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About ramyajaidev

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  1. Portia62, Your experience is not a one-off, unfortunately. I've been waging what feels like a war with the TechGuys for over a year now. In January 2008, I bought an Advent laptop (which, you might say, was my real mistake, Advent being PCW's instore brand) and a 'whatever happens' plan. About nine months in, it started turning itself off randomly and refusing to start up again, making a little pop sound (which people who know more about laptops than I have said is an indication of a hardware fault) as it died. This problem was sporadic - it would be fine for two, three months and then die all of a sudden. Because it worked more often than it didn't and I was moving across the country and generally keeping occupied with the business of living, I didn't send it off for repair immediately. Around April/May 2009, the problem became much worse and it refused to turn on at all. So I took it into the PC World store in Kensington, where they have a huge TechGuys counter, thinking, as one would, that this would be the sensible thing to do. They told me my cover policy didn't include repairs and proceeded to take it off me and "fix" it, charging me just under 80 quid. When I collected it, I was told it had been completely rebooted, wiped clean and set up again. This was a lie -- within minutes of starting it up, it was clear that all they had done was reinstall Windows. But at least the bloody thing was working and I needed it very much at the time because I was freelancing from home -- so I held on to it. By March/April this year, the problem started again. Same thing -- shut down randomly, wouldn't start up again. Inconveniently, I wasn't able to take it in immediately as I was housebound with a broken leg. So I eventually took it back to the same PC World store in Kensington round July. This time, I was told that I should never have submitted it instore for a repair, and that I should have called the Tech Guys line to set up a collection or deposit at one of their stores, as THAT was the free service I was entitled to under my £8 a month plan. Funnily, no one had mentioned this the first time round in PC World, in 2009 (I've since been told that they shouldn't even be charging for this service, by someone on the Tech Guys "phone" office.) Anyway. Go back home, I was told, call this support number, and arrange for a collection -- and everything will be sorted out. Additionally, the folks instore said that if I took it in for repair three times and PC World couldn't fix it, then I would be entitled to a write-off and hence a refund for the value of the laptop at the time I purchased it. Fine. I got round to calling the line about two months later (tardy, I know, but shockingly, I wasn't put on this earth to faff around with PC World customer services and I actually have other things to do) and was offered the options of a courier collection or dropping it off instore. Of course the courier could only come during normal business hours when there was no one in the flat, so I opted to take it to the store myself. I gave it in at Currys Tottenham Court Road in mid October. The store called the Tech Guys on 20 October and the Tech Guys picked it up from them on 22 October, returning it to the store on 29 October. I then picked it up a few days later, before leaving the country for about 3 weeks. When I got back and tried to fire the damn thing up, it transpired that there was now a whole new problem with it that wasn't there in the first place -- the speaker now makes a popping noise if you try to play any media content. And it still turns itself off. It was late November by the time I discovered this, as I'd been away. So my boyfriend called the Tech Guys and said : there's now a whole new problem plus you haven't fixed the original problem. About five minutes into this call (of which there is now no record -- more on this shortly) it was clear the Tech Guy was getting frustrated by the criticism.. enter deux ex machina, in the form of "the electricity has just gone out in our building, we will call you back in five minutes." Of course, no call came that day or the next.. or indeed, ever. I had the day off today (15 December 2010) and thought: why not spend my precious free time trying to sort this out? My first call, to the TechGuys technical helpline (there is more than one TechGuys line, and obviously, they don't have a shared information database -- why would they??) was answered by a complete and utter cow, who gave me the following facts. First, if you want to take advantage of the "write-off after three unsuccesful repairs" policy, then you have to call the TechGuys back no more than five days after the machine was returned to the store -- i.e. it doesn't matter if you can't put your life on hold to go and pick it up, or indeed if you don't have the luxury of having a courier collect and drop it off to you because you don't work from home. It's gotta be 5 days after the laptop left their hands. Second, TechGuys on the phone and TechGuys instore are two seperate entities. They do not know what the other does and it is madness to expect that they should, as one of these entities exists in the physical world, and the other in the ether. So don't come complaining if the people instore told you something different, or indeed if they didn't tell you, when you gave it to them for repair, that that instance of repair is not included in the "refund after 3 unsuccesful repairs" policy. Third, the TechGuys helpline cannot do a postcode search and find the relevant store that you want to drop the laptop off at so that they can book it in for repair and collection from there. I had to google the address and read out the postcode to her, only to be told that the store on Tottenham Court Road doesn't exist. Fourth, there is a whole seperate number to call if you want to find out what these people are smoking and why their coverplan comes with such ridiculous conditions. Fifth, when I tell her why I didn't call sooner in each instance, she replies: “Well, you do know we are a 24 hour service, so there's no excuse for that.” Ok, fine, says I, I'll call the other number. At 14:30 I speak to a nice man who tells me Kensington PCW should not have charged me 80 quid to repair my laptop in the first place. He adds, the lady on the TechGuys technical helpline, who you spoke to not ten minutes ago, was wrong -- the rule about the refund policy is, if you give it in for repair thrice within six months and on each occasion the original fault has not been fixed, then you are entitled to a write off. The original fault is one thing, I tell him: you've created a whole new fault with it that didn't exist in the first place. The point flies over his head. Let me sort out for you, he says, and I'll call you back in twenty minutes. Fine. By 16:20 I've received no call back, so I call them again and tell them everything that's happened to this point. The new guy tells me, both of those people were wrong: the policy is, if you give it in for repair and it comes back with the same fault, you have to notify the TechGuys within 7 days each time, and if this ridiculous charade is succesfully completed three times, then you can "put in a request" for a write off. There is absolutely nothing I can do except book this in as a whole new fault starting today, he adds helpfully. Do you have a telephone number dedicated to complaints, I ask. No, comes the swift reply, but here's our postal address for your petty grievances. It's in Sheffield. From January 2008, when I purchased the blessed thing, to now, I've paid £7.99 a month – £279.65 in total – for this “whatever happens” plan. That's more than half the price the laptop was in the first place. (edit) Comedy violence aside, there's really no excuse for this level of incompetence and policy that quite frankly verges on fraudulent. If I had the money, I would sue the TechGuys. I utterly resent the suggestion that the fault lies with me for not getting in touch with them sooner in each instance – this is not a free service that they are providing out of sheer goodwill, though might say it should be, given that they are selling equipment that basically doesn't work for a lot of money. No, this is an insurance policy that I pay for every month. I don't have the time or the will, quite frankly, to spend a few hours a week on the phone to the TechGuys each time they send it back without fixing it. Dealing with these(Edit) is not my full time job and they are taking money from me to provide me with a service that they obviously don't all (i) understand the terms and conditions of; (ii) think is important; and (iii) are qualified/know how to. PC World is a terrible, terrible company and the TechGuys are a band of (Edit). Both should be avoided – in fact I'd happily give up the privilege of having a computer altogether rather than ever have to go near one of their stores ever again.
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