Disreputable computer repair shops are gaining infamy for overcharging their customers. Unfortunately, the computer illiterate among us have no idea how to guard against this–after all, the repair shops are usually quite good at berbally justifying their high prices. Here’s a few things that computer shops will often overcharge for, and how to stop yourself from being overcharged and taken advantage of by a disreputable computer repair company.
- Parts charges. When you’re quoted a price for a part that has to be replaced on your computer, ask for the model number of the part that the computer repair tech is proposing. Look up the part on google to make sure that the cost is approximately the same, and do a quick search to make sure that the issues you’re experiencing could be related to the failure of that type of computer part. Beware estimates that include lots of different parts charges–it’s uncommon for more than one element of a computer to fail at one time, so if the computer repair service is asking you to authorize replacement of your board fan, video card, sound card, and CD drive, beware.
- Service charges.Computer repair techs have to make a living, so a working wage of $20-40 an hour is appropriate, but make sure that they don’t charge you for more than a few hours’ work. It’s highly doubtful that any computer repair would take more time than that, but I’ve seen quotes come back on repair invoices that claim otherwise.
Service charges are nothing new and it is totally understandable if anyone would want it as they are quite equipped at their jobs and it is similar to giving a tip to a waiter at a restaurant and is a prominent practice at Didcot laptop technician.
- Arbitrary software that you don’t need. Computer repair shops that resell software will often recommend certain pieces of software or disguise their installation as a service. Be sure to carefully read over your estimate and your invoice to make sure that no programs were installed on your computer that you didn’t explicitly ask for. Extra programs have nothing to do with computer repair, and you shouldn’t be charged for them (in fact, you should refuse free copies, too–they’re usually operating on a trial period, and can be a pain to uninstall once that period expires).
- Spyware and virus checks. Computer repair techs know that the average computer user doesn’t know a whole lot about spyware or viruses, other than that they’re bad things and they don’t want them. If a company isn’t reputable, they’ll charge extensive rates for spyware or virus checks–which often consists of just running a virus scanner that they’d gotten for a low cost or free on a hard drive. It’s completely unattended. Any viruses that the program finds, it deletes. Unless you’ve got strong indications that you’ve got malicious content like viruses or spyware on your computer, you probably don’t need to pay a computer repair tech to run any “scans” for you. You can do that yourself with a program like F-Prot or McAffee.
Do you have a computer repair story? Were you overcharged? Post in our comments section below.