10 Confessions Of A Circuit City FireDog Technician

A FireDog Technician writes in with the following confessions.

Who is the mysterious dog— and why, oh why, is he on fire?

10. The hiring process doesn’t actually have any qualifications required beyond you saying you know what you’re doing. Most techs that are hired know little more than the basics, and learn as they go. You can’t really have an experienced tech work on your machine, because once you leave, it may sit there for a few days, and who knows who will work on it then. I was required to take my Microsoft Certified Professional exam, but when I failed the first time, that was okay too. I never went back to take it again, and no one said a word.

9. “FD COURTESYCHECK” isn’t a real SKU, it means the customer was good looking, and the tech should check to see if they have any “personal” pictures worth keeping. One customer was a professional nude model, over 2,000 images got backed up on to the tech work machine.

8.Nothing they will offer you for installation is worth it. The standard package includes Norton Internet Security, Webroot Spysweeper, and Microsoft Office Home and Student as well as the creation of recovery DVDs and an “optimization”. Norton isn’t as good as AVG Anti-Virus, available for free. Webroot isn’t as good as Spybot Search and Destroy, which is also available for free. The recovery DVDs are made in a few clicks, and could be done by a three year old. Optimization consists of uninstalling some junk programs, and deleting icons off of your desktop. All of this takes about 45 minutes to an hour, and could be done just as easily by you, at home.

7.Protection plans don’t always cover anything special. Batteries, for example, are covered by most manufacturers warranties, but are often used as part of the sales pitch when buying a laptop. “If your battery goes out, we cover that too – all you need to do is bring it in and we will replace it free of charge.” Often times, this process can take a month and is generally faster to just order it through the manufacturer.

6.Your computer may well sit around for days without anyone looking at it. If we were low on computers to work on, we would often drag repairs out for days past when they should be done, just so we looked busy. If we weren’t working on a machine, we would have to go help out on the sales floor. I’ve seen machines sit for as long as three weeks because of a lack of customers

5.Don’t always expect a new part if you try to rush them on a repair. Sometimes, when we had a customer that kept bugging us because a part on his computer was taking forever to come in, we would just swap the part out with one off of a display computer to “expedite things”. When the new part would come in, we would just return it as used.

4.Don’t expect a call back. The techs don’t care about your repair, and it’s rare that they will call you for much of anything but to pick it up when it’s done. If you want status updates or anything else, even if they tell you they will call, they more than likely won’t. Call the store and ask for the tech on duty, you don’t need to talk to the one that you turned it in to – they won’t necessarily work on it anyway. Also, it’s company policy to have a tech on duty, so if someone tells you that they aren’t there, chances are they’re lying.

3.99% of all software repairs can be completed in a day. There is next to no reason that your repair will take a week, and if you ask for it to get it rushed, they will charge you an extra $20 or more, and put it in line with everything else. Unless you demand same day service, you won’t see any special treatment. Even then, it’s unlikely to be done the same day.

2.The salesmen know absolutely jack about the computers they sell. Most of them are just high school or college kids that may or may not have any interest in computers at all. A few of they may not even own a machine. The sales training that Circuit City requires everyone to take is 100% about how to pitch things, and 0% how things work or what they do. Do all your homework before you make your purchase, and don’t listen to anything they have to say. Many of them will say anything they have to to get you to buy whatever it is they want you to buy. One of the worst I ever heard is that if one woman didn’t buy the protection plan the salesman was offering, she wouldn’t be able to get any updates for her software. Another man didn’t want to buy our anti- virus software, and the salesman told him that he would contract a virus as soon as he plugged it in to the internet if he didn’t install one first.

1.Circuit City takes no responsibility for your data. If somehow a tech magically wipes your entire harddrive, the waiver that you sign when you check it in clears them of any wrongdoing. They could quite literally just reformat for the fun of it, give it back to you, and there is nothing you could do about it. Always back up your data before taking it in.

(Photo:wingless girl)