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Technicians: What if you can't repair a customers PC?


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#1 djvtech

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 12:58 AM

What do you say if people ask "What happens if you can't fix it?"

 

What do you do if you've worked on it, but couldnt fix it?

 

What do you do if you fixed it, the customer says it is running great, but 2 days later the same or different problem is back?

 

Should I charge less or half or refund in these cases? And if after testing and research I still don't know why it's broken,  should I refer them to another tech, or conclude the computer is toast.

 

It's more of a side job, no official shop. I'm also talking software based work or simple hardware fixes. No ordering and replacing parts.


Edited by djvtech, 27 March 2014 - 03:18 AM.


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#2 NickAu

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 02:17 AM

Are we talking Hardware or Software?

 

The installed software warranty policy is this, It has an exit warranty, Meaning once you exit our shop its out of warranty.

 

With hardware its a case of we fitted part X, Its broken? We will replace the part under warranty.

We didn't fit the broken part? Well sir/madam the new part will cost you X dollars plus installation.

 

 

Should I charge less or half or refund in these cases?

You did the work? Whats the law in your area say about warranty?

 

 

should I refer them to another tech

Yes. There is no shame in admiting that you do not know what the problem is.


Edited by NickAu1, 27 March 2014 - 02:21 AM.

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#3 djvtech

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:21 AM

 

 

Software based work (tuneups, virus, formatting) or simple hardware fixes. No ordering and replacing parts. Not working in a shop.

I do the work, no idea about warranties.



#4 NickAu

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 04:36 AM

 

Software based work (tuneups, virus, formatting)

As long as it works when it leaves the shop , Its not really your problem. Show them that its fixed.

We all know what software is like how easily it crashes due to some update or the phases of saturn or something.

Viruses, you clean a pc they click on a link and get reinfected.  Not really your problem is it.


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#5 mjd420nova

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 10:14 AM

Many service operations have a lot of access to many replacement parts that the general public won't find.  If a serious problem presents it self, two approaches are called for.  First, insure the power supply is good, and the MOBO is booting.  Then begin adding the peripheral cards, one at a time to find the failure of those.  If the MOBO is bad, a replacement or test board can be usedd to confirm the rest of the hardwares validity.  Having test bench hardware aids this.  Often, MOBO failures can be replaced with a next generation with obvious upgrades of other cards as well.  Most users baulk at the going rate for repairs and will enlist a neighbor or friend with meager skills to give it a try.  If the unit is over four years old, it can be replaced cheaper than repaired.  The majority of MOBO's that cross my bench have thermal related failures.  Plate through points, PCI connectors and memory slots being the biggest culprits.  Things grow a bit more when ambient temperatures become elevated, mounting points holding boards firmly  cause bowwing and warping.  I have used a minimum service charge but I do a lot of "senior" service and only charge for parts needed. 



#6 djvtech

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 03:03 AM

As long as it works when it leaves the shop , Its not really your problem. Show them that its fixed.

We all know what software is like how easily it crashes due to some update or the phases of saturn or something.

Viruses, you clean a pc they click on a link and get reinfected.  Not really your problem is it.

Yeah pretty much my thoughts. So what about if you work on it but can't fix it, do you charge a different amount? Or if you fix it, it's brought back with problems a day later, and you are unable to fix it after working on it again?



#7 JeffyDurden

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 02:56 PM

I asked a friend who works as a tech and he said that if Windows is too damaged to repair then they offer to do a format and fresh install.



#8 the_patriot11

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 10:20 PM

If I can't fix it I dont charge. period. If they come back two days later with the same issue, it depends. If its because I did a poor fix, then I refix it and fix it right-without charging them more, or if I can't I refund them the money. If the problem is on their end-say I did a virus removal, and they got the virus again by downloading illegal movies after I told them not to-then yes, I charge them for the second fix.

