In November 2013 I purchased an iPad through my local PC World (Southampton).
The sales person selling this to me offered me 3 months of hardware and technical support for free. For this I unwittingly signed a piece of paper which would sign me up to ongoing payments after this 3 month period. I did clearly state to the sales person I would be purchasing AppleCare, so I would only be taking the 3 free months and would not need to be paying for “advice”.
Now roll forward May 2014. I had never contacted PC world for support on this matter nor had PC World contacted me (post, email or phone) which would have identified my ongoing membership of this “support plan”). Then only when looking through bank statements and doing my household accounts did I notice an odd £7.50 disappearing from my account every month and the name they used for it wasn’t at all obvious for me to immediately identify it being from PC World.
I took a trip into Southampton PC World to double check this with them. Was told the only way to cancel and contest the payments was to phone or email email@example.com. I phoned and after >45 mins of piped music decided to try emailing. After nearly a week I got a reply and I was told I could only cancel by phoning – so again another wasted >45 mins of piped music so decided to email again. Now after >2 weeks I finally had an email to confirm cancelation (and yet another payment had been taken out during this time).
Then a series of polite emails back and forth with me stating my case:
Of ambiguity, underhand sales techniques, lack of transparency and total lack of service.
My emails were eventually blocked (no auto responder) but when resent using a different email address it did auto respond!
So in conclusion?
I will never purchase from PC World, Curries or Carphone Warehouse ever again. I will encourage all of my friends and family to do the same. Shops will all compete on price so only customer service differentiates so, if there is none of that, why bother?
I shall also be putting in a trading standards complaint, on behalf of the less articulate and or vulnerable who could more than easily be ripped off for longer.
It’s not the money it’s the principle.
Also great news: one of my friends is Network Manager at one of the UK’s leading independent schools and just on the brink of ordering 800 laptops for his school from PC World. I would like to think my comments helped him go elsewhere.
The only way these crooks can be stopped is if we all refuse to use them!