My experience with PC option

  tomall 13:01 05 May 08
Locked

I wish i had the sense to properly read all the threads regarding pc option before i ordered...

anyhow, my (unfinished) story.

I needed a new pc and decided after much debate to splurge on a top-spec media centre (£1300+) and my initial research told me that pc option seemedwere the guys to go to.

My first experiences were good... presales support were very helpful and told me what i needed and didnt need and even suggested that i wait a couple days before ordering as the prices were to go down and some new and improved product lines were going to be offered and that some of my upgrades were going to become standard. I finally placed the order on 8th April (details at end of my post)

I didnt mind that i might have to wait a couple weeks for my order as I was going abroad for 10 days and had moved into a new flat and was waiting on broadband getting plugged in.

Between 8th and 28th April I contacted PC option repeatedly to obtain a delivery date and was told each time that it was a few days away.

On 23rd April I got a call from Ellen at PC option who told me that they did not have a number of the components that i had ordered which was preventing them from shipping me my order. I was then told that if I wanted to receive the pc quickly that I would have to upgrade those components. I agreed to do this if it meant that I would receive my pc quickly and gave my card details. I believe that the "upgrade" was at a cost of around £150. I was not very happy to do this and felt that I was being held to ransom slighly but in the interests of getting the computer i was willing to do this.

From 23rd April to 28th April I called PC option several times a day each time being assured a call-back (which rarely happened) and then when I recalled was given a delivery date a couple days away (each time i was told the computer had being built). The delivery never arrived and I was getting quite frustrated.

On 29th April I got a call from Tom Muir, who introduced himseld as PC option's owner. He told me that there were supplier problems with the case i had been upgraded to on 23rd April and would need to switch back to my original case. I expressed just how frustrated I was with everything that had gone on and Tom was sympathetic. He told me that his business had grown from £400k sales to £2m+ on the back of demand for these media centres and that he has had a lot of staff issues trying to manage this growth. As someone who has founded and grown a high-growth business i had some sympathies. Tom assured me that he was going to take care of my order personally and said that whilst he couldnt ship the item on that day that he would have it finished that day and would get all the software installed and the computer tested so that it could go out on 1st may for delivery on 2nd May. Tom gave me his mobile number and told me he would call me if there were any problems at all and that I could talk to him directly. By the end of the call, I felt we were getting somewhere.

On 1st May I called PC option several times to make sure the item was being shipped. Each time noone seemed to have any information. I smsd Tom at the end of the day and told him that since i had not heard anything i would assume that the computer had been shipped. I did not hear back and so took a day off work to be home for the delivery.

On 2nd may received a sms from Tom saying that he was not at work that day (like me!) but that he didnt think that the pc was finished in time to go out and that he would find out what had happened and get back to me. As you can imagine I was very frustrated and felt personally let down after the assurances that tom had given me

I then sent 4 further smss to tom but received nothing back.

I called pc option to find out what was going on and was told by ellen that it was in a testing queue and would not be shipped that day which meant the earliest I could get it would be wednesday (bank holiday weekend). I asked if I could get my order prioritised through the jumped in the queue so that it could be shipped to me for saturday given that it was now almost a month since my order had been placed. Ellen said that she would have to talk to Tom but that he was out of the office and noone had been able to contact him.

I have sent tom several more texts however no response. It has now been 28 days since my order was placed...

  tomall 13:02 05 May 08

I am most upset by two things:

1) awful/dishonest communication from the company. i have taken a day off work to wait for the courier and had my home-installation rebooked 4 times as a result of this item not arriving when i was told it would. if they had been honest with me and given me a realistic date and told me when the order was/wasn't shipped this would have saved me considerable grief and cost. instead i got nothing and had to call repeatedly.

