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PC Superstore Admits Linux Hinge Repair Mistake

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the there-are-some-happy-endings-after-all dept.

Portables 193

Erris writes "PC Superstore says their store manager was wrong to turn away a client with a broken hinge whose machine should have been repaired. 'El Reg put a call in to the DSGi-owned retail giant to get some clarification on PC World's Linux support policy. A spokesman told us that there had simply been a misunderstanding at the store and that, in fact, the normal procedure would be for the Tech Guys to provide a fix. [PC World] will provide a full repair once the firm has made contact with Tikka.'

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It appears... (5, Informative)

msauve (701917) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621009)

that the manager didn't get the news. []

Re:It appears... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621089)

For those too lazy to read the link, PCWorld is still refusing to fix the laptop. They aren't blaming it totally on Linux, now it is a mix of Linux and saying that the warranty doesn't cover the hinge because that is basic wear and tear.

And now, my own opinion about PCWorld. They are technological idiots. I've lived in the states and now in the UK, and compared to these idiots those guys at BestBuy are hackers. I honestly don't believe you have to be more qualified to work at PCWorld than at, say, Burger King. You can manage a register, sweep floors? Good enough. They couldn't help even if they wanted to, which they don't. Extrapolating the behaviour of their workers to their management and I'm not surprised at all that it's PCWorld which pulls some crap like this.

Interesting... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621353)

Day 1

Mommy, I am only 8 inches long, but I have all my organs. I love the sound of your voice. Every time I hear it, I wave my arms and legs. The sound of your heart beat is my favorite lullaby.

Day 2

Mommy, today I learned how to suck my thumb. If you could see me, you could definitely tell that I am a baby. I'm not big enough to survive outside my home though. It is so nice and warm in here.

Day 3

You know what Mommy, I'm a girl!! I hope that makes you happy. I always want you to be happy. I don't like it when you cry. You sound so sad. It makes me sad too, and I cry with you even though you can't hear me.

Day 4

Mommy, my hair is starting to grow. It is very short and fine, but I will have a lot of it. I spend a lot of my time exercising. I can turn my head and curl my fingers and toes, and stretch my arms and legs. I am becoming quite good at it too.

Day 5

You went to the doctor today. Mommy, he lied to you. He said that I'm not a baby. I am a baby Mommy, your baby. I think and feel. Mommy, what's abortion?

Day 6

I can hear that doctor again. I don't like him. He seems cold and heartless. Something is intruding my home. The doctor called it a needle. Mommy what is it? It burns! Please make him stop! I can't get away from it! Mommy!! HELP me!! No . . .

Day 7

Mommy, I am okay. I am in Jesus's arms. he is holding me. He told me about abortion. Why didn't you want me Mommy?

One more heart that was stopped. Two more eyes that will never see. Two more hands that will never touch. Two more legs that will never run. One more mouth that will never speak.


Re:Interesting... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621437)

Please have this post removed for offensive propaganda. Abortion is a legal right and you have nothing to say about it.

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621487)

offensive propaganda??!!?? maybe remove it because it is spam, but how is it offensive... if it's true should we rethink this "legal right" you guys crack me up!

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621529)

It's offensive propaganda because blastocysts don't post on Slashdot. And if you think they do, you're a complete fucking moron.

Re:Interesting... (2, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621597)

It's offensive propaganda because blastocysts don't post on Slashdot.

I used to be a blastocyst, you insensitive clod!

Ready to burn some karma. (0, Offtopic)

UncleRage (515550) | more than 7 years ago | (#20622767)

... as much as I agree with your personal outrage (that being a Woman's body is her own, etc.. etc.. et al) -- I have to say that just as important is the right of free speech. And remember, the most important time to defend free speech is when you disagree with the speaker.

That being said, that little bit of pro-life flamebaiting actually does more for the pro-choice movement than it should probably want to.

'Cause now yer little bastard is in the arms of the rotting Jesus... 'aint he/she?

Hah. Saved from a life of ill begotten moral line crossing. Another for your wierdo, domineering bipolar sky fairy.

Maybe we should all have abortions. Fill up heaven's ranks so that there are more pure angels to fight off Hell's evil.

Abortions for Jesus! Wheeeeeeee!

Whoops. Too much Eagle Rare and now I'm rambling. Hahahah. This is fun. Now I'm gonna go drunken babbling elsewhere. =b...

Oh... and while I'm at it. Mods... mod me down. Go ahead and waste yer points... OFFTOPIC BABY!!!!! WHOOOOOO! SCHAWEEEEEET!!!!

Yeah! Post drunk, post loud.

In the words of the great Hunter... Call on God, but row away from the rocks.

Re:Interesting... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621523)

"Why didn't you want me Mommy?"

You were the product of rape.
You were the product of incest.
"Mommy" was unable to raise a child currently due to low income.

Those are all real situations that people get abortions for. So you'd rather have a woman who was brutally raped have to give birth to and raise the child of the man who attacked her? Sweet deal.

