back to article Sales slide at PC World, Currys

DSG International (DSGi) shares fell nine per cent this morning following the retail giant’s second profit warning in under four months. The firm’s CEO John Browett issued a statement today in which he admitted that customer demand in the UK and Ireland has been “lower than expected, with a negative impact on margins”. He …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    no surprise here, move along folks

    It's not difficult to see why DSG have problems. On two recent trips I experienced the following:

    Curries (in West London) - their staff were huddled round gassing away to each other and swearing profusely. Customers were queuing at the till and service counters but the staff seemed to have little if any interest in serving them.

    At PC World, and Curries - they occasionally have a Mac on display but typically have few if any iPod accessories. Many people are switching from PC to Mac, and most MP3 players sold are iPods. If they can't service the needs of the former, or sell accessories for the latter - they are simply missing out on easy sales.

    The Mgt of DSG need to spend a day at an Apple store if they want to learn how to "do" retail properly. Until then, their sales will be cannibalised by high street retailers that do get it, and online retailers who have a well executed strategy.

    As that's quite unlikely, DSG will muddle on until their shareholders revolt and boot the Mgt team out.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    It always amazes me.. business people expect infinite, continued growth to be possible.

    Paris because even she knows that what goes up must ~ahem~ go down.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Funny that

    I walked into a curry's digital this morning to buy a Canon Ixus 75 - advertised as 125 on Dixons website. In store price £150 - would they match no - they only match to currys website. They are the same bl**dy company. Idiots. The end result - no sale. And I wanted a memory card too - didn't care what they charged me for that.

    Perhaps they should sit up and take notice. 20% extra for buying in store is just silly.


    (Paris because she is worth the extra 20%)

  4. Greg

    Keep telling yourself that...

    "It is clear that customers have become increasingly promotion- and deal-driven,"

    Yeah, right. Either that or they've realised how shit your service, store, products and staff are.

  5. Steve Mason

    new tv

    so I recently bought a new telly... Nice new Sony... had a look around at various places for the best price.

    £650 compared to Curry's £1100... guess where I went.

    PCWorld and Currys have always been overpriced, and have always had terrible customer service - I'm surprised they've stayed in business so long. With more people getting online and getting more "tech savvy" this can only get worse for them, and good riddance imo.

  6. Andy

    not suprising

    I have had nothing but trouble dealing with PC world. failed deliveries, cancelled deliveres and deliveries being "lost in transit"

    thir staff are ill informed about some of the products they sel.

    On asking one about a monitors response time, he didnt know what hat was, and thats a piece of basic information I would expect a sales person to know about !

    I even once had staff forget to charge me for a motherboard at the till. I didnt realise till after I had left the shop, sat in the car and checked my reciept !

    I avoid the DSG now.

  7. Dave Nash
    Jobs Halo

    about time

    I think it's about time DSG had problems, they are the perfect example of an electrical retailer sent from the last century. Their staff are ignorant of most of the products they sell and only seem to be bothered about stiffing people out of their hard earned. I agree with Anonymous Coward; DSG really ought to take a look at how Apple do retail, at least all their staff have a good working knowledge of what their selling. If DSG doesn't buck its ideas up it'll go the same way as Tempo, another failed retailer more bothered about screwing people for profit than actually caring about the customer.

  8. richard

    bollocks excuse:

    "It is clear that customers have become increasingly promotion- and deal-driven,"

    errr no, we want good prices all the time, from shops with friendly, helpful, knowledgeable monkeys, get peanuts....

  9. Anonymous Coward


    ... users are finally wising up to the fact that the average PC World employee knows less than they do. Maybe they are getting sick and tired of being pestered to take out an extended warranty that costs almost as much as it would to replace a machine of the same spec in a year's time. Maybe they don't much appreciate buying a machine dubbed as being Vista ready when it actually means "you will be able to boot the OS (barely) but woe betide anyone who actually wants to run anything else on it."

    I find PC World staff have a remarkable ability of being able to get on my tits and a remarkable inability to answer even the simplest of queries about their products accurately. A conversation many moons ago springs to mind.

    Me: These CDs don't display their supported write speed. Don't suppose you'd be able to find out would you?

    Assistant: Er... (buggers off for 5 minutes)

    Assistant: They'll do 750MB

    Me: Riggghhhht. Goodbye.

    I avoid buying anything from PC World like the plague these days. If I feel the need to remind myself why I occasionally wander in and have a browse. I try to avoid Currys too but sometimes their prices aren't half bad, although I usually regret it when at 3PM I am still stuck at home waiting for them to arrive for their scheduled delivery slot of between 8AM and 2PM.

  10. Lloyd


    Who the hell shops in PC World anyway? Do these people have money to burn?

