Purchased a number of items over christmas, all are still functioning well.
The only problems were as follows:
1) There was a backlog over christmas meaning my first order was delayed a week. My second order placed not long after wasn't delayed at all. :P
2) My second order was placed over the weekend. I didn't notice it at the time, but Scan make no records of orders available over the weekend. I didn't recieve any email confirmation, even of having placed an order, and my account showed no record of any orders. Because of this I went ahead and placed a duplicate order thinking the original had failed, but still gained no feedback as to the order being placed other than during the order process.
Come monday, I found that both orders had been accepted successfully and had to email Scan customer support to cancel one. This was done so very quickly and successfully but it would have helped it they at the veryr least emailed a confirmation of an order being made through the site. Every single other web site I've ever purchased from does this, automatically, within minutes of placing the order. Why Scan can't do this over the weekend, even when staff are at home, is beyond me. But never mind...
And that was about it. My DVD / Ram arived freezing cold having been stuck in the back of a van presumably all night over winter, but it's not an issue for me. Maybe if someone purchased temperature sensitive equipment it might be a problem but not really Scan's fault, more the delivery company's.
The original producs were the cheapest I'd found online in the UK due to being on special offer, and although their regular prices are a little higher than elsewhere I'd deffinately purchase special deal stuff again. Haven't had to RMA anything so couldn't comment on that side...
Oh and, one more thing. Scan's forum staff on the Hexus site are a little, erm... self assured sometimes. Maybe it's just me but there have been times when they've seemed to show dispespect towards customers when they've raised isues. I guess they assume the customer isn't always right, although even when they are it seems to take them 2 forum thread pages, legal quotes, manufacture's technical specifications and help from others (myself included) to make them realise there's really a problem, and even then only refund half the buyer's cost. Maybe it was a one-off, but it don't fill me with confidence. Would it be so hard to assume they're right and treat them nicely however they behave?
Sit back lads, this is gonna be a long one....
Purchased a refurbished BenQ DW-1650 (listed as "Demo product/replacement from supplier" with no faults) (£19.34) and 100m of Cat-5 cable (£22.50) on 31st August 2006. Total came to £41.84 plus a £6.76 delivery charge.
Package was listed as shipped on 1st Septermber, and arrived by Parcelforce on 5th September. Parcelforce were great, no damage and good tracking utility. Komplett had packaged the stuff very well in a much larger box than needed and lots of big air bags.
It took me a week to even install the drive, and another til around 22nd-ish of September when I noticed that, intermitently, the drive would refuse to read DVDs. Took a while to notice as a) I hadn't used many DVDs and b) the fault only occured after the drive had been in use for a while.
I spent the next week testing every single thing that could possibly be causing the problem, bar anything that would void the warrenty. Believe me, I made certain it was the drive with the problem and not my PC(s).
At first I contacted BenQ support to see if they knew of a solution or would offer to RMA it, clearly stating the problem had occured under every situation I had tried and with any DVD. Surprisingly, they then suggested to use a DVD on their list of around 10 tried & tested compatible DVD media IDs. After emailing them again to point out I had tried numerous DVD-ROMS / +Rs / -Rs / +RWs... their only advice was to phone them. Not wanting to waste any money on more stupid advice, I moved on to Komplett...
On 2nd October 2006 I emailed Komplett the full details of the problem and was told almost instantly to fill out their RMA form online. A couple of hours later the RMA was approved, and all that was needed was to print out the attached PDF with RMA form (complete with the original info I sent) and address label. So far, so good, and after writing in big red pen over the RMA form that the fault was INTERMITTENT (in the hope that they would spend longer testing it, if they ever didn't) I hopped off to the post office to pay £2.12 for second class delivery.
That's when things started to go downhill. It was the 10th October before I heard anything back, just a simple auto mail to say they had "recieved my RMA". Ok, this was probably the RM being slow, but it wasn't going to get any better.
By 19th October, after not hearing anything, I took matters into my own hands and emailed Komplett again to ask what was happening. I recieved a reply the next day, which I guess I should be happy about because Komplett have stated elsewhere that they take up to 3 weeks to test returned items.
Unfortunately the reply wasn't good news. The first email recieved was to tell me that a replacement item had been shipped to me. An NEW AD-5170 DVD-RW. This was without even being asked if I wanted this, or would prefer a refund. I'd made sure not to cound out a (legally required if asked for) refund in the first place, as I would've accepted an identical replacement drive.
(A second was then emailed saying the same thing, but the drive had a white bezel instead of black (the original DW-1650 was white), and another email from a real person informing me to ignore the black drive email. Props for the inteligence shown there, but overall I wasn't too happy as...)
If I was your run-of-the-mill computer user who just wanted any old DVD-RW drive, I might not care. But having spend weeks of research to find out what the best DVD-RW available was (why do you think I waited until mid-2006 to buy one?) I wasn't too please at the non-DVD+R-overburning, non-bitsetting, nowhere-near-as-highly-rated NEC replacement, and got straight back in touch to inform Komplett that they were legally obliged to replace my drive with one of equal functionality, and that clearly the NEC drive was not. This time I didn't count my luck and flat-out requested a refund.
