not buying it and being had over.

Must say, Ive also been in a shop a few times before and overheard a customer buying something, then when member of staff walks away telling them what they really wanted toy know and or telling them where to find it cheaper online....do I feel bad...no not really, commission for these sales is probably non existent for the star and the store doesn't deserve the sale.
 

Garrett

Moderator
I had it from a specialised small electrical retailers in town of long standing.
This is going back a but my parents had a Sony TV with loudspeaker sockets on the side I got them some plugs and switching box so they could either have the TV in stereo(the ones on the TV were automatically muted when the plugs where in the socket) or switch over and have it from the Hi Fi unit.
It had to go away for repair and when it came back the TV speakers were on at the same time as the stereo ones and they said before the TV's were of when the plugs were inserted. The bloke said it couldn't have. So they called me round and I sad it did, he said well before it was not working right. After a bit of an argument he left and when I looked the plugs where slightly catching on the TV frame and when I managed to plug the plugs in all the way it switched the TV speakers off.
 

Joe Pineapples

Distinguished Member
Made me smile a while back in the York Road, Doncaster branch of Currys. Its a large shop and right near the back were 4-5 assistants all stood together, chewing the cud. What I imagine was the manager marched over to them...... 'if you're going to skulk in a group, do it at the front of the shop, where the customers can see you'.

Then there's the guy in the smaller high street town centre branch. Talk about apathy,.....feels like you'ev just woken someone up off nights when you talk to him. I left one time, nearly telling him he could get his head back down.
 

Ari33

Active Member
A couple of years ago we went there to look at the 3D tv's. We viewed a few different models and asked the saleswoman (SW) what model she rated for producing the best 3D.. "Oh, the Tosh.. by far! it's out of this world"

Me- So you prefer passive to active?...
SW-" I don't know, I can't see in 3D because I have a dodgy eye"

:facepalm: :suicide: ...... :rotfl:
 

The latest video from AVForums

Paramount + UK launch: Halo, Star Trek and Beavis, and all the latest 4K + Movie/TV News
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

Huawei unveils FreeBuds Pro 2 true wireless earbuds
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Sony unveils Inzone gaming brand
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Bowers & Wilkins launches Px7 S2 wireless headphones
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
AVForums Podcast: 27th June 2022
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Movies Podcast: 27th June 2022
  • By Casimir Harlow
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom