Computer Stores and Liability

In my last article I mentioned that I will be focusing on topics for people who want to start up a bricks and mortar (or possibly online) store selling computers. In this article I will be talking about the issues with fixing a computer in store.

Unlike onsite computer technicians where the technician goes to the clients house and fixes the computer there (most of the time anyway), if you have a bricks and mortar shop its quite likely that people will be leaving their computers with you for some time, often over night.

This adds a new factor to your business, liability. If your shop is robbed, burnt down, floods or suffers a power surge and that clients computer that came in simply for a network card to be installed is now toast, you are going to have problems.

This is where having a form to release you of responsibility when clients leave their computers at your shop comes in handy. This should protect you on paper, however if lawyers get involved you can still lose even if you win as I mentioned in our “Getting Sued” article.

You should also note that your insurance may not cover the cost of the clients computer should something happen to your shop. A good example of being caught out with insurance is something that happened to a family friend of mine. He ran a successful cabinet making business with about 50 employees under him and was fully insured. His insurance policy covered up to $300,000 worth of stock in his shop which most people would believe was plenty.

His shop ended up burning down one night and thought he was fine because he was well insured. However, what the insurance didn’t take in account is that at the start of the month his stock is worth well below $300,000. However, at the end of the month his completed work is worth millions in materials, assembly time and labor costs. Based on Murphy’s Law you can guess which time of the month this fire happened? Yes, at the end of month, so he had millions of dollars of stock not covered by his insurance and got caught out.

So when clients are leaving computers in your shop, try and get them fixed and out the door as soon as possible because while they are in your doors they are a liability.



Bryce Whitty

About the Author

Bryce Whitty
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Bryce is an Australian computer technician and the founder of Technibble. He started his computer repair business when he was 17 years old and is still running it 9 years later. He is an avid traveller and spends at least a month of the year in another country.

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