ENGINEERS at PC World in Brentford have been accused of overcharging customers for non-existent repairs.

A Sky News reporter was charged £230 and told his laptop required a new motherboard when, in reality, the only remedy required was pushing a chip back into place – a few-second job that other shops did for free.

On collection, the original motherboard was still inside and the loose memory chip had been replaced unnecessarily but a spokesman for PC World, which is in West Cross Way, said the technician 'had followed correct procedures'.

The results of the investigation, which was carried out using surveillance software loaded onto a brand-new laptop, were described by a Trading Standards investigator as 'shocking'.

Richard Webb, an e-commerce investigator for Trading Standards, told Sky News: "I'm really quite shocked. It's a big abuse of trust. If you were expert in computers you wouldn't have to hand in your machine to be repaired. They know that.

"They know you won't be able to tell what they've done afterwards, they know you're putting your trust in them and unfortunately, as we're seeing, there are too many people willing to abuse that trust."

A spokesman for PC World said: "The technician followed the correct procedures. We offer an up-front fixed price laptop repair service for £230 for any out of warranty or non-customer service agreement repair. This means we will establish and repair the fault and there will be no extra charges or refund, as it is a fixed price."

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