It’s nearly a year since I bought an Arbico computer, and my PC is coming up to it’s first birthday soon. I will wish it a happy birthday, but I am beginning to worry if it will be here in time as it has been back for repair with them now for nearly 2 months out of the year I have had it. There are precious little reviews out there for Arbico computers from when I first bought a PC, and there are very few out there still, so I want to warn people about the experiences that I have had with them.
The story started in July of last year when work at Webtogs became increasingly busy and my old dual core Athlon started to really slow down. No amount of tender loving care or re-installs would sort it out, so I made the decision to get a new one. Previously I had built my own with help from some good mates who really know what they are doing. Whether it was because I was now in the sticks and had lost confidence in being able to build one myself, or, because work was a little busy, I didn’t feel like building one this time around. Having done my research on them from the various awards they had received, I was still slightly unsure as there were very few reviews in places such as the Hexus forums and anywhere else on the web. I bit the bullet though and went ahead.
For those who know me, I am a reasonably passionate gamer and so I got myself a good rig. £1.2K of good rig in fact. Spec was pretty decent and was as follows;
PC No: 1 COOLERMASTER ELITE 333 ATX RTL , 3 x AKASA AK-191SM 120MM SMOKE GREY , Coolermaster 460W Dual 12V Rail Power Supply, INTEL i7 CORE 2 QUAD 920 (2.66GHZ, 8MB L2 CACHE, 1066MHZ FSB) , CPU IS RETAIL, GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R MOTHERBOARD, 3 x CORSAIR 2GB PC12800 DDR3 1600MHZ RAM , WESTERN DIGITAL 750GB S-ATA 7200RPM HARD DRIVE, OCZ 60GBSATA2 SOLID STATE DRIVE, XFX ATI RADEON HD 4890 1GB PCI-E GRAPHICS CARD, SONY OPTIARC 24X SATA DVD BURNER, Microsoft 64BIT Vista Home Premium, Nero, Cyberlink Power DVD.
Delivery was reasonably prompt after 10 days for a custom built machine, but here is where the problems started. After 3 weeks I started to have serious problems with the PC slowing down. Firefox, office applications and even notepad took some time to load, considerably longer than my previous dual core athlon PC and the intel dual core I had at work. After a while the computer experienced a blue screen of death and completely crashed. On rebooting the PC, the same issue happened again with the screen becoming scrambled. I started the PC in safe mode and the same thing occurred, essentially the computer was now unusable. To their credit they arranged for a return and picked it up, contacting me to advise they had found a fault with the Mobo and returned it to me again. The problems remained however, so the PC went back to them yet again. I was sure it was a problem with the SS HD and told them as such, but yet again, the machine came out to me in the same condition, despite asking that the HD get replaced.
At this point I was fairly confused and beginning to get a little fed up. I spoke to one of their support team who was pretty short with me even though they had made a mistake, and I didn’t have a working PC still. In the end we decided to send the faulty SSD HD back to Arbico, and they would send me a new 150 GB Velociraptor, which I would install myself and then re-install Windows myself as well. So after 3 errors and more than 3 weeks of No PC, I then get the pleasure of sorting my own PC out – and I had to pay for the HD until they received the SS HD back.
All then was well until last month when problems again surfaced. The PC refused to boot up, no hard drives were recognised from within the BIOS nor from booting Windows from DVD. I spoke to the to the supprt guy there, who could not have sounded more bored than if he had been forced to give a paper on Tory Party conference fringe speakers from 1975 – 1979. He recommended I take out my HD and send it back. I duly did so only to be told after a week that my HD was fine and they were sending it back with a new sata and power cable. I plonked it all back in only for the same problem to remain. I then had to send my whole PC back where it still remains with Arbico after three weeks, and all in all, I am a little cheesed off. They advise now that the secondary HD has in fact failed and they are replacing it and sending it back to me, but I am yet to receive it.
I can’t fault them for the hardware failing, there is not a lot anyone can do to prevent or stop that, but I do have issues with the support received. To their credit it is easy and quick to get through to them, and they have also paid for all the returns back to base. On the negative side however, the quality of their support has in my opinion been poor and they have unnecessarily elongated the period I have been without a PC and required me to do a lot of work that they should have. Repairs have taken a long time and as I work from home when I can, the net result of all these faults has been less time with my family. I would not as a result recommend Arbico to anyone. I don’t think that their service is really bad, but it definitely isn’t good. One to avoid.