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View Full Version : The PC Company Again....



14-02-2002, 08:38 PM
I don't like being negative, and like to see NZ companies succeeding, but the question of quality shouldn't be allowed to rest.

With all due respect to PC World, the use of the PC World Rosette in the PC Company advertising does not have any officially recognised standing, and certainly does not have any meaning at all as far as quality is concerned.

Colin Brown did not fully answer all my questions regarding quality, and in particular I was disturbed with his rather slick reply that it would be easy for them to obtain ISO accreditation.

That answer in itself says that he or the Company do not understand what Quality Assurance is all about, because it is CERTAINLY NOT EASY AT ALL (sorry about the shouting) to obtain accreditation, it shows a naivete. Again I speak as one who was a Telarc representative at DSIR, and have been through many assessments.

As far as I know, there is only one computer manufacturer ISO 9001 accredited in NZ, and that is Silicon Systems Ltd. of Petone. My experience of their products indicates a very high standard of assembly, (and no hot melt glue).

As the PC Company claims to be the No. 1 NZ PC Brand, and Best Manufacturer, it is really incumbent upon them to give credence to these claims and actively seek ISO accreditation, indeed they should already have done so.

At the very least, the various accusations that have been made should indicate to them that there are problems, and these allegations should warrant a full internal audit of their procedures.

As I said previously ISO accreditation would be a valuable sales tool.

( As an aside, the Gisborne cancer enquiry and similar medical scandals would not have occurred if Quality Assurance procedures had been practised)

14-02-2002, 09:40 PM
Careful, they may be listening.....

But seriously, no company can produce perfect product every time. I have seen two Matrox VGA cards fail in a set of four IBM machines that were built at the same time.

Stuff happens. As long as the repairs are made good in a reasonable time.

As for ISO. My understanding is that it doesn't mean you do things well, just that you do things the same way all the time.

Let's see what Colin has to say.

r e t

14-02-2002, 10:01 PM
Wow! read this post, so went back to read the last one - too much. I thought Dad was the only one having trouble with PC co. He bought one back in October. Still trying to get it going. He lives in Dannevirke, so has to tote it over to Palmerston North each time to get it fixed. It took a month to get it (after he paid cash) and apparently it had had several motherboards by then. Its had another one since. The cd writer gets so hot you can't touch it, and it's been no end of bother, crashing regularly. He is bringing it up to Hamilton (Where I live) to get it fixed at the factory next week - I hope they will sort it out. Its a bit much for the old fella really (he's coming up 74).I have visited their shop up here several times as I WAS considering buying one of their machines. The guys in the shop have always come across as knowing their stuff and seem really helpful, but as you all keep saying - cheap is what you get if cheap is what you pay. Outwardly, the only thing I saw wrong with the product was the requirement to use long nose pliers to remove floppies from the stupidly deeply submerged front face of the floppy drive - it's crappy! So where do I look now for a new PC? A guy at work tried to get PBTech to make one to his own specs - all the best bits from all the reviews, but they couldn't get the varios parts to ever work together. Fair dues to the chaps at PB - they fully refunded, but my workmate didn't get his dream PC. I believe that the deceased PC General had a very high failure rate, but I had 2 great trouble-free machines from them. I bought my last one from a small shop in Hamilton called PC Power (a KTX brand) - works fine but not upgradeable - but everything is built into the motherboard and no expansion ports. I got what I paid for, and good service from them, but they only seem to advertise inexpensive PCs so I guess they are again the cheaper (competitve) components. So where do those of us who are not so willing to experiment with expensive componentry go for a good pc?

15-02-2002, 12:00 AM
i just had a look at a mates pccompany computer. hardware seem ok, no glue probs but.....the werid thing was their antivirus. they don't have a disk for it so i assume its on the restore disk. its nortons ver4 (95-97) on a winME machine. i'm a little surprised its actualy working but the main thing is what is a very old software with a new os??? looks like an attack of the cheaps.

colin response about the cpu temps was pretty lame but i'll take that up with him at a later date.i've got a new case and i'm working on the thermals at the mo. 1.4 atho down to 45c without cpu cool progs running and i'm waiting for the proper fans to turn up. not to shabby for an all aluminium heatsink and medium speed(quiet)fan.

