"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Monday, May 07, 2007

Computer Repair Fraud

The consumerist has a discovered an article from Daily Cup of Tech that highlights the new con artists of the moment - computer repair techs. Much like car mechanics, comp techs are starting to overcharge for labor, parts and "fix" things that don't need fixing.

From the site:
KCAL did an undercover camera investigation to which computer repair places were incompetent/scammers. They took perfectly working computers and just disconnected the cable from the hard drive to the motherboard, then took the computers to different repair shops to see what they said.
The results were varied and shocking:

Best Buy: Said needed a new power supply
Circuit City: $59.99 "The jumper was set wrong"
COMPUsa: Charged $119.99, their minimum charge, but correctly diagnosed and fixed the problem
Fry's: $69.99, fixed all good
Torrence Computer Repair (local): Fixed, at no charge b/c it was so easy
BM (local)I: $275 due to "power short," as the "main board" and "hard drive" were "bad"

The lesson sadly is that "name brand" repairers don't ensure you will not get ripped off anymore then using a mom and pop operation. At the end of the day you can only trust your gut and the word of mouth of others. Or just have a tech head as a friend and reward him every now and then with a free dinner.

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