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The computer retail conspiracy. (my theory).

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posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 06:18 AM
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I bought my PC from PC World, which is a huge big chain PC store for those who don't know.

About 2 years into having it, it broke down. I was paying for breakdown insurance from PC world, so I took it back into the shop to be looked at. The screen went very dark and it kept saying 'boot from disc' on startup, and wouldn't load windows.

The service I received was appauling to say it mildly, they were very rude, refused to give me a store contact number to check on progress, and started very public arguments with myself & my partner. I really think they took an instant dislike to us because he has long hair & I have a nondescript a grunge/metaler appearance.

I never fight & I never argue with strangers, but they pushed me over my threshold, and I did engage with them in a way I perhaps shouldn't have, but when your being harassed & told 'you broke this machine' over & over, it really does grind you down.

Anyway, we were told we would have to wait for an engineer from the insurance department to come out, as the store repair team couldn't touch it. Fair enough, I was paying for this insurance and I hoped their service would be a lot more swift & polite than the store's!!

About a day later I got a phone call from the store telling me my diagnosis of a faulty graphics card was right, and the engineer would replace the graphics card based on PC world's diagnosis, fair enough.

Anyway, they replaced the graphics card, showed me the PC up & running, rebooted it in front of me, and away we went, thinking the problem was solved. How in hells name they got it to start up TWICE in front of me will always remain a mystery, because of the below paragraph.

We got it home, I hooked it back up, and bang, within 5 minutes of it being up & running, it froze again & the boot from disc error was back.
So, back we went to the store, I was enraged but somehow kept my cool as PC world staff told me I had broken it.

We asked if they could try it on the internet, because my partner thought it could be something at our end, or to do with the internet,but they told us they did not have internet in the store.

I asked that they try & boot it up in front of me, and they saw the problem for themselves, and this time admitted that they, sposedly trained IT experts, were 'perplexed'


After about an hour of head scratching, they concluded that the hard drive was faulty and would have to be replaced. They also told me a insurance engineer could not come back to the store for several more days. By this point we just wanted to get the damn thing out of the store and be shut of them,
So we paid £80 for a new hard drive.

When this was done, we caught staff using the computer ON THE INTERNET, after telling us there was no connection in the store.

They also kept telling me that if I or my partner showed up at the store to check on the progress (they refused to give us a contact number) they would condem the machine for 6 weeks.

This was in 2008, the computer ran fine for a year after that until February of this year, when it crashed again with conficker virus. (Which I got removed by a small local store after my attempts failed, and had it back in 2 days!! fixed & error free).

I know this virus is contracted from the internet, and now my PC is like a fortress, so good luck to it trying to get back in. However my partner really beleives that PC World have configured a lot of their machines to crash each year. It was very funny how it did it exactly a year later, my birthday week, just like last time, which was also in February.

You read a lot of reports about the same thing, PC's bought from certain stores crashing once a year with various issues.

Is it possible, that they might be setting PC's to break down each year? I know it sounds far fetched, but I wouldn't put anything past a multi national company like PC World, not at all.

I don't know if any tech geeks could help shed more light on this?


[edit on 31-8-2009 by The Chez]




posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 06:27 AM
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In the UK, a till receipt for any electrical items gives you 1 year's money back guarantee regardless of what the stores say in order to sell very expensive cover.

Another contributory factor in me really thinking I might be onto something here. The machines break just outside this guarantee, so you either have to pay for cover, pay for repairs, or pay for a new machine.