15-02-2002, 12:25 AM
Hi Terry

I too was bothered quite a bit by Colin Brown's response.

I decided to let it go, because I thought the poor guy was getting enough of a hammering, and because I really have no axe to grind in this case (despite making fun of their advertising in an earlier thread).

However, you have raised a valid point. Any computer company operating in NZ is subject to comment and criticism and ought to expect it as part of doing business.

First of all, before I get into it, let me say that I genuinely respect Colin Brown for 'fronting' in the forum.

To his post:

He starts out by saying that he is 'incredibly proud' of his product. I really don't see what relevance that has to the concerns raised by the earlier correspondents.

Then he goes on to claim that they are 'constantly flamed' about their components. I saw some robust criticism, but I didn't see any posts saying, 'The PC Company are a pack of [enter your favourite flame insult].' So that's a bit of an overreaction.

A bit later, he writes, 'I don't apologise for ensuring our PCs are not DOA due to bad freight handling.' (This is in regard to the hot-glue question.)

That statement really worries me. Their gear is getting knocked about, so the solution is to hide the evidence of the mistreatment? And when someone tells you up-front that there will be 'no apologies', you know they've already made up their mind.

The reference to Erin as 'old FAT BOY' would be understandable in a private exchange, but we expect better in the public arena from someone representing a prominent company.

Then there's a bit of a rant about 'Tall Poppy Syndrome', which, This is such a cop out, that I have to admit it annoyed me intensely.

There is of course such a thing as Tall Poppy Syndrome, but this ain't it.

Even by NZ standards, The PC Company is only a moderately successful company.

A Tall Poppy is an human being who has become very famous or very well-respected and so has engendered envy in a portion of the population. There might also be a FEW dominant companies (IBM, Microsoft) that could fall into the same category.

A Hamilton computer assembly company with a rather 'folksy' image is not in any position to be calling itself a 'Tall Poppy' except perhaps in relation its less successful competitors (none of whom are in this forum).

They flatter themselves.

Then there's the last sentence, which is simply a bit of advertising blather:

'... good job for our customers ... compelling offers ... latest technology ... good service and support ... for over 20 years ... enviable record ...'

The overall tone of his post is that The PC Company is perfect and anyone who criticizes is either talking rubbish or trying to knock down a 'tall poppy'.

There seems to be no willingness to address the specific issues raised or to approach the problem with a 'let's find out the truth' attitude. I'm really not sure what a tour of the factory would prove.

It was advised in the earlier post that those with concerns should prepare a case and submit it to the PC Co. management. That would normally be sound advice, but judging by the statements of their MD, in this case it would simply be a waste of time.

I think the 'pride' expressed in the first few words of his post is indicative of the underlying problem: Any criticism of The PC Company is a criticism of his 'golden child', who is never at fault and can do no wrong.

15-02-2002, 09:04 AM
Ray,

try comet internet in henderson (if you're anywhere close). They will build to spec, REALLY know their stuff and pricing is sharp. Ask for mandy or steve and say ian sent you (that way they'll know to charge double!!)

15-02-2002, 11:09 AM
John, was just wondering. Have you ever worn out the speech mark key on you keyboard?

15-02-2002, 11:23 AM
Ok the pc co dont get me started, we got our computer in march 2001 since we have had it, it has been in a total 6 times, one of those times the first day we got it the moniter didnt work, that took a week 2 repair, the other 5 times in a 2 month period they nevr fixed the problem that it originally went in for, and in fact still has the problem as I talk 2 u now.
We found the staff 2 b rather rude and never returned our calls, the insurance cover that we got for our computer through the place in which we purchased the computer also seemed 2 put off return our calls.
Only after heavy discussions have we finally have been promised a replacement computer at no extra cost. But if we had known that these were the hassles that we were going 2 get in purchasing a computer then we never put more consideration in were we purchased it.
Pc Company thanku 4 your time and for keeping me on my feet.

