UK Mac buying experience...

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Swinny, Feb 14, 2003.

  1. Swinny macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2002
    Location:
    Oxford, UK
    #1
    Hi all,

    I just wanted to share my experiences of trying to buy my first Desktop Mac here in the UK.

    All I can say is that after a few months waiting for updates and shopping around I am more frustrated and confused than ever! It's no wonder Apple are in the position they are when they make it so difficult to buy a machine from them!

    First port of call was GHC, same company who sold me my iBook, good prices and great services - when I asked how long it might take to get a BTO Powermac though them I was told "probably about a month on these new machines"...I got a similar response from 2 other mail-order firms.

    ...so I go to the UK Apple store, BTO my system, get to the payment pages and bang! They don't accept Switch cards! Neither does the hotline....probably the only large retailer that doesn't!...I don't have (or want) that amount to spend on my credit card, so the only other option is a cheque....sending backwards and forwards to Holland before they even get to the building stage probably means a lead-time of 3 weeks at least!

    So I try PCWorld and John Lewis, Apple's 2 biggest high-street chain retailers...neither have the new models in stock, have even heard of them and PCWorld in Oxford don't even know what a Powermac is! Maybe I'm daft, but I don't want to pay last years prices for last years machines! Why, weeks after their release aren't Apple pushing their machines into these stores!? And despite the much hailed Macline displays in PCWorld offering Mac software, can I pick up a copy of iLife or Keynote or Final Cut Express? Can I fluff!

    My point? Whilst I'm sure there are other ways to get this stuff, I don't really want to spend my spare-time looking around for it (or at least, any more time than I already have!)...it would seem though that picking up a Mac (BTO at least) in the UK isn't a very easy (or quick) process!

    I helped my friend BTO a decent Windows system last night in about 20 mins, that even after paying postage and credit charges, cost half what my Powermac might...and I'm wondering if it really is worth the hassle? (of course, I know it is worth it!)

    Anyway...please no major flames...just wanted to share my opinions and recent experiences.
     
  2. timbloom macrumors 6502a

    timbloom

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2002
    #2
    I definately understand your frustration! But shipping stuff over to the UK at a decent shipping price is horrible unless it is in large quantities. Items will sit on boats for weeks just waiting for the boat to fill up so they can send it off to it's destination. Really not an efficient means at all. But by plane it is way more expensive. If I were you I would just hold on until somebody locally gets it, then just do the BTO modifications yourself if they are possible. (ram, HDs, pci cards) now a graphics card you might want to do an official BTO, because of the price and availabilitie. Your best bet is go with the BTO from a large company that will not have a problem with getting you what you want, with the payment method you choose. Sorry to hear about your troubles, makes me glad to be in the states. Good Luck!
     
  3. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2001
    Location:
    1 Block away from NYC.
    #3
    Apple should have gotten the systems faster but as apple goes it focus's (unfortunately) a-lot on the U.S, and not so much for Other places.

    Don't get frustrated and don't give up. :eek:
     
  4. kettle macrumors 65816

    kettle

    Joined:
    May 12, 2002
    Location:
    England, Great Britain (Airstrip One)
    #4
    IRELAND?

    Call me stupid, but don't Apple assemble in Ireland for the UK stuff? Would I just be guessing to think that BTO models would come from there too?

    Also I like GHC for service.
     
  5. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #5
    Re: IRELAND?

    I don't think so. They may have some warehousing there and the UK/Ireleand Apple Store (the online/phone one) is deffinitly there. When I got my iBook at the end of last year I had to wait and wait as it was shipped direct from Taiwan (via Luxemburg for some reason).
     
  6. yogi477 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2002
    Location:
    England
    #6
    PC World

    2 reasons why PC World will never have heard of the Powermac..... !. They are useless 2. Thet arn't allowed to sell them.
     
  7. Jaykay macrumors 6502a

    Jaykay

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2002
    Location:
    Ireland
    #7
    Re: Re: IRELAND?


    No, no, no, im in Ireland and i have been to the assembly plant in Cork, so yes there is a full assembly factory where all the powermacs (at least) are made (well most european ones), to the best of my knowledge there are only a few of them in the world (assembly plants that is) so when i see "assembled in ireland" on the back of my G4 tower, i get weak at the knees with pride,... ahhh. Ha and the pcs say made in taiwan or something.....
     
