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back to article PC World, Currys staff to be dumped in DSGi rescue plan?

Hundreds of PC World and Currys staff could see the job axe swing on Thursday (15 May) when the stores’ owner DSG International (DSGi) announces its latest trading statement and strategy review. DSGi is understood to be closing 200 of its 700 stores as well as considering switching its outlets to a new superstore format, …

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Joke

Where in the World...

Sorry couldn't resit it.

I'll get my coat...

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Even with the famous PC World Premium

I guess the problem is you have to sell a lot of overpriced £15 LAN cables (£5 from Maplin, around a quid by mail order in any bulk) to make up for making next to nowt on flogging cheap Packard Bell computers. Especially since most buyers are savvy enough to tell them where to stuff the "PC Assurance" package.

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not surprising really

since they are virtually the same as Best Buy anyway if shopping horror stories are anything to go by.

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Dead Vulture

RIP

...and good riddance to them!

If they treated customers with respect they wouldn't be in that mess now.

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Anonymous Coward

How has DSG ever managed to remain in business?

I have no idea how DSG remains in business which such a incompetent retail operation. I don't think I've ever went to a PC World, Currys or Dixons for anything other than the smallest items which I wasn't able to find elsewhere or couldn't be bothered waiting for online delivery. Any time I was there, I noticed the prices lag well behind the rest of the world and half the time things are mis-priced or not priced at all, in fact, they've made a loss on the last 2 things they've sold me (Logitech ClearChat Pro headset which was priced £19.99 and came up at £39.99 on their tills and a long time ago I bought Flight Simulator X as it was priced £34.99 and came up at £49.99 on their tills).

And I don't think I've ever met a PC World employee who actually knew the first thing about computers. Sometimes it's fun to enquire about Macs just to watch the look of panic and confusion on their faces :)

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Anonymous Coward

Market forces

Reap what you sow DSG, reap what you sow. The consumers have responded to your awful awful customer service and overpriced products (occasional special offer products aside).

My apologies that this comment doesn't really add to the original article, I remain somewhat bitter from my dealings with Currys and The Tech Guys. *shudder*

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Sam

They deserve it

Four phone calls and the runaround just to try and return a faulty cpu cooler?

Never used them since.

Good riddance.

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Gold badge

USB Printer cables for £20

I'll never get over seeing the USB printer cable for £20. £2 at any computer fair or on the web.

It's these little rip off tactics that make people avoid their shops.

On other products they can be very competitive. I bought a Garmin Edge 305 GPS from PC World for £139 when Halfords were doing them for £180+.

They should close all Currys and have a PC World in their place.

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@AC: DSG remaining in business

To be honest, PC World are still open because the general public simply don't know that there are alternatives, and it seems a better idea to get "help" (cough) from a physical employee than to save money and go to ebuyer (other sites are available).

Apart from Maplin (who, let's face it, aren't that approachable), there isn't a chain store which people associate with computers and parts. It's a shame really, because like you say, PCW employees generally know little about PCs, and they're a rip off. The situation isn't quite as bad with Currys, but what gets me is that both now sell each other's products - PC world selling TVs and sky? ugh!

(I'm just bitter because I used to work for The Link until DSGi sold us out...)

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Paris Hilton

I'm surprised they managed this long!

I used to work for PCW back in the late 90's The one store in our area became 7 within 2 years and store turnover dropped by over 50%, yet the bigwigs couldn't work out why! Muppets.

Sorry to shatter your illusions - I was the PC World employee who knew something. I worked there part time while doing a BSc in computer science.

Paris - cause she'd make a good till tart!

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Bronze badge
Pirate

PC'ed Off

I agree with a post earlier, if they did not try so hard to rip off customers with the prices charged for minor items, people might use them more.

I have my own story, a scsi cable for my sisters old computer;

0.75m from pissyweirld = £19.99,

1.5m (out of stock), £39.99.

computer fair ?

5m for £8

Recently I was looking at network cables

pissyweirld

1.5m = £19.99

computer fair

3m = £3

nuf said

Pirates cos of the high street robbery.