[edit on 31-8-2009 by The Chez]



posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 06:30 AM
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This is why I dont buy computers from stores or major manufacturers like Dell. Its much better to create a computer on newegg.com or buy all the hardware and put it together yourself. This way no one company can make all the money on repairs and parts replacement. If a piece of hardware doesn't work right, simply switch to a new hardware company. A lot of ipods seem to break right after the warranty runs out...



posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 06:31 AM
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im a tech geek ill be sure to help.
the only way they can make a pc crash every year is with some hardware tweakering,couse they cant just install a spyware virus,everyone who understands a damn thing will find it in processes or startup,or with antivirus help.
the problem probably is that they use second hand parts,especialy hard drives,hard drives are so unreliable these days,get a usb ram drive or something,atleast ram/flash memory dosnt get bad sectors.
well u should have known that if its a "cant find boot device" its your hard drive its obvious,but for them treating you like crap...i cant agree.
most of the fellas working this privlileged job are complete morrons.
find another store when they appretiate clients and dosnt treat them like crap.
i hope i get such job in canada,im going to own them all
and dude liek the other guy sayd,buy a computer in parts,to suits your needs,and get threadfire or kaspersky antivirus,theyr both really light,im not lying. and update your windows man,use firefox+adblock,were 2009 u cant get a virus O_o
u2u me when u have trouble brother,i can always help you

[edit on 31-8-2009 by Stillalive]

[edit on 31-8-2009 by Stillalive]



posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 06:33 AM
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I'm sort of self tutoring myself in hardware setups atm, so hopefully one day I will build my own system. Till that day however, I will choose my components, & get a small store to build my machine for me.

I wonder how they could pre plan hardware breakdowns, is it just the hardware is so cheap & crap that it breaks off it's own accord? Or is there something more sinister going on where these items are actualy programmed to start faulting on certain dates.



posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 06:36 AM
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Originally posted by Stillalive
im a tech geek ill be sure to help.
the only way they can make a pc crash every year is with some hardware tweakering,couse they cant just install a spyware virus,everyone who understands a damn thing will find it in processes or startup,or with antivirus help.
the problem probably is that they use second hand parts,especialy hard drives,hard drives are so unreliable these days,get a usb ram drive or something,atleast ram/flash memory dosnt get bad sectors.
well u should have known that if its a "cant find boot device" its your hard drive its obvious,but for them treating you like crap...i cant agree.
most of the fellas working this privlileged job are complete morrons.
find another store when they appretiate clients and dosnt treat them like crap.
i hope i get such job in canada,im going to own them all
and dude liek the other guy sayd,buy a computer in parts,to suits your needs,and get threadfire or kaspersky antivirus,theyr both really light,im not lying. and update your windows man,use firefox+adblock,were 2009 u cant get a virus O_o
u2u me when u have trouble brother,i can always help you

[edit on 31-8-2009 by Stillalive]

[edit on 31-8-2009 by Stillalive]


Well I know now I should have known what it was =/ I wasn't as good back then as I am now with stuff like that.

I use NOD32 anti virus & spyware now, it's brilliant. It stops drive by downloading, blocks viruses from websites & scans better than anything I've ever used before. Plus it doesn't slow the computer down like some can.



posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 06:41 AM
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Wow i cant believe they changed out your video card when the problem was obviously the hard drive.
You can buy a jump drive and make a boot disk out of it. They even sell premade jump drives with all the boot files you need to get your crashed computer up and running again.



posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 06:46 AM
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i think planned lifespans are a pretty common design practice. cars are designed to calve at 120,000 miles, mobile phones die after about 8 months, computers get slow and crashey after about 12-18 months. it's a horrible practice to make you keep buying.

a new thing, which i almost hate more, is when they also make goods quite breakable and delicate so that you damage them. for example, mobile phones used to have a plastic cover that went over the screen or were designed as clamshell type things to protect it if you knock against something. now the damn screens will break if you put them in your pocket with your keys.



posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 06:54 AM
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The problem with places like PC World is that they will often use the cheapest components, that means not always the best components. There is no conspiracy about parts breaking on purpose, that's just silly, though I can see why some people might jump to that conclusion.

If a computer starts up like yours, with the error yours gave, it is almost certainly a hard drive/boot sector issue. Graphics issues usually result in no on screen at all, visual artefacts, or a system that becomes unresponsive after some time (overheating). And here is the issue again with stores like PC World, most of their techs are at best incompetent at worst just plain stupid and should not be allowed anywhere near a computer.