15-02-2002, 11:24 AM
Ok the pc co dont get me started, we got our computer in march 2001 since we have had it, it has been in a total 6 times, one of those times the first day we got it the moniter didnt work, that took a week 2 repair, the other 5 times in a 2 month period they nevr fixed the problem that it originally went in for, and in fact still has the problem as I talk 2 u now.
We found the staff 2 b rather rude and never returned our calls, the insurance cover that we got for our computer through the place in which we purchased the computer also seemed 2 put off return our calls.
Only after heavy discussions have we finally have been promised a replacement computer at no extra cost. But if we had known that these were the hassles that we were going 2 get in purchasing a computer then we never put more consideration in were we purchased it.
Pc Company thanku 4 your time and for keeping me on my feet.

15-02-2002, 11:24 AM
Ok the pc co dont get me started, we got our computer in march 2001 since we have had it, it has been in a total 6 times, one of those times the first day we got it the moniter didnt work, that took a week 2 repair, the other 5 times in a 2 month period they nevr fixed the problem that it originally went in for, and in fact still has the problem as I talk 2 u now.
We found the staff 2 b rather rude and never returned our calls, the insurance cover that we got for our computer through the place in which we purchased the computer also seemed 2 put off return our calls.
Only after heavy discussions have we finally have been promised a replacement computer at no extra cost. But if we had known that these were the hassles that we were going 2 get in purchasing a computer then we never put more consideration in were we purchased it.
Pc Company thanku 4 your time and for keeping me on my feet.

15-02-2002, 11:25 AM
Ok the pc co dont get me started, we got our computer in march 2001 since we have had it, it has been in a total 6 times, one of those times the first day we got it the moniter didnt work, that took a week 2 repair, the other 5 times in a 2 month period they nevr fixed the problem that it originally went in for, and in fact still has the problem as I talk 2 u now.
We found the staff 2 b rather rude and never returned our calls, the insurance cover that we got for our computer through the place in which we purchased the computer also seemed 2 put off return our calls.
Only after heavy discussions have we finally have been promised a replacement computer at no extra cost. But if we had known that these were the hassles that we were going 2 get in purchasing a computer then we never put more consideration in were we purchased it.
Pc Company thanku 4 your time and for keeping me on my feet.

15-02-2002, 11:52 AM
The thing that bothers me about Colin's post is that their service is becoming overloaded.

Personally, I'd judge a computer company as successful if they don't have an overloaded service department. If they don't constantly have computers returned for repair or replacement. I have bought several computers over the years, and built a few too. The ones I've had to get fixed etc. are usually the ones I build myself, buying the cheapest parts possible (this due just to lack of funds)... I currently have a Gateway, and have had it for a while, and have NEVER had a problem with it - not one.

If the PC Company is so good, why do they constantly have to repair their machines?

I don't think its all to do with freight... I have had computers carted all round the country, and I've never had to hotglue any components into place - and never had troubles arise due to freighting them.

I have never used a PC Company computer, so I won't say anything about what I personally think of them, but I do know that I have heard more complaints about them and their service than good reports, and I'm not referring to message boards - these are all first-hand accounts from people I know.

As such I won't recommend them to anybody, firstly because their are shops that sell just as good for cheaper, and if the person I'm recommending to has the money to spend on a higher-end model I'll send them past PC Company to a place like Dell or Gateway, whose computers work.

15-02-2002, 01:31 PM
Do I really need to say it sk???

Push the <expletive> button once for <blasphem> sake!!

I'm sorry for offending if you have parkinsons disease.

