MESH Computers - buyer be VERY aware

We recently purchased a couple of new desktops to replace desktops that were between them clocking up 10 years of usage. We purchased one from Dell, and one from the UK computer supplier Mesh Computers.

Now it is fair to say at this point in the game that the reputation of Mesh for their customer service is not great. The machines themselves are great, but god help you, if you need to use their after service support.

Our MESH desktop arrived, and even from the packaging point of view, my heart sank. It was all thrown in, and then sent out. Needless to say it was missing bits that came a week later in the post.

The MESH machine booted it up, and the installation wasn't complete to the same standard as the corresponding Dell had been. No big deal, just a couple of extra confirmation screens to click.

The MESH machine came with a TV Tuner card, that worked beautifully. Except the TV arieal connector on the back of it, physically popped out! So a replacement had to be sought. This is where the Cusomter Service fun began!

I first tried to use their online support system.

There is no way to email support, you have to go through a costly 0871 premium number, or use their online system. The problem with their online system is that it doesn't work!

It throws Javascript errors all over the place when you use FireFox. If you use IE, it gets a little further, then it returns a "404 Not Found error" message.

Confidence lost in their online system. So reluctantly I reach for the phone and call their line. I got through relatively quickly and spoke to someone who said they would arrange for an engineer to come out and replace it. What? It's a £35 TV Tuner card, and we live out in the sticks. Where is the economic sense in that? Either way, its not my money their are spending, its part of the support contract. I was assured someone would call be back in a day or two. Waited a week. Nothing.

Attempted their online support forum again, hoping their earlier problems would have been fixed by now, but nope failed. I then did a Google search and found lots of hapless souls in a similiar position and discovered in response to some really bad coverage on the BBC WatchDog program they had released a MESH Computers Owners Club. Which is basically a phpBB forum.

I hopped along to that, registered, and left a post. That was Friday evening.

This morning, I thought I would check to see if someone had left a reply, only to be faced with this:

Oops! Who has forgotton to pay their domain or update their DNS?

I think this sums up MESH perfectly; there is a complete lack of professionalism when it comes to dealing with after sales care. When you compare it to Dell, MESH have a long way to go.

The machine itself is great, no problems there. Just their after sales care.

This will be the last ever purchase from MESH. The Dell machine was ordered a week after the MESH and arrived before the MESH.

Dell's build quality streets ahead of MESH. To give you an example, we put in an additional HD to the MESH box. This was troublesome because their internal power cables wouldn't reach to the HD bays, and there was no HD cradle to use their case. Dell on the other hand, has HD bays, with cradles and all the power cables already cable-tied and sitting at the empty bay. Adding a new HD to a DELL box is literally a 5 second job!

We'll see how this problem moves along. Fortunately its only a cheap component that we can replace ourselves if need be, but I think its a good example of how their customer service works (or doesn't in this case).

Watch this space.

Update 17th March: Got a call from their support center who advised that sending out an engineer for a card probably wasn't the more efficient way to move forward. So he is sending out a ReturnsLabel/Address so I can return the busted card to them. A result thus far.

Update 19th March: Going very well so far. Received the return label as promised and I rang the number to arrange the pickup. The call was answered fast, and everything arranged for tomorrow morning. Well done MESH; my faith is slowly being restored.

Update 27th March: The replacement card arrived. A phone call was placed the day before letting me know it was coming. Considering the Easter period, very good. Sadly the card broke in exactly the same way, must be a bad batch of cards. This time it didn't completely break off. So its still useable. They called to ask if all was well to which I recounted the above. I stated I was going to stick with it, to save hassle, but if it worses or stops completely, then I will seek a replacement. They said fine, and made a record of that for the next time.

Update 3rd April: So all-in-all the customer service worked. I still don't have that "Dell" comfort level, but I can't fault them in my own dealings. Their customer forum is still down (doesn't resolve to anything now) and their customer support site still throws Javascript errors. So a lot MESH could do to ease the pain of others.

Update 4th April: I take it ALL back. Do NOT buy from MESH Computers. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. We are now trying to get this card replaced, and now they want to have the whole unit returned to them. Even though, we have ONSITE support!!! This machine isn't even 30days old. You get through to an Indian call center, and they ZERO scope to be of any assistance. Nice to see your buying British eh?

Update 11th April: After much wrangling, and eventually a post on their MESH users club website, a chap there managed to get things done. Today we had a very nice engineer come onsite and replace the card again. All as promised. The only reason this seem to happen was our public posting on their forums complaining of service. Going through the official support line we got the "return the base unit back to them" story. Which we weren't prepared to do; especially not over a stupid TV card! It is really a shame a great product is being let down by real poor customer service.


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