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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  1. Steven
    Joke

    Where in the World...

    Sorry couldn't resit it.

    I'll get my coat...

  2. KarlTh

    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.

  3. Bo Pedersen

    not surprising really

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

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    RIP

    ...and good riddance to them!

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

  5. Anonymous Coward
    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 :)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    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*

  7. 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.

  8. Giles Jones 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.

  9. Matt Smart

    @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...)

  10. John Roberts
    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!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  12. Karl Lattimer
    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.

  13. david gomm

    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.

  14. Greg

    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.

  15. Barry
    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.

  16. Steve
    Flame

    Finally!

    Are they gone yet?

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

  17. David Cornes
    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.

  18. Alistair
    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.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    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?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Where in the world

    Rip off world!

    (as I always sing along to the advert)

  22. Bo Pedersen
    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.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  24. Sam

    re;Just never see that posted here do we?

    Can't think why......

  25. Anonymous Coward
    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....

  26. Unknown

    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.

  27. Sarah Bee (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.

  28. Sam
    Joke

    Re Sarah

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

    And how dare you call US mean!

  29. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Re Sarah

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

    So.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    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?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Sarah

    Sorry.

    I hang my head in shame.

  33. Ivan Headache

    15m SCSI cable?

    Did you buy it?

    Did it work?

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

  34. Dangermouse

    @Re: Re: Sarah

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

    Remember the Amy WhineArse thread?

  35. peter

    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.

  36. Jon Brindley
    Alert

    Something struck me..

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

  37. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  38. Mark

    DSG - Good Riddance..

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

    I hope your new owners actually have a clue.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    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...

  40. Anonymous Coward
    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...

  41. Unknown

    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.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  43. Chris
    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>

  44. 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.

  45. Peter Gathercole 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.

  46. Steve

    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

  47. Unknown
    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!

  48. PC World Employee

    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.

  49. marc
    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.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Heart

    All the PCW staff posting here...

    I'm with you all the way guys. Anyone from the Stevenage store? I used to be a tech there.

    That store was a rarity in that we had, at the time, three techs who knew their stuff really rather well - one ex-network engineer who was just killing time, one ha><0r type who was well into his hardware and custom builds, and me, who had blagged a job after three years of IT helldesk work and had been doing shitty temp jobs up till that point.

    Funnily enough, although we could fix computers, we weren't salespersons by any means - we'd much rather show the interested, but technically less literate customers the component racks and point out the various bits required, and build a system for them. This *really* didn't go down to well with management, as you can imagine, as you can't sell an extended warranty for that.

    We got off with it though, because, generally, they needed us. Taking advantage of that was fun. Ignoring the dress code and turning up all in black in a trenchcoat on Saturdays was good for winding up management. Customers loved it too. The Anti-Clinic, as one of our regulars described it.

    The team spirit in there was utterly fucking brilliant though, and despite getting paid jack shit, doing regular 60-70 hour weeks [unpaid overtime - if you don't arrange it and approve it advance, you don't get paid for it...], management and sales staff [not all of them mind] who wouldn't know a mouse from a motherboard and who would describe computers as having 80 gigabytes of RAM, being left to 'put on your management hat' when the managers themselves didn't want to deal with complaints, customers in tears of frustration because people above you have made such a huge mess of their case - and I saw a few howlers - I still enjoyed it.

    It's especially nice when you get a customer who realises that you are completely on their side [while still remaining objective] and drops a 24pack of beer off for the boys at closing time. A few times that happened...

    Well, I enjoyed it until I used statutory notice to leave and go contracting [at the end of a two week holiday, HA!] whereupon one of the managers decided to mark me down as having left a month previous to my actual leaving date, and seemingly tried to screw me out of a months pay. Keeping triplicate copies of my [countersigned] letter of resignation helped though.

    I feel for those of you who still work there to be honest - all I can say is *get out now* and use your 'front line customer service skills' and 'experience of cutting edge computer hardware' to find yourself a job you won't get kicked in the face for every day by everyone but your direct peers.

    I think I'll have a beer tomorrow and toast my fallen comrades - and those still fighting the good fight. Not much of them in there, but they are there.