  11. Geraint Jones
    IT Angle

    It always amazes me too...

    ...that as well as expecting infinite growth, they also assume that daft advertising will make up for their high prices. I couldn't get on to today to check, but last time I remembered looking, generally items like processors were 1.5-2x as expensive as any other e-tailer. I know that this probably isn't their main sales group, by far, but it is indicative of their pricing policy.

    They can reap what they've sowed I reckon.

  12. Jamie

    Last August

    Went into a Dixons/Curry store on high street in Slough to purchase a Canon EOS400 kit. They had posters in the window regarding the deal on. Had to wait the longest time for someone to even notice I was there, then stated that I would have to go online to get the product. Instead walked across the walkway to Jessops and purchased the same camera for a little bit more but a lot less hassle. I will not even go into a Currys store anymore.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps £242 is too high?

    "DSGi said it now expects to see between £200m and £210m for the year – consensus forecasts had initially been set at £242."

    I suspect that the forecast of £242 was set by the 'customers' of PC World and not anyone in the financial industry? (Yes I know it should have an 'm' at the end...)

  14. Fred
    Thumb Up


    I used to do contract IT work for DSG in a past life... and i tell ya (in agreement with AC..) There managers and project managers dontknow a damn thing and seem to care even less... no wonder ppl are finally wising up to it and i hope their share price falls beyond anything ever seen...

    Msg to employee's... quick, get a job at maplins!! oh, and i doubt DSG would even honour redundancy payouts.

  15. Simon
    Thumb Down

    Ripoff prices

    Yeah i keep telling myself not to go to those two shops.

    On recent visits to those shops, i needed a USB cable and a HDMI cable.

    In PC world a USB cable will cost you 20 quid, online from Amazon i could get a similar thing for a fiver.

    In currys a HDMI will cost you 50 quid! ouch! Once again i found similar items on Amazon for between 5 and 20 quid.

    Most items i have bought in the past from PC world i have taken back after thinking about it for a bit then realising i had probably been ripped off.

    Yes, its easy just to get into the habit of wondering into stores like that and just paying their prices. Now i tell myself not to do it and shop online and just wait for it to turn up in the post a few days later.

    As someone else said on here, PC world is the pits when it comes to buying Apple stuff, indeed go into the Apple store and they look after you and you can find what you want in a few minutes.

    Finally why do stores like PC World and Currys always seem to employ the same retarded acne pimpled clueless teenagers who can never answer a single question without having the read the back of the box right in front of you first.

  16. George
    Paris Hilton

    Hurrah! The end is (hopefully!) near!

    I agree with most people the way DSG run their business is near criminal, over priced and ill informed advice. Wrong label pricing, poor displays and 'internet price' scams.

    I can see why they have got away with it for so long, think about the layman. You want a PC and where is guaranteed to sell the PC World, its all in the name.

    They all die in the end with their last century attitude, look at Trend, Time and Byte.

    Paris because she is better than The Tech Guys any day!

  17. KarlTh

    Customer Service stinks

    I bought a DAB radio/CD stereo for the kitchen from Currys. After nine months it stopped spinning up CDs. So I took it in to Currys. They had no suitable replacement as I needed Line In (to pipe sound from the lounge stereo) and insisted they could only offer vouchers as an alternative. I took them because there was no budging the store manager, but insisted I should have a cash refund.

    Took about two weeks of emailing their customer disservice centre, who insisted that the store manager was within his rights. I pointed out that legally he was not, and got a reply back that they didn't know about that, but wouldn't budge. They claimed there was "nothing more they could do". I pointed out that that was not true, there was no law of the land nor of nature that forbade the store manager reaching into the till and giving me the cash.

    Finally had to write to head office with threats of legal action. Got my money back.

    On the other hand, once ordered a dishwasher from Currys online. When it came, it didn't have one of the features it was advertised with. Phoned them up, pointed out the goods were not as sold, and I had a contract with them to supply goods which did have the advertised features. Within a week the unit was replaced by Currys with another one costing £150 more at no cost to me.

    So I suppose it depends who you get.

  18. JW

    No please don't

    I already have to go into the stores secretly seeing as my wife has stopped me from staff baiting.

    Let them stay open for a while longer I never buy anything but I'd miss my occasional fix of watching monkeys squirm when being asked the most basic of queries.

  19. Craig

    Clueless staff can be to your advantage

    I totally agree with all the comments regarding the utter incompetence of the store staff at PC World. I do still occasionally shop there though when I need something straight away. A source of constant amusement is when they offer "discounted" seconds and returns and price them higher than the brand new items on the shelves next to them. Due to their incompetence I have on several occasions got a bargain thanks to them labelling and/or ringing it up as the wrong thing - yes, I'm a bad person for not pointing it out, but going in to their store is such a frustrating experience that I feel it's only fair compensation for my inconvenience.