I know I'm 'feeding a troll' or whatever, but I'm tired of people thinking they know what's best for everybody.

Re:Interesting... (-1, Offtopic)

Walpurgiss (723989) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621549)

While I tend to agree with that viewpoint, I should point out that adoption is an option. Sure, still the pain of birthing the child, but the innocent child gets to grow up somewhere rather than get aborted. But as a guy, it's not my choice in any event.

Re:Interesting... (-1, Troll)

Anomolous Cowturd (190524) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621777)

Why perpetuate another generation of rapist genes? Even if it is a child, kill it.

Re:Interesting... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621795)

I seriously doubt there is a "rapist gene", it has more to do with how the rapist was brought up. Unfortunately children of rape tend to be brought up in that same bad environment, and the cycle of abuse continues. Abortion is, sadly, usually the best among many bad options.

Re:Interesting... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621835)

Behavior is hereditary. While obviously people can be socially conditioned to act certain ways, genetics can explain behavioral differences between individuals.

Re:Interesting... (-1, Offtopic)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 7 years ago | (#20622369)

Yes lets kill children because if there is a "rapist gene", and if it was passed on, and if it has any effect whatsoever, we can't let this happen!


Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621535)

Uh, abortions are performed long before the level of fetal development you describe. Drop the hate-mongering and go get some facts.

Re:Interesting... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621657)

It's just the Christian right trying to confuse the debate to garner support for the extreme views. Look at most of their arguments, they're not attacking the actual viewpoint of the opposition, because "liberals" don't approve of late term abortion either. They create a fictitious 3rd party that wants abortions to be legal any time and attack that. People see them doing this and assume the other side must be in favor of it, when in reality there aren't many liberals that support abortion passed the first trimester. If you frame the debate in an areligious setting (Protip: our government was created to be that way) you'll see that most of their arguments are ridiculous.

Re:Interesting... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20622319)

>Uh, abortions are performed long before the level of fetal development you describe.

They all are, are they?

Well, maybe where you live. In the USA, however, we sometimes perform them when the fetus is viable. It isn't particularly common, but given a sample of 100 women who have had an abortion, at least one will have had it performed (legally) when the fetus (is it still a fetus at this point?) was viable with support (22+ weeks). Many people (incorrectly) believe absolutely all abortions in the USA (and other developed countries) are only performed at a point when a fetus is non-viable, so it is not unusual that you would be part of that majority. Hopefully at this point you no longer are (and some other slashdotters are also more knowledgeable as a result).

Fortunately for those that are queasy at that proposition, many countries have moved to ban late term abortions. I do believe that no matter what your stance on abortion is, fetal viability is the absolute limit at which you can morally agree with abortion, unless you also agree with infanticide. The interesting fact is that the fetal viability age is always decreasing with technology, so at some point we will need to reconsider this issue at that point. Who knows when the level will be low enough that this occurs, though?

Life is all about constant education. Here's a little more for you to add to your growing repository. []

Yes, you've found us out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20622897)

Our evil is everwhere and there are those of us who (praise hail satan!) will do nothing to avoid murdering a child. Occasionaly, though, finding fresh children to murder is too time consuming. So what are we to do? Why, make children to murder of course!

Why, just last week, my devil's whore and I coupled to produce another victim for Lord Lucifer! We'll gladly await its time of bodily maturity so that we may, once again, sacrifice another innocent life on our doctor's blasphemous alter of evil.

Soon, the end will be upon us. Hail satan! hail satan!!!!!!

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20622527)

Hey, man, ask your mom to have an abortion. Thanks.

Re:It appears... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621103)

Man, that's a hideous website - it renders badly in Firefox.

Re:It appears... (1)

dreddnott (555950) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621383)

I use Opera for everything - it appears to be rendering fine in Opera 9.22.

You may have a point, though (I don't have Firefox to confirm your complaints about rendering badly). It doesn't seem to be rendering right in Internet Explorer 6 either. To not work right in IE6 or Firefox seems almost criminal.

Re:It appears... (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621545)

I'm not sure how it should look, but it looks very nice in FF

Re:It appears... (1)

This_Is_My_Happening (1151393) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621151)

Wow. That's simply amazing.

I wish that he would post the video that he took when he went back to talk to the manager a second time. The dickishness he describes sounds outrageous.

Re:It appears... (5, Informative)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621155)

I bet you this guy didn't quite expect that his name would be linked by one of the Internet's most busy web-pages, and not in a good way... I mean seriously, slashdot will accidentally DDoS news agencies due to the large number of visitors. Companies pay small fortunes for that kind of attention... They have now managed to get worldwide bad publicity TWICE due to this laptop. The words "the most expensive $94 Orbitz will ever make" springs to mind. For those of you who don't know what I mean, here's the link: []

Re:It appears... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621409)

Except until just now, I never read this post and you know what, having worked in CS, I have to side with Orbitz on this one. The guy is obviously an idiot for thinking he could make it to SJC to SFO in that much time. Anyone who has ever traveled in their life knows that you never switch airports unless you have to, especially if all you are saving is $30. You know something else, I don't care about a single incident that one idiot had either. People are stuck on this idea that one person can change shit like this, the fact is they really can't. Now, most of these sites have solved their problem (or attempted to) by fully off-loading this responsibility onto the airlines.