    Anony "knows that not everyone in PCW is a complete fucking moron" Mouse.

    Ex PCW Stevenage hench tech

    King of the South Side of the store

    Defender of his colleagues getting a bollocking from management and customers alike.

    You guys all know the score....and the reason I'm posting Anon? Because my screen name is my real name and I know for a fact that DSG has some very, very well paid lawyers who, as noted by a previous posted, take a dim view of this sort of thing - so I had better get my coat.

    It's the trenchcoat with a pink badge marked Anony Mouse, PC Clinic on it.

    :-)

  52. Chad H.
    Unhappy

    @ "PC world employee"

    perhaps then you can point out to me a mac compatible laptop bag (if you have no idea what I'm talking about, hopefully you can use all that dsg training to work out how the search function works :-) )

    There's a public service campaign in the us that goes "friends dont let friends drink and drive" we need a version here in the uk "geeks dont let friends shop at dsg"?

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Some history

    I got a job at Dixons in 1978, working in Bracknell. Our branch target was around £6k per week with about ten staff on premises your corner shop would struggle to run on. My pay was better than before at £22.30pw (on which I already got taxed! Beware Labour, that's all I'll say...)

    I witnessed the hostile takeover of Currys (a family firm at the time) in 1984 while firms like Laskys, Greens and eventually Rumbelows fell by the wayside.

    Dixons also owned the prestigious Wallace Heaton photographic shop in New Bond Street, London, where they really did serve Royals and all sorts of wealthy customers. The staff were true specialists selling every premium camera product and I was privileged to spend a short time seconded there. Years later I was asked to help the Hambro (banking) family at their mansion near Cheltenham set up some kit they bought in the City. There were real characters and heroes in the business keeping the Dixons name in lights while still maintaining the horrible "pile 'em high, sell 'em cheap" high street windows. Yes, customer service was already shite then if anything went wrong! Unless you were a Bond St. customer, of course.

    By the time I left the organization the staff daily targets were almost as high as the branch weekly target where I started and the quality of staff was dictated by market rates rather than enthusiasm and product knowledge. Not their fault because passion, personal pride and hobby related work was replaced by hourly rates, social and family breakdown and, of course, those accountants and their spreadsheets! (Oh, running airport hangar sized sites with ten staff again, too.)

    No reason to remain anonymous beyond an acknowledgement towards the few remaining employees who care. Find them and make sure you give them every sale you care to give them. They can and will negotiate when pushed so get the best from both worlds.

    Now do you understand why my heart is heavy every time I read news about DSGi?...

    Paris because... just because... (She's Dim but Cute, OK?)

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    RE: Where are you all shopping???

    I'm sorry, I nearly fell about laughing when I read you post.

    "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."

    "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 respects our customers."

    It's not April fools again is it? is it!? (checks calendar)

  55. Steve
    Pirate

    Oh how sweet doesth tasteth revenge

    Having worked very briefly for DSG in the distant(ish) past I can tell you what a horrible company they were and probably still are to work for.

    DSG makes more money selling spare remote controls, hoover bags and extended warranties than anything else. I remember when they introduced the store line number where you could ring up and speak to someone in a call centre instead of speaking directly to your local store.

    They used to treat their call centre and retail staff like shite and the store line was just a way of getting rid of people from Freeserve tech support, putting them on lower payscales and employing loads of students from Sheffield part time on crap pay.

    Heaven forbid if you wanted to take something back to a local store if you'd bought it online - no store would take ownership of the issue.

    DSG deserve all they get for treating their staff terribly over the years. Their staff, though, deserve better opportunities with better organisations.

  56. David Shea

    @peter

    Funny enough exactly the same thing happened to me.

    Returned a laptop for repair - weekly conflicting reports about where it was (gone to the manufacturer, still in shop etc...) until I went in and pointed out that after 28 days I was entitled to a replacement.

    Went to shelf, selected most expensive laptop there, walked out of store with said laptop and replacement warranty.

    3 weeks later, phone call saying my (original) laptop was repaired. Went back to store, walked out of store with said laptop.

