Whenever we post a reader’s story of Geek Squad or other computer repair woe, readers immediately jump in to recommend taking ailing computers to an IT-savvy friend or to a locally-owned computer repair shop. For people who lack friends with tech skills, the latter is apparently the only option. The problem is that a locally-owned business can be just as shady as the least qualified member of the Nerd Herd, only answering to no corporate overlords.
A warning to computer owners everywhere: If someone who repairs your machine advises you to set up your laptop in a place in which it can potentially see you when you step out of the shower, beware that he might have tricked you into taking naked pictures of yourself for him.
An anonymous tipster has a complaint against Best Buy’s Geek Squad, which wouldn’t be abnormal except for the fact that the complainer is also a Geek Squad agent. The tipster sent a computer floor model to a Geek Squad service center for repair, and as you can see from the picture, the service tech’s attempt at gluing the keyboard down didn’t work out so well.
Cyndi writes that she has had her HP computer for just about 20 months, and a two-year extended warranty with Geek Squad along with it. From the very first months that she owned the computer, things have gone wrong with the computer, but things have gone even more terribly wrong with Geek Squad’s repairs. Raise your hand if you’re surprised.
Marc thought he was being practical when be purchased a four-year warranty to go along with his HP desktop. After about a year, the computer failed. No problem. Just send the tower in for some of that stellar HP repair service. Except there’s probably a reason why you rarely hear the words “stellar,” “HP,” and “repair” in the same sentence.
Maybe Adam is being a bit unreasonable here, but when he sends in a laptop to be repaired he expects to receive not only the laptop’s hard drive, but the entire computer.
A man in Connecticut brought his computer to his local Apple Store for repair due to a software issue (likely a—gasp!—virus) but when he returned to pick it up, learned that the Mac Genius had reported him to the police after finding child pornography on the hard drive.
If you live near Burke, Virginia, you might want to pay close attention when the contractor hired by Comcast comes to install your service. Rick runs a computer repair company and has twice run into the same problem with Comcast customers, where they can no longer access the Internet after an upgrade and are offered an off-the-books repair service.
We asked John, who wrote to us earlier this week about replacing the motherboard in his HP laptop, to send us a link to the listing he found for $150. Below is his response.
John’s wife’s laptop died, and his local Geek Squad wants $800 total to replace the motherboard. John says he found the motherboard for $150, and he wants to know why Geek Squad thinks it will require $650 in labor. So all you IT and geek readers out there, we ask you: is this a fair price?
Dries Janssens, a computer repair shop owner in Allen, Texas, is worried that a 2007 law passed by the state legislature requires computer repair technicians to have private investigator licenses to perform “simple computer repairs such as malware removal.” We’re not sure if the law was just badly written or written on purpose at the urging of the state’s private investigator lobby (which Janssens suggests), but it certainly seems like a bad idea. Update: according to this article sent by our weekend editor Carey, it’s just badly written (“It needs some tightening up,” says one lawmaker) and should only apply to the private security industry.
Yet another valiant former Firedog writes in to share insider info that will help you successfully navigate the rough waters of big box computer repair. The most important takeaway—Don’t let them “preinstall” anything on your new computer. According to our tipster, it’s both expensive and pointless. Lots of good stuff inside.
hashand: I used to work at a computer repair place. All the stuff you’re finding isn’t limited to Best Buy. We had a 2 TB [terabyte] server of mp3s.