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View Full Version : That guy ticked me off.



facattack
December 30th, 2008, 06:27 AM
I called someone a friend recommended for newer computers. I ask "do you upgrade?" He says yes. I mention a video card I wanted & he's like "We can't afford to keep stuff in stock. We're not Best Buy. Just go there & buy a card. Put it in yourself. Plug & Play. We're just a repair shop."

Funny thing is my friend told me this guy had insisted on doing upgrades to max out his computer, but the guy himself sounded as if all he wanted to do was virus removal. Sheesh!

I tried to explain to him I wanted to order a card online, have it sent to him. I'll take the computer to him or he'll take the card to me to install it. He repeats the same thing he'd just told me about not being able to afford to keep video cards in stock.

I guess the main thing is when I open up a computer, I sweat like crazy. I get it all over my head, I wipe it off furiously with whatever dirty laundry is around the room... And I tried putting RAM from my "older" Dell 4600 that's been running slow into my Dell E520. It refused to take it. When I looked at the memory it said "DDR" but apparently I needed "DDR2."

I hate this nervous sweat! I hate spending weeks obsessing about buying new computer parts when I don't have the money & then transitioning into spending my wad too quickly. I have old computer junk I don't want any more that's for modern PCs but I never have the fees available for an auction site! And then I find out after buying my fourth video card & telling myself "I won't do that again" I find out I should have gotten a PCI-Express & not PCI.

I should have told him "Plug & Plug" is for a game console and any idiot who thought it was that simple to install stuff into a computer was just an idiot.

P.S. A damn repair shop advertising Best Buy??? The guy has a job, but doesn't want to work? Maybe he should quit his computer repair shop & join Geek Squad if he hasn't go the gumption!

Unknown_K
December 30th, 2008, 07:21 AM
Most small guys who do upgrades mostly just install RAM and HDs, fixed cost and normally they just install the OS of your choice and you have to reinstall all your apps.

I can understand his reasoning about not stocking anything, prices drop daily and you would have to have a decent selection for people still using AGP and PCIE etc. If they have a working card out of a stripped out machine that works in your system you will be lucky.

As you stated yourself you buy the wrong parts for your system all the time, I have seen people bring in the wrong parts to the local refurb guy I know all the time and expect him to make it fit. He basically doesn't bother sourcing parts because the customer rarely wants to pay the price for the parts let alone his time to find and install it. There is money in refurbing old junk he gets for free and reselling it (any configuration he can do from spare parts), doing OS installs for people who messed up theirs or want a newer OS, and virus/spyware removal. If he needs a new motherboard power connector soldered on he calls me for a favor, same if a setup doesn't work.

I went and picked up a DELL monitor from a guy because I was giving away a refurbed DELL Optiplex 150 for the holidays and needed a matching monitor. He told me his system HD had died and bestbuy wanted $600 to come and install a new one and a bare OS, so he just went out and purchased a new DELL system for $600 and gave the old one away. Seems like any retailer wants way too much to fix anything, and the small guys just want a profitable niche to fill.

facattack
December 30th, 2008, 09:14 AM
As you stated yourself you buy the wrong parts for your system all the time, I have seen people bring in the wrong parts to the local refurb guy I know all the time and expect him to make it fit. He basically doesn't bother sourcing parts because the customer rarely wants to pay the price for the parts let alone his time to find and install it. .

I didn't exactly mean it that way, but this does explain why the guy wouldn't even want me to provide the part.

I went to Best Buy & found an awesome card but it said PCI-Express on it. The previous cards I'd installed were PCI but I'd gotten a new computer & wasn't very familiar with the insides. I knew what a PCI-Express looked like, but forgot to write down I had one. So I went to Walmart & bought what I KNEW for absolute fact I could put in yet it had 256 VRAM & was an earlier model of video card.

