Warranty & Tech Support who do you reccomend?

I have been asked by a family friend for some advice on purchasing a new PC, while I am confident of finding them a good deal and a decent spec from the suppliers mentioned regularly in PCA forums (Mesh, Carrera, Multivision, Dell etc) I thought I would throw this open to the forum to pick over just in case I have missed something vital. I am spending someone else’s hard-earned after all!

Firstly the PC, the budget is roughly £700 (or less). The system will be used by several members of a family (2 adults, 2 kids) for the following tasks (most important first):
1. Internet (Chat rooms, School Work, email and general browsing).
2. Word Processing (Schoolwork)
3. Storing/Editing Family Photographs.
4. Games – (Nothing too advanced; the kids are 14 & 10 and mainly want to play flash games downloaded from the net & Maxis: Sims).

As an example: Mesh offers the following system:

Matrix M2400 ELS (upgraded):
AMD XP 2400 Processor, 512mb PC2700, 120GB 7200rpm 8mb buffer HDD, nVidia fx5200 128mb graphics card, 17” CRT Monitor, 16x DVD Rom, 52x24x52 DW-RW, Onboard 5.1 sound, 5.1 speakers, Windows XP Home Edition, 1 years onsite warranty and 2 years back to base.
Price £750.

The buyers already have office/photo software on their current machine which they are comfortable using and which will be installed on to the new machine (its old software, not sure if it will like XP). I plan to replace any software that will not migrate to XP with Freeware as there is no extra money available for upgrades to currently owned software.

I would appreciate your comments and suggestions on the suitability of the above system, or please recommend any alternatives. I should mention that the PC will connect to the internet with a 150k broadband connection (NTL) and that the digital camera uses a USB 1 connection.

The areas where I really need some advice are warranty and technical support.

I would like a good warranty on the machine, 3 years is a minimum of which at least the first year must be onsite (most things die in the first year). Which company offers the best warranties? Should any companies be avoided because of warranty disputes?

Technical support will be vital. The users of the PC unfortunately are not very proficient at security / virus checking etc and consequently they run into more than their fair share of software related problems. I need to purchase a machine from a company with excellent telephone support, preferably available on demand (no call queuing for hours) and definitely not support via a premium rate phone line. The telephone support on offer is the most important factor in this purchase and I will happily reduce the spec or try to up the budget for better support. Which companies are best and who should be avoided?

Finally, it’s getting near to Christmas and the PC makers will be getting busy. What kind of delivery times will I be looking at? Are there any bargains to be had straight after Christmas (unsold stock etc)?

Phew! This post ended up a bit longer than intended, thanks for reading it and I look forward to your advice.

  TBH1 18:26 23 Nov 03

silasgreenback - - good thread this mate, thinking of best support BEFORE you buy. On paper, mesh have some good kit out - -but if you are a regular here, you will realise one or two people have problems with mesh support ( though no doubt hundreds don't). Saying that, mesh do have a presence on this forum - - -.

Where ever you but from, make sure you install the address of this forum in their "favourites" - -and tell them to register.

  wee eddie 19:08 23 Nov 03

No hardware company is going to offer support to unrelated software problems.

However there is a possibility of third party software support lines at about £1.50 per minute.

Thanks TBH1

I wish I has spell checked the title :)

and the response....doh!

I'll get my coat.

  Professor Plum 19:21 23 Nov 03

Telephone software support £39.99 per year
click here

Independent Onsite 8hr Breakdown Warranty on a £500 PC £24.50 1 year, £66.51 3 Years.
click here

Monitors usually come with a 3 year on site warranty, if it does not, buy it seperately.

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