  8. gotohamish macrumors 65816

    gotohamish

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2001
    Location:
    BKLN
    #8
    Re: Re: IRELAND?

    Here I go...

    1) GHC let us down BIG TIME once, after we drove there (100 miles) to be told, "Oh sorry, you're PowerBook isn't actually in stock, we were wrong." They had told us it was that morning. Never looked at them again.

    2) Jigsaw used to be great but have since changed a lot of their sales team and they couldn't give a toss if they sell you a machine or not.

    3) MR Systems and Cancom are okay.

    4) Never had a problem with the Apple Store UK either, though it does suck that they don't take switch.

    But here's the big issue. All of the UK retailers charge £5-£10 delivery whether it's a PowerMac or a USB cable, which is stupid, and also, THEY'RE ALL MORE EXPENSIVE THAN APPLE DIRECT.

    I wanted some JBL Creature Speakers, they're about £95+VAT everywhere, but from Apple they're £95 INC VAT. And Apple charge less for delivery.

    In response to the earlier post, yes, Apple machines are assembled in Cork, Ireland, so we're not waiting on Taiwan shipments, they just take ages to put them together their.

    I have a BTO Dual 1.42 on order from Apple UK, but the website isn't as advanced as the US, do it doesn't update you with estimated ship dates and the like, you just need to be patient, wait a month, then go to the supermarket and miss the bloody delivery...

    I really think that if you want a portable, and go for a Rev.2+ model, that it's better to fly to NYC for a night and buy one. It's certainly as cheap for the iBook, which is just plain wrong.

    Come on, load up the UK Mac rants!
     
  9. gotohamish macrumors 65816

    gotohamish

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2001
    Location:
    BKLN
    #9
    Re: PC World

    Is that a new ruling? I've saw QS towers in the York store when they were available.

    The other day they only had iMacs (old LCD models), iBooks and PowerBooks, iPods and Airport.

    they have a Mac specialist there which is cool, and the team have been Apple trained, and last time I was there I tried a USB CDRW for a client on my TiBook and the sales guy was blown away. The drive was a 4x USB drive from Memorex which actually had a 16x drive in it (limited to 4x by USB) and when I hooked it up - toast burned at 16x! He ws in shock. I just said "Mate, it's a Mac, duh!"

    I love it.:p
     
  10. timbloom macrumors 6502a

    timbloom

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2002
    #10
    Well you guys would know more than I would about Ireland or whereabout you are. But they still need to get their parts, and those come from Taiwan. Final Assembly (on BTO's) will normally say the country they had the final assembly done. (mine says assembled in USA).
    But as of yet, that is what I would assume the delays would be on. Once the machines start stocking up in warhouses I am sure you will have no problem getting one BTO.
     
  11. gotohamish macrumors 65816

    gotohamish

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2001
    Location:
    BKLN
    #11
    Good point, reminds me of the only good line in Armageddon:

    "American components, Russian components! All made in Taiwan!"

    (only in a dodgy Russian accent!) ;)
     
  12. Swinny thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2002
    Location:
    Oxford, UK
    #12
    Just as an update to all this...

    ...I walked into PC-World in Oxford with my mum at the weekend to get a printer cartridge and for her to look at digital cameras. As ever I took a little stroll down the Apple section in the vein hope something new was there, but alas there wasnt. Or at least, that wasn't on display...I noticed that under the display (bascially in stroage!) sat a whole row of new 17" iMacs! We waited around and tried to catch a sales persons eye to get some details, but to no vail and left slighly p*ssed off with the whole experience.

    Anyway...It was driving me mad knowing that my dream machine was less than a mile away from my house just in storage so we went back down, and this time managed to collar a sales-guy. The unbelievable thing is that despite us racking up a £1440 iMac, £300 digital camera and £100 printer - this guy was more interested in selling us a USB cable and surge-pigging-master!

    So after my months of annoyance i finally have a desktop Mac (and damned great it is too! - see it (and read my Switch story) here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?threadid=20306)

    ...as for PCWorld selling PowerMacs, I've seen them in both the Poole and Oxford stores up until about a month after the MDD version came out...so maybe it was around then that they stopped selling them...they are no longer on their website.
     

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