PC Club ENP612 Laptop Evaluation @ [H] Consumer

Discussion in 'Computers & Gadgets' started by Chris_Morley, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. Chris_Morley

    Chris_Morley Former [H] Consumer Managing Ed.

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    Third time isn't the charm with PC Club, see how we were extremely disappointed with our latest experience.
     
  2. SgtSweatySac

    SgtSweatySac [H]Lite

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  3. Agromahdi123

    Agromahdi123 Gawd

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    i wonder what happened. Tech Support always seems to be the area in which most OEM's have problems. My question is, what do you think OEM's should do to better their tech support?
     
  4. 1c3d0g

    1c3d0g 2[H]4U

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    SgtSweatySac: Seconded. :( That is very, very sad. Although I never need tech support (only warranty :D), if I ever have to let family/friends order a PC, they better get their own tech support. Looks like my recommendations will be to stay well-away from this company... :eek:
     
  5. grizzed

    grizzed Limp Gawd

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    I certanly didn't expect to see that, but when management is making decisions like this
    other problems can't be far behind. This one goes on the avoid list.
     
  6. Agromahdi123

    Agromahdi123 Gawd

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    definately something fishy. QFt.
     
  7. ChiZZad

    ChiZZad [H]Lite

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    Have you had a response from PC Club about the review?
     
  8. {ROW}Apocalypse

    {ROW}Apocalypse n00bie

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    Now that is something that I would like to see, company reps joining the discussion here after the reviews.
     
  9. Chris_Morley

    Chris_Morley Former [H] Consumer Managing Ed.

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    No.
     
  10. Chris_Morley

    Chris_Morley Former [H] Consumer Managing Ed.

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    We have had this happen in the past with Maingear, Overdrive PC, and Velocity Micro. Company reps are welcome to come join in the discussion, and in the case of the three companies I mentioned, it turned out very well for our readers.
     
  11. Mohonri

    Mohonri [H]ardness Supreme

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    Wow. Sounds like the new management not only closed some stores and let those employees go, but got rid of all the tech support staff, too. I wonder what their strategy is...from this (admittedly limited) perspective, it kinda looks like they pulled the plug in the ship's hull. Given the disappearance of their tech support, I would be surprised if they showed up here.

    Chris, did they honor your verbal agreement on returning the system when you were done reviewing it?

    [​IMG]
     
  12. InorganicMatter

    InorganicMatter I Don't Know How to Make Threads

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    I get the feeling PC Club went/is going under. It wouldn't surprise me at all if they are selling off everything they can in the company's death throes in order to cut their losses. That would account for the phone problems and the bouncing emails.
     
  13. Boltaction

    Boltaction Gawd

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    I used to work for PC Club and I can tell you that the way things are going you won't know they existed 5 years from now.


    We would be able to see the markup on our items, and lower them for customers we liked. The more money you made for the business, the more money they paid you. We would screw each other over and the customer to make more money. I remember quite clearly after the first month of working there my co-worker screaming at me to stop "stealing his customers" when they would come in the store.

    The tech station was atrocious too. Often times a "fix" would steal a part from another repair. We had a lady come in with a 1GB desktop and I watched it leave as a 768 or 512. The prices were good for the most part, but the dark underbelly of that place left me with a lasting impression. I would never recommend anyone go to a PCClub no matter how nice they may seem to your face. I worked at an Oregon one by the way.
     
  14. qfour20

    qfour20 Limp Gawd

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    Well, I know for SURE who not to send friends to when they want to buy a system. This CLEARLY illustrates the advantage of the [H] oem system evaluation methodology. This system would have gotten MUCH higher marks (and could have caused many people to order from pcclub) if an evaluation of Tech Support had not been included.

    These system evaluations are an excellent resource for those of us who don't have time / give enough of a #@$% to build a custom pc for everybody who asks us.

    -q
     
  15. Chris_Morley

    Chris_Morley Former [H] Consumer Managing Ed.

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    Bingo.
     
  16. edsbar60

    edsbar60 [H]ard|Gawd

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    WOW! What a change 5 years makes! I used to be a regular customer for PCClub back then when I built systems and they used to treat everyone with great care and respect. Tech support was always helpful to me, I used to call up the B&M store(Mesa, AZ) and they'd walk me through any problems. Everyone in the store always knew your name and were willing to help. It's such a shame to see them go so far down from that. :eek:
     
  17. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    Thanks for noticing. You are exactly the person we are trying to reach out to; one the is a bit more technically proficient than Joe sixpack, but does not have time to be builder and tech support any more for family and friends. Thanks again.
     