    Laptops 2, PC World 0

  57. David Shea

    PC World story II

    Knew another guy who got hold of the name of the manager at a PC world store, then walked in on the weekend when said manager wasn't there.

    "Mr x told me I could pick up my PC, it's the one over there" to innocent young Saturday shop worker.

    "I don't know if I can let you have that without authorisation"

    "Well, ring Mr x at home then"

    "oh, can't do that. Emmm... Well, I'm sure it will be ok"

    Guy walks out of PC world with new PC.

    Guy with new PC 1 PC World 0

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    RE: PC'ed Off - Ian Emery

    Haha you think thats bad, you should get a business account at PC World

    10m Network Patch cable

    on the Shelf was about £30

    took them to the Business section as i needed a VAT receipt, I was thinking this would going to be expensive as I needed 3 cables in a hurry (which is why i was at pc world lol )

    Got all 3 cables for £24 :D

    is that RIpping off the public or what !!!

    nice Tip there, if you need to go to PC world. make up your own company and go to the business area ;)

  59. sack
    Paris Hilton

    'work faster or else'

    '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?'

    I used to work for PC Servicecall and the management seemed to have been trained from the same manual.

    their very limited view of the world was 'If this cell on that spreadsheet goes red then we aren't hitting targets'. problem is somewhere down the line they lost any kind of idea of what the physical events behind those numbers actually were and just resorted to 'hit the targets by working faster *or else*'.

    All they care about is their bottom line - and now they don't even have that. I won't be crying for them.

    Paris - because she sucks too....

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Oh how sweet doesth tasteth revenge

    I can only second these comments, having worked in both call centre and laptop workshop, the management seem to get their positions not by competence, but by the brown nose system, and god forbid if you're not in a managerial post by age 50, you stand a very good chance of being bullied out of your job.

    I can't help but feel a little smug about this, but this is mostly self-inflicted, too arrogant with its staff and customer base, guilty of making stupid blunders, ie taking on too many laptop repairs without giving engineers any relevant product training for the new brands/models, implementing system changes without any relevant training, every move is calculated to improve the company's bottom line, not to ensure that every employee is involved and is enthusiastic about the job they do...

    I know for a fact that most middle-management types are quietly cacking themselves over this, because their little empires are going to be yanked from under them, without a tear being shed by head office, just to protect the bottom line... El Reg, you really need a dinosaur icon, just for DSGi...

  61. jaydoubleyou

    Freeview, freesat, freesat, freeview, let's call the whole thing off

    Recently Dixons online were doing a half-price offer on Freesat - £75 instead of the usual £150. I tried buying it (not that I wanted Sky especially, but it would have cost about £300 to have a special aerial erected if I'd wanted Freeview) but they'd sold out. So I thought, well Currys are part of the same group, I'll see if they're doing the same offer.

    It was like waking the dead - the assistant looked at me blankly, mumbled "we've got Freeview" then wandered off. I'll take that as a no then. The next day Dixons had it back in stock, so I bought it, a week later they decided actually no, they didn't have it and refunded my money. I ended up paying full price, and I could probably have had it two weeks earlier than I did if I hadn't been messed around by Dixons.

    As for PC World, I bought a monitor recently which was the cheapest I could find even after looking online (and I got it even cheaper when it came up at the wrong price at the till, the manager checked and told the assistant to 'knock 10 off' and she took 10% instead of £10 off...). Also bought one of those 1TB Western Digital network drives there, but we can't all be perfect... Most of the prices are laughable, the one that got me recently was the 'Tech Guys' charge of £29.99 (or somewhere thereabouts) to 'fit a USB device'....

    I was going to say I'd never celebrate a company going under but then I remember how pleased I was when Tempo went bust (after two YEARS trying to get a dodgy TV replaced it was poetic justice...) - hopefully if it happens the staff there will quickly find suitable jobs (in the case of the freesat/freeview moron, I think stacking shelves might be a bit too intellectually challenging...).

  62. Ascylto
    Coat

    Poor Business Model

    I feel really sorry for the DSG staff. Unfortunately, they work for a company with a very poor business model. Someone else has compared this to Apple's sales and marketing strategy, and so will I. This is nothing to do with Apple's products so, please, anti-Apple people, please remain calm and seated ... the oxygen masks will not need to be deployed.

