Rip Off Computer Shops


pubjoe

Member
Joined
May 21, 2003
Messages
577
Age
40
Location
Eastbourne SE England
Website
Visit site
The other day a mate of mine phoned me up to ask if I could have a look at why his computer crashed. I said I could in a few days, but in the meantime he took it to a local, small computer shop (who had 4 months previously, carried out a motherboard "repair" on his PC).

Now, get this, the PC shop told him that the motherboard is faulty, then after 2 days, told him that "actually, it's the hard drive". They told him that they couldn't access it at all, and that his western digital (caviar) drive was prone to errors. Then they told him that they could install a 80GB seagate harddrive for the princely sum of.... £599!!!! or even a 120GB model for £699!!!!

When he told me this, I thought he must be mistaken, maybe they were quoting him a price for a complete new system. But I told him to get the computer back (which cost him £75 for their "engineers" testing work) and let me look. I told him to pay the £75 (as he has a lot of 3D work etc he NEEDS to keep) but not to tell them that anyone else would look at it incase they destroy the hard drive themselves so as not to be found out.

I saw him this morning and he had a receipt for £75 and an invoice for, sure enough, £699 for the seagate drive. I really could not believe this whatsoever, these drives go for around £50-£60!!!! £100 would be a reasonable-ish price for a shop to install it at, making a good £40 profit for 10 minutes work. £200 would be a rip off. But, £699!!! :blink: The receipt also said they'd done a virus scan, but how they did this when they couldn't access the drive I can only imagine.

Now, I've just tested the drive on my PC and it booted (after running checkdisk) first time. I did a 15 minute virus scan and it found one virus (I guess the engineers missed it somehow!!!). I removed a few spywares and defragged it. I'm just about to put it back in his machine and I have a funny feeling that everything is going to work fine. Everything looks in good order.

Either the guys at this shop are COMPLETELY stupid, or are COMPLETE bastards. They must be both, because if they wern't stupid, they would have wiped his hard drive so as to illiminate all evidence of bullshit.

I told him to either come to me, or go to PC world in future!!!

[edit]...Which is a shame, because I'd like to see the better small computer shops keep going despite of PC World, understandibly their prices are going to have to be slightly higher.

But at least in PC World, you can expect a fairly consistant standard, not the cheapest prices, but then, not a real con-trick.
 

El_Diablo

Rocking Your Face Clean Off
Joined
Jun 22, 2004
Messages
318
Age
36
Location
UK, Near Portsmouth!
Website
homepage.ntlworld.com
That is shocking, some shops are bastards. My local pc shop told me that my DVD drive had "worn out" cause I told them it wouldnt read DVDs anymore but it would read CDs, all I was requesting was the driver disk which they had failed to provide me with. When I told them I had good PC knowledge and knew full well it hadnt "worn out" they said that it was the nature of things to wear out and if I had bought a car from a garage and 2 months later it had broken down would I dare go there complaining...I said of course I would because just like this it would be because of a bunch of crooks providing bad service...they said if I gave them £70 they would replace the drive and I told them where to go :angry:

the same shop sold my friend a copy of Power DVD for £4 that said "not for individual sale" printed on it...it was meant to come with the DVD drive he had just bought from them... crazy!
 

thebluenewt

wrrrr thrrr frrrrrrrrk?
Joined
Apr 3, 2003
Messages
1,446
Location
GP32 centre of Europe - Newcastle!
Website
Visit site
Man, that's unbelievable.

I remember back when I made my first PC and it kept crashing all the time, so I took it in somewhere and they told me the memory was faulty (charging me £40 for this info).

I took that back where I got it and they said it was fine. They then offered to take my PC in and test it for free which I thought was great. But they couldn't fix it either and when I got it back I found a CD/RW had been installed and all these registry entries for my games were on my harddrive, looks like they were nicking themselves a few games!

In the end I read a letter in PC Zone with the same problem and they just replied "try putting a case fan in". Worked like a charm!
 

pubjoe

Member
Joined
May 21, 2003
Messages
577
Age
40
Location
Eastbourne SE England
Website
Visit site
Good idea, I'll see how my mate feels about it. I think I might just do something about this anyway, even if he doesn't.

But at least a little threat might just get his £75 back. And then I'll go to watchdog anyway ;)
 

Rico

Certified Guru
Joined
Apr 4, 2003
Messages
5,649
Age
34
Location
England, UK
Website
Visit site
Or just complain first. If they don't reply, THEN call Watchdog. Else they will be all over your ass for not bringing it up with them first. And you did agree to the price quoted, whether you thought it was a 'mistake' or not, which is seriously going to harm you.

The thing is... did they copy the data (I couldn't tell if they could or not) because extracting data from a faulty hard drive is often an expensive process and I might understand the fee.