  20. Neil

    Sometimes they are cheaper

    I'm just about to pop into town in my lunchbreak, to by an aerial extension kit. I looked online, and in Argos it's £24.99. In Currys, it's £9.99.

    So, I'll have to bite the bullet and go there..... shudder.

  21. Bill Smith


    When you take back a 'computer' for the inevitable repair, the first thing you are asked is 'have to done a system restore' - well, no actually, since its the power cable thats at fault - you must do a system restore or we cant take it.

    Dullards, get thee hence to Tesco for your shelf-stacking training.

  22. DrXym

    I am not surprised

    PC World, Currys and Dixons have coasted far too long on general consumer ignorance. Five years ago they could get away with fleecing customers for 3 year warranties, expensive peripherals, or overpriced & underperforming home computers.

    Not any more. The internet is all pervasive and competitors like Dell make PC World prices look ridiculous. Even other bricks and mortar stores can be cheaper - I saw the exact same hub that I bought in Poundland for a quid selling in PC World for £15.

    DSG had better snap out of its traditional mindset or its going to go to the wall.

  23. Matt White

    PC World Top Tip

    Use their 110% Price Promise very very aggressively.

    Matches against any local store, AND the following websites:*, Argos, Asda, B&Q, Comet, Dabs*, Dell, Evesham Technology*, Game, Gamestation, Halfords, HMV, Jessops, John Lewis, Maplin, Misco*, Play, Staples, Tesco, Toys r Us, Virgin, Woolworths. (* Excludes Televisions)

    So, you find the memory card you need (say a Fuji 2Gb Type M), you get the Play price of £12.99, wander down to your local PC World, take one off the shelf marked at £49.99 and when you get to the checkout you get to watch the manager get upset at having to sell it to you for £9.29. Works with most memory cards, as PC World are stupidly overpriced on them.

    Always puts a spring in my step.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Terrible Customer Service

    I agree with others that PC World has certainly got to be one of the worst customer service experiences out there. I'm not sure if it's just a London based thing as I have never been to a PCW out of London, but the staff are a complete waste of time. I'm amazed that they've actually managed to drag themselves out of bed to come into work (if that is what they are doing). Even asking a question of where an item may be or similar is 99% time greeted with nothing more than a grunt and the feeling that you disturbing them from doing something more important like chatting to their colleagues. Hey what about a little enthusiasm.

    Do PCW management from their head-office ever go to any of their stores so see what the experience is like for punters walking in off the street? I'm guessing not - though maybe the management have the same rubbish ideas of what a PCW customer experience is about. It may come down to the amount they are paying their staff, ie: "Pay peanuts, ....".

    I never like to see a company do badly but PCW deserve everything they have coming to them if they continue as they are.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too Sales Driven

    I used to work there, and the problem is all staff are told to do is make more margin. If your customer doesn't want to buy Norton Antivirus or a laptop bag then you feel defeated, and won't want to offer the best service. Scrap the instore targets. Let head office worry about that, after all, they set the prices, and good products should sell themselves without a sales pitch. How about offering an extended warranty free for a few years like John Lewis do on TVs? PC World also need to stop diversifying. The staff are expected to be experts in Computers, TVs, Photo Frames, digital cameras. Yes TVs makes a lot of money, but that’s what currys is for.

  26. Daniel

    "Learn From Apple"

    Your kidding right? you want the staff to know everything about everything they sell? well bare in mind that apple don't sell any where near as many products as dsg stores? you want them to know the response rate on a monitor? have you seen the generic crap they sell, i doubt they even list the response time in the manufacturers specification!

    I don't condone everything that dsg do, infact im usually the first to slate them, sadly i work for them and often find myself sending people to maplins for parts we are rediculously priced on or that we simply don't stock because our guy in charge of purchasing for dsg stores has all the intelligence of a trout.

  27. J.Butler
    Thumb Down

    No surprise...

    Why on earth would anyone use these stores with their vastly inflated prices?

    Just check their websites... I'll wager that for every item you can find another retailer selling the same goods for 30->50% less!

    £700 LCD TV's retail at £1100 in their stores.... a no brainer.

    Add to that the poor staff training, and the incessant "extended warranty" guff when they know they're responsible well beyond the manufacturers warranty under EU law!

    I'm amazed they're still in business at all!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I khew they were in trouble when..

    I saw chocolate fountains for sale in their window, and people standing outside laughing.

    Loads of people in my office use PC World, but that's only because it's just across the road, and if you need a CD Cake quickly....

    I don't know anybody who has actually bought anything more expensive than an external hard drive.

    John Lewis if you want a PC.

  29. marc

    @ JW

    RE: Top Tip

    t only works on item that are exactly the same - so no going down with a print off showing a £3 ebuyer own make memory card.

