Currys & PC World – Do they have the Knowhow?

by , Technology Researcher Computing Helpdesk 12/12/2011

Dixons Retail, the company responsible for Currys and PC World, has launched the new service, Knowhow. The Which? Tech team has put the desktop and laptop repairs aspect of it to the test, to see how it compares with the previous Tech Guys offering, and other high street electrical stores.

Knowhow desktop and laptop repairs investigation

Laptop repairs

As with the undercover investigation we conducted in November 2010, PC World and Currys were unable to repair any of the three laptops we had introduced easy-to-fix faults to.

One of our four-year-old laptops was immediately dismissed for being too old. Instead, on this occasion, staff recommended an £80 data-retrieval service* for any lost personal files on the hard drive.

Staff took £50 payments for the other two models and kept hold of them for between seven and 19 days. Upon collection of these two laptops we were refunded our £50, and after telling us that the machines couldn’t be fixed, the staff then suggested a £700 data-retrieval service*.

Desktop PC repairs

Two of the desktop PCs were repaired satisfactorily, and one we consider to have been partially fixed.

We were charged £30 for reparation of the first desktop and £40 for the second. The first was repaired within a day, while the second was ready the very same afternoon – the staff even offered to carry the desktop to the car.

We were charged £94.99 for the work carried out on the third desktop PC. Upon collection we were told that a new hard drive had been installed, and while the old hard drive was returned, no offer was made to retrieve our personal data from it.

The results

Here you can see how the recent Knowhow test compares with the Tech Guys test from the previous year. You can also see how the results compare with the services offered by Best Buy, Carphone Warehouse and Comet.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

You can read the results from our initial high street PC repairs investigation here.

Our conclusions

The faults we introduced to the laptops and desktops were easy to repair. We’d simply disconnected the hard drive and the DVD drive on the desktops, and introduced a minor software fault to the laptops that could be repaired using a Windows installation disc – something all PC repair centres should have.

PC World and Currys were placed a lowly 98th and 70th respectively in the 2011 Which? high street shop satisfaction survey, and they appear to be attempting to address this with the launch of the Knowhow service. PC repairs is only a small part of the new service, but is key to many computer owners. It seems that Knowhow still needs to up its game further if it wants to keep its customers satisfied.

Share your experiences with Knowhow

We want to hear about your good and bad experiences with the Knowhow service from Currys and PC World. Which? member, Tony Gornall, has shared his:

My wife has a Toshiba laptop which crashed in April 2011. It was returned to PC World, and they told us they would save our data.  We called several times for a progress report, and then out of the blue we got a letter saying ‘if we have not heard from you within 14 days of the date of this letter we will take the necessary steps to dispose of your property.’ When we eventually got the computer back it had been wiped clean of all my wife’s work. In August the laptop crashed again.

Please share with us your experiences in the comments below.

Best PC repair services

Which? Local is a service where Which? members can recommend and consequently find the best local service providers in their areas. There are more than 1,500 recommended PC Repairers on Which? Locals.

More on this…

*The price discrepancy for Knowhow’s data-retrieval service is down to two services being offered. Knowhow charges £80 for data retrieved from an undamaged hard drive and £700 for a damaged hard drive. This wasn’t explained to our mystery shoppers.


Add your comments


Unhappy chappy

The sound on my tele has an intermittent problem that I’ve been able to capture on a video which is less than 30 sec long. My TV is a little over 6 months old. Know how is claiming that there not allowed to access videos and that there not responsible for the repair. I have to contact Samsung myself and arrange it through them. How can a repair company honestly say that they know how if they can’t even open a video which is a great tool in being able to determine a fault. Very possibly this fault might just require a software update or a reset, that is the annoying bit.



As far as i understood any faults within the first year you take it back to the shop your brough it from and its up to them to deal with it..
Now myself i wouldnt be keen to open any video files (i think Knowhow have been court out once with a TROJAN as they dont like any software from outside the company, when they did used to)

Tell them it has a fault with the sound and send it back, you have proof there is a fault they are spose to have it on testing it for sound and colour tho i understand cant always watching it, but the guys cleaning the TV’s watch them while they Clean so should be a reasonable test.



Read the terms, had to write off some laptops that have “DROPED IN THE BATH”
play them at their own game



took my laptop to them for a new motherboard and they took £50 pounds of us and when we got it back they had not replaced the motherboard and they would not give us owe money back we all so purchases a logic TV which the sound on it is horribly you have to have it on a 100 to hear any thing and knowhow would not replace the unit or repair it and it was still under a year old.


Laptop repair

Useful information.i would like to replace my laptop screen it was completely wrecked took my laptop to Elite this was happened couple of months ago.these guyz are amazing fixed my laptop good as new.Returned my laptop with less hassle,low-cost and minimal time.For more details check out


Sheila Maria Bloom (Mrs).

My desktop went in for repair to Currys and I have never experienced so much garbage in my life, they had my desktop for almost five week and it was returned with nothing on they had not put the recovered items back on to my computer, I was backward and forward to the Manchester Fort Store like a YO YO which is four miles from my home, I may be 69 years of age but, I am not stupid and nor am losing my mind or memory. I had paid £4.49 and £2.99 per month for eight years to Currys for breakdown service which I had never used once until this very bad experience. I have been waiting for a reply to my letter since September and to date I have not had any reply only stupid e-mails from Knowhow, surely they must have all the documents regarding my repair. I can assure you I would not recommend anyone to buy anything from Currys.



I bought a new 4K ultra HD Panasonic TV earlier this year from Curry’s and was advised to purchase their after-care support package. One of the benefits of the package was the provision of a replacement TV if your TV needs to be taken away for repair. The word we will “endeavour” is then used when a replacement is requested and a staff member of Knowhow (their servicing arm) admitted to me that there’s usually too much demand for these replacement TVs. There’s therefore usually a waiting list for the length of time it takes to repair the faulty TV. In our case however it took 5 weeks to repair the TV (!) and return it and we were eventually provided with a replacement. A week has passed and the TV doesn’t work again. Awful service from Curry’s and Knowhow!!!



Sent my tv to know how team with a little crack in the screen I have wot ever happens cover on it had a phone call saying that they won’t repair it and are sending it back so when I got it back it came home in worse condition then it left looks like it has been dropped all the screen has been broke when I phone them they said Wright a letter to them about it how can they let this happen worse possible service ever

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