The third card I'd bought was meant for a P3 Dell which had no RAM. I bought RAM seperate but it wouldn't go in without the machine beeping like crazy. And the shops wanted $200 for the "right" RAM so I junked the PC. My and "friend" I stomped on the mother board, I gave the metal parts of the frame to a scrap metal dealer I knew, and I even tried to sell the seperate parts for money at a used computer store. She told me to come back with the machine intact & maybe she'll think of buying it. :D (I'd only spent $30 on Ebay for the computer so you can see why I didn't want to pay so much money just for a part....)

Oh? And this "friend" of mine? He said he was going to give the video card to his sister, but sold it for $100 to some sucker he knew without giving me any money. It had S-Video as well as a VGA port.




Funny thing is my old Dell 4600 has one AGP card plus two or three PCIs... the E520 has one PCI-Express plus three PCIs.

rebeltaz
December 30th, 2008, 10:11 AM
As an consumer electronics technician, I try to stay away from major computer repairs, thanks to basic complete systems being dirt cheap nowadays. When a problem is troubleshot down to the mainboard, most people would rather add $100 or so to the cost of repair and buy a new one - not that I blame them. And when the CPU is shot, 9 times out of 10, the board is so old that either a compatible CPU is no longer available, or if it is, again - cheaper to buy a new one.

Having said that, if a customer comes in and wants a new video card, or a modem, or what-have-you, I'll be more than happy to search around for the cheapest price I can find in what the customer is looking for. Of course, if I purchase the part, there will be a mark-up - that goes for any service or retail center and that covers time and putting my money on the line. I'm sure the customer could purchase the part cheaper themselves elsewhere, and if they want to do that, I have no problem installing it for them. Of course, in that case I warn them that if it is the incorrect part or if it's the correct part and has any adverse effects on their system, then I am not responsible.

I do not keep anything in stock - prices and features change daily, so it's not economical for small repair shops to stock computer components.

From the sound of your experience - some people should be in business dealing with the public...

gerrydoire
December 30th, 2008, 11:01 AM
I called someone a friend recommended for newer computers. I ask "do you upgrade?" He says yes. I mention a video card I wanted & he's like "We can't afford to keep stuff in stock. We're not Best Buy. Just go there & buy a card. Put it in yourself. Plug & Play. We're just a repair shop."

Funny thing is my friend told me this guy had insisted on doing upgrades to max out his computer, but the guy himself sounded as if all he wanted to do was virus removal. Sheesh!

I tried to explain to him I wanted to order a card online, have it sent to him. I'll take the computer to him or he'll take the card to me to install it. He repeats the same thing he'd just told me about not being able to afford to keep video cards in stock.

I guess the main thing is when I open up a computer, I sweat like crazy. I get it all over my head, I wipe it off furiously with whatever dirty laundry is around the room... And I tried putting RAM from my "older" Dell 4600 that's been running slow into my Dell E520. It refused to take it. When I looked at the memory it said "DDR" but apparently I needed "DDR2."

I hate this nervous sweat! I hate spending weeks obsessing about buying new computer parts when I don't have the money & then transitioning into spending my wad too quickly. I have old computer junk I don't want any more that's for modern PCs but I never have the fees available for an auction site! And then I find out after buying my fourth video card & telling myself "I won't do that again" I find out I should have gotten a PCI-Express & not PCI.

I should have told him "Plug & Plug" is for a game console and any idiot who thought it was that simple to install stuff into a computer was just an idiot.

P.S. A damn repair shop advertising Best Buy??? The guy has a job, but doesn't want to work? Maybe he should quit his computer repair shop & join Geek Squad if he hasn't go the gumption!

Hancock, Son of a gun - I knew it was you!

:mrgreen:

facattack
December 30th, 2008, 12:59 PM
From the sound of your experience - some people should be in business dealing with the public...

Eh? What?

Unknown_K
December 30th, 2008, 01:10 PM
New computers are so cheap the common person doesn't want to pay for upgrades when a new machine is just cheaper. Also sticking a new high end video card into an old clunker is a waste of time. Only a few people bother upgrading CPU or video cards these days, normally they just get a new machine and sell the old one.