Building a computer is not difficult, in fact, with a little knowledge you could save yourself hundreds in both the price of hardware and in servicing costs. You can also save by not spending money on useless extended guarantees and most decent manufacturers will offer a minimum of a year, up to lifetime on their products anyway.

It pays to learn to do it yourself, but people need to understand that computers are not as complicated as they think they are. Once you get over the initial fear of poking around inside a case, you'll wonder why in the hell people take their stuff to chains.



[edit on 31-8-2009 by quackers]



posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 07:09 AM
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Well I have never heard of PC world in the US but my friend got a new HP laptop 2years ago and two days after her warranty expired it crashed and the motherboard was fried. She had to buy a new computer! I know a few others who had PC issues right after their warranties which always made me wonder. I myself use Apple and I have never had a problem with them. They are always very friendly and helpful when you go in for repairs. They also have internet at the stores and will hook your computer up at these stations they have set up so you can test it before you leave and make sure its to your standards and that nothing is wrong. If I were you I would contact the corporate office and file a complaint on how they treated you.



posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 07:12 AM
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computer stores and thier ethics

i have never actually done this to anyone else but had it happen to me it was just they didnt think i knew anything and caught them out

i have had computers for on 20 years now, i build my own and for others,
one of the tricks in old days was to build a machine for a client using a larger hard drive ,patition it to a smaller size then in six moths or what ever the client comes back wants more hard drive space all that happens they repartition the drive and charge you for a new one keep in mind it used to cost 1 dollar a meg so a 500 meg drive costs 500 dollars plus the fitting fee . same goes for video cards you used to be able to insert vram on the card by hand so same effect. today its a bit harder to do this sort of thing but to put a little file on youre computer thats works of the bios clock to make it crash isnt to hard to do especaily in the days of dos
for a large retail store to do this i think not ,usauly they just use so so parts and charge top end price for it.
but i have heard of some other nifty tricks retailers do.



posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 07:14 AM
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Originally posted by Darkice19
Wow i cant believe they changed out your video card when the problem was obviously the hard drive.
You can buy a jump drive and make a boot disk out of it. They even sell premade jump drives with all the boot files you need to get your crashed computer up and running again.


The dark screen issue was fixed on the initial fix, where they changed the GC though, so I know that was part of the problem.



posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 07:34 AM
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My advice,

Buy a Mac. I don't want to start a Mac > PC war here.... I grew up as a sys admin for PC but every 'windows' machines I ever had fell over at some point. Every Mac I have had / have has never fallen over. They cost a couple of quid more (although you can save a few quid with eBay, the refurb store or education).

If you do go retail try people with good customer support such as Novatech.

Other tips - good AV (not Norton)....
Sign up and use a service like opendns.com- very good service.

It's possible they could add in some bits and bobs to cause a machine to fall over quite easily, but it would also be quite easy to find. I think they main factor is PC World have not got a clue.



posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 07:35 AM
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Originally posted by Vipassana
This is why I dont buy computers from stores or major manufacturers like Dell. Its much better to create a computer on newegg.com or buy all the hardware and put it together yourself.


Totally agree


Building a PC is a lot easier than most people think. My last build had a couple of faulty parts but I purchased high end components from reputable companies and the parts were replaced and back to me within 1 week of shipping them.

The best part about building your own is you save so much money. I built mine for around $1200 U.S (gaming machine) and did a build of similar components on Dell's website and that would have cost me over $1000 more going with them.



posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 07:42 AM
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I think you should report them to the better business bureau.



posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 07:50 AM
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PC world's staff are complete idiots, once I was looking at anti virus programs, and one of their staff was following me round for some reason, so I turned round & asked if you had to pay for the one I was looking at each year, you know, many good ones have a subscription each year like my NOD32 does.

They replied 'YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR ALL OF THEM' as if they thought I thought you could just walk out of the shop without paying. They had NO idea about any of the products they were selling, none at all.



posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 08:01 AM
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I would NEVER buy a complete machine from PC world - NEVER!