Besides, for every idiot who makes a post like this there are tens of thousands who have absolutely no complaints. Some of us actually realize how the world, including the business world are run. This said, the Orbitz scenario is nothing like this one where apparently someone higher up the food chain needs to inform the manager that he has been told to repair it, if he won't he can find himself a new job.

Re:It appears... (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621579)

From the Maddox post:

"After I booked the ticket, I noticed something strange: there were no travel details on how I would get from San Jose to San Francisco. I called Orbitz and they told me that I would have to provide my own transportation from San Jose to San Francisco. What?"

Orbitz didn't point out that it was anything like it ended up being. You see two airports and you assume you're flying between them. Or that there's transportation provided. The simple fact in Mr. Maddox's case is that the company sold him something that was impossible. He didn't make it. They generated it for him.

Re:It appears... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621601)

So I guess, by your example, you'd have no problem using a rebate at Tiger Direct, because only about 4,000 people complained about them to the BBB in one year, which is likely less than 1% of their total rebate claims per year.

Personally, when it comes to customer experience, I expect better reliability than to I do with the 4-for-$1 lightbulbs at wal-mart. Perhaps this is because I end up buying things at least 4 or 5 times a day. Which, at 1% severely bad experiences, means I will be incredibly pissed off and screwed out of my money every 20 days.

But hey, that's just me... You clearly have different standards. Maybe you never buy anything?

Re:It appears... (0, Offtopic)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621683)

your reading comprehension is pretty shitty.

Re:It appears... (3, Informative)

Cafe Alpha (891670) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621695)

Asshole. You expect the Orbitz scheduling program to give you a valid schedule. It's not the customer's place to be debugging Orbitz incompetently maintained database.

Not only was the schedule invalid, but it depended on the customer paying for transportation between stops without informing the customer of that fact.

It's quite the incompetent travel agent who books you flights, but neither books transportation between stops nor informs you that you need to do this. That's HIS JOB that's why you use a fucking agent.

In this case, the agent was an incompetently written and maintained program. Not the customer's responsibility.

So they wrapped a shit product up in a bow and sold it. The guy notices all of one minute later that he's been cheated and tries to fix the purchase. No doubt, by California law he's entitled to change his mind, but never mind that, any fucking competent business can deal.

Orbitz failed. And they had incompetent management that not only failed the customer, but failed every kind of public relations by excusing the inexcusable and releasing the customer's private information. My God, how can anyone be that incompetent?

Re:It appears... (1)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621783)

I had a similar situation last year with Dell actually. I bought an E1505 and installed Ubuntu but kept Windows on it as well. Well the video card was malfunctioning and after sending it in once they were refusing to replace it, specifically mentioning my installation of Linux as a reason. Well I posted on my blog about it and less than a week later I had a new laptop in the mail. The surprising part is that I had no readers. The Dell rep found it on his own. They wanted to avoid this type of thing. I still probably won't buy a Dell again though.

Oh no. Re:It appears... (1)

Erris (531066) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621405)

Someone, please, tell me that PC World is not that stupid. Tell me that web page belongs to someone other than the AC that submitted the original story and was latter identified only as "Tikka". It violates their own store policy [] . Their PR people told The Register they would take care of it. Tell me the video was taken days ago. I'd really rather hear anything other than some self important moron is making life difficult for a Linux user, against store policy, common decency and half the internet's outrage. No?

Poor Mr. Tank.

Re:Oh no. Re:It appears... (2, Funny)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621645)

He's (Tank) lucky that his email address wasn't included in the post. Give me a few minutes...

Re:It appears... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621435)

3... 2... 1... seconds until PC Superstore refuses to issue the manager a paycheque for the rest of his life because "our systems run linux".

I mean, seriously, at this point it doesn't matter if the guy drove a Mack Truck over the laptop, you fix it to fix the PR problem -- or smarter yet, give him a new one. Stat.

Re:It appears... (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621573)

I am so sorry I was right (EU Law notwithstanding)... these are the hassles with hinge issues.

And, all you EU folks who jumped on me last time - when I said this would happen, don't jump on me again with how the law will help them now.

I'm not disputing whether the law is on his side or not... we covered that extensively last time around. But honestly, perhaps there is a better method than getting back on your high-horse about what's legal; because obviously that doesnt matter - INSTEAD (THOSE OF YOU IN THE EU) help make a big enough stink that PC World HAS to deal with it. Waiting on the law - US, UK, whatever... should be a last resort... this is a laptop - one that will be obsoleted by the time this is dealt with if that route is selected.

