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Nod
08-03-2011, 02:13 PM
Anyone got any stories about your clients previous techs?

These aren't hilarious but worth a mention. Basically there is another computing business in the next town about 6 miles away and in the 4 months I've been in business full time I have about 10-15 of their old clients.

First story: They were doing some work in the office for a food processing company. The woman must have been working on the computers for 10 minutes and her husband just pulls his guitar out in the middle of a 5 man office and just starts playing away for his wife for about 30-45 minutes. The boss didn't want to say anything to them as they were grateful they had responded so quickly.

Second story: My girlfriends mum and dad used them too and one day she is working away on the computer and my girlfriends mum offers her coffee and a biscuit. She had to go to the door as she was waiting for her friend forgetting about the biscuits and leaves them with the tech. She then went to get them after about half an hour so she could offer one to her guest. The tech had eat the whole big packet of biscuits :D

Third Story: This one isn't funny but very stupid. A groundworks business had them set up a backup system(an old PC as a NAS) so the 4 computers in their office would get backed up to it and networked so they could all access the files and invoices. This was set up in 2007.Now 2011 I get called in to price a new PC build and examined their other computers and their network so I could get an idea what they were previously working with. It turns out they hadn't set up a backup system at all. They had told the clients to save into the Old PC so it was not getting backed up at all just stored on the old 80GB IDE drive. Lucky the drive never failed or it would have been 4 years worth of data and 100's of invoices lost.

Anyone got stories?

Techlogon
08-03-2011, 04:48 PM
Most common one I see is virus removal where customers are surprised that viruses can be removed without losing all their documents. Their last tech just nuked and paved without backing up or telling the customer what they planned.

Recent one - a shop reinstalled XP on a laptop but only SP2 (and no updates). Customer can't reconnect to their existing WPA2 network (without SP3 or the wpa2 update). No idea why they didn't use an SP3 disk...

IAMPC
08-04-2011, 02:30 AM
Just had customer who turned her PC off in middle of update. She took it to Geek Squad and the tech told her she needs a new computer... :eek:

EnigmaTech
08-04-2011, 06:24 AM
ah yes... I have had 2 in the last week, both from "techs" from one of the big national squads (you know the guys)
1. tech did a nuke and pave to install a new CD drive, and charged the client $300 +
2. tech told the client NOT to do a defrag as it disorganises the files and makes them harder for the drive to read. WTF?

Gold Coast Computer Repairs, Service and Upgrades (http://www.enigmatechnologies.com.au)

classonepc
08-04-2011, 09:53 AM
Our local City Hall asked me to look at a problem with one of thier workstations. It would not connect to the server or web. After the usual diagnostic procedures I quickly realize that the onboard NIC had stopped working. Very common. I explain the problem and offer to put in a new NIC card to correct the issue. Before I couold begin the City Clerk comes in and says "I am very sorry, it turns out we have a contract with (xyz comapny) for pc maintenance. We have to have them do the work". I state that I understand and even agreed not to charge them for the diagnostic.

They call "xyz", they come and evaluate the problem and tell them that the cat5 running to the server room is no good and has to be replaced. For this service call under contract only costs them $125! They call a cable installer who charges them $275 and then they have a new line and NO internet or server access. They call xyz back. They come back and then say that the machine is to old to accept updates and the machine needs to me replaced!

At this point the City Manager tells them to call me back. I come, replace the NIC and have them back online within 15 mins.

The City Clerk is pissed because it turns out her nephew works for xyz company and they shouldn't have let me do the work.

They still have xyz contract! These are my tax dollars at work!!!

DavidF
08-04-2011, 10:46 AM
Customer brings in PC with a failed front panel power switch (front panel actuator had popped out of it's moorings so it wasn't making contact with the switch mounted on the chassis behind) PC is still under warranty.
Competitor/OEM fix was to hack a hole around the front panel button and tell them to use a pencil to operate the switch behind.

The software, OS, and hardware kludges the same company commonly apply are a the subject of a running joke between myself and a friend of mine who is also a competitor of theirs.

iisjman07
08-04-2011, 01:24 PM
Seen a bill from another reasonably local repair shop, it stated the problem was that the customer's sound card was broken, and his resolution was to sell her a pair of expensive speakers....

ljtechservices
08-04-2011, 04:42 PM
One of the local MSP's dumped a client because they became "too small".
I took over. first thing I noticed was the backup hadn't run for 9 months.
I asked the POC if she'd ever been notified of trouble, nope.

kaiser715
08-04-2011, 06:13 PM
Here's one similar, but backwards...in this case, I am the previous tech:

I had a client suddenly drop me several years back. Left owning me some money, but it wasn't enough to lose sleep over. Wouldn't respond to calls. A year or so later, I ran into one of the guys that used to work in the office, but had recently been let go, and he told me what happened.

