Bad experience | PCSPECIALIST

Bad experience

oldhobber

Member
The following spec is the subject of an order I made with PC Specialist 10 June costing £5.5K, which I was happy to pay. I have dealt with PCS before and have been more than happy with them and the support they provided.

It took a while to put together, 28 working days. I have no problem with this, and PCS gave ample warning that build times were currently extended due to corona virus.

It arrived in a pristine box, properly packaged, suspended in the webbing within the box. There was no damage to the packaging. However...

Firstly, the PC case itself was damaged to the extent that one of the side panels was bent at the rear end, with the top securing nut ripped out of its thread. Also the main front panel was hanging loose on the same side as the damaged side panel, with the holding clips busted so that it would not attach; it was clear that the damage was caused by a hefty blow. Given that the packaging was in pristine condition, I consider that the damage must have been done before the PC was packaged and sent out, and therefore that whoever sent it out must have been aware of it (the front and side panels were both loose and could not have been missed in a packing check). The genuinely helpful chap on the phone at PCS was adamant that the damage could not have been done prior to sending out, but the undamaged state of the box it came in was a clear indication that it could not have occurred during transport.

Secondly, when I attempted to boot the computer (considering that replacements could be sent for the damaged components), it failed to boot and went to a screen requesting that I enter BIOS setup to recover the BIOS setting. My 5.5k computer clearly, to me, was not properly quality checked before dispatch. It was explained that whatever knock the PC had taken had probably caused the BIOS to fail. I do not find this explanation credible given that the attached bootable drive, CPU and memory had been successfully detected, all of which I would have expected to be more affected by a knock than BIOS setup. However, as PCS appeared to be ready to take swift action, I was happy to overlook any issues as I had been promised a complete rebuild.

These things were extremely annoying, but PCS dealt with the matter well in terms of arranging for pickup, promising a full rebuild and return ASAP. However...

Thirdly, having not received any indication, three days after they received it back, of how long the rebuild would take or when it would start, I reviewed images I had taken of the PC. This is when I found that the BIOS failure screen indicated that the total memory was 128Gb of DDR4-2133. As you will see from the spec below, my order was for 128Gb of DDR4-3000. Where as the failure to boot may just be feasible as a result of receiving a serious bump, I found the idea it affected the MHz rating of the RAM to be going a little bit too far. As the spec of the order is absolutely clear in every reference that PCS makes to it, and as PCS promise full QA and tuning of the order, this appeared to me to be an impossible error under PCS's standards.

Fourthly, and least troublesome (I had a 2m kettle lead ready to use anyway), no power cable was sent with the order. This is insignificant, other than that it reiterates the lack of care taken when packing the PC for delivery.

This, to me, represents three unacceptable errors on the part of PCS which simply should not occur under their standards. Improper QA, damaged goods sent out, and improper (lower spec and cheaper) components being installed. The first two, though not good, may indicate an employee having a bad day, but the third, unfortunately, only suggests a deliberate deceit, as it is not possible (with installation and QA checks) it was an error.

With everything weighed up, I have given up on the order and have asked for a refund. From previous dealings with PC Specialist, I had no hesitation when ordering this PC from them. Sadly, I now have no trust in them to observe their claimed standards. Clearly, there are many good things about the company, and I think that I would still have no issue buying a pre-built PC from them. But when it comes to a custom built PC, I feel that in future, based on this experience, I will put my trust and £5.5K where it may be valued to the extent I would wish it to be.