    If you've never been into an Apple Store, do. It's a revelation for a UK shopper. ALL the computers are linked to high-speed broadband ... you can go on the net, you can send and receive emails, you can price compare. You can play with or seriously operate all the computers, iPods and other wares. The computers have just about every software program available. There's WiFi throughout the store (and nearby) free to connect.

    You can identify staff by coloured tee-shirts, currently light blue for the people who know who to get to help you, red for the people who have the technical knowledge (and they DO know their stuff in their particular specialities) and black for the 'Genius' who has a very wide knowledge. You can book a 20 minute session with a Genius, free of charge, via the internet or phone. You can get practically unlimited tutorials for £90 a year with people who know their stuff. And you will be politely asked if you need help and you won't be pestered. They also (for the most part) seem to have plenty of staff around to help.

    It's a store. They want to sell you stuff of course, but as a business model it's superb and, as I said before, a real surprise to UK shoppers who seem to expect the computers to be switched off and the staff to just box-read. I'm not saying they are the only company to employ these methods but I have yet to come across another.

    Mine's the one with the iPod in the inside pocket.

  63. Daniel

    victims of their own success

    The reason PCW isn't like the apple store is it's size. If the apple stores where anywhere near as large with the same kind of footflow, then none of what makes the apple store great would be there? As for the £90 for tutorials etc... well you can get a techfriend from PCW, they will guide you through, they will remotley sort your problem if they can't guide you through. and that's 24/7. And these aren't PCW employees so they do actually know a thing or 2.

    As for PCW staff not posting their names... HELLO IM A TECHNICIAN AT A PC WORLD STORE.

    man i cringe everytime i say that. The company is rediculous. I still remembersome genius in charge of buying invested in thousands of "3D FUZION" graphics cards.. he/she chose old series cards and budget models at that. Problem with that is that before an upgrade most customers talk to the techies, the majority of who know what theyre on about. sadly we wouldnt recommend these cards ever... i think almost every single one went clearance... and still nobody bought them! in the end i think they were all recalled.

    Most of you seem to miss the major factors... the staff in store are what is expected of a very large retail chain. there is training available, but to most people this is just a crappy job and not a means to better them selves.

    The serious lack of knowledge comes from the buying department and the people who decide the prices. They are ultimately screwing pcworld... and ya know why? because they probably have enough money in the bank to set them up for a long time. I hope all of senior management get whats coming to them. but sadly they won't the duty managers (who are generally more ill informed than the staff and have the people skills of a rhino) will probably just get shifted around. The people who will suffer most are those who shouldn't

    There have been previous comments about instore managers being useless.. Well you know all those horror stories of "I COULDNT GET A REFUND" and all that jazz?? well ya know why? because some duty manager has gone on a power trip. They remind me of those kids at school... the ones who paid no attention, have no future, so jump on the pcw/currys/dixons bandwagon and try to become a manager... and when they get there... POWER!!!! they turn into power mad "jocks". This is all they are. they go back to being the bullies at school, they seek retribution on absolutley everyone.

    Give me a decent budget and a hedgefund and I'll fix PCWorld. Give me a job in buying and some access to the price list.

    As for slander. Sod it I've had a good run

  64. Ascylto

    @Daniel

    Thanks, Daniel, you bolster my argument. Although I didn't compare PCWs the fact that the Apple stores aren't as big as PCW shows again why the DSGi model is not working (though I suspect the New York Apple Store is as big as some PCW). The 'Techfriend' is a penny cheaper and is not person-to-person (though it is 24/7 as you say) and if you want the PAYGO version it's £20 a go!

    Unfortunately, knowledgeable people like yourself work for a cretinous company and cretinous management.

    Some companies seem to do alright on the 'bigger is better' model ... Tesco, ASDA, Costco and more, but I suspect IT stores may do better with an Apple-type model (their stores are opening at a phenomenal rate). I don't know what the Apple behind-the-scenes staff picture is like ... perhaps they have those US inspired huggy sessions (eurgh!). Perhaps there are some ex- or current Apple employees who can tell us?

