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PC Superstore Admits Linux Hinge Repair Mistake 193

Posted by Zonk
from the there-are-some-happy-endings-after-all dept.
Erris writes "PC Superstore says their store manager was wrong to turn away a client with a broken hinge whose machine should have been repaired. 'El Reg put a call in to the DSGi-owned retail giant to get some clarification on PC World's Linux support policy. A spokesman told us that there had simply been a misunderstanding at the store and that, in fact, the normal procedure would be for the Tech Guys to provide a fix. [PC World] will provide a full repair once the firm has made contact with Tikka.'
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PC Superstore Admits Linux Hinge Repair Mistake

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  • It appears... (Score:5, Informative)

    by msauve (701917) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @09:34PM (#20621009)
  • by GreatDrok (684119) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @09:37PM (#20621027) Journal
    The moral of this story is to stay away from PC World. They over price all their components and the machines they sell are crap by and large. They exist to take money from the ignorant and their attitude when their product inevitably breaks is dreadful. The anti-linux attitude is old news as I experienced similar treatment at the PC World in Edinburgh when I had a keyboard fail on my laptop with Linux installed. Fortunately I had XP on it too and was able to prove that the fault wasn't due to Linux.

    Sadly, PC World has also put a lot of the good little computer stores out of business which is why they can behave so badly.
  • Riiiiight (Score:3, Informative)

    by Romancer (19668) <romancer@ d e a t h s d o o r .com> on Saturday September 15, 2007 @09:40PM (#20621067) Journal
    A mistake, that's it.

    And I'm sure that there was some policy that they can quote to back up that "misunderstanding" and it was a totally isolated event.

    Pretty cut and dry denial of warranty of hardware based on software. If the manager denies service it's not a misunderstanding it's policy. Unless they can show the documents that the manager specifically didn't follow, it's a case of consumer backlash changing a companies operating practices.

    I'll believe the "misunderstanding" cop out for the responsibility when they can show policy documents that state that the OS doesn't matter in cases of obvious hardware defect. If they've got that on file, if it was a misunderstanding and every higher level employee involved in that case goes back through basic training for service repair qualification, I'll believe it.
  • Re:It appears... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 15, 2007 @09:44PM (#20621089)
    For those too lazy to read the link, PCWorld is still refusing to fix the laptop. They aren't blaming it totally on Linux, now it is a mix of Linux and saying that the warranty doesn't cover the hinge because that is basic wear and tear.

    And now, my own opinion about PCWorld. They are technological idiots. I've lived in the states and now in the UK, and compared to these idiots those guys at BestBuy are hackers. I honestly don't believe you have to be more qualified to work at PCWorld than at, say, Burger King. You can manage a register, sweep floors? Good enough. They couldn't help even if they wanted to, which they don't. Extrapolating the behaviour of their workers to their management and I'm not surprised at all that it's PCWorld which pulls some crap like this.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 15, 2007 @09:55PM (#20621143)
    This is an interesting story, but must it come from "Erris"? He's the owner of the "twitter" account, and a known troll. The editors should be on the lookout for these things.
  • Re:It appears... (Score:5, Informative)

    by BlueParrot (965239) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @09:57PM (#20621155)
    I bet you this guy didn't quite expect that his name would be linked by one of the Internet's most busy web-pages, and not in a good way... I mean seriously, slashdot will accidentally DDoS news agencies due to the large number of visitors. Companies pay small fortunes for that kind of attention... They have now managed to get worldwide bad publicity TWICE due to this laptop. The words "the most expensive $94 Orbitz will ever make" springs to mind. For those of you who don't know what I mean, here's the link: []
  • Re:It appears... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Cafe Alpha (891670) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @11:20PM (#20621695) Journal
    Asshole. You expect the Orbitz scheduling program to give you a valid schedule. It's not the customer's place to be debugging Orbitz incompetently maintained database.

    Not only was the schedule invalid, but it depended on the customer paying for transportation between stops without informing the customer of that fact.

    It's quite the incompetent travel agent who books you flights, but neither books transportation between stops nor informs you that you need to do this. That's HIS JOB that's why you use a fucking agent.

    In this case, the agent was an incompetently written and maintained program. Not the customer's responsibility.

    So they wrapped a shit product up in a bow and sold it. The guy notices all of one minute later that he's been cheated and tries to fix the purchase. No doubt, by California law he's entitled to change his mind, but never mind that, any fucking competent business can deal.

    Orbitz failed. And they had incompetent management that not only failed the customer, but failed every kind of public relations by excusing the inexcusable and releasing the customer's private information. My God, how can anyone be that incompetent?
  • by SlappyBastard (961143) on Sunday September 16, 2007 @12:03AM (#20621963) Homepage
    I didn't think of my remarks so much pro-MS as pro-smartassed. Usually when people suggest tossing fish and using crowbars and taking laptops to a window replacement business, they're not being peculiarly serious. BTW, in the original story part of the issue was the company refused to service the laptop because it had Linux installed and thereby was considered to have a voided warranty. Hence, the joke.
  • by cheros (223479) on Sunday September 16, 2007 @02:25AM (#20622773)
    This was a UK incident, and the customer in the UK is pretty well protected against this sort of nonsense (caveat: as demonstrated, they will still have to put effort in - retailers still don't seem to care enough not to piss off their customers). The shop effectively broke the law by refusing to repair the laptop (but why did the guy not contact the manufacturer directly instead?).

    I specifically state 'UK' here because that's the only country I know this for sure of. It's pretty reasonable to assume this sort of protection is available elsewhere as well. What you suggest would amount to an override of local law which is impossible. You can't even get rid of such a law in small print in the contract as it will be found invalid in court - not that everyone + dog in business doesn't try..

    I had Dolphin Kitchens try to pull a fast one on me that way, all the way to a 'regional manager' telling me that I signed and it was thus valid. I spoke to Trading Standards and approximately 15 minutes after they had a little chat with the company I got a phone call claiming a 'trainee manager' error. The moment I hear that excuse the company's off my list. If they can't even be upfront and tell me they screwed up I can't invest any trust in them.

    The incident response of "it was a mistake" is total and utter BS. I'm pretty sure that the customer will have asked for a manager to discuss this, and said manager will have told him the same which suggest it's company policy (not store, COMPANY policy) rather than "a mistake".

    I think the only mistake they feel they will have made is not even the public relations hit because it's mainly on geek sites and sufficiently 'geeky' customers avoid that shop anyway unless it's something simple. No, the mistake they feel they have made is attracting Trading Standards and Consumer Direct's attention to the store - no store likes to be picked over by a Government department proving they're needed, especially if the validity of the complaint is well above doubt.

    So, if you want to do anything I would suggest telling you NON-geek friends. See if your local newspaper wants to carry the story..
  • Re:It appears... (Score:5, Informative)

    by l33t_f33t (974521) on Sunday September 16, 2007 @04:22AM (#20623419) Homepage
    Your fears are correct, I have a friend who did work experience at PC world. None of the staff had any idea what they were talking about, including those who were supposed to be fixing computers. In fact, the PC fixing unit was one of the worst. If they cannot solve the problem by putting a CD in, or opening it up and checking all the parts are there then they send it back to head office. There is also a "Service" they offer called something like a PC health check. They charge £50 for it. This service involves putting a CD in the PC to check for viruses.

    This is why, despite needing a job I am not applying to PC world.

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