Lord Kalms follows up my Tech Guys complaint

image A week ago I wrote here about the disgraceful service I was experiencing from Tech Guys, who have had my laptop for two months and failed in that time to replace its broken screen or communicate with me what was happening. My experience with them was a nightmare.

Little did I know that it would end up being investigated by Lord Kalms (pic)himself. He is the life president and former chairman of DSG International which owns Dixons, Currys, The Link and PC World outlets. Tech Guys are based in PC World, as well as other outlets.

Unknown to me, my difficulty was brought to his attention by Iain Dale after he read my disgruntled post. I was amazed when I received this email early yesterday (7.17am) from Lord Kalms’ PA:

“I understand from Iain Dale that you have been having a problem with PC World. Lord Kalms has asked if you could let me know what has happened and perhaps we can help sort it out. If you would be kind enough to e-mail me with the details I will do what I can.”

This was followed up by a call later in the day from PC World team leader Stuart McArthur who checked and discovered that my laptop was, coincidentally, being returned to me yesterday. I had no idea this was happening and, as I was out, the driver left a card. I am hoping it will be re-delivered today. Stuart was very apologetic and admitted that the service I received was not acceptable. He offered me £100 in PC World gift vouchers by way of apology.

There has also been a hot debate going on at a PC Advisor forum on this sorry saga and the editor is considering running a story about it in their magazine.

As a result of this unpleasant experience, particularly so for my husband who made many frustrating calls on my behalf, it seems obvious that the customer service and communications side of Tech Guys needs to be reviewed, that they should consider how they can improve their internal and external communications and stakeholder engagement. I hope these serious shortcomings will be acted on instantly so others do not have to suffer similar disappointing experiences. Stuart did say that they would be followed up with the departments involved.

And I do hope so because not everyone is fortunate enough to have contacts or blog readers with friends in high places to call on!

This is a very competitive market where a good reputation is essential. I always maintain that the one thing you cannot buy is a good reputation, it has to be earned, and its value is priceless.

When I wrote my post last week, I deliberately included as many Tech Guys and PC World url links as possible to feed the Google juice. Sure enough, if you type the words Tech Guys complaints into Google, my posts are right at the top of the search engine. Why didn’t their media monitors pick up on this and respond? They should be closely following all conversations on the internet and instantly acting on them, like Dell and Microsoft.

Btw, please don’t all rush to Iain at once with your consumer complaints!

Update:  12.15pm, seeing is believing, my laptop has just arrived.


  1. Peter McKenna

    I have asked tech guys( for my money back.
    Their email address is no longer functional .
    Like smart guys I suspect I am a naive victim of their fraud.
    Do you know their address and phone number?

  2. can you please give me a email address or postal address to make a complaint against techguys/whatever happens and currys.

    from june 2010 i have been having problems with my laptop which is within warranty and also has an extended warranty plus i pay insurance every month. my main problem has been my battery and when it went in for a check without my permission they deleted all my files and photos. the only problem was that some of the photos are off my daughter was is now deceased.

    all i want is someone to listen to me and not pass me from person to person and give me promises that they will phone me back and dont. i still have no laptop they keep telling me they will send me vouchers to get a new one and i am still waiting. today i have just had a shouting match down the phone and i am not at my wits end.

    please help me

    • Nichola, I’m sorry to hear about your difficulties. It’s outrageous how this kind of thing happens. All I can suggest is that you contact Watchdog.

  3. Davey P

    Im sorry to butt in on this, but its all fair enough branding the Tech Guys rubbish etc etc over one thing, but thats with absolutely any company, you will always get the odd customer who will have a hate-for-life over one little thing.
    They offer great services and until a customer like yourself has a problem you wish you had taken out more protection on your laptop.
    The Tech Guys have one of the most difficult jobs in PCWorld, and ive seen the sort of customers they get at the desk, its absolutely disgusting what people treat them like, an absolute disgrace.
    Customers need to be more understanding towards people on refunds desks at any store, its not theyre fault you cant get something sorted, they are only doing their job.

  4. Ken, I really sympathise. I think your disappointing experience will certainly be a caution to others. I wouldn’t buy a computer from there again either. I shall stick to Dell.

  5. Ken Royden


    Many thanks for reading my email and responding. Still no response from PC World – who cares any more, they don’t. I will never shop with them again. I will also encourage others not to shop with them. The guy who actually sold the computer to us was knowledgable and nice, so they are not all bad, but the Tech Guys are not of the same mould. We all like to buy things we want, with the expectation that if anything goes wrong, this large organisation would resolve it – after all, they have a department to do that don’t they? and insurance to cover for problems? They failed. I don’t trust them any more.

    Thanks for allowing me to put this on your website so others may read this. Pretty pointless complaining to them!



  6. Aga, I’ve been reading the PC Advisor threads and see you have lots of support there, that the Forum Editor is personally following this up for you. I agree your experience is absolutely disgraceful, no customer should be treated in such a shabby way. Please do let me know the outcome. And good luck.

  7. Aga, I read your comment on the PC Advisor forum and do sympathise, I know just how desperate you must be feeling. I would suggest you put your complaint in writing and address it to PC World Customers Service, Tech Guys head office and PC World Chief Exec. I’m sorry I have no contact details, but you can find them on the web. Why not also contact Watchdog too?
    I wish you luck.

  8. Ken, what a sorry tale. I don’t know what to say, I really do sympathise as I know what a nightmare it is when we have problems with our computers. I’m an ordinary person too, but a lot of it was luck, that someone influential picked up on the post about my difficulty and forwarded it to Lord Kalms.