You all have the address of the place... go in there and make a (polite, legal) stink till both the Linux "issue" is not an issue and till they relent and fix the machine.

Re:It appears... (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621623)

Correlaries perhaps...

Those in the EU debating this and that back and forth could hopefully instead spend some time finding legal correlaries (that actually apply) to help this person - for instance, in the US, they invalidated clauses in vehicle warranties that required you HAD to take it back to the manufacturer for such regular maintenace as oil changes...

Are there similar correlaries in EU law? Someone over there has to know, so this person has something else to arm them with... something that fits with installing another OS as a reason to invalidate a warranty...

Re:It appears... (1)

athdemo (1153305) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621739)

He should get a friend to loan him a laptop, load up the statement from PC World on it, and walk into the store with it displayed. Show that to the manager and see how resistant he is.

Re:It appears... (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 7 years ago | (#20622623)

Why use your own machine? Use their demo machines. Ask one of the helpful sales staff if he can sell you a machine that can play your presentation. And make sure the speakers are good and loud.

900 diggs! It's front page! (1)

Cafe Alpha (891670) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621743)

Someone needs to explain to PC world that their bad service is the 8th highest story on digg.

How many people read digg?

Make sure to tag this (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621011)

as twitter [] , just like the other [] ones [] . Avoid people who game Slashdot with multiple sockpuppets [] and open proxies.

Re:Make sure to tag this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621477)

So say we all. Tagged, thanks.

Really Cool! (0, Offtopic)

Erris (531066) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621811)

A second post from an AC mentions the fabulous twitter and you have managed to create a tag that will point to more good stories in the future. Keep advertising my friend twitter [] .

Everyone else should check out the Vista Failure Log [] these AC's hate so much. It and most of what twitter posts is more intersting than a story about some clueless and rude manager at a big box store.

If you want to read some really intersting news, visit Stallman's Blog [] , which is updated every other day.

Yeah, super cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621947)

I think the point of the tag is to flag the article as a shill.

Quite interestingly, you didn't seem so upbeat when you got caught shilling and posted this [] . Do you really think that anyone [] will believe you?

I also find it interesting that you call him "friend". That's an odd term for a "relationship" on Slashdot. Do you know him personally? Oh, wait. What am I saying. All these multiple personalities are hard to get right.

In any case, your "friend" twitter seems to have descended down to karma hell [] , like all the other trolls and crapflooders.

You're just another Bonch/OverlyCriticalGuy trolling Slashdot and disrupting conversations for some twisted reason. Probably paid for by monopoly astroturfing money, if the posts I've seen are any indication.

Re:Really Cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621969)

Poor rms. Is he going to sue you for defamation of character by your associating his good name with twitter? I sure would!

You really are making the rest of us look bad. I don't normally post anonymously...but bleah.

we're sooo sorry! (4, Funny)

v1 (525388) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621013)

We'd like to apologize for getting an unexpectedly large backlash due to our usual behavior of being dicks to the linux users. In the future we will strive to continue our inexcusable treatment of our linux based customers without attracting such public negative PR in the process. Thank you for your support in these difficult times!

Re:we're sooo sorry! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621115)

our usual behavior of being dicks to the linux users.
Don't give them so much credit. They're dicks to everybody.

Not a big deal (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621307)

Given how relatively minor teh Lunix market is, it hardly matters if the company wants to piss off one (or all) of them.

I mean really... why put up with people who whine about stuff as much as Lunix users do? If I owned a store... I wouldn't worry about it at all. There's just no upside to dealing with Lunix users.

Re:Not a big deal (4, Insightful)

compro01 (777531) | more than 7 years ago | (#20622023)

If I owned a store... I wouldn't worry about it at all.

3 words : word of mouth

Us Linux users are the ones that friends/relatives/etc. turn to when they need computer advise. If they piss us off, guess who we aren't recommended to those friends/relatives/etc.

Only a misunderstanding if you get caught. (4, Insightful)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621017)

And the question on everyone's mind is "Would this have happened had the plight not been so well discussed on the internet?"

Also, how many other people have already been turned away for hardware warranty repairs based on what software was on their machine?

Re:Only a misunderstanding if you get caught. (3, Insightful)

VirusEqualsVeryYes (981719) | more than 7 years ago | (#20622665)

And the question on everyone's mind is "Would this have happened had the plight not been so well discussed on the internet?"
Hardly. I think pretty much everyone here realizes that the reason for the change of heart was the publicity on the Internet. If you're an idealistic optimist, you might try to believe that the higher-ups heard about it through the Internet and righted the wrong simply from hearing about it, but the rest of us have enough experience with these Internet-spread stories of fuckups that it's the bad publicity that causes the higher-ups to take a correctional course of action.

This isn't about Linux. It never was. Linux just happened to serve as an excuse for denial of service. This regularly happens to non-techie customers who don't install alternate OSs. To consumers of all sorts of electronic products. They STILL get denied service. They get convinced by customer "service" that the product is not eligible for free or low-cost repair.