The guy I mentioned before who does refurb machines tends to deal with poorer people who do not have the credit to buy new (or the cash) but can spend $150 for a complete older system if they save. He does put new systems together when you pay half up front but even there he gets stuck with machines once in a while and they lose value very fast. Mostly I know him from freecycle because people drop all kinds of stuff off to him looking for a trade/discount and its too old or broken for even him to mess with. Great source for old AT power supplies and odd stuff for my collection (especially old macs).

I could open a shop up here if I wanted to, except I don't want the house to be grand central station of people coming and going all day long like the other guys apartment (people tend to not notice when you live in an apartment complex as they would in a residential area). One of the local computer repair places was busted recently for stealing credit card info and using it so that tells you what kind of shop it was. I never heard of places that have you drop of machines to get fixed and they do nothing on it for weeks, and if they do fix anything the bill is in the $100's for nothing. I don't have a poker face either, which is needed when dealing with people who sometimes do not have a clue. I have worked on machines in the past mostly just because I wanted to check out the model in question, not realy for the token amount I charged.

TomFCS
December 30th, 2008, 01:18 PM
I recently worked on a Toshiba laptop, XP home, 1.5 GHZ, which was infected with about every type of malware imaginable. It was stuck in a re-boot loop and had to be cleaned over and over again in safe mode. The restore partition was also virus filled and it kept re-infecting itself at boot.

it took about two days of pretty intense running and scanning to finally get it clean. I even proped it up a bit on the underside to give the fan good ventilation while it was running to keep it cool. I figured after all, I was running the thing pretty hard.

I charged $35.00 for the cleaning and I was satisfied I did a good job in removing everything bad. Even cleaned up some unnecessary start up stuff so it would boot faster, defragged and through scanned the HD while I was at it.

I returned it to the customer, she took it home and fired it up and says she heard a "pop" and now it does nothing. Apparently dead. She then implied that I was somehow responsible for the death of her computer.

A couple of weeks have passed and I have heard nothing further about it. Perhaps it has all just blown over. Still, I do feel kind of bad for her, but certainly not responsible.

I've been pretty lucky working on other peoples old equipment in the past and this is my first incident like this. This has me wondering if working on other peoples stuff is is even worth it at all.

I guess my point is that the little guys sometimes do take some risks that are not often considered, especially when working with older equipment.

BTW - This was a favor I was doing (el-cheap) for a friend of a friend.....

Unknown_K
December 30th, 2008, 02:35 PM
I knew people (in the computer field) who charged friends $50 an hour just so they would not get bothered daily with things to fix for free. People would get upset at the price but the guy said if he would walk into their law office or other job demanding free services daily they would do the same thing. Nobody values your time unless you put a price on it, then that major world ending issue they have doesn't seem very important at all.

Do I think computer repair is worth it? Sure if you charge a minimum just to look at the problem (refunded if the customer decides to have you fix it), only fix what is asked for, have the equipment to do the job without rigging things up, and only do common jobs that are mostly time intensive that you know every aspect off (specialize).

Just like any other job you can end up making less then minimum wage if you spend too much time diagnosing a problem when you should just swap a part and be done with it (or just wipe and reinstall).

Druid6900
December 30th, 2008, 06:36 PM
I do repairs by flat rate. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and sometimes you break even. My most common one is "decrapifying".

However, that being said, I also find myself up to my ass in repairs because they tell other people, etc. etc. I admit that I overdo it a bit, using a good defragger and getting the thing to maximum throughput, but, those people come back when they want a new system, so, it balances out over time.

I don't advertise my current computer repair service at all, but, most calls start with "Hi, I was talking to (fill in the blank) and he said you're the guy to see about getting my computer going.."

CP/M User
December 30th, 2008, 09:50 PM
And he never will be missed,

He never will be missed!

:-D

rebeltaz
December 31st, 2008, 09:01 AM
Eh? What?

I'm sorry... I meant:

From the sound of your experience - some people should NOT be in business dealing with the public...