  18. Astragoth

    Astragoth n00bie

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    I'm another one of those customers.... thx for the review

    I've read the previous reviews as well, and it makes me wonder: How can a company change so drastically so quickly?

    I do assume PCClub's management will want to react to this. If they don't, it shows that everything that was said in this review was spot on, and PCClub should be avoided.
     
  19. Icejon

    Icejon PC Club Mkt Coordinator

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    Hello,

    My name is Jon, Marketing Coordinator for PC Club. Before I worked for PC Club I used to work for Dell, and a successful state computer store, so I am no stranger to the highly competitive computer industry. I'd love to comment on the review, and respond to many postings here. We are a tiny company in this industry, so it is important to me to answer everyone here with the best responses in a positive manner.

    I'd like to thank Hard OCP for the review of our ENP612 laptop. The review was well written and composed and thorough. While the review was fair, it is not the buying experience for many people currently. Because of our recent restructuring, the reviewers got abnormally poor service due to bounced emails as well as lack of followup which we were guilty of. I must apologize, because many of our departments were answering the many service calls from people that were affected by our repositioning. Now we are structured for better service, I know our company will always do the best for our customers.

    I will be here to reply to your posts.
     
  20. Degenerate

    Degenerate n00bie

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    James here, from PC Club #31, in Tigard, Oregon. I am as shocked to see this as all of you are...it is hard to fathom such a breakdown in support.

    I am absolute;y sure this has reached the ears it needs to, but I wil be sure to bring this up to our guys in HQ.

    I find the 612 to be a very sturdy notebook, despite it's feel. My roommate has this unit and is a serious power user. There are dips worn in the the spacebar from such heavy use...it replaces a desktop in all ways.

    Please also understand: This is an internet purchase...should you be near a PC Club location, service is always available, 7 days a week, 362 days a year.
     
  21. robberbaron

    robberbaron [H]ardness Supreme

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    Exactly. PC Club's specialty is definately in-house service.
    I have an ENP611 (the predecessor to the 612 in this review. Same specs, but different chassis) and I've been very happy with it. As far as support goes, well, I'm capable of supporting my own computers. Only issue I've with it is that the Hitachi HDD inside died (which I diagnosed myself.) I only used the warranty work to replace it.
     
  22. Icejon

    Icejon PC Club Mkt Coordinator

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    As a company, we are dedicated to customer values. We care about customers and give personalized service, whether it is remembering names, being cheerful and positive or giving the best prices we can.

    While as a company we do not encourage managers authorizing discounts, they are allowed to do it at the store managers discretion. Doesn't it make fair sense that a customer who is a great client, who purchases all the time should be rewarded? Tell me the last time you walked into a Best Buy, or a CompUsa and they not only remembered your name and how good a customer you were, but also might let you have a small discount to show you how much they appreciate you. We are committed to our customers in any way and will go the extra mile so that you are pleased with what you buy.

    Answering this post is difficult, but I will have to talk about sales in general and our company policy. Sales people who work under commission, must sell, and they are rewarded for their sales (all companies do this). If you can't make a company money, there really is no reason you should be be paid by them right? It is also common courtesy in sales that if you are the first contact with a customer, you close the sale, you should get the credit (all comissioned companies do this). While I did not know that particular situation, I am speaking on behalf of our policy of ethics.

    Customer service is our #1 priority, we can't survive against multinational companies without the little extra we do for our customers. First theft is unethical, illegal, and immoral, we as a company do not support wrongdoing in any way. Employees who treat the customer as described will be fired, clean and clear. There are variations in management style, but this is absolute.
     
  23. robberbaron

    robberbaron [H]ardness Supreme

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    All points made by Icejon are 100% correct.
     
  24. Boltaction

    Boltaction Gawd

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    Thank you for responding to my post, and I appreciate your effort in explaining PC Clubs position on the matter. I hope those days are over, but my personal experience from the counter was quite sour. Also: Your business model works when the sales rep is on the customers side, but when you reward someone for literally upselling constantly (which is exactly what I was asked and expected to do) they will end up screwing over the end user on this quest. There is no reason why a reputable store should force sales on commision; it creates conflict between the buyer and sales representative: The goal of the sales rep and the goal of the end user are different.

    You will look at numbers a different way, I am sure. But if PCClub sticks to commisions based sales, what really makes them any different from a Best Buy? All that's left is service, and while I sincerely hope it gets better, service is the reason why PC Club is defending itself in this forum right now.
     
  25. Icejon

    Icejon PC Club Mkt Coordinator

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    A little comment about our company restructuring.

    Last month, our company closed 15 stores. This was not an easy decision for our leaders. We closed the stores so we could have a better position in this competitive market, more focus on our key strengths and to have more resources to serve our customers.

