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“The Fawlty Towers of computer retailers”

Written on: 23/01/2013 by JohnAllen (1 review written)

When I first went shopping online for a new computer and found Computer Planet, I was a little dubious about them because they had one or two adverse reviews. But because they also had many more positive reviews (see my comment at the end of this review) and because their prices were undoubtedly very competitive, I decided to go ahead and purchase from them. How I now wish I had paid more attention to my earlier misgivings.

I originally ordered and payed for a custom-built computer valued at £2,400 on 6th November 2012. The estimated completion time was 9 days. During testing a faulty hard drive was detected and duly replaced which resulted in the computer eventually being delivered to me on 11th December 2012.

When unpacked I found that one of the computer case accessories was broken in transit because it had been jammed between the inner and outer cartons without any protective packaging whatsoever. Once unpacked and connected, the computer started-up and ran for about an hour before being switched off. Later that day the computer would not restart at all.

I e-mailed Computer Planet and reported the breakage and start-up problems. They told me to remove the side panel and check that the CPU heatsink was secure. I then found that if the heatsink was 'jiggled' the computer would eventually start-up. But after several successive start-ups and switch-offs, the computer eventually refused to start-up at all. I duly notified Computer Planet and told them that the computer would need to be returned.

After several attempts at arranging pick-up by UPS, it was eventually collected on 19th December 2012 and delivered back to Computer Planet the next day. Obviously because of the Christmas break it wasn't booked-in by them until 2nd January 2013 and went into their repair queue with an estimated 10 day turn-round time. The problem turned out to be a faulty CPU. This was replaced on 4th January and the computer went back into their testing queue, whereupon it stayed until 23rd January when yet another faulty hard drive was detected. It is now awaiting another replacement hard drive. I'm told that they now estimate the computer testing will be completed next Monday (29th January) but, in view of their previously unfulfilled target dates, I won't be holding my breath. So, almost 3 months after originally ordering and paying for my new computer, I'm still waiting.

I have been extremely (far too?) patient with Computer Planet and have refrained from pestering them with requests for updates. Their website abounds with stern warnings against contacting them for progress reports. But when I dared to e-mail them today with a request for a firm completion date, I was told that every minute spent answering my e-mails would further delay the repair progress. In other words, 'don't call us, we'll call you'. In terms of their customer service, I would describe them as the Fawlty Towers of computer retailers. I have purchased many custom-built computers in the past in various countries around the world and never experienced anything like the poor product reliability and lack of basic customer service displayed by Computer Planet. I am currently considering taking legal action in the event that this matter isn't satisfactorily resolved soon.

In light of the many glowing customer reviews (assuming they are actually genuine ....) of Computer Planet, I find it hard to credit that I have received such utterly appalling service so far. Be warned, this could be you!

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