  65. KarlTh

    Customer Service stinks

    Yup. I had a CD player go wrong from Currys. The manager insisted I had to accept a credit note. Eventually had to threaten their head office with trading standards before I got a cash refund, after an incredibly stupid conversation by Email with their Customer Stiffing Centre.

  66. John Colby

    There's supposed to be a new PC world store opening...

    ... in New Oscott, at The Beggar's Bush (name of a pub). New Oscott is between Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield. Hasn't been much building activity there recently, from what I can tell.

    What now amazes me is that how this action wasn't foreseen earlier. The Credit Crunch has been with us since last summer, the retail crisis since before Christmas, and the economic projections available since Northern Rock nearly went under.

    Doesn't anyone in that company look at "the books" any more?

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    PC-World - Temple of Doom

    I like PC World - I mean where else can a man go when the wife is of buying shoes/Plants/rubbish

    I like to wander around and look at the shiny stuff it calms me down.

    I once bought a Fujitsu-Siemens PC from them and it was a good deal.

    No I would not buy their Tech support or any of their warranties.

    But I do want/demand a tech place I can wander around and be at peace with myself while my wife empties my pockets in B&Q/Sparky-Shoes-R-US.

    If they merge with Curry's and I get double the space to wander I will be very happy.

  68. Adrian Clint
    Boffin

    ExDSG supplier

    If their is one thing i've noticed about all the DSG staff on hear is that they seam to have the same problem with the world there.

    Have they never herd of the word "their"?

    Is it a thing they tech them at DSG?

    or maybe it's the same person righting all the same comments under different names?

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Ex DSGI Employee

    I used to work for the group for some time and I can tell you that this has been coming for some time now, It's a shame for the remianing decent staff and i know their numbers are decreasing due to the way the Senior Management treat there staff like children!! I would suggest to those reamining staff to vote with their feet and to walk away now. The whole company from the stores to the B2B model are at risk of drowning.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    its not the fault of the shop staff

    I'm telling you its not the shop staffs fault this has happened its the senior ranks. Don't blame the shop staff.

    The place is full of old timers, with no clue about the future. People trying to protect their jobs and being cut throat about it. As soon as a talented person starts there with some forward thinking, they either get hustled out of a job or stopped from progressing/voicing their opinion.

    Its a company that people either use to get somewhere, or stay for 20- years, never to really make a difference, so the talent gets lost and the old timers continue to make bad decisions.

    Over-budget, failed projects managed by people with no experience + poor decision making = failure.

    I just hope that they get rid of the people that do more harm than good, rather than get rid of the talent.

    The DSG train is finally grounding to a hault.....

  71. steve

    Tech Guy Speaking

    Its no wonder really I agree with a lot of these comments its so rip off on prices, personally I visit approx 40 customers per week, and what amazes me is thats 40 every week 52 weeks a year, surly that says something about the components inside (most of the components are the same especially mobos across brands ecs,foxconn, so nothing of real quality) sometimes we dont know if were fitting good or bad parts

    Oh then theres the small form factor pc's we design ourselves and get philips or some other mug to put there badge on it, did anybody in the design team think about overheating? why arent there any fans??? then they wonder why theres such a high failure rate

    Then if you get a problem you have to call our really expensive phone line and hold for 30 mins only to be told to run a recovery to fix the problem.

    Our award winning diagnostic centre is pure crap so if ours has won awards i wouldnt like to phone the rest, the amount of repeat visits to customers i have to do where they send out faulty parts, or just the wrong parts, then we as engineers get hammered from above because our completion rate is crap.

