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General Chat Thread, Thieving computer shops in General; Thought this was quite a good article (surprising for Five) but it's all very sadly true. People place a lot ...
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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Thieving computer shops

    Thought this was quite a good article (surprising for Five) but it's all very sadly true. People place a lot of trust with these so called experts with their data when their PC goes belly up, and many of the shops are no better than the garages who's mechanics like sucking the air over their teeth "oooh, that's gonna cost ya, love!"

    FIVE NEWS - Exlusive: Repair shops caught hacking laptops

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    Unfortunately not at all surprising, I have had to deal with the mess left behind by these sorts of companies on several occasions. Another very common scam is to charge people for a new copy of Windows because the shop can't be arsed to use an OEM restore disk to reinstall the version of Windows that came with the machine.

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    teddybear's Avatar
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    There's a local shop here where I dump a lot of power cables and bits and pieces as I no longer can use them. There's been a few times in there I've heard customers explaining the fault and he says they need to bring it in (which costs £49 for a basic service) Each time the fault has been a simple one which could be done easily over the phone etc.

    I know he has to make money, but when a customer says he's not getting a download speed of 8meg on a brand new PC and the shop says it will be spyware it really annoys me. We are in the country so line strength is useless, the most I can get is 4meg on a good day...

    ANother thing is when customers say they have data on their computer that's not backed up. He doesn't say he can restore it from them if the drive itself is ok, just says they will loose it.

    OK, rant over...
    Last edited by teddybear; 23rd July 2009 at 08:14 AM.

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    apoth0r's Avatar
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    Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
    Hate these companies making my life harder, instead of commiting the time to the job I am increasingly spending more time explaining the fault in rediculous detail and writing reports to that effect (being a new'ish business). Absolute pain in the arse because I actually don't rob my customers, as far as im concerned the sooner i can get on with the work the cheaper it is for the customer!
    I hate these fixed prices (£49 for a service) what does it actually entail? Oh that's right it doesn't say......making customers even more vigilant. At least with an MOT you have a list of things that need to be checked and you have an idea.

    Really saddens me that someone knows a bit about computers they think they can run a proper business, but in the end it's just the money they want, forget customer satisfaction and general etiquette.


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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Not surprised at all.

    To dig up old stories, remember how Gary Glitter was caught for Child porn. Ok, in that case the outcome was the locking up of a pervert, but how did they find them?

    This is why I have never sent a hard disk away for repair/replacment should it fail. I don't have anything dodgy on any disk I own but I don't want some nosy snoop grabbing personal files from them.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I think there are dishonest companies/individuals in every profession and not just IT. There are some good companies out there (my own included), but unfortunately we're far and few.

    The clip you link to was originally featured on Sky News. As far as I can see, no hacking was involved but the technician decided to look at documents, pictures and attempted to enter someone's online banking site, but the details were fake!
    Clearly their intentions were a lot more than repairing or building computers and I believe Trading Standards are now getting involved. I cannot imagine they're going to get away from this lightly.

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    apoth0r's Avatar
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    Tempted to write a post on my website regarding why we don't charge "fixed rates" and why people should be wary of such....

    (Still a little angry......breathe!!)

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    apoth0r's Avatar
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    As an example, there's a virus, there is no anti virus protection. It is a home PC and they want rid of it. They give me a call and they don't feel happy about sorting it themselves as they are a little petrified of anything above looking at bbc.co.uk and writing/printing a letter in Word.

    They give me the computer, I go home, install AVG free - run the antivirus scan and it picks up all the viruses and runs a lot better. It has taken me 3 hours in total from starting the PC up to the point where I have phoned the customer and shut down ready to be taken back.

    I don't charge them for 3 hours because,

    I haven't done anything during the time it has taken to scan.
    I have installed a piece of software that I have done time and time again and is by no means a chore
    The user has no idea of what I have done so by not charging for the full time taken I am showing them that people are out there willing to help and installing the confidence into the customer to continue using IT and further supporting my business plan.


    Will write more soon! (busy)

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    SteveBentley's Avatar
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    Would be nice if Five News knew how to spell "Exclusive"!

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    AyatollahPies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveBentley View Post
    Would be nice if Five News knew how to spell "Exclusive"!
    You're hard to please. Next you'll be expecting them to report worthwhile news rather than who Jordan has announced she'd like to sleep with next.

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    Quote Originally Posted by apoth0r View Post
    As an example, there's a virus, there is no anti virus protection. It is a home PC and they want rid of it. They give me a call and they don't feel happy about sorting it themselves as they are a little petrified of anything above looking at bbc.co.uk and writing/printing a letter in Word.

    They give me the computer, I go home, install AVG free - run the antivirus scan and it picks up all the viruses and runs a lot better. It has taken me 3 hours in total from starting the PC up to the point where I have phoned the customer and shut down ready to be taken back.

    I don't charge them for 3 hours because,

    I haven't done anything during the time it has taken to scan.
    I have installed a piece of software that I have done time and time again and is by no means a chore
    The user has no idea of what I have done so by not charging for the full time taken I am showing them that people are out there willing to help and installing the confidence into the customer to continue using IT and further supporting my business plan.


    Will write more soon! (busy)
    Exactly sometimes you are better off not charging the full amount as they are more likely to come back to you for more work.

    The best one I had was a friends father who needed his computers memory upgrading, I went and bought the memory for him, installed it, plugged in another pc for him and then he asked me how much he owed me, I showed him my receipt for the memory and said thats what it cost me and told him pay me what you think its worth. He gave me £100 I said are you sure the memory only cost me £23 but he was insistent and I even got a glass of wine out of the deal. You dont need to be a rip off merchant to make good money.

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    I had the same as JJonas the other week. Fixed someones laptop after there broadband didn't work. So i go round to make shore it works at there house (which it dosent) after staying there a hour or so it decided that it would work. He was surprised at how little i charged as the supplier wanted something like £80 to come round and fix it. Repeat customers are worth it !

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    How can they charge £49 to have a look when I spend 3 days on a persons computer backing up data fixing the issues and applying all the updates and AV so i don't have to look at it next week and get a 4 pack of beer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by riskyburden View Post
    How can they charge £49 to have a look when I spend 3 days on a persons computer backing up data fixing the issues and applying all the updates and AV so i don't have to look at it next week and get a 4 pack of beer.
    Er, because they make their living doing it and you're doing it on the side and clearly not charging enough (if it was indeed 3 days work). Also depends if they're working from a shop or mobile. If you're in a shop there's loads of other stuff you can be doing while waiting for their computer to run diagnostics - if you're driving to someone's house then you can only work on their problem(s) or maybe cut their grass .

    Having said that, there's a sole trader around here who's standard "fix" for random porn spam/malware turning up on computers is to sell them a new computer. He's done this three times that I know of. Or lightning taking out a nic (mobo was perfectly fine, just a fried nic) - tried to sell them a new computer when their neighbour (who relayed the story to me) got them up and working fine with a spare realtek nic.

    I've stopped doing jobs for home users unless they have a skill I'm interested in. I'm currently in the market for a farrier with computer problems (friend needs a bunch of horses shoeing)

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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