Overall though, a lot of these small stores are just like the dodgy car mechanics of old - you need to go to a trusted brand that has a reputation to protect and will take too much damage if they get busted.
 

generalnmx

Playful/Fascist Mod
Joined
Apr 18, 2003
Messages
2,128
Age
39
Location
Maryland, USA
Website
www.matts-hosting.com
These types of computer shops is why I am trying to get into the computer repair business myself. Not to rip people off, but to give them GOOD service for low, low prices...bah that sounds like a car dealership ad, but it's true. Places like Compusa which charge $100 to even look at your computer are just stupid. Those people usually know diddly squat and end up finding something that "needs to be replaced" so they can put in and charge for their overpriced merchandise. I plan on charging a small fraction of that.
 

carlgeorge

Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2004
Messages
689
Age
41
Location
Tasmania
Website
Visit site
Recently my mates dad asked if I could look at his wife's stair lift which was faulty (she had MS, and died a few weeks after I fixed it, she was only 46!) -- anyway he had several people out to look at it previously, each charging a call out fee of around £100. Now as a Dr of Engineering it didn't take long for me to spot that the chain just needed tensioning so the safety brake released. Bingo, two turns of an allen key and it works fine. Collectively they charged £550 to look at it and say 'its fucked mate'. All these companys (cowboy outfits) need to be stopped, old people with house repairs, computer 'experts', etc. Bastards.
 

pubjoe

Member
Joined
May 21, 2003
Messages
577
Age
40
Location
Eastbourne SE England
Website
Visit site
Rico posted on Aug 6 2004 at 03:34 PM said:
Or just complain first. If they don't reply, THEN call Watchdog. Else they will be all over your ass for not bringing it up with them first. And you did agree to the price quoted, whether you thought it was a 'mistake' or not, which is seriously going to harm you.

The thing is... did they copy the data (I couldn't tell if they could or not) because extracting data from a faulty hard drive is often an expensive process and I might understand the fee.
Nah, the quote was just for the new hard drive & installation. And when I checked it, his harddrive was absolutely fine. Worked straight away after running checkdisk. Can't even find a problem with it at all.

And, I know, legally he's not entitled to the £75 back as, even though they are morons. they did look at his computer and thats all the charge is for.

The thing is, my mate is a really nice, trusting guy... and they saw him coming a mile off. Ah well, I suppose he's learnt his lesson. And it could have been much worse if he'd bought a new drive of them.

Rico posted on Aug 6 2004 at 03:34 PM said:
Overall though, a lot of these small stores are just like the dodgy car mechanics of old - you need to go to a trusted brand that has a reputation to protect and will take too much damage if they get busted.
Yeah, reminds me of that simpsons episode where homer gets a FREE car inspection voucher, ends up being charged for 4 new wheels and is told "legally, I can't let you drive out of here without them"!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Mosch

Reeks of fish
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
978
Age
36
Location
Germany
Website
Visit site
Soem time ago, I calculated how much money I have already saved my family by doing pc maintenance for them for free.
Taking the prices from Faber Datentechnik, a shop that is rather cheap and which I personally trust, I saved them over 2500€. Mind you, Faber is already cheap and trustworthy.

But this shop you talk about, pubjoe.... unbelievable.
 

skysnapper

sleep is for wimps
Joined
Jul 29, 2003
Messages
1,002
Age
44
Location
London Baby!
Website
Visit site
£599 that is daylight robbery :angry: .. thing is joe public out there who don't have a clue about pc's will probably have paid that amount... personally i'd report them to watch dog what there doing is disgusting and there ruining the reputation, of smaller computer firms (friend of mine runsd a mobile pc fix it company at reasonable prices) , i'll probably forward the detaisl fo this thread to him...

i'm shocked to say the least at them even contemplating charging such amount! <_<
 

Kop_007

Istanbul Red
Joined
Apr 11, 2003
Messages
1,152
The Moral:

Always make sure you've got a mate who's in the know. This way you cant go wrong. It's the way I stay ahead of the game.
 

RoboJoe32

Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Messages
815
Remins me of the time my friend got royally ripped off for an HP PC over a year ago, 128 MB of SDram, 1.4 GHZ P4 (that runs like a 133 MHZ) NO VIDEO CARD WHATSOEVER! (It has that onboard intel graphics controller crap) basic 60 gig harddrive, And dodgy onboard sound...

The price for this steal? 1200+ USD...

:angry:

Unfortunately I didn't know em then so I couldn't warn em.
 

mattmagoo

OFFICIAL
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
3,067
Age
32
Location
Sussex, England
Website
Visit site
thats exactly the same as what Currys, in the UK, do. A majority of those poor PC buyers understand about processors and thats it

Curry take advantage of this

s ofor £699 you can bag your self a:

2.6 Ghz (CELERON! CELERON!!) (OK so far I guess if you ignore that bit in brackets

128 MB RAM

32 MB integrated grafix

crappy integrated sound card

4 x CD/RW (NO DVD ROM)

2 USB ports

I COULD BUILD THAT FOR LESS THAN £200!!!
 

Huxley

Gamera, King of Monsters
Joined
Apr 10, 2004
Messages
1,602
Age
39
Location
Manchester England
Website
www.animeboredom.co.uk
Laugh at me if you want, but I'm the kinda guy who gets duped by these cowboys. I just don't know shit about computers! But I'm learning, slowly, and I hope to buy myself (or build, if I can muster up the courage) a decent PC to replace the hunk of junk I bought from Intellect Computers, Stockport.

But to know that there are places like Computerplus out there...tests your faith in humanity, it really does.
 

pubjoe

Member
Joined
May 21, 2003
Messages
577
Age
40
Location
Eastbourne SE England
Website
Visit site
There's no reason to laugh, everyone has to learn at some point. It's just usually, even if you do get ripped off, you don't expect them to try and take you for £650. It's always worth building your own if you can (It's not that hard, really, just try to find someone you can phone if you get stuck), that way you'll learn enough to know the value of each component, and what kind of things can go wrong - Making it hard to get ripped-off in future.

btw: I tested everything in my mates computer, and re-installed Windows 2000. Everything is completely fine, there is NOTHING wrong with it. So they charged £75 for false information, tried to charge £699 for something he didn't need, and god knows how much extra they would have added on.
 
Top