The only consistent things about them is selling you crap machines - making the customer think they are getting an up to date powerful machine when you clearly are not usually (even more so at the lower end of the prices)... There staff are hardly trained AT ALL, the bull I've overheard some of the sales guys prattling on about
... They ALWAYS push the insurance and the extended warentees on you that are worth almost nothing.

I will only shop in there for individual things that I could get anywhere else (blank disks - things like that)... My computer is one that I have just built over time, people toss out perfectly good but out of date hardware all the time - usually for some quite silly reasons! So a few years back I just got hold of a basic machine, then I've just upgraded it bit by bit - it never breaks or crashes (any more
) and it will run almost any thing except from the most graphics intense latest games and that's only cos I'm using the onboard graphics - I could get a separate graphics card - but if I brought a new one that would be the most expensive part of the rig!

Seriously I would tell everyone not to buy a rig at PC world - they are a joke.... They depend on the fact that many people are scared by computers, unwilling to experiment a bit (and why would you - you would invalidate a warranty and then everything from there on would be your fault)..... I bang on to my family members LET ME DESIGN YOUR PC!!! I will tailor right down to your desires AND EVERY SINGLE COMPONENT WILL BE COVERED BY A SEPARATE WARRANTY!!!! -- Hows that for piece of mind?! You get your own free personal technical support with direct dial! - my mobile phone no less, and it will cost more or less the same as buying junk from an untrained geek who will feed you a crock and they snort at you with his girlfriendless buds out the back.

But noooo, next time I see them they have gone to PC world and got "a good deal" they think they have saved them selves time and effort - and have added piece of mind because they paid extra for loads of words on a piece of paper. Oh well, they will be pulling their hair out soon enough.



posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 08:11 AM
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Sorry about all you bad luck!

I had some problems with a jerk at CompUsa awhile back. Some retail clerk smarted off to me and was whispering crap under his breath to his buddy, I don't take lightly to getting pushed around so I went off on him (in a calm, collective way, never shouting or swearing) turns out that he was already on probation and that was the third time he got caught hassling a customer. The entire store was closed down about a year later. Guess that's part of what happens with horrible customer service.

Try tigerdirect.com, I bought a PC and Flat Screen TV/Monitor 3 years ago from them, they both run everyday all day and I haven't had one problem.



posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 08:28 AM
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Why does this thread keep getting jumped from forum to forum? It started out in the technology forum of ATS, then jumped general conspiracies, then to Rants on BTS, now it's in chitchat.


[edit on 31-8-2009 by The Chez]



posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 08:32 AM
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reply to post by The Chez

Ah PC World. Anybody who isn't from the UK will never appreciate your pain


There are bad stores in the USA and Canada but they don't even begin to compare with PC World. The staff know nothing, in fact that's the way they want it - they actually turn DOWN people who have a clue. I have lots of hilarious stories


I overheard a woman in there one day trying to buy a CD Burner, which cost twice what it should, and they were going to charge her 70 quid to install it. I almost whispered in her ear that I'd do it for free, but wasn't sure how she'd take that, so I didn't. But seriously, it's disgusting. They were making way too much profit off the hardware to start with.

But yeah - it's not that they make things that self destruct on purpose (PC World wouldn't know how!) but they do use crap components that they are well aware are likely to die in about a year. I'd tell you to avoid them but sadly there really isn't anywhere better in the UK when you need something in a hurry. Somehow they managed to kill the competition.


Originally posted by AlwaysQuestion
My advice,

Buy a Mac.


I'd say that's a falacy, and I'm typing this on my 2 month old MacBook Pro
I've had a ton of problems with Apple hardware over the last few years, and they're no better than anywhere else unless you've purchased the rather expensive "AppleCare". Conversely I've not really had any problems with non-Apple hardware. But I need both OSes, so...


Originally posted by Now_Then
But noooo, next time I see them they have gone to PC world and got "a good deal"

don't you HATE that? The number of times I've had people ask for my advice because they know I know what I'm doing, and then they just completely ignore me because they let some idiot talk them into thinking they're getting a "good deal". Argh!




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