With apologies for length: anyone who gets through this in one piece gets a cookie - Currys/PC World (well, I probably will, but I'm not happy with them) and more specifically, their repair/tech service, KnowHow. Also, Acer, because their goods are obviously really shoddily made.
In February I bought an 11.6 inch Acer laptop. Lovely little thing, which I picked especially because it was small and light and easy for me to carry around in a backpack on my crutches. Within two weeks it became stuck in repair mode on boot up, and on Windows 8 there's apparently no way to get out of that. Take it back, exchange it for another. Three weeks later, *that* one develops a fault where if you move the screen at all, it powers off. Take it back again. They try to insist it goes in for repair; since I haven't had enough time since the last one to get much personal stuff on there, I say no, this is the second that's gone wrong, exchange it please. Finally they do. A couple of months later, the *third* Acer develops a problem with either the power supply or the port that the power supply goes into, because it won't recognise it's plugged into the mains. The battery runs down and, of course, it won't charge or boot.
So I call PC World's tech support/repair service, KnowHow. The first tech I speak to tells me I need to "change the fuse in the plug". But it's a sealed unit, I say. It isn't a problem with the plug. Besides, I have an old power supply left over from one of the other two Acers that got exchanged, and that doesn't work either. It's obviously a problem with the connection on the motherboard or the socket. He keeps insisting the fuse needs to be changed. I finally ask to be put through to someone else, said someone else agrees it sounds like a motherboard or power supply issue, and arranges to collect it for repair.
The next day, the collections people turn up and try to take my laptop away without giving me proof of collection. No, says I. I insist you leave me with *something* to show you've collected it. So he has to go back to the van to write out another 'stock in transit' form, because all three copies of the triplicate are used within the organisation.
Laptop is due to be returned a week later, on the Thursday. I call and inform them that I'll be out that day, and could it be delivered back to me on Friday instead? No problem, we'll put the request through. Later that day, I check the tracker; it's still showing Thursday. I call back, and they insist the request for Friday has been put through and the tracker just hasn't updated yet. But please be assured you *will* receive it on Friday. Fine, thank you very much.
Friday morning, I log into the tracker to check the time of delivery, and discover it's not being delivered till Saturday. Not happy, I call them back, explain, and they say the vans have already left for the day and they can't get it out to me Friday. OK, fine. It's only an extra day and I've got my old iMac, no biggie.
Saturday morning, I'm sitting in my living room and I hear some rattling of the mailbox on the external door to the flats. I rush out to the front door just in time to see the PC World delivery men disappearing down the steps back to the van. I call after them. You didn't ring the bell, I said. "We rang the top one", he said. The one clearly labelled Flat D. But I'm Flat A, the bottom one, I say. Like on the paperwork? Oh yeah. Sorry, they say. Disaster averted, I sign for my laptop.
I go back into the living room, excitedly unwrap my repaired laptop, boot it up, and my login is gone. They've FORMATTED THE HARD DRIVE. For a power supply issue. I call them back. Admittedly, I am furious, and not my most polite. "You were warned about data loss" they say. "But why did they even do this, when the issue was the power supply?!" I say. "Well the tech thought it was running a bit slow, and we have to return it to you in usable condition". All my data is gone. All my apps, everything. Thankfully I have backups of some things, but not all, because this all happened in a hurry and since the darned thing wouldn't boot, I couldn't do a full backup before I sent it in. All my old emails, for example: gone. And it's not Outlook, so no handy .pst file. I ask about data recovery. "If you want to do that, you'll have to take it back to the store, and they'll charge you for it", they say. "But this is your fault", I say. "We're not liable. You were warned about data loss", they say. Yes, IF the original problem was something to do with the hard drive, maybe?!?! This goes around for half an hour until I hang up, frustrated.
I then think "Better plug it in, battery's a bit low". I plug the power supply in and - you know where this is going, right? Not recognised. The tech hadn't even *looked* at the original problem, let alone fixed it.
So, my laptop is wiped, for no reason, and still broken.
Eventually, I get through to the support line. We can pick it up for another repair on Thursday, they said. Not really acceptable, I said. You've already had it a week, not fixed the original problem, wiped my hard drive for no reason, and returned it a day late. Please collect it today. We can't do that.
Eventually I got so p1ssed off with the situation that rather than go through KnowHow again, I marched it back into the store and asked them to exchange it for another brand, which to their credit, they did, even though it was out of the exchange time period. I now have an HP, which I hope will not break three times in six months. But all my data is still gone.
You couldn't make it up, could you?