A while ago I got a netbook through Amazon, it’s been a very impressive piece of kit, to the point that when my Brother’s laptop died I actually recommended a netbook to him.
Due to one reason or another Neil didn’t have a lot of disposable income, so I had a good dig around to see what I could find for him.
What I found was a company called Laptops Direct, now if they had proved to be any good I would have placed a link into the blog for them, but since they turned out to be pretty awful then I would rather have skewers placed through my thumbs than drive any business their way.
Some of you may know that I am a qualified computer engineer, so Neil’s opinion is swayed by mine when it comes to matters computing.
Neil had a look through a number of items that they had to offer from an internet cafe, then phoned me to find out my opinion. My opinion was that what they had to offer and what he had to spend the best bet would be an Asus EeePc 1005HA. Neil wrote it down and phoned them up. Asked that they deliver to one of his places of work (we Sub-contract), which is what they did.
They did send Neil e-mail’s to say that they would be delivering, not that it did him any good as he couldn’t pick them up, he had a dead laptop hence he had phoned the order through.
The day arrived and they delivered, Neil opened the package when he got home and proceeded to plug in the unit and get everything sorted.
I should point out that Neil’s main reason for buying a netbook is so that he can use his email, beyond that a little surfing and printing out invoices are the main things that computers are used for with Neil, although he has some music on his system as well as photo’s. Neil has recently started getting into photo editing.
Anyhow, Neil has never really been a great one for labels, so when Laptops Direct sent him an Acer apsire Neil didn’t even notice (They all look the same to Neil). I personally would have gone ballistic and told them where to place it, but that’s just me….
So here we have Neil with the new Netbook, what’s the first thing Neil is gonna do, that’s right check his e-mail. So Neil logs into his e-mail and starts reading through things, great he’s back online, then Neil tries to send an e-mail, this is where things got interesting.
The first thing that Neil discovers is that the “@” button doesn’t work, then he discovers that the “:” button isn’t working either, then he discovers that one of the other keys doesn’t work.
So Neil starts running through the customer support side of life in reporting a fault with his newly purchased item. So they want a description of what’s wrong with the machine, Neil tells them it doesn’t work.
Now any sane and reasoning company would then say “okay we’ll have a look at it”, but not Laptops Direct, they said “Sorry your description is not technical enough”. This goes on for a while Neil reporting through their online facility and them messing him around.
After a while I was up staying with Neil and he described to me the situation and showed me the e-mails.
“Could I fix the Netbook”, the answer is gonna sound rotten, you’ve got a brother who’s a computer engineer and you’ve a broken computer, I told him “No”.
Laptops Direct wanted a technical answer so I told Neil what should be sent (what do they expect, all of their customers to be computer engineers), I also got him to tell them that there were two main reason for me not fixing the netbook.
A). The netbook was not working properly on delivery, this is not Neil’s responsibility, nor is it mine. Neil did not pay for a “Broken Netbook”.
B). They sent the “WRONG FRIGGING NETBOOK IN THE FIRST PLACE”.
To me either one of the above is a reason that the Netbook be replaced immediately, but according to Laptops Direct what should then happen is that the netbook should be collected and assessed over a period of days before they make a decision.
They messed up by sending out the wrong netbook, they messed up by sending out not just the wrong netbook, but one that then doesn’t even work properly. So all in all I would give Laptops Direct a customer service level of 0 out of 10.
Then they mess the customer about as if it’s their fault, now Laptops Direct are really pushing their luck, I would deduct points here so let’s make that a -10 out of 10 for customer service.
So to conclude Neil did get a working netbook from Laptops Direct in the end, it was still the wrong model, but it worked. Neil did send a query about “Well since it’s not actually what I ordered, but I don’t have time to mess around, what extra are you gonna provide me with”, however I don’t think he ever got anything other than an automated response. Laptops Direct are the biggest pile that I have so far come across, their customer service was poor and the sheer fact that they make mistakes and then expect others to make do is purely ridiculous.
Personally I would rather have my nuts placed in a hydraulic press than buy from them and I would warn any about buying anything from them in the future.