    We have the same strength as we have had for the last 14 years. We maintain the best service in the industry, and we are committed to delivering the best customer value, quality products and services in the most innovative and effective ways. Our mission hasn't changed, we are just leaner and more agile.

    We care about our customers, that is the main reason I am taking time off of my schedule to reply to this forum. Every customer is important.

    Now as a small company in a market filled with the bottom line competition like Dell, HP and the like, we depend on what we know to survive as Your Local Computer Partner.

    We believe it is a strength that we can provide the friendly in-person service that many companys lack (e-tailers), while also providing good prices competitive with our e-commerce site (pcclub.com). No company has this kind of combination between the stengths of a small friendly brick and mortar store, with the wide range of products and best value of an internet store.

    Don't forget that this industry is full of restructuring. Last year HP laid off over 10,000 employees, many hundreds of times over the amount of people that work for PC Club. We compete against the Dells, the HP's, the Gateways, the Apples, the Acers, the Lenovos, CompUsa, GeekSquad... all from 43 local stores, the internet, and our headquarters in City of Industry. Even then, we as a company can do much more for you guys our potential customers than anyone else.

    Our stores are open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day on the Internet.
    We provide a Dual Core Pentium D Computer for the small business for the lowest price on the market
    We provide tech service in any of our local stores
    We guarantee with Instacare warranty, 3 day turnaround time for a local fix of any laptop we sell (nobody in the industry does this)

    There are so many more services we provide
     
  26. swatbat

    swatbat [H]ardForum Junkie

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    My only real issue with the review is that I think that the "Purchasing, Packaging, and Presentation" should have been knocked down another point since you really couldn't do a phone order. It is nice to be able to call in with questions if you are looking at buying something. Personaly I love how the review system can show bad support though. This system would have recieved a much better review if tech support was not in it. Hell it is not like something was wrong with the system but what if something was. The fact that you could not contact anyone is a joke. I can say that they will not get a recomendation from me with that type of support. As far as notebooks go I usualy buy a prebuilt as buying them in parts doesn't really save any money. With desktops it depeneds but really I don't have the time to put into supporting them for friends/fam so I enjoy these reviews as they can help me point people I know in the right direction. Hell at least with companies like dell you can get through the phone support even though they load up the systems with crap. Anyway guys good review(well not for pc club)
     
  27. robberbaron

    robberbaron [H]ardness Supreme

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    Again, if you order from a store, you'd get an answer within 3 phone rings if you call that store. I really hope that the company fixes that soon, though. The Webstore should be there to handle things like this. Though I'm not sure how many systems are ordered through the website directly versus through the retail stores.
    From the Fuzion review
    http://consumer.hardocp.com/article.html?art=ODIzLDYsLGhlbnRodXNpYXN0
     
  28. Brian Boyko

    Brian Boyko [H] Consumer Editor

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    I just wanted to say that Jason's description of my reaction - disbelief and confusion - was dead-on.
     
  29. robberbaron

    robberbaron [H]ardness Supreme

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    Totally understandable. There's no excuse for this.
     
  30. qfour20

    qfour20 Limp Gawd

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    I'd like to chime in here with a few points... having worked in OEM system sales once upon a time: Commission works. Plain and simple.

    Best Buy isn't on commission anymore by the way. And honestly, I, for one, miss it greatly. Things were different when how much (and how expensive) you sell impacts your paycheck.

    I will not argue that people on commission will try to upsell. This is the nature of retail sales. As an educated consumer, you need to be upfront when dealing with a salesman on commission.... let him know that you're not gonna buy fluff, and if he pushes too hard, you're out the door. A quick and painless sale to a knowledgable customer will make you money just as easily through volume as a 3 hour merry-go-round ride with a moron and thier amex. Commission sales brings out VERY different people than non-commission sales like BB moved to. When a commission is offered, you get career salesmen taking the jobs. Sure... some of them are like (or once were) used car salesmen. When I find these types, I'm not interested in buying... simple as that. But there ARE good salesmen who know the business that they work in. The best example I can think of besides computers is car audio. I buy some stuff online and such, but there's a small shop that I go to religiously. They don't even carry some of the equipment that I want anymore, but I still buy there. They'll order what I want. It's because the SALESMAN KNOWS HIS STUFF. He knows me, and knows that I won't buy whatever subwoofer has the biggest spiff this month. He knows I've sent people to him. He will give me the best deal that he can and still keep his shop open. Contrast this to the unexperienced teenager working at BB. Can I SERIOUSLY sit down and chat with him about how the wattage ratings for the amp I'm looking at were taken? Maybe a handful are passionate about the subject matter that they sell, but I would be suprised.