The thing is, American customer service is much like American insurance -- it's nothing but a financial black hole in the eyes of the bean counters. It's about saving a little money now. Every payment, every reimbursement, every repair denied is a few bucks saved. Who cares if the customer is unsatisfied? The corporations certainly don't ... until the customer's story makes it big on the intarwebs and thousands of people start talking about it. Oops, bad publicity causes loads of lost sales! So they better fix it so the plebians don't switch brands!

It's all about the numbers. Denying service to customers saves a little bit each time. If the rate of lost sales because of individual angry customers is less than the money saved from denial of service, it's a win. It's only in their interest -- or rather, the interest of their bottom line -- to service the customer if the angry customer breeds anger among many more customers, say via the Internet, and causes many lost sales that far exceed the costs of the simple customer care they should have provided in the first place.

This is capitalist shortsightedness at its worst. Bad word of mouth hurts more in the long run. Satisfaction leads to good word of mouth which leads to more sales. As a personal example, I always make a note to people about how phenomenal Nintendo customer service is. I tell them about a problem, they fix it immediately. I know for a fact that my advice has caused a few more sales of Wiis rather than (usually) PS2s. See, since Nintendo didn't penny-pinch with the cost of repairs for my system, they indirectly made more money through my satisfaction. This is foresight that I wish American companies had. I think we'd all be happier for it.

Don't shop at PC World (3, Informative)

GreatDrok (684119) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621027)

The moral of this story is to stay away from PC World. They over price all their components and the machines they sell are crap by and large. They exist to take money from the ignorant and their attitude when their product inevitably breaks is dreadful. The anti-linux attitude is old news as I experienced similar treatment at the PC World in Edinburgh when I had a keyboard fail on my laptop with Linux installed. Fortunately I had XP on it too and was able to prove that the fault wasn't due to Linux.

Sadly, PC World has also put a lot of the good little computer stores out of business which is why they can behave so badly.

Re:Don't shop at PC World (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621499)

Little Good Computer Shops did not put out aged ultracheap Laptops at £ 299,- Windows Included. []
Thats why. You get what you pay for.
Just don't come in whining and ask for free support
from clueless shop assistants.
Real support costs real money :-)

Not surprised... (4, Insightful)

cyberjock1980 (1131059) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621039)

So PC World pissed off a geek. He told all his geek buddies. Word got around and now PC World has either changed their mind, or announced their mistake as loud as they can for fear of reprisal from tons of geeks. Why am I not surprised? I'm sure they want to stay in business, and even if that was their policy, i'm sure it changed VERY quickly because the community they target is the same community that's now talking bad about them. Change their policy or risk going out of business? Slashdot wins! PC World - 0 Slashdot - 1

Re:Not surprised... (5, Insightful)

dfgchgfxrjtdhgh.jjhv (951946) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621131)

sorry, but pc world dont target geeks, they target people that don't know any geeks at all & have more money than sense.

i'm amazed that a pc world customer had heard of linux, nevermind installed it.

Re:Not surprised... (1)

BiggyP (466507) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621461)

Even if they know a geek they'll still head into PC world because the cretinous staff on their shop floor and behind the support desk are far less threatening than someone who might once or twice tell them not to install random crap they see advertised on the web and explain that installing said crap is the reason they'll be taking the laptop back to PC world to have it wiped completely clean as windows will no longer boot, even into safe mode.

Hateful people.

Re:Not surprised... (1)

cyberjock1980 (1131059) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621571)

But the definition of 'geek' varies from person to person.

To my mom a geek is: Someone that can fix my computer when it breaks.

To me it means: Someone that has an understanding of what computer parts are needed to assemble one from scratch and has a THOROUGH understanding of computers.

TO PC world it might mean:

1. They want to be able to fix computers. Not today, and not tomorrow, but someday, maybe.
2. They know how to turn it on and off and know when it doesn't boot up it's broken and needs fixed.
3. They are a hardcore computer guru, knowing all of the commonly used programming languages that are deeply intimate with everything there is to know about Microsoft.
4. They are smart and use Linux and don't need no stinkin' upgraded warranty.
5. Gosh, we can scam customers out of SO much money! Let's go to town and see how far we get!

So take your pick at what definition they want to use. And yes, THOROUGH could be broken down further, but I wanted to emphasize thorough because so many people think they know alot and really are pretty blind.

I always rate someone's knowledge not by what they know, but what they realize they don't know.

Re:Not surprised... (1)

footissimo (869107) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621923)

i'm amazed that a pc world customer had heard of linux, nevermind installed it.

Too right! It has to say something about how ready linux is for the ordinary person when someone who buys from PC World can install and run it.

Unless it was Linspire, of course.

Re:Not surprised... (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 7 years ago | (#20622081)

The crazy thing about linux is that it can be as easy or as hard to install as you want it to be. Ubuntu is easier and faster the Windows XP. Gentoo is almost the most difficult to install (but you have many choices!)