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Linux

I can see the headlines now...

"Vista kills PC world"

-- and the article will probably include something like, after the enormous flop that was windows vista, and the over purchasing of vista installed laptops by teen-employment-office PC world, the company is now closing the doors of its many sites because, nobody wants to buy cruddy windows PCs anymore.

When asked whether or not PC world would allow windows XP to be installed on the machines the company had said they would charge for the privilege. If they had the foresight to allow users a CHOICE of operating systems they wouldn't be heading down the pan at such a fast rate...

I honestly can't stop laughing, I think I might cry I'm laughing so hard.

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They stayed in business this long because

of their mass marketing advertiseing strategy which inferred quality and a competitive price, this at a time when the mass market adoption of PC technology by a (largely) techncially illiterate consumer base was at a high point.

They attracted a lot of customers, once !

second generation PC customers generally have a much greater understanding of the market they are shopping in, much of the time they know what they want and how much it should cost, often if they don't understand this themselves then they have a trusted family member (or close friend) who will advise them to stay away from PCW.

My experience of Maplins is that they are generally high priced but they know what they are doing and they are very convenient, its worth shopping there if you need something quickly/conveniently, need just one or two components or if you want someone else to have to go there and get it. Maplins also sometimes have some quite cool stuff so its fun for a browse.

My experience of PCW is more akin to that of dealing with a second hand salesman, the last time they had a deal which I felt was worth recommending to someone (who due to the advertising was convinced they had to buy their PC there), I printed the deal out and sent them to the store with instructions to buy this and nothing else. PCW initially tried to deny the deal existed and sell a premium PC bundle (which was half the power at nearly twice the price), they then tried to say their other deal was better (at which point I got a phoen call), finally (and without an opportunity for me to defat it via another phone call), they scaremongered my friend into buying a premium AV product and warranty, even though I send my friend in with a bit of paper saying neither was necesary.

Also, PCW never sell anything that makes it worthwhile me browsing there and their sale bins are full of really dodgy stuff that I wouldn't touch with a barge pole.

I buy paper from Rymans, Ink from Tesco, components from Scan or Maplins and PCs direct from Dell. Software tends to come from Amazon or Play. Why do I (or any other sane person) need PCW.

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Silver badge

Ah, that wonderful feeling of Nirvana

I've been waiting for this for many years - the beginning of the end for PC World. Sure, I may be so far behind on my revision for tomorrow's exam that I'm practically doomed, but I'm still going to allow myself a minute for a celebratory dance.

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Happy

They're not THAT bad

Their take on clicks & mortar can be quite useful. Go to their website, reserve it at the online price, collect at store (no waiting for a dodgy courier to not turn up). On the couple of occasions when things have gone wrong they have simply gone to the shelves and given me a brand new one. Admittedly I only buy a few things from them when I can't be arsed waiting for an online merchant to deliver.

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Flame

Finally!

Are they gone yet?

I hope it doesn't take too long for these box shifters to go away!

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Paris Hilton

Changing (PC) world

PC World, Dixons, Currys, etc belong to the old world pre-Internet shopping. They could sell shiny tech/white/brown goods to people bamboozled by the acronyms for pretty much whatever they liked. Then t'Interweb came along, ruthlessly undercutting their lazy profit margins, and like the dinosaurs they are they never adapted.

And @John Roberts: "worked there part time while doing a BSc in computer science" - so you knew nothing as well then?? ;-)

Paris, 'cos she's from a different world as well.

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Paris Hilton

Extended warranty

I thought the reason they were now losing money was because everyone has finally wised up to the big money-making scam they've been doing for years - extended warrantys. Paris 'cos only she would get one.

And as for Crapard Bellend, they have gone the same was as Motorola mobies. You only buy a crap product once and then you don't go back for more.

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Anonymous Coward

To those moaning about the high prices...

To those moaning about the high prices...

Take a GSM enabled PDA / mobile with you when you go, search for what you need, log onto the website via said PDA / mobile, reserve it online, while instore, and get it for the website price (which usually are competitive.

