This post’s a little off topic from what I normally write about, but it was so shocking that I think it bears mentioning. My favorite PC store chain, PC Club, just filed for bankruptcy and closed all of its stores yesterday. I didn’t find out until this morning when I tried to visit their Web site. They had a simple splash page that said they had closed all of their stores. If you go to their site now, they don’t even have the splash page up anymore.

While PC Club was mostly a Western US chain, some of you may have bought computer parts from its alias site Club IT. In any event, it’s a real shame the company’s gone. Apparently, none of the regular employees knew this was coming. They just showed up to work one morning and boom their jobs are gone. I’m really bummed because I used to crawl their forums for PC help and I’d like to think I made a few friends on those boards. Now I have no way of ever contacting them. I’ve been following the Digg thread to see if I’d recognize any of the monikers, but I haven’t yet.

More importantly, I liked the PC Club in Riverside, CA because it was a store where the employees knew what the hell they were talking about. They didn’t try to upsell you on garbage you didn’t need. If you had to take your rig in to be worked on, they didn’t just insta-format your hard disk to solve your issues and then blame it on a virus like the Geek Squad does, or so I’ve read. If you’re a PC owner, finding a store you can trust for knowledgeable advice and quality service is like finding a good mechanic: you don’t want to trade up for anything else. I’ve bought parts from e-tailers from all over before. Without fail, there has been something wrong with whatever I bought.

I’ve never had a problem with PC Club, but it was comforting to know that if I ever did, there was a store I could drop the item off at for an exchange or refund, without having to go through some crappy RMA process. With PC Club gone, there’s no alternative.

And that’s the worst situation to be in.