    I know that there are some negative aspects of dealing with a salesman on commission, but if you establish early on that you're not going to be suckered into the upsells and KNOW WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR, it's the best scenario. Buying something you don't know about...... well c'mon.... use google!

    Just my $.02
    -q
     
  31. TType85

    TType85 [H]ard|Gawd

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    As a long time PC Club customer, I was sad to find out my closest PC Club was closing (Santa Ana, CA -- South Coast). I just purchased my new rig there because I just couldn't stant to hand more money over to Fry's and dealing wilth returning dead parts...

    My overall experience has been very positive with PC Club, although I have never had to call for tech support. The parts are not the top-o-the line, but I have not had any stability nor quality issues with any system I have built from their parts.

    BTW: My new rig X2 3800+, 7600GT OC, 2GB Ram is running great :)
     
  32. GuruX

    GuruX Gawd

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    Sounds like the situation I'm in with AOpen right now over a crappy barebones laptop.

    You guys did the right thing in awarding a tech support score of 0. It's hard to believe, but at least you guys are willing to tell us the truth - and as such, your credibility as reviewers scores really high in my books.

    Kudos.
     
  33. robberbaron

    robberbaron [H]ardness Supreme

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    Wow, I didn't hear about that store closing. Are they in the process of closing or was it shut down overnight?
     
  34. magoo

    magoo [H]ardForum Junkie

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    This is once again an excellent review. Honest, to the point, through. I read 'em all front to back.

    I can only say one thing after reading through all the posts.
    It seems your purchase was a con.
    If all of a sudden this company has "restructuring" problems,come out and tell people. If you cant get through on the phone support give your customers numbers to call. If PC Club is so comitted to service why did the guys have to go to the back pages of the web site to find some way to get tech support.

    If things are fouled up be honest. Make a new message. Tell people to call the stores and ask for support. You(PC Club) had a basic problem....the most basic problem in business, communication. The over-all rating on this product was dead-on.
    Support is one of the, if not the, most important aspect of home computers.
     
  35. TType85

    TType85 [H]ard|Gawd

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    It will be closed at the end of this week.
     
  36. stefan231

    stefan231 Gawd

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    BestBuy hasn’t been on commission for many years now. We also service all computers bought at bestbuy at the GeekSquad be it for a fee or for free if they have a service plan. BestBuy also honors all manufacture Warranties at Geeksquad and 24hr 365 day Tech support via GeekSquad also
     
  37. Icejon

    Icejon PC Club Mkt Coordinator

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    Our South Coast PC Club store will not be operational by the end of the week. The store will be merging with the other Orange County stores Lake Forest, Anaheim and Long Beach. There are two reasons for this decision.

    The first reason is that the leasing agreement has expired and renegotiations we not successful.

    The second reason is that due to changing demographics and customer shifts, the location became very marginal from a retail location standpoint.

    I know that South Coast store customers can expect the same customer value, great service and excellent PC Club systems from other stores in Long Beach, Lake Forest and Anaheim, as well as the stores in the greater Los Angeles area. We at PC Club apologize for the inconvenience and hope to serve you again when we reopen the store.

    Again this is Jon, Marketing Coordinator, PC Club.

    Have a better day everyday :)
     
  38. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    Hi Jon, thanks for joining us. I know that it is not always easy to step into a public forum such as this one and talk about the facts. I have added this to the article to hopefully entice people to come see what you have had to say.

     
  39. Icejon

    Icejon PC Club Mkt Coordinator

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    Thank you for the recognition and the honest review. We are all just fellow enthusiasts for computers, I'm glad I can be here to provide positive answers and collect negative feedback so things can be resolved for better next time.

    I am confident and I would love to have your editors go out next week and buy any of our new systems (Sabre, Media Center Xpress) and do a review because I know that the systems once again could be HardOCP reccomended. I am confident, with the feedback, we have made many positive changes to totally improve the customer buying experience.

    With our 14 years of strengths and fixing our weaknesses, we remain committed to customer value by offering quality products and services in the most innovative and effective ways. We remain committed to being "Your Local Computer Partner". I encourage people to go to their local PC Club and find out for themselves if the experience is a more positive one than your Frys or CompUsa, we believe it is.

    Best Regards,
    Jon Loo
    Marketing Coordinator
     
  40. DamienThorn

    DamienThorn [H]ard|Gawd

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    I just wanted to chime in and say that the [H] Consumer reviews are awesome. I love the quality of the reviews, and wanted to let you and everyone else at [H] that you're doing an awesome job! Keep up the good and honest reviews!

    [​IMG]