For added hilarity, when asked for the reserve code, hand over the PDA, and make sure the time of reservation is shown too!

0wned.

No icon because I'm sick of the saddos desperately trying to make some tedious and unfunny link.

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Thumb Down

I'm sure you'll all be ve very happy

to see all those people out of work.

My what a compassionate lot we are here.

Regardless of the apocraphy that surrounds the poor treatment of customers shopping in DSGi I'm sure there are many more such tales of people being perfectly happy with the service and treatment.

Just never see that posted here do we?

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Coat

Where in the world

Rip off world!

(as I always sing along to the advert)

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Paris Hilton

@barry

all I can say is the "new one" they got from the shelves has probably already been returned twice!!!

even trading standards have had them for that one!

I remember dixons trying to fob me off with NO LESS than 3 spectrum +3's that didnt work

ALL of them had been used, in the end I demanded a new one, to which dixons said we have none in stock, so I told them that currys round the corner had some in, and they could just intercompany charge it,

I was 16 at the time, and that scared the daylights out of them.

I did get one in the end, which worked right up until It got nicked.

paris, because she would probably buy from PC WORLD if it was pink with swarovsky crystals on it.

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Anonymous Coward

A few large problems ruin it overall

I work at a PCW store at the moment and I do find although I'm rather young I'm left as the only 'Tech Guy' some days and I'm expected to know everything which I'm perfectly willing to admit I don't.

When new staff start they almost never know a thing about computers and in the case of my store (I can't speak for others) aren't trained so they are often unable to answer questions customers have and run backwards and forwards between me and the customers for the first few months.

I have to agree the prices of peripherals are absolutely insane, there is no way in hell I would be buying networking cables from there and these prices spread out all over the store.

A perfect example of this is the Asus EEE 701, I wondered why we had them in stock when no-one else did, but the answer is rather clear: they're £250 in PCW but £220 on Play and other places, why do head office need another £30 off this?

I think if the pricing was more competitive and the staff were trained up properly PCW would be a much better place.

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Sam

re;Just never see that posted here do we?

Can't think why......

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Anonymous Coward

@I'm sure you'll all be ve very happy

Yes!

Me, for one.

I was in there the other day, and found the staff to be polite, clear-skinned, professional and knowledgable.

*snerff*

I was thoroughly impressed...*snurkle*...with how quickly they identified...*snorck*....my requirements, and....*snerck*....provided me with........*kerckle snoorf*......a number of......*snoofle*...*snerff*...*whohahaha*.....different...*snerkhahaha*.....options that would of.......*whoahahahahahaha*

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

sorry. I tried so hard to keep a straight face....

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I work for PC world

I work for PC world so I sure hope not!!

What we have been told is this:

That we will be merging into one big superstore with Currys (We are right next door) as is the case with a lot of stores. The idea is that the company can get rid of an awful lot of middle manager types which is where the cost comes from and perhaps have a few more bodies on the shop floor to serve customers. There have been days when we have had about 4/5 manage type people and only 6 members of staff! The manager type people do not serve customers and just take up space most of the time. The company is full of red tape (that's what our USB cables pay for!)

The standard employees at the company get paid very poorly, the managers get an awful lot for what they do and there level of knowledge, that's often leads to everyone wanting and pushing to get promoted and then you end up with a large amount of mangers who do nothing but create red tape for each others. None of our managers know absoutely anything about computers or IT, the people that do are often over looked or at teh bottom of the chain.

I only work part time there to pay bills, I don't care for the company. Those that know about IT that work there only use it as a stop gap, cause often there are not the ones that get anywhere, the suck ups that know nothing are and that ends up costing the company a lot of money in management wages and then badly in the customer service departments cause they know little of what they are selling.

Any training programs are non existent, what staff know as all about there own personal knowledge which is not asked about or tested when they are hired. While i have worked there we have had 3 people that had never used a computer before. Our top manager also "Hates computers"

Our managers are all useless.