Case
CORSAIR OBSIDIAN SERIES™ 750D FULL TOWER CASE
Overclocked CPU
Overclocked Intel® Core™ i9-10980XE 18 Core (3.00GHz @ up to 4.7GHz)
Motherboard
ASUS® ROG RAMPAGE VI EXTREME ENCORE: DDR4, 6Gb/s, CrossFireX/SLI, Wi-Fi AC - ARGB Ready
Memory (RAM)
128GB Corsair VENGEANCE DDR4 3000MHz (4 x 32GB)
Graphics Card
11GB NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2080 Ti - HDMI, 3x DP GeForce - RTX VR Ready!
Graphics Card
11GB NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2080 Ti - HDMI, 3x DP GeForce - RTX VR Ready!
1st M.2 SSD Drive
2TB SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS M.2, PCIe NVMe (up to 3500MB/R, 3300MB/W)
DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
16x BLU-RAY WRITER DRIVE, 16x DVD ±R/±RW & SOFTWARE
Power Supply
CORSAIR 1000W RMx SERIES™ MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD, ULTRA QUIET
Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Processor Cooling
Corsair H115i PRO Cooler w/ PCS Ultra Quiet Fans
Thermal Paste
ARCTIC MX-4 EXTREME THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY COMPOUND
Sound Card
ONBOARD 8 CHANNEL (7.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Wireless/Wired Networking
10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT (Wi-Fi NOT INCLUDED)
USB/Thunderbolt Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 6 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS
Operating System
Windows 10 Home 64 Bit - inc. Single Licence [KUK-00001]
Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language
Windows Recovery Media
Windows 10 Multi-Language Recovery Image - Unlimited Downloads from Online Account
Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft 365® (Operating System Required)
Anti-Virus
NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
Browser
Microsoft® Edge (Windows 10 Only)
Warranty
3 Year Platinum Warranty (3 Year Collect & Return, 3 Year Parts, 3 Year labour)
Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)
Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 16 to 18 working days
Promotional Item
Get Death Stranding on PC with select NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPUs!
Welcome Book
PCSpecialist Welcome Book - United Kingdom & Republic of Ireland
Logo Branding
PCSpecialist Logo
 

ubuysa

Moderator
Moderator
I can't begin to say how surprised and dismayed I am by this, you must be gutted. I admire you for being able to post such a detailed and well argued description of what is the worst experience I've heard of anyone having with a PCS build. I sincerely hope things get resolved to your satisfaction.

I don't work for PCS of course, but I cannot imagine how your PC could possibly have left PCS in that condition. I appreciate that there was no damage to the box, but if someone at PCS had damaged it and then shipped it they would know that the customer would (rightly) be furious. What you can't know of course is whether the box that it arrived in was the same box in which it left PCS....

Although it doesn't help you much I have escalated this up to PCS as a matter of urgency.

It's essential I believe that PCS investigate this fully and find out how and when your PC was so badly damaged. This is a disgrace, and whether it turns out to have been damaged at PCS or between PCS and you, the person(s) responsible should in my view be looking for new jobs.

If you wouldn't mind, please let us know how this turns out for you, I think it's important that the community gets to know what went wrong here. I am so sorry this has happened.
 

SpyderTracks

Huntsman
Moderator
I would be happy to have this confirmed! I am unsure why it would be the case though.
The default RAM speed on intel mobos is 2133mhz, then to reach higher speeds you have to apply an XMP on the motherboard (extreme memory profile). It looks like they’ve just forgotten to set the XMP in the BIOS, it’s a one click process.

There’s no doubt, that should also have flagged during testing before being shipped, but it is an easy fix.
 

Grumpywurzel

Enthusiast
Gutted for you and hopefully this is sorted to your full satisfaction ASAP. Deffo doesnt sound like this machine was tested and setup correctly. Wonder if the XMP profile hasnt been applied to the RAM?

Rats, @SpyderTracks beat me to it 😭
 

Tony1044

Spamtastic
I would be equally as annoyed and frustrated but I can confirm that kit can be bay damaged in transit even with no visible damage to the packaging.

I've had more than one server turn up all properly packed and in undamaged boxes to be opened up and it's like elephants stomped all over them.

It is mind boggling but it can occur.

The other things though smack of being rushed - we've seen a few examples on here recently that kind of give some weight to this idea.

I can only imagine the poor bods doing the builds have been under immense pressures to catch up.
 

keithbeaks

Enthusiast
I think the ram not being set to it's advertised speed is another thing pcs need to check before sending out PC's. Good chance a lot of recent systems were sent out at default speeds
 

SpyderTracks

Huntsman
Moderator
I think the ram not being set to it's advertised speed is another thing pcs need to check before sending out PC's. Good chance a lot of recent systems were sent out at default speeds
We did have a batch of people posting as such recently and fed that back to PCS. I do think this is related to newer staff members not so thoroughly trained, but even so, it should be picked up in the testing phase.
 

oldhobber

Member
I can't begin to say how surprised and dismayed I am by this, you must be gutted. I admire you for being able to post such a detailed and well argued description of what is the worst experience I've heard of anyone having with a PCS build. I sincerely hope things get resolved to your satisfaction.

I don't work for PCS of course, but I cannot imagine how your PC could possibly have left PCS in that condition. I appreciate that there was no damage to the box, but if someone at PCS had damaged it and then shipped it they would know that the customer would (rightly) be furious. What you can't know of course is whether the box that it arrived in was the same box in which it left PCS....