Also, don't be surprised that there are geeks out there who recognize a bargain pc/laptop at a big chain when they see one. Best Buy doesn't have a line around their stores on Black Friday for nothing.

Re:Not surprised... (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621635)

Well...the reason that they'll *announce* changing their policy.

Never forget that it's easier to announce that you're changing a policy than to actually do so.

Good (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621059)

I have wondered for a while what sort of warranty issues surround installing Linux. In the Microsoft mindset, software is considered part of the computer, and therefore replacing it would be analogous to replacing a hardware piece which would naturally void the warranty. Personally, I have always viewed installing Linux as being on the same level as installing any other software; saying it voids the warranty is, in my opinion, like saying that replacing a factory installed MS Office trial with some other office suite would void the warranty.

Also, this is evidence that Linux systems are gaining ground -- issues like this are "growing pains."

Re:Good (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621449)

it would be analogous to replacing a hardware piece which would naturally void the warranty.
This is wrong. In the US, at least, it is illegal to deny warranty coverage for any hardware modification which is not directly linked to the malfunction. For example, if you replace your hard drive and it subsequently blows your ATA controller then they don't have to fix that, but it is illegal for them to refuse to fix your screen if it is also defective.

Replacing the software will void the warranty on any components which fail due to the replaced software. This is not likely to be anything, unless the warranty actually covers the software. It will not void the warranty for anything else.

I am only familiar with the US but I imagine that the law is similar in any Western country.

Re:Good (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621659)

That may be the law, IANAL, so I couldn't say. It's not the practice.

One of the reasons that I didn't buy a Gateway when they had a local store was their warranty coverage policy. Fortunately, I checked before I bought.

Although, thinking about it, you may be technically correct. I believe that their statement was to the effect that in order to get warranty coverage I had to either restore the machine to it's original condition or allow them to do so. Including wiping *ALL* files on the hard disk and reformatting. And that if they did it, they'd charge you for the work.

As I said, I went elsewhere.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621729)

You are right, that just because the law gives this to you doesn't mean you can actually obtain it. You could of course take them to court, but that's an awful lot of hassle and expense even if you win.

In an environment where most companies follow the law, this kind of practice tends to die out because people like you will go to companies which follow the law, making these policies a competitive disadvantage. I think the main purpose of such a law is to make sure it doesn't happen where all companies are like this, giving you no choice.

However it is still wrong to talk about voiding your warranty in these cases. It does not void your warranty. It may cause you trouble with the company but your warranty, as a legal concept, is not actually voided.

Re:Good (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621667)

1.) Someone mod this AC up!
2.) Thanks for this clarification, I did not know that was the case. I always thought that is the way things SHOULD be, but it is somewhat rare in this country that the way things "should be" coincides with they way things "are."

Re:Good (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621773)

That's right. In the MICROSOFT mindset. For everybody else of course, replacing software or even firmware shouldn't void your warranty. Most hardware is also user-replaceable. Somebody you wouldn't expect it off... Apple ... has the designation "user replaceable hardware" for hard drives, ram, wireless cards and batteries in most if not all of their computer products, even iBook's and other notebooks which are (out of experience) quite difficult to take apart and if within (extended) warranty or recalls will provide the user with free new parts (even shipping is free both ways) and point to step-by-step manuals on how to take things apart.

The Microsoft mindset does not determine law (3, Informative)

cheros (223479) | more than 7 years ago | (#20622773)

This was a UK incident, and the customer in the UK is pretty well protected against this sort of nonsense (caveat: as demonstrated, they will still have to put effort in - retailers still don't seem to care enough not to piss off their customers). The shop effectively broke the law by refusing to repair the laptop (but why did the guy not contact the manufacturer directly instead?).

I specifically state 'UK' here because that's the only country I know this for sure of. It's pretty reasonable to assume this sort of protection is available elsewhere as well. What you suggest would amount to an override of local law which is impossible. You can't even get rid of such a law in small print in the contract as it will be found invalid in court - not that everyone + dog in business doesn't try..

I had Dolphin Kitchens try to pull a fast one on me that way, all the way to a 'regional manager' telling me that I signed and it was thus valid. I spoke to Trading Standards and approximately 15 minutes after they had a little chat with the company I got a phone call claiming a 'trainee manager' error. The moment I hear that excuse the company's off my list. If they can't even be upfront and tell me they screwed up I can't invest any trust in them.

The incident response of "it was a mistake" is total and utter BS. I'm pretty sure that the customer will have asked for a manager to discuss this, and said manager will have told him the same which suggest it's company policy (not store, COMPANY policy) rather than "a mistake".

I think the only mistake they feel they will have made is not even the public relations hit because it's mainly on geek sites and sufficiently 'geeky' customers avoid that shop anyway unless it's something simple. No, the mistake they feel they have made is attracting Trading Standards and Consumer Direct's attention to the store - no store likes to be picked over by a Government department proving they're needed, especially if the validity of the complaint is well above doubt.

