Terry’s plans to be a happy snapper scuppered by PC problems

Terry bought his PC at Currys in Portsmouth
Terry bought his PC at Currys in Portsmouth
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Terry Ball was gutted when Currys failed to fix his faulty laptop at the sixth attempt. then tried to give him the brush-off.

Terry’s troubles all started a year earlier after he’d gone to the Currys retail park store in Portsmouth on Black Friday to buy a laptop.

On the sixth occasion I saw the guy on the counter and he said it was a software issue and it wasn’t covered by the guarantee

Terry Ball

He explained to a sales assistant that he’d just taken up photography as a hobby and required a fairly bog-standard computer just to store and sort his images and send a few e-mails.

The 55-year-old retired policemen was happy to take guidance about the most appropriate computer to meet his needs.

‘Basically,’ he said ‘I just wanted to store my camera’s photographs on it and just do some e-mails.’

‘I was told the best one was an Acer, because it would hold up to 10,000 photographs, as well as do all my editing on it. So I thought ‘‘great’’.’

Without further hesitation Terry handed over £249.99 for the computer, another £39 for security software, plus £45 to have it installed.

For his £333.99 he expected to download and store his photographs without hassle, but little did he know he’d been wrongly advised and been landed with an ongoing package of trouble.

He said: ‘In less than three months it had slowed right down, the screen kept freezing and when I went to type an e-mail or edit my photographs, you typed a letter and it took several seconds for a word to appear.

‘It was getting very frustrating and then I couldn’t get on to the internet because it just kept failing. So I took it back and they sent it away for repair because it was still under guarantee.

‘This happened a further five times, after exactly the same problems developed, but there was no mention of a software problem or anything like that.

‘On the sixth occasion I saw the guy on the counter and he said it was a software issue and it wasn’t covered by the guarantee.’

Terry protested that the software problem was a bit of a bombshell and wanted to know why he hadn’t been told about it previously.

If it needed fixing six times in less than 12 months, the computer couldn’t be fit for purpose. He then spoke to the store manager about it, who, he said, didn’t appear remotely interested and kept repeating it was a software problem.

But Terry wasn’t one to be fobbed off that easily.

He made it clear that what had got up his nose was the fact the laptop had failed to work properly after just three months. If it really was a software problem he should have been told about it at the time.

Unable to get a straight answer from the store management he wrote to the company, but the same answer came back. It was a software problem not covered under the original Acer guarantee. End of story.

An increasingly angry and frustrated Terry decided to contact Streetwise to see if we could help.

We explained the situation to Currys and it readily agreed to investigate. It seemed Terry had a legitimate complaint because he’d gone to great pains to tell the sales assistant what he wanted, but had been sold a pup.

We could understand why he was so angry about having to traipse backwards and forwards to the store just to put up with a laptop that clearly wasn’t up to the job.

Currys has worked hard at improving customer care and satisfaction and it quickly swung into action once we brought the problem to its attention.

Terry received a phone call from the firm to say it was very sorry to learn about his experience.

It agreed he’d been messed around for far too long and the laptop should have been replaced as soon as the problems with it became evident.

He was invited to visit PC World where an assistant impressed him with her knowledge and professionalism.

Terry said she went out of her way to locate a replacement laptop from another store, preloaded his files and renewed his security software free of charge. He was also given a £50 voucher to go towards an external hard-drive to store his photographs.

A Currys spokesperson said: ‘We are sorry to hear that Mr Ball has experienced issues with a product purchased from Currys PC World.

‘We always look to solve customer problems as swiftly as possible. In this instance we have offered the customer a full refund on the product, alongside an additional £50 goodwill gesture. We have spoken to Mr Ball and he is happy with the resolution.’

Terry was relieved his battle with the company had finally been sorted. He said: ‘May I take the opportunity to thank you for your intervention and for championing my consumer complaint which resulted in a positive ending.’