Why I Won’t Shop in PC World

Why I Won’t Shop in PC World post image

It’s been a while since I used this blog for what the internet invented blogs for: having a rant about things that pee you off! And as I woke up this morning thinking about this, I figured a bit of rant-therapy was in order.

I went into PC World in Stockport on Sunday to buy some DVD-R disks so that I could take a backup of my work’s Laptop. I don’t normally shop in PC World for the very reason that pee’d me off on Sunday, but Staples had shut and PC World was open, and I couldn’t think of anywhere else to buy DVD-R’s at 4:30pm on a Sunday.

It’s changed a lot since I was last in there, it’s become what Dixon’s used to be: and general peddler of all things electrical. Which is ironic as Dixon’s has disappeared from our high streets. Though not a lot realise that Dixon’s, PC World and Curry’s for that matter, are all owned by the same company.

Anyway, I eventually found the DVD-Rs and after drooling at the 60″ TVs for a bit, went to pay. As these were for business use, I asked for a VAT receipt. This is where it got messy, as the shop assistant then asked me for my name, physical address, email address and phone number. Which I refused to give.

Even after getting her supervisor, they refused to budge and wouldn’t give me a VAT receipt without be giving them my personal details. At one point the supervisor even said to me: “Well then you don’t need a VAT receipt!” To be fair, she did apologise later. The issues here are this:

- As a VAT registered company, PC World are obliged to give a VAT receipt if asked, that shows the tax component of the transaction.
- For retail sales under £250, a VAT invoice/receipt does NOT need the customer’s details.
- The Data Protection Act protects personal data from being collected, where it’s not necessary to collect it.

Knowing the law is on my side, and as I get enough junk mail, junk email, junk automated phone calls, I refuse to give out my personal details, just because someone asks for them. Realising that my Sunday afternoon didn’t need to be completely ruined by a blood pressure elevating episode in PC World, in the end just chose to walk away.

But it will be many more years before I step foot inside another PC World.

{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Bryon 19 April 2013, 12:27 pm

    Long time ago now but I used to have a computer shop in Fife when a customer came in and asked if I had any Amstrad 8512 in stock ( told you it was a long time ago ) I explained i didnt keep them in stock but could deliver next day and handed him a brochure, he replied ” well at least you know what one is I walked into Dixon’s and asked to see one and was shown a microwave”
    Same shop and only about a week later someone came in and asked for desktop publishing software for an Amstrad 9512 – I explained you couldn’t do desktop publishing on a 9512, guy got a bit irate saying it was a computer so definitely could and Dixons had told him it could. The 9512 unlike the 8512 dot matrix equivalent uses a daisywheel printer so is incapable of producing graphics or anything not on the daisywheel – when he left I think he was going to go park the machine where the salesman may not appreciate.

    I too have had the PCWorld issue in regards to VAT even though I have a business account with them – pain in the arse it is if just wanting to nip in and make a quick purchase, sadly no competition left now for off the shelf computer related purchases and they wonder why the high streets are failing.

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