Posted by: John Colby | Thursday September 25 2008

PC World Sutton Coldfield

In a post a couple of weeks ago on his blog, my friend and colleague Andy Hollyhead wrote about PC World Sutton Coldfield and the quality of service along with the attention that he was given by the staff.

Yesterday I wanted another external disk drive and surfed round to find that the one (I wanted Maxtor 1TB) was out of stock on Tesco Direct but in stock for the same price at PC World, when I could get to collect in-store. Normally I’d hesitate, but I need the drive to back up my increasingly large range of machines so that I can upgrade to XP-SP3. Most people are content with a single PC, and maybe a laptop. I’m having to run various configurations and purposes, so different machines for different tasks is the norm in my office. Anyway, back to the story.

In the afternoon I’d reserved the drive, obtained the email receipt with confirmation number, printed it and called on on my way home. The store lighting is blue. Maybe they think it looks hi-tech but to me it just looks blue. I couldn’t woirk in that environment. It’s not pleasant at all. Having located the correct area I was accosted by a young man in a PC World shirt who took my email printout without many words and started looking for the disk on the shelves behind him. A colleague of his, a young lady (although I use this term advisedly) then managed to persuade herself to wander back, almost snatched the printout with the number and wandered (not walked) across the store to fetch my reserved item from the retail shelf. So much for the reservation system.

During the remainder of the transaction the staff kept up banter, if that it the correct term, between themselves. One phrase that I remember was that the young lady (remember my use of the word, advisedly) offered to “punch the face in” of her colleague. I, as the mere customer, felt like I was interrupting their ongoing conversation by daring to want to actually buy something from the store. Looking round I didn’t see many other customers, the only person not in PC world garb was a rather bored looking security guard on a pedestal beside the door.

When I was eventually deigned to be spoken to a rather strange sound emanated from between the lips of the young lady. I had to ask for a repeat, and failing to understand that then had to stress that I found it impossible to understand what had been said. Shifting the gum to the other side of her mouth I eventually ascertained that she was telling me the price – no preamble, just the price. I paid and left.

DSG, owners of PC World, are finding that profits aren’t what they used to be. The Guardian on June 26th reported that “DSG made a loss of £193m – compared with a profit of £114m last year and more than £300m a year earlier”.

Judging by this performance is it any wonder things are going the way they are? It was just as well that I wasn’t offered extended warranty, the Techguys services for transferring data or anything else I can do better myself because if I had I would have refused and given my reasons which would have been connected with their level of customer service  – I just wanted to get out.

Maybe it’s the light that’s attracting them.

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Responses

  1. Glad it’s not just me that’s experiencing the same level of customer ‘service’!

    It even sounds like the same person who served you.

  2. Unfortunately not – at least not the same name that you’ve given. So it appears that it could be the culture operating there.

  3. John loved your recent post about PC world – I went to buy a Digital Camera from there in Rugby, and the complete disinterest in what I wanted, as well as waiting an eternity before anyone bothered to help me is just really sad – they really shouldn’t call themselves ‘customer service advisors’- they ignore customers, they certainly don’t know how to advise very well, and as for service, well count yourself lucky if you get any at all!

  4. I cannot comment on the ‘service’ offered by PC World’s Sutton Coldfield branch because I have never bought anything from there. However, over the years I have ordered a couple of things by the web for collection from the PC World at J9 of the M6. Service in that store was always perfunctory; and while not pleasant, equally it was not unpleasant.

    So, there you have it – I’ve pushed the boundaries of my enthusiasm for the company’s service as far as I can. No wonder they’re in financial trouble…

  5. I used to work at PC world and can attest that they do not care about customer service. All they are interested in is selling their useless warranty plans.

  6. In all due respect, the customer is at the heart of Pc worlds intentions!
    We all know retail is a margin based market so therfore you can’t just state that all they are trying to sell are ‘warranty plans’ (which they are not technically, it’s a service).
    I have worked within Pc world for two years now and I briefly worked in the Sutton Branch before moving back to my home in Lincoln, after working with the staff there I can tell you that they were all very well trained and from personal experaince exceptionally friendly.
    Customer service is what is pushed and trying to get the right solution for the customers!
    Maybe a one off bad experiance is all that occured in these instances.
    Regards
    Phil Rimmer (University of BGUC Lincoln) bEd
    Pc World Lincoln

  7. i had a very similar experience on saturay, but mine was with the ‘assistant manager’, Simon moss.
    The store had priced up some camaras wrong and refused to sell me one at the price advertised. He ran over and took down the display, and told us we where lying and he doesnt have to sell us anyhing for any price if he doesnt want to. This guy is the most arrogant patronising knowital,l i’ve ever had the displeasure of meeting and hopefully someday soon he will be cocky with someone who won’t stand for it!!!!!!!!! i would just like to add that i have written to head office and am going to trading standards and will be going in to see the actual manager of the store!!!!


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