    Oh and we get a lovely vauxhall corsa or ford fiesta to try and carry everything in! while managers have bigger cars for what there paperwork

    Also why do we have to go to pcw stores to fix their pc's, why cant the guys and girls in their fix it themselves? oh thats right there too busy trying to sell the next person through the door norton antivirus and a surge protector!

    so roll on my redundancy payment I will be happy to leave! the managers are only interested in sales figures not about people, the company had gallop do a staff survey last year, the feedback was so negative there still struggling to release the results of the survey a year later, and their sending all the erea managers on triaining courses so they know how to deal with their staff, i have worked for DSGI for 4 years, in this time they have never supplied me a contract of employment, or have they given me any training, they supply us with a sat nav but if that breaks you have to get it repaired or replace it yourself, they supply us a laptop, wait for it, it has no cd/dvd drive, has 256mb of ram and the processor is the slowest of slows, oh and they give you a company fuel card theres only 2 garages in a 20 mile radious i can use it at supposedly as the company get a bigger discount, however our own personal millage is deducted from our wages at the full rate we pay at the pumps, so there making money of us staff, oh and in 4 years ive never had a bonus, so as you can read from this the company is just as bad to work for.

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Adrian Clint

    Perhaps when commenting on another posters spelling is the one time you should carefully check your own before clicking the post comment button.

    I won't point the mistakes out, are you capable of finding it yourself?

    Clue: there are four

    :)

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Another "Techguy" speaking

    I don't mind what happens to the company, I would happily take redundancy tomorrow, morale is so low on the field service side at the moment.

    I believe the problem with DSG is the same problem you have with many big companies and that is the over reliance on figures and targets. Middle management have completely lost sight of what makes us money and that is happy customers.

    To give an example as a field repairer I may find myself in situations where I would leave a customers house knowing that their product isn't fixed or maybe has a secondary fault but I will choose not to order a part as this will impact on my completion rate. My manager will use the completion rate as an indicator as to how well I am doing my job, so like staff in any other organisation I now work to achieve better figures rather than what I believe my job should be which is repair products in a timely fashion and try to keep the customer as happy as I can. It is likely that I will have received a faulty part anyway as so many jobs are auctioned out to agency staff who have little experience and so tend to return parts incorrectly, this results in faulty parts being redistributed to other engineers.

    I started off my job many years ago with the best of intentions but over the past 5 or so years the company has become so dominated with spreadsheets, figures, targets and initiatives that the only important things now are numbers in cells in spreadsheets and not the customers we want to help, this may make me sound cynical but im sure every one of us who works in a large organisation can relate to what I am saying.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Adrian Clint

    Apologies for previous post Adrian, there are actually seven spelling errors in your post.

    Also I must apologize for my grammatical error, I initially thought there was a single error but later found there to be more so I changed my post but not correctly it would seem.

  75. Tech Girl
    Stop

    My friends and colleagues

    This is the first time I have ever posted a message on any forum, the reason I am doing so is because I am so angry at people who think it is funny that my friends and colleagues could be losing their jobs tomorrow.

    It must be lovely to be so smug and safe in the fact that they are perfect at their jobs and never make mistakes.

    I know pc world is not perfect and i dont care that the cables are over priced, i dont care that you object to us selling tvs (its called making money and growing your market share so you can stay in business) we know things are wrong and we are trying to fix them from the ground up.

    I hope you never have to face redundancy and your pensions stay in tact.

    By the way if you truly want to experience over pricing and poor service I suggest you buy your contact lenses from optical express.

  76. Matt Quinn
    Happy

    SUPERB! NEWS!

    Excellent news!

    I hope the fat, lazy, pig-ignorant slob in a certain Edinburgh branch of Currys who mis-sold the insurance cover on my 77 year old Mother in law's telly rots on the dole 'till he's p-ing into a bag through a tube.

    I wound up springing for a new TV (from another store) rather than leave the old lady without her only source of entertainment. This piece of vermin actually though it FUNNY to rip off an old lady ...and he's was apparently the store MANAGER!

    Scum of the earth! They've been a laughing stock for YEARS; treated people with contempt. They deserve everything that's coming!

  77. Mike
    Happy

    They are human y'know

    Just want people to remember that the majority of the staff in these stores, no matter how limited their knowledge of IT are still human. They face a difficult time with the threat of redundancy in a pretty harsh economic climate.

    I can't help feeling that financially most of the people submitting to this thread are much better paid (or if student then likely to get better paid) than the people working in the stores. It's the company to blame, with poor training and development and even worse management, not the staff who I genuinely think are no worse than any other high street store..

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