    Also, JW - if you're such an expert why are you even asking these basic questions? I used to work in PC World and I can tell you the staff I knew had good knowledge. I had sad customers like yourself try and "test" me - and every single time I either supprised them, or made them look stupid. The best one was someone asking me if some USB adapter would work on his "Linux Box" - I said well what kernal version are you using and he looked stunned.

    Would you ask a car sales man how a gearbox works? No but he would be able real of statistics on fuel comsumption.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Nothing Changes...

    DSG's approach, pricing structure and attitude to service haven't changed since the days I had a weekend job at one of their stores.

    I went with a friend to check out some laptops. Hers had died and she needed one urgently to finish some time critical work. There just happened to be a model there that ticked all the boxes and was at a very good price. I was stunned and insisted the price was checked. It was right so my friend decided to buy it.

    The sales drone then tried to aggressively sell the Norton PC security solution and some additional memory. When I refused on my friend's behalf she took umbrage and pressed me for my reasons.

    "13 years of working in IT, implementing solutions that work. No PC or laptop that I build has Norton on it. The extra memory you're selling is overpriced and unnecessary. If I put Norton on it then I may well need the memory. But I'm not so I don't."

    DSG - where nothing changes. They still prey on the uninformed.

    The icon isn't quite a dead duck, which would have been more appropriate.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Isn't anyone going to stick up for them?

    No, thought not. Looks like its down the toilet for them, then.

  32. Christopher Woods

    It's quite simple really...

    If they didn't horribly overprice their products and changed their focus to a 'sell loads of a smaller range of items' ethos (with more available on short-leadtime order) then I think they'd do far better. Argos seems to survive quite well like that, although equally I wouldn't want them to become Argos.

    What took the biscuit for me last year was when I walked into Currys.Digital in the Bullring (Birmingham), formerly one of their 'Xtra' stores - there was a wireframe bin on the shopfloor on an aisle end filled with Belkin Cat5e cables, with a handwritten cardboard sign attached to the little stand.

    On it, it had words to the effect of 'network cables - moving into Halls this year? Every student needs one of these.' The cables were unremarkable 4m grey Belkin Cat5e cables... And their price? £20.

    Yes, £20 *per cable*. (my uni gives all its Halls students a free cable anyway if they're moving into Halls, but I always have loads lying around...) Now I know that wasn't probably a UK-wide promo, but for crying out loud - stop treating customers like mugs with overpricing, foisting of the highest-profit options (warranties etc) onto big ticket items, and that's how you go about Currying favour.

    Mine's the one with the Cat6 cables coming out the pockets

  33. Nick Palmer

    Somebody hasn't acquired a ****ing clue yet, have they?

    "It is clear that customers have become increasingly promotion- and deal-driven,"

    No, they're becoming increasingly driven away by the fact that the service is appalling and the staff woefully ignorant. Sometimes the prices can be very acceptable; recently picked up an Asus laptop in the local PCW, and the price was fine - might have been available for a few quid cheaper online but the friend wanted to go and get one there and then. Getting served on the other hand was a fscking nightmare, and the level of ignorance on the part of the staff was appalling. Another customer was asking about an Asus machine; non-technical type of fellow, and he was told - with a straight face "Oh, they're a new company, they've only just come on the market"! ASUS, FFS!

  34. Flump


    In the past six months I have tried and failed to give PC World some money:

    1. Tried to get the RAM in a MacMini I had bought from them upgraded only to be told they don't support them yet on the website they claim they will work on an PC.

    2. Tried to buy a white iMac after the news ones had been released (I don't like shiny screens), they had a good discount which tempted me. They dicked me about for a week before I gave up and ordered a refurb from Apple.

    3. Tried a buy an external drive, used the Collect@Store. When I got to the store I got some feeble crap about they couldn't located them ATM but yes they had six in stock, but would you like this Maxtor instead. I told them to fuck off.

    I've now given up on them completely, should have done years ago but sometimes it's more convenient to just go to a store than order online.

  35. Joe

    Prices are now realistic....

    ....rather than the utterly ridiculous mark-ups (which still exist on memory products). Dug their own grave..

  36. KarlTh

    It's variable

    As I said before. I got a half-price wireless network dongle when I last bought a PC there (special offer you understand). The salesman basically said that all I had to do was take out the "PC Assurance" thing, which I could cancel after a month, and he'd throw it in for free. So I got it for the price of one month's "PC Assurance" which he admitted was a load of crap (although not in so many words). But he was one of the older ones, not a pimply youth.