Now, I had already noticed that they had no DW-1650's listed on their site, though they did have some DW-1655 drives listed (same drive bar one *additional* feature). That said, DW-1655's weren't in stock. Whether they would've replaced with one of those if they were, who knows. But in my case, I'm sure either a refund or at least an email to ask if I'd accept an XYZ model drive as a replacement could've saved a lot of time.
Alas, an hour or so later I was told that returning the replacement NEC drive for a refund would be fine, and that they "appologised for the inconvenience". If only they'd have thought of that first...
So, on 25th October the NEC drive turns up (to the same address as the original purchase was sent to, which I actually wasn't living at anymore, but I guess I picking at straws now).
On 27th October I finally manage to email Komplett about this again (as they asked me to do), and was quickly emailed back to say an RMA had been created for me and, without me having to do anything else, another pre-filled RMA Form / Address Label PDF was sent to me. I just printed it out and, without even opening the NEC drive's package, shipped it right back to Komplett for another £2.12.
On 3rd of November I got another "RMA Recieved" notice, and on 9th October was told a refund of £21,46 had been issued to the card I originally paid with. This clearly includes the £19.34 originally paid for the BenQ drive, and the £2.12 that will have been listed on the Royal Mail sticker on the returned NEC drive. So, had I only had to return the one drive, I would only have lost the original delivery postage cost. This is a small plus for Komplett, as they state on their site that they do not refund return postage. I guess someone took pitty on me...
So, 2 months and 10 days down the line, I've basically lost £2.12 in returning one of the drives, and an average of £3.38 in delivery. I would also have lost around 2 months in DVD burning time, had I not decided after the NEC drive was posted to buy a DW-1650 from elsewhere. Lucky as every shop online bar one had sold out of them by that time.
So,to roundup, pricing was good (for what should've been a fully functioning drive), packaging and shippign was OK bar the price (and consequently time), customer service was good enough (quick replies to emails, they usually knew what they were doing, and clearly helped make things easy). The RMA as a whole could've gone better, though the individual parts were pretty good (simple web-based, updates when recieved, no need to phone anyone...) but having to return something twice when a simple email could've avoided it isn't on. The rest? Well, the website's ok. Looks a bit dull and is slightly hard to navigate, but everything needed is there... And frankly, I'd only purchase from there again if I *really* needed a product they had and no one else did.
As for the Cat-5, well, if anyone wants to purchase some rather long lengths (fully crimped), let me know eh? ;)
Have bought numerous things from Aria over the years, starting with a full custom build PC and the latest a mobo and various network cabling stuff.
The PC is still in use to this day. The only slight problems with it (and this is 3 years ago, mind) were a slightly hot CPU, possibly due to the thermal paste used, though at least it was paste and not a pad. They also wouldn't ship with the HSF originally chosen incase of damage due to shipping. They emailed me to confirm this though, and all was sorted out pretty quick.
Last stuff I bought was an MSI mobo. Customer service for this was great - they sold out minutes before I wanted to purchse the thing, with most site's I'd have to find somewhere else, with Aria I just asked on their message board and they replied within a few hours that they'd already ordered more stock and it'd be in soon.
I've never had a problem with any order, everything's worked fine. Also means I've never had to RMA, so the rating for that is just an average of my others.
Shipping is the usual online deal. Aria are one of the few who offer cheaper Royal Mail delivery for smaller items, but the big stuff is always gonna cost. Aria use CityLink and as usual if you buy on Friday don't expect anything to turn up until Tuesday as no couriers ever seem to work at weekends. I'll be a happy man when people come to their senses and start using RM for more stuff with their saturday delivery. Anyways...
Packaging has always been fine. Not really a complaint but the mobo/network stuff was sent purley in bubble wrap and a plastic courier bag. Maybe a cardboard box would've been better for that kinda stuff but it was fine.
Price wise, they seem to have some of the better prices on the web, if not the best.
They've got the usual range of products in, though more range than others and some rareish stuff too. They'll never have everything but they've got more than a lot of places do.
Website is pretty good. A bit complicated to navigate, and their list of products in various sections is split accross numerous pages so you never really know if they really haven't got something or you just haven't found it yet. And their search tool hasn't always given as promising a result as it probably should. But they are one of the few with active comments right underneath the product listings, and active forum, and plenty of product details (inc. relatively accurate stock counter).
I'll deffinately have no problems buying from aria in the future.
Can't comment on the online store (never used it - postage is a set price & too expensive with a store only a couple miles away), but...
The Maplin store (in leeds, anyway) is pretty good. Great range of small electrical components and various other computing / electronic related stuff.
I just spent 10 minutes yesterday with a sales rep going back and forth to a store room trying to find a small heatsink I could use to attach to a small computer chip (any bigger/wider/taller ones? without the gap in the middle?...). Eventually found the right one, the guy was pretty helpful and they were only 49p each. Same thing with capacitors / resistors etc, 0.0Xp each. Also got a soldering iron for a couple of quid. Can't beat the price.
