A few days ago, one of my friends bought the cheapest laptop (netbook rather) in Argos catalogue: £199.99. It is called:
So far, it is all right. But he knows almost nothing about computers and speaks very little English. He did not even know that it was not a proper laptop, and it did not even have a CD/DVD drive, but came with a recovery DVD!?
Anyway, he wanted to connect to a wireless router and browse the net and chat with relatives abroad.
I tried to help him and had a look at the netbook. First, I had to switch the wireless adapter on using the tiny keyboard (Fn + F1). It is enabled, good. It found the wireless router and we are connected. That’s fine. Open Internet Explorer and it could not even open Google. I opened a command line window and pinged www.google.co.uk. Surprisingly, it could ping perfectly.
By the way there was a popup window kept bugging me to register: Bullguard, an internet security application. I thought he did not need that, also because it came with 60 day trial and after that he had to pay £45 for a year’s subscription! That sounded silly while home users have FREE alternatives!
I uninstalled it straight away!
Reboot was required, OK, we restarted the machine.
Fn + F1 to enable the wireless connection every time you start the netbook. But it could not even see wireless routers around?!
I looked at the device manager and there were faulty network components with usual yellow question mark icons!
The only thing I did to the netbook was to uninstall that stupid application!
But after a few hours of struggle I had to download the application on another laptop, copy it using a USB memory stick and install it again.
I have to mention that Zoostorm website has nothing, I could not find any drivers and copying the recovery DVD on to a USB stick did not work, because we did not have an external DVD drive either!
Then, I thought there is something funny going on and registered the Bullguard internet security and let it run.
Guess what?! We could connect to the net!
So, are we stuck with this stupid netbook called Zoostorm Freedom with Windows XP and Bullguard internet security?
Argos did not replace it with a better one even if he was willing to pay! The lady at the customer services section moaned about the state of the packaging, the way he was trying to return and wanted to show a sample so that he would learn how to return items of Argos! I said “is there a point to show that, you will not replace it anyway?!”
1. the item was non-returnable, you must be careful what you are buying
2. the package should not be torn, everything in it should be returned as you bought
3. next time he should go with someone who can speak english (that’s what she said!)
I will not be shopping from Argos next time! All the other things we bought from them included hundreds of pieces that had to be assembled!
It is not fun!
In the USA, people would easily sue Argos and Bullguard, and take more than what they paid!
At least, I recommend to stay away from them and cheap stuff which may come with a CATCH!
+++++++ UPDATE ++++++++
I left a message on Zoostorm’s website, filled in the contact form and requested windows drivers for the laptop. They replied 2 days later and said that I should contact Sykes, support company of Argos (?). They are not even able to let customers DOWNLOAD drivers of their own products!!