So, if you want to do anything I would suggest telling you NON-geek friends. See if your local newspaper wants to carry the story..

Riiiiight (2, Informative)

Romancer (19668) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621067)

A mistake, that's it.

And I'm sure that there was some policy that they can quote to back up that "misunderstanding" and it was a totally isolated event.

Pretty cut and dry denial of warranty of hardware based on software. If the manager denies service it's not a misunderstanding it's policy. Unless they can show the documents that the manager specifically didn't follow, it's a case of consumer backlash changing a companies operating practices.

I'll believe the "misunderstanding" cop out for the responsibility when they can show policy documents that state that the OS doesn't matter in cases of obvious hardware defect. If they've got that on file, if it was a misunderstanding and every higher level employee involved in that case goes back through basic training for service repair qualification, I'll believe it.

As usual... (5, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621069)

A junior employee or contractor made an error that is against our policy.

A local store manager is foolishly given broad discretion to run the local store and making ass-pulled risk estimates such as "this guy can't possibly escalate his complaint from porch-seat grumbling to global public-relations catastrophe."

Welcome to the 21st Century. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621533)

As Jerry A. Taylor found out, the Internet means that asmall public abuse power and or stupidity can result in you looking like fool on a planetary scale.

PC World got Slashdotted!!! (2, Funny)

darealpat (826858) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621075)

Once more it pays to be well connected in the online community. Now if only this would work with the IRS and DMV.

Re:PC World got Slashdotted!!! (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621191)

Oh no, the DMV is running Mac OS and the IRS uses Google apps, so they will never feel the heat from Slashdot.

Re:PC World got Slashdotted!!! (1)

Cafe Alpha (891670) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621781)

I've found what works on the DMV. It's called hiring a lawyer. And it costs $1000.

But it does work. The DMV screwed me, I went to trial the other day and they couldn't come up with any evidence (they were in the wrong). That's 3 points that didn't get on my license.

I'm doing something similar with the IRS. To get the best deal I can out of them involves hiring accountants and lawyers and costs thousands, but it will save me three times what it costs.

Yuck editors, trolls ahoy (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621143)

This is an interesting story, but must it come from "Erris"? He's the owner of the "twitter" account, and a known troll. The editors should be on the lookout for these things.

You too can publish, it's easy! (0, Troll)

Erris (531066) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621943)

This is an interesting story, but must it come from "Erris"?

No, you ACs could have put the story up before me or after me instead of trying to game the Firehose. It works like this:

  1. Use your spare time to look for things that interest you with Google News, RMS's Blog [] , Daily Rotten, The Register, BBC or just steal it from twitter.
  2. Using your built in sense of morality, conflict and intelligence decide if there's really a story.
  3. Visit the Firehose to see if half a million people have already submitted it and done a good job.
  4. If they have not, do some more research and write a concise summary.
  5. Give it a title that would make Steve Ballmer scream and push submit.
  6. Enjoy the fireworks as multibillion dollar companies spam the result with insulting apologies, lies, spam and all manner of awful trash.

Proffit? No, entertainment is priceless.

What will be even more fun is watching you PR types submit bad news about the companies you represent so some nobody like me does not scoop you when things leak out into the press. Get writing, your boss is paying you to manage opinion here not dick around with one or two "trolls". Be sure to get all the juicy details before they leak out. Try pointing out to your boss that full disclosure is better than being blindsided.

You're becoming tiresome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20622203)

I think it's an insult to everyone on /. that you think you can somehow hoodwink people to believe these lame denials about your sockpuppets. If you're submitting stories with a sockpuppet, what do you expect? You should just take it like a man. It's obvious to everyone that "twitter" and "Erris" are exactly the same person. Instead you have to go through the whole cute circus act of trying to convince people that you're not twitter, and that is becoming tiresome in itself, not to mention ridiculous.

There are enough slip-ups by you out there to easily prove you own both accounts. So why do you even try? Really, who do you think you're kidding, and why?

Customer satisfaction survey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621183)

For what it's worth, there's a customer satisfaction survey running at PC Superstore website at the moment...

Re:Customer satisfaction survey (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621865)

The issue at hand is with PC World. Not PC Superstore.

This is not about linux. (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621213)

It was simply an excuse to turn away a customer so that one less laptop would have to be worked on .

Laziness at work.

Wrong Name... (1) (1071626) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621413)

His name shouldn't be G. Tank.. it should be Tommy Tank

(english rhyming slang for you yanks)

Re:Wrong Name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20621589)

Tommy doesn't rhyme with Tank, limey.

Re:Wrong Name... (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621889)

I think that it's accepted because the first letters are the same. But don't ask me. I live in central California (lots of cows and orange groves, but not much else.)

Re:Wrong Name... (1)

Nossie (753694) | more than 7 years ago | (#20622147)

heheh wooshed over your heads I see...

what English word did Austin Powers bring to America?

give you a hint, rhymes with tank but starts with a W.

