The Gateway to poor service?

It is quite incredible that PC manufacturers are relying on Microsoft to help them out of the mire. (MW August 16).

How unsurprising that the PC market is suffering. The entire sector has been buoyed by consumers’ eagerness to have Internet access at home. The market has reached saturation and foolishly the key players have focused on making and flogging boxes rather than building brands and relationships with consumers.

I own a Gateway PC. The box is fine – well made even. The sales pitch was slick and the store was attractive. But the after-sales care has been non-existent. Phone helplines (the store doesn’t want to know me anymore) cost a fortune – particularly if you are trying to sort out an Internet connectivity problem while ringing in on your mobile. (We don’t all have two telephone lines, funnily enough.) There has been no attempt by Gateway to find out what my needs are. I’ve spent hundreds of pounds at PC World since I bought hardware from Gateway. Gateway’s loss, PC World’s gain. Can you imagine buying a new car and the dealership showing you the door every time you turn up for a service? Frankly, Gateway deserves whatever is coming to it.

The moral? Under-investment in brand building and failing to listen to customers will eventually result in business failure.

Jon Havelock-Stevens

Brand consultant

Christchurch, Dorset

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