Although it doesn't help you much I have escalated this up to PCS as a matter of urgency.

It's essential I believe that PCS investigate this fully and find out how and when your PC was so badly damaged. This is a disgrace, and whether it turns out to have been damaged at PCS or between PCS and you, the person(s) responsible should in my view be looking for new jobs.

If you wouldn't mind, please let us know how this turns out for you, I think it's important that the community gets to know what went wrong here. I am so sorry this has happened.
Thanks for the reassuring response.

I accept that things happen that we would rather did not happen. I hate the idea that someone may lose their job because they had a bad day! I've had enough of them myself...

PCS dealt with the fact there was a problem very well. I was initially furious, but their chap on the phone sorted out collection swiftly and promised a quick turn around.

I have to be sceptical about the possible change of box by the carrier, DPD, though the possibility had also occurred to me! It was the same type of box I have previously received from them and seen in PCS videos, with the same logos and information, and was a perfect fit for the packaged PC. The packaging itself shows an attention to care and quality that in itself makes it impossible to consider that the damage occurred in transit. They are damned by the excellent care they did take!!

I am bewildered myself, and very reluctant to think the worst of PCS, who have been helpful and professional at all times prior to this. But, unfortunately, even down to the kettle lead not being provided, there is a strong suggestion that someone was having a very bad day when they sent out this order.

That there is no current committal to a rebuild date (I understand there are time scales, but there is not reason a committment to start cannot be made) is also a significant issue for me. I have paid £5.5K for this PC, and I would have liked to have known that PCS intend to pull out the stops on an expensive (to me) obligation they are yet to fulfil. If they are not prepared to stop work on another order to sort this out, then as far as I am concerned they are not serious about their committments. This, and the likelyhood that the RAM supplied was not of the quality ordered, is the biggest factor in my cancellation of the order.

The underlying issue to me feels like a person was entrusted with a job that left them out of their depth and under pressure they found difficult to manage, which led to poor decisions. I can sympathise, because I have been there myself. But it does not, in anyway, improve my situation. The overlying issue now is that the response is being treated as a job number, rather than putting things right for a customer.

I share your disbelief, but continue to suffer the reality!

Thanks again for your reply and reassurances.
 
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SpyderTracks

Huntsman
Moderator
Thanks for the reassuring response.

I accept that things happen that we would rather did not happen. I hate the idea that someone may lose their job because they had a bad day! I've had enough of them myself...

PCS dealt with the fact there was a problem very well. I was initially furious, but their chap on the phone sorted out collection swiftly and promised a quick turn around.

I have to be sceptical about the possible change of box by the carrier, DPD, though the possibility had also occurred to me! It was the same type of box I have previously received from them and seen in PCS videos, with the same logos and information, and was a perfect fit for the packaged PC. The packaging itself shows an attention to care and quality that in itself makes it impossible to consider that the damage occurred in transit. They are damned by the excellent care they did take!!

I am bewildered myself, and very reluctant to think the worst of PCS, who have been helpful and professional at all times prior to this. But, unfortunately, even down to the kettle lead not being provided, there is a strong suggestion that someone was having a very bad day when they sent out this order.

That there is no current committal to a rebuild date (I understand there are time scales, but there is not reason a committment to start cannot be made) is also a significant issue for me. I have paid £5.5K for this PC, and I would have liked to have known that PCS intend to pull out the stops on an expensive (to me) obligation they are yet to fulfil. If they are not prepared to stop work on another order to sort this out, then as far as I am concerned they are not serious about their committments. This, and the likelyhood that the RAM supplied was not of the quality ordered, is the biggest factor in my cancellation of the order.

The underlying issue to me feels like a person was entrusted with a job that left them out of their depth and under pressure they found difficult to manage, which led to poor decisions. I can sympathise, because I have been there myself. But it does not, in anyway, improve my situation.

I share your disbelief, but continue to suffer the reality!

Thanks again for your reply and reassurances.
I would expect that they will deal with this RMA as a priority case and get it back to you ASAP.
 

Nursemorph

Spamtastic
If they are not prepared to stop work on another order to sort this out, then as far as I am concerned they are not serious about their committments.
I get that you have paid a lot of money for your system and I agree that there have been serious failings....but to expect that someone else's build should be delayed to show their commitment is not right at all....why should someone else have to wait longer just because they haven't spent £5.5k on their system? That would be like going to a garage and demanding to have your Mercedes serviced ahead of the Fords because it's a more expensive car!
 

thomor

Bronze Level Poster
I can only imagine the poor bods doing the builds have been under immense pressures to catch up.
Imo that's a really bad atmosphere for a company like PCS to be putting on their employees if that is true, I wouldn't expect them to be working at any speed faster than they normally are in a no-covid world. Rushing your employees when their job is to precision build customs machines is just a recipe for disaster all over.

