PC Advisor Computer Reviews

  Siddhartha 16:37 16 Jan 04
Locked

With all the discussion about the appalling customer support being offered to customers of a number of computer companies, isn't it about time that PC Advisor reviews reflected that? It is of little use to anyone to know that one computer will operate milliseconds faster than another or that 'hard core gamers' (who the hell are they?) will experience 3 frames per second more in Quake 3 if the service the customers receive will make their computing experience nightmarish! If reviews reflected honest customer disatifation(perhaps based on this forum) companies like Mesh, Time, 'PC World' et al, would never be awarded 'Best Buy', or whatever, and would have to tighten up their act.
Also, on a similar vein, there have been a number of times I have read reviews that have made xxx computer their best buy, etc only to find that some time later the company has folded (remember 'Campus Computers' last year?). Surely those companies were making their computers at such a narrow profit margin that they were unlikey to survive?(didn't anyone else think that Multivision computers were cheap for what they offered?) Is there no way that PC Advisor could say that, in their opinion, a model under review seemed signicantly cheaper than similar specced computers from other companies?

  Sir Radfordin 16:48 16 Jan 04

This is an 'idea' that has been posted more times than requests for obtaining music without paying. It simply can't be done. And customer service is subjective anyway. I for one have been happy with the service provided by Mesh and Dell, yet a quick look at these pages will sugest they don't always get it right.

What PCA have done in the past is a survey that tries to gauge customer service. This is similar to the JD Power survey run by Top Gear each year.

The reviews take place well before you or I see the Mag so what may be true in terms of customer service may no longer be true by the time it were printed.

If the people at PCA knew when a company were going to fold I doubt they would be sitting in their offices, they'd be out selling that information and making huge sums.

  MidgetMan 16:52 16 Jan 04

In my humble opinion I don't think that this would be possible, you would be asking the mag to speculate? on a companys trading position which would be decidely iffy.

The reviews of the machines are just that, a review of the pc supplied to PCA.

I seem to remember that the mag did used to do in depth company articles that touched on things like customer service etc, (has been over a year since I bought the mag so it still may do so)

  Forum Editor 16:54 16 Jan 04

Over a year? So that's why I can't have my titanium Porche 911 turbo.

Get yourself down to your newsagent pronto - there's an absolute gem of a PCA issue sitting there just waiting for you. If you look carefully you'll even find an article by yours truly - worth buying it for that alone surely?

  Forum Editor 16:56 16 Jan 04

on the front of my French cottage, it's a Porsche I want.

  MidgetMan 17:01 16 Jan 04

You could always try to convince by giving a years free subscription, lol

By way Porsche's are overrated had one for ages!!

  Siddhartha 17:27 16 Jan 04

Why can't it be done? Has anyone tried? I've never seen it attempted. Customer service is subjective - but it has affected my choice! - I will never buy a computer from Dell, Mesh or PC World. This may be irrational (many people must be happy with them) and perhaps PCA has a responsibility to confirm or deny my fears in their reviews. But, don't forget computer reviews are also subjective and have also affected my choice - I have always bought Evesham. By the way, have you been satisfied with the service from Dell and Mesh because you have been willing to make adjustments and small repairs to systems that someone who does not have your knowledge or skill cannot make? Have you had to sit at the end of a telephone line while it repeatedly plays 'Vivaldi's Four Seasons'? My comments about reviews - my 'idea' (why so sneering?)I think are valid. Are we are more concerned with abstract - to most, I suspect, - meaningless figures than whether the machine will work and if it doesn't will it be fixed.
I used to work at BL Cars Longbridge (in the bad old days) and I once saw a document that listed faults that were 'acceptable' because they would be picked up at the showrooms or on the first service!! I would hate to think that computers were made with the same frame of mind.
On the subject of the customer service survey - fine, why not say how the manufacturer did and use the result as an index in a review - remember PCA gets new readers and subscribers every month and not everyone comes to these forums.
It has been sometime since i saw 'Top Gear' but I seem to remember that Skoda always did well in the JD Power survey - I expect more from my computer!!

  Stuartli 17:36 16 Jan 04

Porches are in no way overrated - they are one of the best built top performance cars in the world.

On the subject of customer satisfaction, reliability etc another leading magazine conducts an annual survey as well - Dell, Mesh, Evesham etc all get very high rankings.

As we've said before - and no doubt will again - it's only those who are unhappy who moan in forums and the thousands that are perfectly satisfied rarely let it be known in the same proportion.

  Sir Radfordin 17:42 16 Jan 04

If you can produce a model on how customer service can be 'reviewed' then I for one will consider it and see what I think. I'm sure the bods at PCA would also be happy to read it and if they think it is viable would no doubt do it.

PCA have in the past removed Mesh from their charts because they have 'concerns' over the level of customer service at the time. Others have been removed when it was found they couldn't supply enough PC's to meet the demand generated.

You are right Skoda did do well in the JD Power survery, for a simple reason. They are flippin good cars and their owners get the levels of service they expect. The reason why a Skoda costing £8000 can be comapred to a Jag costing £80,000 is because it is accepted people have different levels of expectation.

The only way to get a true test of customer service were if PCA bought a load of machines and tested over a year. They would need to be bought under a false name/address otherwise the supplier would know who they were dealing with. This is the kind of test carried out by Which? and others. PCA can I doubt, afford to spend this amount of money on what I, and no doubt others, consider a pointless exercise.

  Siddhartha 17:42 16 Jan 04

I only come to these forums when I want to know how good other respodents think something is or if I have a prob. I have just ordered my first non Evesham machine partly based on what has been said in this forum about nethighstreet computers (plus, price, spec, etc.) Before anyone says anything my choice was not based on any problems Evesham might be facing.

  Sir Radfordin 17:43 16 Jan 04

Please understand, my comments are not directed at you as a person but to many who wonder and ask the same thing.

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