    The support guys may be hampered with the system restore thing - I used to work for Tech Support for Siemens and they would not sanction a hardware call until you'd eliminated any possibility of a software fault. Unless it was painfully obvious (like a monitor with no power light coming on) you had to insist on a software restore, which was as painful for the tech as for the customer, because after reinstalling the OS they'd have to have all the drivers reinstalled - of a drivers CD which had had the floppy based drivers copied onto it without changing the paths, so it still looked for all the driver files on floppy, and had to be redirected for every damned file copy operation. I still get cold sweats about those!

    The ones who have potential are serving their time as we all have to before getting a proper IT job. The ones who are crap are serving their time before going into management.

  37. Chris Cox

    Pay peanuts, get monkeys

    It's not surprising. Minimum wage, horrid shifts, working all weekend, many stores having to employ people from eastern europe who can't speak english properly due to the wages, overpriced on almost all peripherals/accessories, bad reputation for customer service - the list is endless (and I'm a former employee!)

    PC World could sort out the majority of its problems by making it a realistic career - i.e. decent pay and better hours for a start, to attract and retain better staff. Most of my ex colleagues couldn't give a shit any more because of the way they are treated, and that will rub off on their customer service.

    Undervalued staff will bring down ANY business, no matter how many years it has been around. Arrogant management will do the same.

  38. D

    May as well join in with the chorus

    I have a PCW less than a mile from where I live, but despite being in there many times, I've rarely spent more than £5 because whatever I'm looking for is usually half the price down the road at Maplins.

    Occasionally their staff will meander over in my direction, presumably because they're bored and want someone to talk to. Their advice and the opportunity to bait them with questions or listen to their sales patter does have some entertainment value, which is perhaps the only reason that I keep going back.

  39. Neil

    Ok, I'm back from my lunchtime sojourn

    Found the thing I was after and thought I would buy a freeview box for about £15 as well. Because they have to grass you up to the TV Licensing morons, they have to take my name and address. After 10 wasted minutes of them trying to type in my name and address I told them to forget it and didn't buy the damn thing.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple retail

    Of course apple retail are a fine example - everything they sell is pretty much branded Apple, and they sell 3 different types of laptops, 3 desktops, 4 media players and a phone - not exactly hard compared with PCW/Currys where they have at least 30 different laptops on display at once, never mind everything else they say.

  41. Anonymous Coward

    Currys have bugged me forever

    I remember back 8 or 10 years, before they ever merged, I went into Currys for the last time in my life. I don't know whether they still use the same business model, but they used to have this thing in store where if you wanted to buy something you had to speak to at least 3 different people. One person to write on the slip what needed to come from stores, one person at the till to charge you for it, and another to give you the stuff out of stores. And ALL of them would ask about extended warranties - which as daylight robbery I will never buy. I went in to buy something (I forget what, but it was about £300 I think). I told the first person what I wanted, I then mentioned my usual line which was, "If ANYONE attempts to sell me extended warranties, I'm walking out." They did, and I did. Never to return.

  42. Greg

    @AC - Apple Stores

    "The Mgt of DSG need to spend a day at an Apple store if they want to learn how to "do" retail properly."

    You're having a laugh. By "doing retail properly" I assume, therefore, you mean having a minimalistic fashionista store setup, with hardly anything on display, nothing to get your hands on, and a bunch of store groupies who can't tell you anything about a product other than that it's cool, hip and in?

    Went into the Leeds store once (got some marvellous you-don't-belong-here looks from the staff) to get a battery for the boss' kid's iPod. Asked for a battery, got one. Fine and dandy. For a laugh, I asked him what the capacity of it was, and whether I'd be losing over the original. Pandemonium! What did I mean when I said "capacity," was I sure I'd got the right iPod, does anyone know the capacity of an iPod mini battery, does the boss know, etc. Behind my eyeballs I was rolling about with laughter - I already knew the capacity. I'd read it off the front of the battery when he'd handed it to me. :-)

    And now, to wander off the point...

    Replacing the battery was a whole other story, naturally. Got back to the office, used the rather crude tool (a bent screwdriver, from what I could see) to jimmy the end off the player. Took the internals out, swapped the battery, went to put it back together and *clatter*.......what the hell was that? There's a microchip on my desk. Where the hell did th....did that just fall off? Did a microchip seriously just *fall* off the PCB??

    The boss had to get his friend at an electronics factory to fix it. Apple said, despite the player being in warranty, and it being their battery that had failed, their crap PCB, their replacement, their tools and their instructions, it had nothing to do with them.

    Rant over, back to work.

  43. Greg

    Quick addendum

    Re: my previous post. I'm not saying that DSG are better. They're far far worse. But they've very little to learn from Apple.

    Personally I want my computer store to be the way CeX used to be before they went all gaming-oriented. Now those were some hardcore computer stores, with staff that actually knew what I was talking about.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Last time I went in one

    I figured they couldn't possibly overcharge for a CD pen.