I Honestly think it will be really bad if they close stores though, what I would like to see is the current top management do something smart and get there act together. The company could do well for itself.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: @I'm sure you'll all be ve very happy

I don't think there's any correlation between professional ineptitude and acne.

You are mean.

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Sam
Joke

Re Sarah

Acne (or indeed Walthamstow), suggests youth and therefore lack of experience.

And how dare you call US mean!

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re Sarah

I would never bitchslap anyone for having an unfortunate skin condition. Only for being moronic.

So.

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Flame

Good Luck DSGI Staff - RIP

I used to work for the DSGI group, and I can tell you they are a bunch of unorganised puppets that treat there staff like children, it doesn't suprise me they are in the state that they are. I know there are a few good staff still working there and my advice is get out now before your all pushed out!! I suppose they will get to find this out on the 15/5 when they will have no choice or no say.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: I work for PC world

I work also for PCW and we just got briefed on some of the big changes at the top, some of the idea I really like but other ideas were gems of wisdom from the stock team at head office who said the way to deal with the profit loss caused by clearance is to "sell clearance products quicker" ... the less said the better?

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Anonymous Coward

@Sarah

Sorry.

I hang my head in shame.

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15m SCSI cable?

Did you buy it?

Did it work?

From experience I would suggest that it's probably about 14.25m too long.

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@Re: Re: Sarah

But you are happy to bitchslap people for unfortuate musical tastes?

Remember the Amy WhineArse thread?

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Idiotic customer service can be to your advantage

Only ever bought one thing,a laptop, from these dolts but 6 months later the it went dead so sent it for repair. After numerous 'it will be ready next week Sir' they admitted tht they lost it and gave me a voucher for a replacement. Several months later I got phone call telling me my laptop was repaired, so I went and got it. Now the proud owner of two laptops. Isn't corporate incompetence wonderful.

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Alert

Something struck me..

Can't help but notice that all the people who claim to work for PCW have all posted anonymously..

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Anonymous Coward

Panic stations

John Browett the new chief exec has been brought in to wield a big axe without a shadow of a doubt.

The large DSG distribution centre in Newark has seen a huge reduction in its management staff, with most having to reapply for their jobs. In a cruel and cynical process, it seems that the most experienced, and therefore longest serving are the ones being shown the door. This suggests that it will the reduce the pension responsibilities going forward, and also would make it a more attractive proposition for a prospective buyer in that remaining staff have not been around long and would therefore not cost too much in redundancies for the future if necessary.

A major reorganisation of the distribution operation over the last 3 years that was forecast to save £15m per year does not appear to be doing that - for example, the principle distribution centre in Stevenage was closed with the loss of hundreds of jobs and this would clearly bankroll the reorganisation once the freehold was sold off for £millions for housing. Pity the local authority refused planning permission and the building remains an empty shell. The architects of that particular grand plan have either moved to other parts of the business or in most cases left the company all together, in one notable case for having been sussed out as the indecisive and incompetent director he was.

Staff at the Hemel head office are bracing themselves for bad news this week, with suggestions that a 25% head count is on the cards.

As a former long serving employee it is a tragedy to see the company on its knees like this. Many people share the view that were Stanley Kalms still at the helm it would not have come to this - John Collins, the current chairman is a total figurehead and about as visible to the rank and file staff as Lord Lucan. Stanley at least got out and met his troops. Full marks to John Clare the previous chief exec. - he clearly saw what was coming and bailed out before any of the brown stuff could stick too much.

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DSG - Good Riddance..

Your overpriced crap sold by clueless idiots will not be missed.

I hope your new owners actually have a clue.

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Anonymous Coward

PC World

I worked in a PC World between leaving Uni and getting a job. My USP was that I speak the Queen's English which was rather intimidating to their customers. And I had a computing degree.

I have some fond memories of great team spirit in the face of adversity and great communications from the management. At the end of every day they would tell us exactly how much money we had taken that day and thank us for our efforts.

On the other hand I got totally shafted by working my guts out over the Christmas period but getting no bonus because I was only a temp. And how did I find out I was only a temp? I didn't appear on the next week's rota...