G P

15-02-2002, 01:40 PM
If I had a computer that had broken down six times since March 2001, I would front up to the company and say under the Consumer Guarantees Act of 1993 I demand a full refund. Which of course you are entitled to.

15-02-2002, 01:49 PM
SK - you gotta slow down on that mouse.

Now, I don't want to be accused of towing the company line or anything. Personally, I don't think I have ever used a PC Company machine (sorry, Colin). This does mean I have never ever had a problem with them.

The devil you know is always the one that crashes, has had failures, and has been in for repair. The devil you don't know could be considerably worse, but you haven't experienced it.

That's the thing. More people out there that use a company or product, the more bad experiences you'll get.

That doesn't mean that bad experiences are okay and should be accepted. The key is that the company stands behind the product and does fix things in a reasonable time.

That is the challenge for the PC Company.

I also think there is an issue for all PC vendors with the ratio of sales of new machines to support for old ones. They tend to rely on revenues from sales to fund the support on machines sold a year ago. That isn't a great way to run a business, and some companies address that by selling warranty upgrades.

Anyway, enough said for the moment.

robo.

15-02-2002, 03:03 PM
Oops sorry about the repeating thing it was the heat of the moment ;-) grrrrr oh and the money back thing well since we have the computer on hire purchase we work out that we would lose out on almost $500-$600 buckaroonees so that idea went right out the window although it would save my sanity i geuss ;-).

15-02-2002, 04:47 PM
I suppose the ideal company to own or manage would be one which produces nothing, sells it for enormous profits, and has no customers.

15-02-2002, 06:13 PM
well these PC Co threads got me thinking.........

and as luck would have it the in-laws wanted a CD writer fitted to their PC Co machine today....

well I thought to myself...what a wonderful chance to have a look inside this beasty......

Here I was expecting to see all sorts of crimes against the computing world lurking inside......

Yes there was some hot glue.... a dab at the end of each PCI card, but nothing to panic over.

The components used were all of a reasonable brand....no cheng-shin tyre company components used......

The power supply was a tragic excuse though....130watt...

In the time they have had it though the only thing that has had to be replaced is the mouse..with an optical that has never given a problem.

All in all I thought it wasnt too shabby...and all credit to the managing director for taking the time to respond on this forum, how many other companies have you guy's seen do that???

Maybe a chappy named Bill would like to respond here one day...

15-02-2002, 06:19 PM
No customers = no one to buy your product Graham :-p

Id prefer selling nothing for something to lots of people.

Its not like its gonna break down now is it ;-)

15-02-2002, 09:35 PM
Seems to be a good deal of pros and cons here. I guess, as has been stated, that if the PC co is fixing problems, then really, they are looking after there customers. I suppose its like old Alan Martin used to say -'Its the putting right that counts'. This business of voided warranty for opening the case is one that I did ask them about as I would have wanted to fit my zip drive to any new machine I bought. They told me that if the machine played up, they would put it back to original specs - hardware and software. If it still played up, they would fix it, if not, they would charge me, but that they had no bother about me taking the lid off and tinkering. I thought that was quite a reasonable attitude. As I live in Hamilton and work about 500 metres from their factory, taking a faulty product back to them wouldn't be out of my way, but for Dad, its an hours drive each way, and a day lost. I suggested that he gets a refund and buys a more expensive machine from his local dealer - it'd be cheaper in the long run.

16-02-2002, 10:53 PM
tweak'e do you mind me asking what type of heatsink it is.

JM

16-02-2002, 10:54 PM
tweak'e do you mind me asking what type of heatsink it is.

JM

17-02-2002, 12:15 AM
Late starter
Coming late on this one and have had no experiance of PC Company puters but, r e t ISO means you hit the mark to exacting standards and maintain it at great expense to both training and the cost of appraisal.

In a small market like NZ you have to be a big player or be exporting (profitabely)to even condider the worth of ISO accreditation.

My 2 c worth

Murray