 

I do not work out of a shop, in fact I service people who often cannot afford a computer shop and I usually charge at most a quarter what a computer shop will. And in my town, usually do a far better job.


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#9 cat1092

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 12:03 AM

I asked a friend who works as a tech and he said that if Windows is too damaged to repair then they offer to do a format and fresh install.

And that is exactly what the recovery partition & recovery DVD sets that too many fails to create is for. If I'm working on a computer & determine it to be a software issue, or if the OS has been severely infected, I'll ask the owner (normally a relative or friend) what they want saved, I'll do my best to do so. It's the owner's responsibility to have items of importance in a safe pace away from their OS, preferably in at least two places.

 

I'll then obtain any updated drivers/other software for the computer & off to the reinstall I go. Many times, I can fully restore a computer, in better condition than it was in before I seen it, in less time than I can fix infected OS's, those that are corrupted, that these "all-in-one" system utilities has gutted to a shell & other issues. I'll then update it, defrag, run a virus scan, remove any unwanted junk software, create a system image & reinstall their software. This normally takes a day, but while updating/running scans, I can be doing other things, so it's not as though I'm sitting in front of it 12 hours.

 

So yes, that is a normal procedure. In the past, there were times that I wasted many hours tring to get the last bit on an infection. Couldn't get it all & had to reinstall anyway, so I now make that a first choice, rather than a second.

 

Plus, as these are people I know (I do this as a hobby, not to turn a profit), the backup that I stated was created cuts a lot of time out the next go around.

 

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#10 mjd420nova

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 09:59 AM

I approach the problem with the worse case expected and delighted if things are recoverable.  Backups are mostly ignored and putting important files on any alternate media is unheard of.  Users need to be tricked into that routine before they get the idea.  Most will respond after a failure that robs them of photos, documents and important files.  Sometimes I 'll do the backup myself or at least hide the backup partition.   I will usually work to fix any unit that has the same fault after a previous fix, but any additional parts need to be paid for. 


Edited by mjd420nova, 23 April 2014 - 10:01 AM.


#11 cat1092

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 01:47 AM

 

I will usually work to fix any unit that has the same fault after a previous fix, but any additional parts need to be paid for.

That's the way that I work. If I'm doing a reinstall, I always run a test of the HDD for bad sectors & look for highlighted SMART specs. If there's bad sectors or SMART warnings, I advise the user, that person will often ask me "is it OK to reinstall anyway?". Normally WD or Seagate tools can fix these things if not too bad & I'll go for it, however I advise that I cannot promise that the drive will hold up & that I recharge (or if done for free, $25) if reinstallation is required in less than one year.

 

To make sure I'm not being jived if it's been slightly over a year, I'll peek in the Event Viewer, usually there were warnings 5-6 months before they called back & sometimes only 2-3 months after I performed the reinstall. I'll get paid, either by agreement or I jack up the price of the drive by that amount. My services are very low cost & in some instances pro-bono (especially virus cleaning), so I don't feel any guilt for charging accordingly.

 

If by chance I cannot fix a computer or determine what's wrong, including the cost being more than that of the fair value of the computer, I'll say so & there is no shame in it. We're all humans, being imperfect, there's going to be a time that day will happen, if enough opportunities come our way. I'd much rather be honest & not risk damage, there's always someone else who know the issue, just like on this forum. My specialties are reinstalls (Windows & many Linux versions), infection cleaning, drive swaps & RAM changes/upgrades & interior cleaning, including heatsink/CPU cleaning & re-pasting. Some general troubleshooting with networking or printing, but don't re-flash routers with Tomato, DD-WRT or other open source firmware.

 

I don't do MB or PSU swaps, will swap a CMOS battery & that's it pertaining to that, nor do I reinstall non-MS software that requires a key without a purchase receipt. Keeping things simple holds down my pricing, which in this area, is practically unbeatable. For that reason, I can only accept cash as payment, however I do provide a receipt.

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 





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