That said, actually finding what you want is pretty hard. They've got catalogues in store like argos, but the majority of stuff you actually have to find yourself on the shop floor, unless it's small electrical stuff in which case you can get it at a counter (and hopefully you don't spend half an hour trying to find something on the shop floor just to find it's actually only available at the counter :blush: ).
Also, there's no guarantee that they actually have what you want in stock, or the amount you want. There's usually an alternative but virtually everytime i've been i've had to compromise on something (different heatsink size, different capacitor type, different solder tip make, different sized battery box...). I think twice i've almost bought all their stock of a single component.
And there doesn't seem to be enough staff on the electronics counter, there was only one last time with 6 people queing (and because she was helpful everyone had 5 minutes of questions...) and the rest of the staff wondering around the store floor seemingly doing nothing.
Obviously, you won't have to deal with that kinda thing online. So yeah, great for cheap little electronic things (range & price) but probably a lil expensive for bigger stuff or retail packaged things (£5 for some ShinEtsu thermal pads? noooo... 90p on ebay ;) )
Just to explain ratings - i've no experience with shipping & packaging (but it's too spensive), never returned anything, and the website has some detail but pics are lacking and a bit klunky to use.
I've ordered stuff from Overclock a number of times, including fans, a wireless mouse, a hard drive and posibly some stuff I've forgotten.
I've never had any problems, everything's still working anyways.
You'll probably find most things cheaper somewhere else, but overall they're pretty well priced, not overly expensive.
Shipping can be expensive if you're using a courier but they have an option for Royal Mail postage which is much cheaper. But it'll be sent ASAP and usually get there next day, and blimey do they ever package their stuff :D I've never seen bubble wrap so big. Infact, it's not so much bubble wrap as huge mutant bags of inflated air. And that was only for a hard drive! I also got an OEM mouse once, which was unboxed but came well wrapped in plenty of bubble wrap too (regular sized, this time ;) ).
The website's pretty good. Usual order status stuff, quick browsing, but I would prefer them to have an actual list of products instead of putting everything in big bordered sections and having some stuff bigger than other stuff... makes me think I'm missing something, and it's hard to get a grip on exactly what's there and what isn't. Either way, the range of stuff they have is pretty good, they've always been an option when I've been looking for something, I usually just shop elsewhere due to price.
Can't comment on RMA/customer service stuff as I've never used it, so I've just rated it good (which it most likely is).
Overall, they're actually my favourite and most reguarly used PC retailer online.
Ordered a Hauppauge Nova-T TV Card from PC World online just before Christmas. The short story: Whatever people say about PC World, they don't get it wrong [i]all[/i] the time. My experience was fine.
Longer story: The card was showing in stock for while, I didn't order it right away because I was shopping around for the cheapest price. Low and behold a week later when I came to the conclusion that PC World's price was the cheapest anywhere in the UK, they ran out of stock. I figured I was in for a wait because it was Christmas and no where's gonna get new stock in again for ages, but a few days later it was back :) So I order one right away.
They have a few shipping options, though they don't really tell you exactly [i]who[/i] they're gonna ship your order with. Strangely enough I got free shipping on mine for some reason, so I was very happy about that. They accept most credit/debit cards in the UK so my little Solo card gave me no problems.
Conviniently they offer a "collect from store" option where you can order a produce for the price advertised online, then head to your nearest PC World store and pick it up for the same (usually less than instore) price right away. Unfortunately the nearest store is aroudn 100 miles away, so it was no use to me. But if it were, I'd definately use it (if only to save postage price).
Only real downside was it took them four days to finalise and ship the order, but I was in no hurry to get it. The website had a good order status section, and I got regular emails on the order's progress.
Eventually it turned up just under a week after ordering by Royal Mail 1st class. Some would complain but I'm more than happy with that, I live in Uni halls of residence and am paranoid about couriers not finding the flat (nearest City Link depot is in what some would call a different country).
Packaging was fine, regular padded envelope deal. Card was fully retail boxed/shrink wrapped, and exactly as described on their website. Speaking of which, the site is a little slow when you search for things. Seems to be the same with the Dixons/Currys sites too (run by same company). Also has a decent selection of products too, but I'll get back to my experience...
Asside from the product they don't put much else in the envelope, just some excess stickers from the address lable. The actual reciept was sent to my home address 200 miles away (where my debit card's registered). Could be a hastle if you wanted to return it, but it's a decent fraud prevention method. I mean, I'd like to know if someone else was using my card, and getting the details of any orders of it to my house would be a pretty good way of finding out as quickly as possible.
Anyway, the card itself had come lose in the box and was rattling around a bit, but I can't see how it would be any different with anyone else, and everything was fine inside. I installed the card and it worked fine, has done for the past couple of months.
All in all, not really any worse than anywhere else I've bought stuff from online. Slightly slow postage was more than balanced out by the price and free postage :). I can't really comment on the RMA/Customer service as I didn't deal with any of that, so I've just rated them good, seems fair. I can't say I'd buy from them again given PC World's reputation, but if they were the cheapest around by a decent amount then I'd be tempted.