IT illiterate people shopped with PC World because they could get everything under one roof. They would come in for a PC at £800 or whatever and leave with a PC, an extension cable, a printer, paper, new ink cartridges, antivirus software and a finance deal.

Most of my colleagues, with a couple of exceptions, had worked their way up from the warehouse and were self taught. This was way before The Tech Guys. Some were good, a couple I wouldn't let near a digital watch let alone a computer.

My friend summed it up for me: The very people who go into a PC World are the last people who should be shopping in a PC World.

Great book department though...

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Happy

They're not fit to shovel * from one place to another.

Good, the ignorant, illiterate, incapable-of-original-thought, brain dead tossers.

It's just a shame this wasn't a Friday story with such beautiful weather over the weekend...

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Re: I work at PC World

Please can everyone here be less bitchy about the staff that work for DSGI, some of us are expected to do an awful lot without any backing.

Most of the things you mention are due to poor systems. It doesn't suprise me that Peter you got your laptop back there is remarkably poor systems in place. The people that work there would just have got the laptop back from the service centre and called you, not them being stupid, it's a stupid system. The service centre is horrible. I've lost count of the amount of times i've reported issues.

We once had a problem with wrong codes being used in the computer resulting in reciepts showing wrong products. this resulted in 5 laptops being wrongly given to the customer, total loss to the company £750, that's just my store and just the ones i know about (I only work part time) this went on for a month!

I reported the issue to head office 5 times!!!

Most of our staff are not stupid, some just have no clue about computers, it's not there thing and the company doesn't bother to train them, not there fault. I work with a great bunch of people, I would say in my store there is only 3 of us that really know much about computers. We are the techies, although a previous tech we had, knew pretty much nothing, he was "promoted" from sales, even though he had no clue.

I'm not at work till the weekend, i'm interested in what you heard Anonymous coward.

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Coat

Is this the end for dixons and pissy world?

>>> I'm sure you'll all be ve very happy to see all those people out of work.

too fucking right. at least the droids on the shop floor would get their self-respect and dignity back. anyone working in one of those shit-holes deserves that. even if it means having to get a job stacking the shelfs at asda. that has to be a classy gig by comparison.

it's about time dixons/currys/pc world was put out of its misery.

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Paris Hilton

Most humous dismisal story I heard for a while

Featured a PCW employee fired for snorting coke from the "repair centre" counter. it assumed me.

I've used them for ink when I lived over the road. Even then it hurt but I was a student with a deadline to miss.

There problem is as others have pointed out the world is lousy with people who know enough to say "Don't go there"

< sad b*st*rd>

Paris because there's no where she won't go< / sad b*st*rd>

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Sam

splendid

"I would never bitchslap anyone for having an unfortunate skin condition. Only for being moronic."

...Never fixed PCs in the middle of a special needs class then, your knuckles would have been bleeding.

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Silver badge
Linux

@Ivan Headache

Length of cable supported depends on the SCSI variant being used.

I used Fast-Wide differential SCSI-2 cables that long and yes, they were in spec. and yes, they worked. LVM SCSI-3 allows even longer cables, I believe.

I seem to remember that SCSI-1 allowed a maximum length of 3 metres from terminator-to-terminator, but on many early midrange systems, the external SCSI port was on the same bus as the internal devices, and once you measured the internal cables that ran to all the drive bays, you often had less than 1 metre available for external devices.

The biggest problem was that all the different SCSI varients used different connectors and terminators, and even when you used the same variant, manufacturers often had their own (often proprierty) connectors (IBM, hang your head in shame!)

I hope that some of the smaller Currys stores survive, although this is unlikely, as they are about the only electrical retailer left on the high street (I know there are the Euronics consortium of retailers, but somehow, they are just not the same). Sometimes, you just have to pop out and buy a toaster/hoover bag/unusual battery in an emergency, and if I have to trek 2x25+ miles to the nearest large town, the only ones who will benefit is HM treasury due to the fuel duty. I know I won't.

