One of my colleagues was recently duped by his local computer store.
He took his broken Mac to the retailer who told him he’d need a new motherboard. After forking out several hundred pounds, the laptop still didn’t work.
A trip to an Apple store confirmed the worst: he hadn’t received a new motherboard. The store had rebooted the computer and charged him for parts that weren’t used.
Now I know cases like this are rare – and absolutely do not reflect the state of UK PC retail as a whole. But the fact is, my colleague had no simple way of reporting his case or seeking compensation. Taking them to court is not a viable option for everyone, nor is making a claim with Trading Standards.
His story comes at a significant time. Dealer group Synaxon UK has called for a separate tech regulator body to police the industry. The firm has had problems with unscrupulous dealers in recent years (including one which claimed to be a member of Synaxon, before attempting to buy stock with no intention of paying for it). While things are improving, UK MD Derek Jones says more should be done to stamp out rogue traders.
Trade association CompTIA, meanwhile, believes educating the channel, making it more professional and self-regulation is the answer.
We spoke to many other industry experts on the issue – you can make up your own mind and read the full story here. I’d be keen to hear what you think: do get in touch – you can tweet us @PCR_Online, like and message the PCR Facebook page or email me below.