    Seeing the prices (£7.99 as I recall) I decided to take the extra ten minutes and walk to the pound shop.

  45. Steve Todd


    How can I put this pollitely? You're talking BS. Apple DON'T have a store in Leeds, neither do they sell iPod batteries. You can send them back for replacement (especialy if the item in question is still under warrenty), but Apple don't sell them direct to customers.

    Have you actualy visited an Apple store at all, not some dodgy dealer who happens to sell Apple kit? They have row upon row of machines that you can try out to your hearts content, without being anoyed by the sales staff.

    What Apple do right, and what DSG could learn from, is that they don't pretend to be the cheapest while ripping you off something rotten for any "extras". If a checkout is busy Apple have staff with roving EPOS machines that can sell you kit anywhere in the store. They run free public demos of software and how to use it. They have staff who seem to enjoy working there.

    This isn't to say that Apple couldn't improve things, or that everyone in store knows everything about everything, but they are head and shoulders above PC World.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would you like a VAT receipt?

    Maybe people are getting tired of having to spend 10 minutes at the till handing over your Name, Address details repeatedly if you ask for a VAT receipt.

  47. Ishkandar


    How dare you challenge someone to a "battle of wits" when you know damn well that they are unarmed ?? Shame on you, sir, for teasing dumb animals !! You could be reported to the RSPCA !!

    @Nick Palmer - Of course they are !! After all, the pyramids have only been around for about 6000 years !!

    BTW I buy from Maplin since I don't need any "service" or "advice" and I build my kits rather than buy them whole !!

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The issue with PC World/Currys is that they expect vendors to pay for their floor space with marketing funds then push all the customers towards own brand products. Now that vendors are waking up to that little scam the marketing fund flow is turning into a dribble and profits reflect that.

  49. Mark

    In store delivery

    Needed a FW DVD burner last year PCW business had the one I wanted for 5 quid less than any other online store, assuming you didn't want home delivery, which would be an extra tenner. Dead convenient since there's a PCW down the road.

    Went in to buy; item not in stock. Fair cop, but could they order one for me and have it delivered to the store for collection? Sure sir, no problem.... but there'll be a 10 quid charge for delivery .... from the warehouse to the store. But if you'd had it in stock there'd have been no delivery charge?? Correct sir.

    That they make money at all amazes me.

  50. Anonymous Coward

    Why bother with cards?

    I used to work for DSG, I can vouch for the various comments made about arrogant management, they seem to take the attitude that you belong to DSG as a piece of property, not a thinking, sentient human being with a life outside of work, shitty shifts, compulsory overtime, and an condescending approach to staff tends to make staff feel like schoolchildren, as a 50 year old, I got so pissed off being treated like a 16 year old, it made me physically ill.

    The real problem though is the penny pinching approach from management, for example, using poorly recycled parts for out of warranty laptop repairs, this means that the unit is likely to fail within 3-6 months of repair, this means that the poor engineer who's fitted the part will pay with a repeat fee, usually £7.50 per repeat.

    They also show a lack of vision when it comes to expanding their repair facilities, ie, the laptop workshop now resembles a battery chicken farm , with inadequate parking and dining facilities and poorly maintained air conditioning, there's been a vacant unit next door for months, but they're too tight to lease it and expand to make the workplace more fit for purpose, and why do they always promote the incompetent to senior management ???

    Me, I'm glad I'm free, maybe I can now get a real IT job....

  51. DaveB
    Thumb Down

    Have to say I was in PC World on Sunday....but

    On Saturday my PC graphis card (5 years old) blew. On inspection it had ingested the enough fluff to stop the fan going round.

    I bought a £50 graphics card.

    I also wanted a 1TB disk....forget it...that camed from DABS.COM

    I wanted toner for my laser.....forget it...not stocked got it from Staples next door.

    Wanted some memory....forget it...PC world prices for 1MB buys you 8MB from CRUCIAL.

    So yes I shopped at PC World cause I needed a graphics card on a Sunday morning.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wouldn't miss them

    They just put good smaller computer stores out of business. Their staff on the whole are pretty useless.

    And yeah I will confirm they have more interest in talking amongst themselves than helping the customer; was in there a couple of day ago picking up a cable (outrageously expensive as well).

    Most computer folk buy online and avoid PC World that is the truth of the matter.

    And most people ask a tech friend or the tech dept where to get a computer system, and most don't advise PC World. So, there we go hopefully PC World on the out.

    To be honest, I don't want variety - I want solid gear and a small shop has a much better chance of offering solid gear than PC World. They have just failed to pander to the tech crowd, and it just means they will slowly fade away.