I'm with most of you on PC World, however. I have often had to bite my tongue if I am ever in one of the stores listening to advice being given to customers. I once had an open row with the supposed network expert about the benefits of operating a proper firewall on a dedicated PC vs. the builtin inflexible app that is in most routers. Eventually, I had to play the "I'm an IT and network Consultant, and I know what I'm talking about" card just to shut him up.

Tux, because he makes UNIX-like OSs available to all.

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RIP off pc world

Well nothing more annoying then rip off pc world sales people.

Try and sell u a load of pointless crap to start off with.

Then charge u 5 times of what its worth.

Prefer shopping online at various other places.

Exmaple of pc world ripoff think its 30 quid for 100 blanks cdrs

Or shop online and get same amout delivered for 8 quid lol

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Thumb Down

Why post anonymously!

@Jon Brindley - Can't help but notice that all the people who claim to work for PCW have all posted anonymously..

We'd get fired for talking about the company if they knew who we were. We are not allowed to talk about the company like this, we have to refer everything to the PR department if anyone asks us.

An employee got fired for putting stuff on youtube that he made in his own time in his house. so yea!

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Where are you all shopping???

As someone that works for PC World i can tell you that our only focus is customer service. We all train to a selling model that help us understand the customers needs, and make sure that the customer get the products that they need.

As for prices, we offer a Price Promise service and if you do a Price Runner search you will be amazed how many times PCWORLD.CO.UK and PCWB.COM come up for low prices.

And the aftersales service we offer PC Performance helps our customers get the most out of their computers and helps them when they get stuck.

And finally you all mention that the staff no nothing, and although i cant commet on all the staff memebers for PC World, we run many different training sessions to inform the staff and therefore the customers. And if a member of staff dont know the anwser (after all no-one can know everything) they do all in their power to find the correct information and help the customers.

No-one works on comission and gets paid the same hourly rate whatever they sell, therefore the customers can be assured that they are not being miss-sold...

These our my opinions base on my last 7 years with the company. A company i enjoy working for and respects our customers.

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Linux

You Sad Nerds

I used to work in PC World, and I used to eat customers like Anonymous Coward (“Sometimes it's fun to enquire about Macs just to watch the look of panic and confusion on their faces” ) for breakfast! Loved making “Know It Alls” look stupid (usually in front of their Mum).

Fair enough a lot of the staff don’t know the technical details, just like a car salesman won’t be able to tell you how the onboard computer controls the engine’s fuel mixture.

Yes PC World staff will try and sell you stuff; it’s a shop for goodness sake. If you don’t like capitalism, go and live in Cuba. I admit, PC World could learn lots from the salesmen at Apple stores, staff could be more passionate about their stock and learn to sell more convincingly – but they can’t because they sell so much stuff – TVs, iPods, Macs, PCs, Network Cards, NAS boxes, eSATA, USB2, 802.11G with or without WPA, Sling Boxes – I know more than most about these things, I did Cisco’s CCNA have a degree in Computer Science – yet a lot of question that get fired are either difficult to explain it impossible to answer because you can’t replicate the customer’s setup in store.

So please will you sad nerds who ask “difficult questions” for fun, go and ask an Estate Agent a technical question on property - they won’t know! Now ask them to recommend a house for a family for 4 – of course they can help, because that’s their job.

This isn’t the end of PC World, but hopefully a wakeup call telling them they can’t go on selling PCs at a loss and hope to make the margin up by selling antivirus with it.

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Anonymous Coward

Mixed messages

From my perspective, DSG staffing is schizophrenic. Sometimes when I go there, I meet intelligent, well-informed people who are able to guide me through the minefield of modern consumer goods and help me to make a good choice satisfying both my needs and my budget. Other times, I just stand around waiting for the staff to stop squeezing their zits and flirting with eachother.

I remember something my ex told me when she worked part-time for DSG before she went to uni (I'm posting anonymously because I'm not supposed to have an ex at all, let alone one that age) , which was that they kept offering her more and more senior positions as the management there simply could not comprehend that there was more to life than working for Stan Kalms.

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