  9. Ken Royden

    Hi Ellee

    Just come across your site. I promise I will keep it brief.
    Those PC World Tech Guys really are rubbish!
    My girlfriend, a childminder, bought a laptop from them not quite a year ago. We also bought Norton 360, all new items mind. We put it on. It started deleting the “registry” files. Didn’t get much luck with PC World over this (Can’t happen!) so wrote an email to the Head Office. No reply. Took the computer into work, they laughed and took Norton off for me. Then they showed my the complaints sites about Norton and PC World on the internet. The chap at work (I worked for a School Academy) kindly fixed the computer and put agv virus checker on for me (it’s free and works very well) and took Norton off. So, the computer worked ok. We also took out the Tech Guys £8.99 insurance if ‘anything goes wrong’. You also get a free health check. They sent us a letter – your health check is now due. Remember, the computer is working and ok. Ok then, we pop it down to the Orpington branch last week. They did the ‘health check’, we take it back home, the Start menu now is not working. They also disabled the avg virus checker, and the space button is intermittent.They also restored Norton back onto the computer (they knew the story about Norton). We took it back to them, they say it wasn’t them because they ‘did’t touch it’, as it is done remotely. Then they say it must have a virus. Well, it didn’t because their detailed report they gave me said so. One of the other Tech Guys looked at the report and realised that some fo the registry files had been ‘deleted’. To-ing and fro-ing, they take it back ‘as a favour;, as we were ‘not covered, it’s Microsofts fault’ (Yes, they did say that). I popped back the next week – it was not done. I waited for ages in the store. They were told previously to fix it and not reformat it as we had the children’s pictures on there and course work (she’s doing an Open University course etc)which we wanted to keep and were not sure we had copies of it. They agreed to that, but they reformatted it anyway. They did take a copy of our documents for us, but not the other items. It doesn’t work properly again. I give up. Can you please advise your readers not to use the Tech Guys for three reasons
    1. You take out the cover for £8.99 believing you are covered for problems with your computer – they then say you are not, but there is no comprehensive cover they are offering except the £8.99 thing(remember, they did this ‘as a favour)
    2. Buying a brand new computer, with a brand new virus checker (Norton) can still lead to your brand new equipment actually being corrupted. Just try getting anyone to believe you though…
    3. They are not professional. It was all an inconvenience to them me being there, and I didn’t do the strop thing around the store (maybe I should have…)

    Thank you for reading this, I just hope that if you needed ammunition to stick it to PC World bosses who seem to be beyond reach of the ordinary Joe sixpacks like me, on behalf of us readers, please do so.

    best regards
    Ken Royden

  10. Candoor, it is great when the internet can bring positive results like this.

  11. wow, thank you, this is how the internet should work… interactive communication to facilitate improvement in all areas of our collective lives…

    i agree with Quasar9 about the need for such improvements in health care (my field) as well… he linked this post in a comment to my Dell experience post about issues i am having with Dell that lead me to question whether The Dell Corporation is using the old bait-and-switch technique on The Dell Outlet Site to lure potential customers into giving personal information for a follow-up unsolicited sales call…

    it’s only been a week, but so far Dell is not following up on their promises to resolve the issue or prove they do not use what may amount to fraud tactics on the Dell Outlet Site in the time frame they set out in response emails…

    I’ve been looking around your site and want to thank you for the time and energy you put into your web presence… hope you, your laptop, and life brings you more smiles than frowns along the way 🙂

  12. Lee Ford

    Nice one Ellee,

    I have had my Laptop for under a year and it’s been repaired on three occasions, and on top of that they have now broken the case.

    They have said that it wasn’t them, but the courier and I should take it up with them.

    I wonder if Lord Kalm could put a word in for me? No harm in asking…eh?

  13. Dear Ellee,

    You do realise just how sexist dixons group and pcworld are being, don’t you.
    tech ‘guys’!?
    I’m a woman and I am a technician. I am not a guy!
    As a woman and a journalist with clout, can you not join the many women who are already picking up on this and state that it is out of order.

  14. My £100 vouchers arrived today from PC World. I may treat myself to an iPod.

  15. Glad you got it sorted and almost have your laptop. I also hope it is satisfactorily repaired.

  16. Glad your problems are being sorted Ellee, such a pity that this internet thing had only just been invented when I suffered similar mishaps with Curry’s and a microwave oven so many years ago!

  17. the power of celebrity in the UK today.

    Exhibit 1.

  18. Well done on getting Stan the Man on the case. Ellee, there’s only one reason why these things happen in “customer service”. Listen in to Geoff Burch at Viewpoint Business

    In fact, every business should check out Geoff Burch

  19. [Makes note in diary never to use Tech Guys] Thanks, Ellee.

  20. Good, Ellee. We’re supposed to be a ‘service economy’ now because ‘that’s what we’re good at.’

    I don’t have space here to list the amount of complaints I’ve had to make in order to get shoddy service put right. It seems everything needs three attempts at least to get right. But hey, I’m an ex copper and now a train driver – both roles dedicated to inconveniencing the travelling public. Pay back I suppose.

  21. I think at the end, everything happened at once. It was purely coincidental that my laptop was returned the same day Lord Kalms took up the matter. And the forum editor of PC Advisor was also looking into this up for me.

    The important point is that I hope some good comes out of this if Lord Kalms follows it through and customer relations and communications are now improved.

  22. Yep, obviously it’s who you know 😉

  23. So Elle,
    it seems it is still a matter of who you know.

    But funny how we get more accountability from manufacturers and consumer goods, than we can expect from health care.

    Maybe there should be a complaints department for health care that addresses the complaint and improves ways of treating or dealing with the medical complaint, rather than designing successful procedures to offhandedly discredit patients as making unreasonable demands, or intimidate the patient with threats … of being blacklisted and or throwing the ‘book’ at them.

    I guess the world is not perfect, but in a consumer society – isn’t the client always right? Not so in health care (nhs or private).


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