    When I was in there hardly anyone else was, huge floorspace, and the staff probably out numbered the customers 3 or 4 to 1. If I had stock in PC World or its holding company I would dump it. CompUSA went under not so long back, that is a pretty good indication of what will happen to PC World.

    What is going on is tech people buy online. It makes sense; cheaper prices and ability to browse all you like. People need local shops for quick fixes, and a superstore is just overkill, and of course when you need a quick fix you value the knowledge of the shop - which PC World tends to be lacking in.

    In Japan they have market stalls, which tend to be open late and you can just pick up parts from them, I would love to see the UK go this way, but we are so corp orientated, it may take a bit of time.

  53. Matt Horrocks


    "Wanted some memory....forget it...PC world prices for 1MB buys you 8MB from CRUCIAL."

    Wow - didn't know anywhere still sold 1MB and 8MB sticks of RAM ;-)

  54. Rod

    British Retail down the tubes....finally

    Poor old DSG. Now they learn that electronics only "sell themselves" when people can be bothered buying! Having lived in various countries round the world, I can say, with some authority, that I know what the problem is - british retailers suck. I mean, there's more depth to my analysis than that, but "sucks" is a good summary.

    People will still buy stuff when times are hard, but they need the assurance of a competent assistant, a warm cosy feeling that the staff have the customers interests at heart and they need to know that, if they take the trouble to go to a PC World, Dixons etc that they will have a first-class experience. At the moment, they are **ahem** a ways off giving that.

    So, I give the same response when retailers whine about a "bad christmas" on the high st - There's no such thing as a "bad" market, there are just bad retailers.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It might help

    If the DSG management got to see these comments.

    But then again...

  56. Darren Lovell
    Thumb Down

    As useful as as a two-storey outhouse

    I was in PC World a few weeks ago shopping around for a laptop though I had no intention of buying from there - I just wanted a touch and feel of what there was then purchase elsewhere.

    I saw a couple of laptops with almost identical specs - CPU, OS, memory, hard drive, graphics, screen size, connectivity, webcam, memory card reader, weight but one was £100 more expensive than the other and I couldn't see why apart from PC World being the kings of ripping people off. Though I wasn't buying I couldn't let this go I asked an "assistant" (note the speech marks as I use the term loosely) about what warranted that extra £100. She didn't know and just looked at the label to show her "knowledge". She said one had a GeForce 8600M GT GPU and the other didn't then I showed her that both laptops have that GPU then she said one had Bluetooth and the other didn't. Once again, I showed her that both had Bluetooth modules and the same type. Unsurprisingly, I grew tired of her not knowing what she was trying to sell so I spoke to another "assistant" and all he could tell me that was different was that one came with a rucksack - hardly worth the £100 premium unless it was lined with gold or signed by some attention seeking celebrity. He tried cracking a few jokes to try persuading me to buy one of them but I wasn't having any of it.

    I didn't bother going any further because neither of the "assistants" could explain why two almost identical laptops were £100 apart for no technical reason. I was satisfied that the simple answer was "greed".

    I heard another customer ask the exact same question a couple of minutes later and he too was greeted with the same ignorance from the staff. He opted to buy the cheaper model (like any sane person would with the specs being basically identical) but they told him they had no stock and that the closest store with stock was 400 MILES AWAY IN GLASGOW! The customer didn't even sound Northern, never mind Scottish so somehow I didn't think it'd be local to him.

    It really didn't bode with their lack of product knowledge. I worked in retail for three years and I like to think I had good knowledge of what I sold. I can't help but feel that the female "assistant" was hired because she was pretty and could make a sale just by fluttering her eyelashes even if she was selling a dead putrid cat. The male "assistant" was probably hired because he could probably sweet talk you into a sale without knowing what he's selling. Their charms might work with somebody who has rudimentary/no computer knowledge but they'd be eaten alive by techheads.

    What made things worse was the store having products on display and for sale but no local store had any stock and they had no lead time from their suppliers. Is it really so difficult to put an "out of stock" sign on the display instead of customers having to say they want to buy a product only to be told it's out of stock?

    DSG deserve to lose money with their telephone number prices and incompetent staff.

  57. Andre Carneiro

    What amazes me

    ... is that they still, somehow, manage to make any profits at all.

    I won't add to the general consensus of how shite PCWorld are. All I can say is the sooner they crash and burn the better.

    Mine's the one with "PCWorld Sucks" printed on the back.

  58. John Dawson

    PCWorld "sale" items

    Go into PCWorld in Stevenage. They're advertising a "sale" of a laptop I want.

    I look at the display model. It's ideal. And at that price it's a bargain.

    Ask the "assistant". None in stock (sale laptops, not "assistant"s!), except the display model, which of course they won't sell. They then try to "interest" me in similar non-sale laptops at 3 times the price.

