PC superstore refuses to take sack in hand

Says bag is 'incompatible with Mac laptops'

Walking lopsided when carrying a laptop from A to B on important business trips is one of the modern-day perils many IT professional bods face.

So, having the right bag for the thankless, sweaty-shirted journey to yet another anonymous hotel is crucial. And indeed, it's good to hear that computer box-shifter PC World agrees.

The retail mammoth stocks a variety of bags including the Pakuma backpack, which it describes on its website as having been specifically "designed for endurance and travel". It goes on to explain that "strong and robust material has been used to make the bags to ensure you will use your Pakuma bag for years to come".

But sadly, for one El Reg reader, Dave Goodman, who bought the purportedly sturdy bag in a PC World store, one of the shoulder straps snapped when he was returning from a biz trip in Lisbon.

Dave had only purchased it a few months previously so decided to return to PC World and request an exchange. However, on entering the Leeds branch of PC World and explaining that he had been carrying his 17-inch Apple MacBook Pro in the bag, Dave was bemused to hear the store's response.

"I was told, in no uncertain terms, that the bag that I had purchased was 'incompatible with Mac laptops'."

The store finally backed down and granted Dave a replacement only after an extremely long-winded discussion in which he was told that "Mac laptops were too heavy".

We contacted Pakuma to find out if Mac laptops were "incompatible" with the manufacturer's bags. The firm told us that its backpack "could more than cope with a 17-inch MacBook", and added that a Dell laptop would, in fact, be "slightly heavier" than the Apple model.

Having cleared up that confusion we spoke to PC World to find out why its staff seemed to regularly shy away from anything that wasn't Windows-based. A spokesman said: "Apple is a very strong brand for us."

He added that staff at the Leeds store believed that Dave's 17-inch laptop was too big for the, er, 17-inch bag. "I'm glad that the issue was resolved in-store," he concluded.

Meanwhile Dave, who compared his experience to that of Tikka and our story about PC World's refusal to repair the hinge on his under-warranty laptop because he had installed Linux, told us:

"Unlike with Tikka, I managed to walk out of the store with a replacement. If it occurs again though I will be installing either XP or Vista on the MacBook first so I can demonstrate that it is a PeeCee despite being manufactured by Apple."

As for Tikka, PC World told us it is still attempting to make contact with him to carry out the repair. ®

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