Allocating extra work hours/days, sure, but there absolutely should not be an air of pressure in a workplace like this. It's done when it's done and that's how it is, unless you want a PC like OP received. Hence why I'm not even bothered that my recent RMA took over 3 weeks to replace faulty RAM, I'd rather have it done properly than rushed and botched.
 

thomor

Bronze Level Poster
I get that you have paid a lot of money for your system and I agree that there have been serious failings....but to expect that someone else's build should be delayed to show their commitment is not right at all....why should someone else have to wait longer just because they haven't spent £5.5k on their system? That would be like going to a garage and demanding to have your Mercedes serviced ahead of the Fords because it's a more expensive car!
I think the point is not that it's a more expensive build than someone else's, but that PCS have made the most colossal mistake pretty much anyone on this forum has ever seen them make, and instead of pulling out all the stops to fix the problem (as should be expected of a company who's values are pretty much the opposite of what was delivered), they basically told him "yeah take a number and get in line buddy". This absolutely should have been shifted to the front of the queue, in my view this is such a royally bad mess-up and smear on their good name that they should not only have put him in the front of the queue, but also compensated him with something extra for wasting his time.
 

ubuysa

Moderator
Moderator
I understand that we're all keen to know how such a disaster could have happened but there is nothing useful to be gained by guessing how PCS might deal with it nor what might have caused it. Thanks. :)
 

oldhobber

Member
I get that you have paid a lot of money for your system and I agree that there have been serious failings....but to expect that someone else's build should be delayed to show their commitment is not right at all....why should someone else have to wait longer just because they haven't spent £5.5k on their system? That would be like going to a garage and demanding to have your Mercedes serviced ahead of the Fords because it's a more expensive car!
Not at all. It would be exactly like expecting to get a working PC in the promised timescales. Effectively I have been pushed back due to a PCS error, and am being expected to wait nicely whilst other people get their orders sorted that were made a long time after mine - I have waited over a month and a half now and still no PC. I am not asking them to repair any damage I am responsible for, and have acted, I believe, reasonably. I would say the same if I had spent 500 quid.

Wouldn't you?
 

SpyderTracks

Huntsman
Moderator
Not at all. It would be exactly like expecting to get a working PC in the promised timescales. Effectively I have been pushed back due to a PCS error, and am being expected to wait nicely whilst other people get their orders sorted that were made a long time after mine - I have waited over a month and a half now and still no PC. I am not asking them to repair any damage I am responsible for, and have acted, I believe, reasonably. I would say the same if I had spent 500 quid.

Wouldn't you?
I believe the RMA queue is separate to the normal build queues.
 

oldhobber

Member
I believe the RMA queue is separate to the normal build queues.
Please do not worry about this any further. I have resolved the situation with PCS and expect to be notified of my refund shortly.

I appreciate the standards you are prepared to accept, but I do have alternatives to PCS and am left believing they will suite me better.
 

ubuysa

Moderator
Moderator
Please do not worry about this any further. I have resolved the situation with PCS and expect to be notified of my refund shortly.

I appreciate the standards you are prepared to accept, but I do have alternatives to PCS and am left believing they will suite me better.
I quite understand your asking for a refund. Sadly though it probably means that we'll never know what went so wrong. That leaves a bit of a bad taste really. Best of luck elsewhere. :)
 

oldhobber

Member
I quite understand your asking for a refund. Sadly though it probably means that we'll never know what went so wrong. That leaves a bit of a bad taste really. Best of luck elsewhere. :)
Alas, I think people will decide for themselves what went wrong😉. Whether it is a DPD conspiacy or an unreasonable customer expecting to get the working PC they paid for. All things are possible, but whatever. I am seriously hacked off beyond the point where PCS's automated messages can sort the matter out.

I seriously doubt that many other customers will be subject to the service I have recieved.

But I think it is worth having this here as a note of caution, for what it is worth.

NOTE It has been explained to me that the RAM requires a bios setting to be recognised which I accept, as a numpty, but it strikes me as odd that a modern motherboard costing over half a grand cannot recognise what gets plugged into it.
 
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