Text Box:  How to avoid repair rip-offs

     Over the years I have spent in the service business one of the biggest head aces I have had is trying to reassure new customers that I will not rip them off as so many others have done. The unfortunate reality is that many repair operations ether charge excessively high fees or actively engage in outright fraud and, or thievery. These operations not only steal from you and give the service business a bad name they steal business form me and the many other good, hard working people with legitimate operations. Using my insight in to the business and my experience in seeing first hand some of these scams and having been burned my self on several occasions, I have put together some common sense Do’s & Don’ts to try and help you make a good choice. These ideas apply not only to electronics and computer repair but any other sort of service work you may need.                                           

     There are many industries known for repair rip–offs but at this point in time I think the worst is the computer repair industry. There is little or no regulation, there are a huge number of only partly qualified or totally unqualified individuals passing them selves off as techs working out of every crack in the wall you can find. The truth is that most computer repairs are just not that complicated but an inexperienced tech can quickly make a simple fix in to an expensive nightmare. Unfortunately the grate majority of  computer techs including many of the highly schooled ones have little or no background in basic electronics theory, application, component level repair or basic trouble shooting procedure and this often leads to trouble.                                                                                                                     

     Another problem is on Line service sites that offer to dispatch someone to your home to fix your computer, they should be avoided. Many are scams, simply call centers with no actual local offices or techs on staff upon receiving a service request they simply go through the local want ads for your region call all the local service ads until they find some one willing to make the service call for the low pay they offer ( they offer the tech $25 or $35 and charge you $125) Not only do they rip you off charging you top dollar for the lowest bidder but the techs them selves often never get paid. Worst of all they usually ask for no references, qualifications nor any sort of background check for the individuals they dispatch so It is hard to say who or what may be showing up at your door when you use one of these operations. I have received many requests to run service calls for these types of operations and have refused them all. Also the big box electronics and office chain stores are probably the worst places to take equipment for repair I hear one nightmare story after another about these operations. Any way enough of this rant and on with the tips that may help you save some money and trouble.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

FIRST TIP– try and find a locally owned and operated shop that has been around a wile. If the place has been around  for some time there is likely to be more information available on them. A little time on the internet or a phone call or two could help you avoid major problems.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              SECOND TIP- See if they can provide references, but check them closely as the happy customer testimonial scam is real common             THREE– Find out who the business owner is and if they actually work in the business. Many people and large companies buy local businesses and run them as a franchise or strictly as an investment and have no real experience in the field and hire a manager to run the shop. This may not  necessarily be a bad thing if you have a good manager but more often than not you only get  mediocre service and work and usually high prices from these  places. That is because no one has a vested interest in the success of the business they simply work for a paycheck and are often under  paid, over worked and inexperienced.                                                                                            FOUR– Get some kind of estimate or set a spending limit or find someplace that has a flat repair rate so you have some idea of what the end bill will be and try to get any replaced parts back so you can see what was replaced if something was replaced.                               FIVE– you get what you pay for, nothing is for free, anyone offering something for free plans to get it back and than some later down the line. So if they offer free estimates odds are that estimate will not be very thorough if it is done at all. I have a saying (I don’t mind those that work for less they know what there work is worth) Opening, running and paying the bills for a biasness is expensive and any one running a legitimate shop has to charge enough money to keep the doors open. Somehow they need to get that money  so wile they may be willing to fix your laptop for $25 or $30 bucks that part you needed that should have cost you $20 now costs you $70.even if you didn’t really need a part. Some one making a reasonable amount of money, but maybe not the cheapest, is less likely to try and rip you off if they can make enough to pay the bills up front. You are more likely to get good work and service from some one being well paid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Just some ideas to think about nothing is ever 100%and sometimes you get burned but if you use common sense and good judgment  

         you can be reasonably safe. Thanks for looking at my site. Michael C. Strickland  Owner, operator Pro Electronics Repair