I'm sure this has been said already (3, Funny)

Neuropol (665537) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621445)

but i'm certain linux caused this cracking of the hinge. if the user had continued to run windows, it would have actually gone the way of Christine, the Stephen King novel car character, and repaired itself magically.

Re:I'm sure this has been said already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20622129)

Actually the hinge should be repaired with Service Pack 2.

How to fix all of this (4, Funny)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621803)

Take a crowbar and a fish. Pry the broken hinge open so as to free the penguin, then toss the fish to give the penguin an incentive to get out of the laptop. You may need to clean out the accumulated penguin filth.

Then take the laptop to a replacement window specialist to put windows back in the laptop. Once that is done, take the laptop to have the hinge serviced. Tada! all is well.

Re:How to fix all of this (0)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621925)

If he prefers Linux, that is his right. It did not cause the problems he is experiencing, so PC World has no valid reason to deny his request. Why should he be forced to use Windows if he feels he can be more productive or have more fun without it? I would like some sort of response, if you don't mind.

Re:How to fix all of this (2, Informative)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621963)

I didn't think of my remarks so much pro-MS as pro-smartassed. Usually when people suggest tossing fish and using crowbars and taking laptops to a window replacement business, they're not being peculiarly serious. BTW, in the original story part of the issue was the company refused to service the laptop because it had Linux installed and thereby was considered to have a voided warranty. Hence, the joke.

Re:How to fix all of this (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 7 years ago | (#20622019)

Sorry, I thought of it as a troll or flaimbat. It gets hard to tell dell the difference when you live with a troll.

Re:How to fix all of this (1)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 7 years ago | (#20622105)

Sorry. I'm just a retard who tries too hard with most of his jokes.

Summary (2, Funny)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621909)

Dear PC Superstore Customer,

Our bad.

The Management

Hate to say I told you so (0, Flamebait)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621915)

But I did. [] . Now you are still "fighting the good fight", but your laptop still isn't fixed. BTW on my dell I have a an extra drive with windows on it that swaps out in 2 minutes. Let us know when it is fixed for real and all us slashdotters can coach you with our brilliance and wit.

hardware not software (1)

themushroom (197365) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621951)

Since when the fook is a hinge anything but a hardware issue, not requiring powering the machine up (other than near the end to confirm all jacks got plugged before turning all screws)?

There was one time a Radio Shack district manager gave me the "Oh, we don't support Apples" song and dance when the item I came in to purchase was a DB9-to-DB25 serial cable off the shelf for my external modem.

And then there was the time I actually had to say to a salesperson, "Okay, let's forget I mentioned what kind of machine this is for, shall we... Now: how much does an external 56k modem cost at your store?"

I wonder... (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 7 years ago | (#20621985)

if the owner of the Storm Botnet read /. and if we can convince him/her to launch a DDoS against PC World...

At this point... (1)

Cycline3 (678496) | more than 7 years ago | (#20622123)

at this point.. simply repairing the laptop is not enough.

not just PC World, perhaps? (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 7 years ago | (#20622143)

If you go to their web site and follow the 'For careers at PC World click here' link, it takes you to another company called DSGi plc [] :

You might then also notice on the 'Job Opportunities' menu references to Currys and Dixons. They are other high street tech stores in the UK.

I can't help but wonder if Curry's and Dixons' customer support is equally poor.

Re:not just PC World, perhaps? (1)

Larry Lightbulb (781175) | more than 7 years ago | (#20622551)

Aren't they all owned by the same company?

Re:not just PC World, perhaps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20622643)

In a word ' Yep'

Dixons now called Dixons Digital or somesuch also overprice their stuff and support sucks.
I (purely out of interestyou understand) went into their store in Bracknell yesterday. I was there supporting 'Software Freedom Day'.
Anyway, I looked at the prices of Compact Flash cards.
Their prices are generally slightly lower than PC Worlds but a 2Gb Sandisk Extreme III card. 59.99GBP. I later verified this at both Dixons and Currys online store. PC World online does not list any Flash cards so yo can't compare directly.
I purchased the previous day, a pair of these cards from an online retailer for 17.99 each(+ 3.99 Delivery) One third of the price.!
Ok, I wold expect some form of mark up to cover the store and salary costs but THREE times higher?

DGS International (the parent company) has had its knuckles rapped several times in recent years for pressure selling of extended warranties. These sometimes came to almost half the cost of the original item and were often not even worth the paper they were written on.

My advice?
Don't buy anything from them.
Disclaimer, I did spend 2 months working for them a good number of years ago and hated every minute.

it was a theme (1)

pizpot (622748) | more than 7 years ago | (#20622155)

Step 4. reinstall windows oem and bring it back to the store and say it was a theme you idiot.

Re:it was a theme (4, Funny)

deniable (76198) | more than 7 years ago | (#20622591)

If the hinge problem persists with Windows it wasn't an OS problem.
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