2) tom muir. when i first talked to tom, i felt him to be a person of integrity. the business's owner had taken the time to deal with me personally, apologise for the problems, admit responsibility and give me assurances of what he was going to do about it ie give me a delivery date he could stick to and communicate with me personally. iwas was impressed however it did not last long. he has let me down in every possible way. if the business's owner acts like this, i am not sure what hope there is for customers.

i just wish that i had read all the threads before i gave them my £1,343.84.

no matter how good the computer is when/if it ever arrives, this transaction will leave me with a sour taste and i wish i had gone elsewhere. i have never felt so let down by a company- even dealing with BT is easier!!!!!!!!!!

i will let you know of any updates.



specification

52 in 1 Card Reader1£8.50£8.50
Media Center Edition PC & Intel® Pentium® Core Duo Processor. (E8200 (2.66GHz, 6MB, 1333FSB) , Vista Premium 64 Bit & Disc , Case 9 - Thermaltake DH102 Series Case , Zalman 500W Heatpipe Cooled Power Supply Upgrade , Pinnacle Pinnacle PCI Express Dual Tuner for DVB-S, DVB-T, Analogue TV and FM Radio Tuner , EN8800GT/HTDP/1G , 1000GB Sata 2 Hard Drive , 1 X 2GB OCZ 1333MHz OCZ3P13332GK (2048) , Pioneer BluRay Player & DVDRW )1£1,277.50£1,277.50
Media Center Remote Controller1£17.99£17.99
5 Metre HDMI to HDMI Cable1£19.95£19.95
54Mbps Wireless Network Card1£12.95£12.95
Bluetooth® wireless Adapter1£6.95£6.95

Subtotal£1,343.84
Shipping is Pc Packages, England & Wales Upto 7 Working DaysShipping£18.95
Tax (Inc)£200.16
Payment method is 'Card Payment'

  Forum Editor 13:22 05 May 08

component suppliers to a large degree - most of them don't hold stocks, and operate on the 'just in time' system whereby components are ordered and delivered as they are required. It's a common, efficient way to run a business, provided everyone in the supply chain fulfils orders when they should.

That said, the worst thing a supplier can do is make promises that are subsequently broken - better not to have made them in the first place. The size, or rate of growth of a business is immaterial, and should never be blamed for broken delivery promises.

You shouldn't have to keep calling and texting a company to find out what's happening, but sadly that seems to be the case with many suppliers - they apparently fail to realise that good communications are the key to success in the online selling business.

Let's hope your new machine arrives soon, it's a well-specified machine, and will I'm sure perform well, once you get your hands on it.

  Scorpion Bay 21:31 05 May 08

.....but try not to send text messages. I'm sure some people will disagree with me and say that it shows The Muir is taking a personal interest in your PC, but I find it just a little strange that SMS should be the method of communication.

Also, should things escalate (and I'm not saying they will), it would be very hard to prove what has been said in them and to retreive the contents.

  belfman 22:13 05 May 08

Keeping text messages is easier than documenting voice calls. O2 for one offer a faility to store them all for you (bluebook?) but besides that it's quite simple to print your messages via PC, providing you have either a cable or bluetooth dongle to connect your phone.

  Scorpion Bay 22:57 05 May 08

This may be so, but lots of phones only keep of many sent messages before overwriting them. Might be an idea to print them now, if you have not already done so Tomall.

Is SMS a new way of contacting customers for PCO? I still think it sounds a bit strange, although I would imagine there are plenty of people who would be OK with it. Anyway, keep us updated Tomall!

  belfman 23:00 05 May 08

upto 200 and some even more!!
(Unless it's a cheapy bog standard phone)

There's a usually an option to disallow auto overwriting in most too.

  tillybaby 07:16 06 May 08

Please do keep us informed,

Hopefully the computer will be fantastic once it does arrive with all these tests etc.

In the past I have been badly let down by various computer companies but fortunately I've learnt and now do as much research as I possibly can into customer service etc. before I place an order for anything because quite often once the money is out of your bank account it makes it so much harder to negotiate.

  tomall 08:09 06 May 08

will keep everyone updated with progress, it is first business day after the bank holiday weekend so hopefully will have some news later on.

as an entrepreneur myself it is so frustrating to see a business that has the potential to be very good; fall down in such a stupid way. i cannot comprehend why given the volume of feedback like mine they have not made a real effort. i should imagine that all this is having a real impact on their sales.

i only started sending smss after tom stopped returning my calls and promises by the company to call me back were broken. i have a blackberry so the messages aren't going anywhere!

i am considering asking for a refund and placing an order with someone else. does anyone have any suggestions for who to go to for a similar spec? if there were someone london/SE based that would be ideal!

  pc613 09:10 06 May 08

Yoyotech have a tottenham court rd address, have not used them myself. They do media systems click here

  Horik 10:28 06 May 08

I've heard good things about them.

As far as I know they don't deliver - you have to collect from them once your system is ready.

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