Sunday, 15 December 2013

Click computers

Click Computers (a computer repair company) were on Watchdog (a programme that investigates consumer crime) in 2012. They had complaints for stealing people's computers. I sent in my own story because I wanted the public to know and I wanted to warn them not to make the same mistake that I did. I'm a student and I called Click Computers to come and collect both my computer and netbook to be fixed in March 2012. They took them and didn't give me a receipt. Several weeks later they brought my desktop computer back. I paid £200. 

It worked slightly better but I later realised they had actually removed a piece of hardware and not put it back. After calling the company many times, I was given a false address and many excuses, including that they had "lost" my netbook. I then contacted the Yellow Pages (where I found the company), the Citizens' Advice Bureau, the Police and my insurance company and I was told nothing could be done because I didn't have a valid address or any evidence. I never got the £300 netbook back. 

I essentially lost £500 and as you can imagine this caused me a lot of stress and grief. The computer was a Christmas present and the netbook was my 18th birthday present. The desktop computer later became unreliable, so I didn't have a fully working computer to use for my university work and had to save up for many months to replace it. People who went on the programme have had refunds and I tried to complain so I could get one too. Below is a more detailed account of what happened, which I wrote in the attempt to make a claim. Unfortunately due to the lack of evidence this was unsuccessful and I was never compensated for what happened by the company or my insurance.

I came across the advert for this computer company in the Wirral & Chester 2011/12 Yellow Pages on page 85 around the end of March 2012 (Unfortunately I don’t have a record of exact dates). No fix to fee, no call out charge, same day service and 24 hours 7 days a week service all persuaded me to use this form because the business seemed to be effective and genuine. I had hardware and software issues with both my laptop and my desktop and the advert mentioned all of these so it seems tailored to resolving my issues.

Around the end of March 2012 I called 01244879786 which went through to Click Computers (which currently has a very bad reputation due to thefts and appeared on Watchdog) on 08001693099 (the number through which the company contacted me). We arranged for someone to come and look at my netbook (Black Lenovo), which had a broken screen and my desktop (Black Trendsonic), which wasn’t connecting to internet properly.

An Asian man in a silver car came (I think it was the weekend, possibly a Saturday and it was in the evening) and tried to fix the internet on the desktop. He said he would need to take the case away and clear the information in order to repair it. He also took the laptop and said he would get a replacement screen. He gave me his phone number to ring for help, but I no longer have this (Stupidly, I threw away and deleted most evidence and the netbook accessories and paperwork because seeing them made me angry and upset and I gave up hope). He said he was local to the Wirral. I received no receipt to show I had handed it over. 

Several weeks later and after numerous calls to the original number the desktop case was eventually returned by a different man who was Indian or at least of tanned skin colour. I paid £180 which included the bill for the netbook and he told me he would find out when the netbook could be returned. I received no receipt. At first the desktop worked slightly better but I later had a few issues with the computer so I rang the Asian man for advice but he was not very helpful. I noticed my sound wasn’t working, so I guessed my desktop hadn’t been repaired very well but I checked inside my soundcard worth around £20 was missing. My desktop case did have a company sticker on it but I took it off and threw it away because it upset me.

I continued calling 01244879786 and 08001693099 (mostly 08001693099) and usually reached different men who were either rude and wouldn’t provide information or said they were new and were shocked my experience. I also tried to call the Asian man’s number but it was blocked. After calling the company many times, I was given and many excuses, including that they had "lost" or “didn’t have any record of” my netbook. 

My mother called up and spoke to James Woods, who wouldn’t give much information except an address (Acorn House, Ferndene Rd, Tyesley B11 3HQ) which I could not find any evidence of. In a later phone call he gave another address (Broughton Grounds Business Park, Broughton Grounds Lane, Broughton, Milton Keynes, MK10 9AV) which I could not find any evidence of online. When my mother asked he claimed the company was not called Click Computers, but Diamond Computers. He said the boss, Matthew Gerrard, would call her back but never did.

I contacted the Yellow Pages on 0800555444 who said I could write to them FAO legal department (Yell Limited, 1 Reading Central, Forbury Road, Reading, RG1 3YO) regarding section 35, part 2 of the Data Protection Act as trading standards can’t request on my behalf. They advised me to contact the Citizens' Advice Bureau (CAB). I did not write to the legal department as I thought it would be more beneficial to contact the CAB.

I contacted the CAB on 08444111444 and spoke to Jemma who gave me the reference number AK10305362 and told me to ring the trading standards consumer helpline on 08454040506 in the future. She gave me their address in case I wanted to write to them (Longmore Road, Solihull, West Midlands, BN0 3ER) and suggested I call the police and check the validity of the address the company gave my mother through the Post Office. I later spoke to Hannah and Charlotte on 08454040506 with updates. 

I contacted the Police on 101 who gave me log number 483 on 18th July at around 2pm who advised me to write to Click Computers and ask for a response within 14 days and sign it registered so a company representative will have to sign for it. They then advised me that if the letter led had no outcome, contact trading standards and ask them to act on my behalf.

I went to Royal Mail (Royal Mail Customer Services, Station Road, Chester CH1 3AA) to check the validity of the address who told me to ring the Post Office on 0906 302 1222, who confirmed that the Broughton address was invalid. Therefore, I did not send the letter. I then contacted Endsleigh Insurance Services Ltd on 08444722507 and I was given the reference number 792187-014 and was told making a claim would be unlikely as I didn't have a valid address or any evidence. 

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