    I return to the display sale model, note down all its details, and order it online for 75% of PCWorld's sale price. It arrives the next morning. QED.


  59. Spleen

    Are DSG really as doomed as everyone says?

    Granted no-one with any technical knowledge would touch them with a ten-foot pole - that's obvious from these threads. But we are the minority. PC World's TV ads are clearly aimed at the majority with no technical knowledge - I know because they are the adverts that most often cause me to frantically stab the mute button to stave off apoplexy. They'll keep going to PC World because they don't know any better, and as long as their computer lets them read emails and use Amazon they won't know that it's a piece of overpriced crap.

    I would hope that DSG are indeed doomed, because as computers become ever more essential, soon everyone will either a) be tech-savvy or b) know someone who is and get advice from their son or their friend or their work colleague's wife's nephew before going computer shopping. But I think that may be a vain hope.

  60. Daniel B.

    The Tech Bazaar

    "In Japan they have market stalls, which tend to be open late and you can just pick up parts from them"

    Here in Mexico City its similar; the "Technology Plaza" is basically a bazaar with about 300 stalls or so selling "spare parts" for everything, at basically wholesale price. You're even able to bargain some prices and pay even less!! Online buying over here isn't so hot as many people are weary on paperless transactions, so these bazaars are the main source for all tech.

    Office Depot, Steren and RadioShack are more for upper-class yuppies that don't like to be surrounded by people. Ok, that's one disadvantage: on weekends the Tech Plaza is overflowing with people, so even moving is an epic feat.

  61. Anonymous Coward

    Avro - I hope they go broke and soon

    My best friend went there a few months ago when his PC died. He had been looking at my MacBook and my Dell which was running Ubuntu. He had been unhappy with Windows for many years.

    The 18 year old spotty faced expert told him that Macs were pricey and only for graphics professionals. Linux was dismissed as being no good since if it was any good the shelves at PC World would be filled with them (figures doesn't it). The shop brand hasta la Vista set him back £750 while a MacBook would have cost him £570 (he was entitled to a higher ed discount from the Apple store). He got the Vista machine home and it won't work with his peripherals.

    He paid £200 more for something that was half as good and did not work.

    I would never suggest anybody buy a computer at PC World. The staff have the personality of a slug and the product knowledge of a flea. As consumers become more savvy PC World, will no doubt go the way of the Dodo bird.

  62. Xander Dent


    Actually sacked me for providing good customer service.

    I worked in their call centre (I was desparate for a job at the time, don't look at me like that..) as a "Branch Call Handler". This meant first off I had to explain to customers, "No, I'm not at the store you thought you'd just phoned, you're talking to a call centre.." putting us on a bad footing to start with.

    Anyway, I answer a call from a gent who'd just been in and purchased a crappy Lexmark printer (the one it was cheaper to replace, than buy new cartridges for.) He was more than a little upset that the driver CD in the box had a large scratch across it, and was mouthing off about throwing the printer at the Tosspot in the store who'd sold it to him, which in hindsight, would probably have been the better course of action.

    Unfortunately for me, I hate seeing people fscked over for money, and refuse to do it on behalf of some greedy, immoral, corporation like DSG. Knowing the Lexmark FTP was down (having had a similar problem before) I had the drivers he needed on my private FTP at home. I connected (via SSH) to my Linux FTP box and copied/permissioned the required file to allow anonymous download. I then talked the customer through how to download and install the drivers from my FTP. At the end of the call the customer had not only offered his sincere apologies for his attitude at the start of the call, but offered to send me a personal cheque by way of thanks. I decined his offer, but thanked him for his apology, and wished him well.

    A job well done I thought, a beaming smile on my face. The smile promptly disappeared as I was hauled into the office for "a meeting" with my "team leader". I was facing a triple disciplinary, for 1) Spending more than 10 minutes on one call. 2) Referring a customer to (and I quote) "an unrecognised website". 3) Opening up the company network to attack (by making an **outgoing** SSH connection)

    I was sacked and escorted off the premises within 30 minutes.

    Warning/Caution; because quite frankly they should display a sign warning of the lack of intelligence anywhere in the entire organisation at the door.

  63. Anonymous Coward

    I'm no fan of the company but...

    As a part-time sales person myself, I'm slightly insulted and a little annoyed that certain people would deliberately wind sales staff up for kicks. It's a very unrewarding job to have and you are making it worse. Nobody comes up to you when you're at work and deliberately ruins your day. When you're next in a store, any store, think of the person IN the shirt before being a git. Maybe, just maybe, you're expecting too much of someone on minimum wage, bad training and an 'if you don't sell this you're fired' mentality from management. Also, how do you expect good customer service from someone you're not treating with basic respect? You should be ashamed at treating ANYONE, ANYWHERE in that way.

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