I had just set up a new dell server, done some database work, setup backups (which they did not have before at all) and much other work, including some network wiring, sonicwall vpn, etc. Around 15 grand all together.

As I found out later, one of my 'competitors' advertised a "free network and system review". He went in, presented a fancy report that stated that pretty much everything I had ever done there was wrong and needed to be fixed.

He replaced the 6 month old dell server (and carted off the "old" one). Rewired the building, dumped a few thousand worth of software (backup solution, database product)...and redid everything, for just shy of 30 thousand bucks.

Nobody was happy after that, either...system was in a constant state of failure. My friend got cut because he was vocal about it. Boss didn't want to admit he made a bad decision, so he kept pumping money into the new system (still with the same tech). I think it's still the same now.

ljtechservices
08-04-2011, 08:59 PM
Here's one similar, but backwards...in this case, I am the previous tech:

I had a client suddenly drop me several years back. Left owning me some money, but it wasn't enough to lose sleep over. Wouldn't respond to calls. A year or so later, I ran into one of the guys that used to work in the office, but had recently been let go, and he told me what happened.

I had just set up a new dell server, done some database work, setup backups (which they did not have before at all) and much other work, including some network wiring, sonicwall vpn, etc. Around 15 grand all together.

As I found out later, one of my 'competitors' advertised a "free network and system review". He went in, presented a fancy report that stated that pretty much everything I had ever done there was wrong and needed to be fixed.

He replaced the 6 month old dell server (and carted off the "old" one). Rewired the building, dumped a few thousand worth of software (backup solution, database product)...and redid everything, for just shy of 30 thousand bucks.

Nobody was happy after that, either...system was in a constant state of failure. My friend got cut because he was vocal about it. Boss didn't want to admit he made a bad decision, so he kept pumping money into the new system (still with the same tech). I think it's still the same now.

this story makes me stabby.
Seen it happen a bunch.
I'll bet there was a kickback, relative or other relationship involved somehow.
His pride cost them a bunch of money and the users suffered.

jft135
08-04-2011, 11:58 PM
About once a week or so I get a phone call from a rather sheepish customer asking how long data recovery should take and what it should cost. After asking a few questions, I always find out that they took their drive to the same guy. As far as I can tell, he works out of a dirty basement, claims to have a clean room (I know for a fact that there is only one data recovery facility with a clean room in the state and it isn't in our city), keeps people's drives for months, and never gives them a concrete estimate. He basically holds their drives hostage and extorts as much money as possible out of them. Its guys like this that ruin everyone's reputation unfortunately.

Lefty
08-05-2011, 05:21 AM
A customer of mine brought a G5 with wifi problems to the Apple store to get it fixed. When she got it back, the system wouldn't boot and the file system was trashed. She was told by the in-store techs she needed to buy a new Mac!

I recovered all her data and reinstalled the OS. She couldn't be happier.

1aComputerServices
08-07-2011, 03:32 AM
Just had customer who turned her PC off in middle of update. She took it to Geek Squad and the tech told her she needs a new computer... :eek:

I almost just fell out of my chair lol

AFCSOFME
08-07-2011, 02:50 PM
A national geek company I will leave nameless charged a customer a couple hundred bucks to make her desktop computer wireless. They hooked up a router, charged her for that, set the ethernet cable from her DSL modem to the router, run no cables from the PC to the router, attached no wireless adapter to her system. When her system would not go online, she was told to call her ISP.
ISP went through and found out a geek didn't set the obvious up. Customer wasn't savvy enough to hook a cable and because this is to be wireless.
It was interesting to explain to the customer how it really works...
I put her system back the way it was at her request and was upset that this company could not explain what I did and in fact because of her limited understanding in wireless why she didn't really need it in her case, she thought it would make her PC run faster......and was told it would.

She assured me when I left she was taking "this garbage" back where it come from and get every penny back. To this day I don't know if she succeeded.

Martyn
08-07-2011, 03:42 PM
I'm just dealing with one at the moment. My client paid a 'big store' to transfer all their data under two profiles to a new Windows 7 computers. This includes Itunes music, documents etc but got the profiles completely wrong and screwed up. They both get the wrong music and photos and trying to set up homegroup is also a problem with another laptop.

RobertH
08-08-2011, 03:58 AM
Previous (inhouse) tech:

1) installed pirate software, had to inform them that it had to be made legal or I couldn't touch the systems.

2) built network with many extra hubs, switches and no documantation.

3) Placed half of systems in domain, other half in workgroup

4) Built some systems from parts (some new, some old) as i was told

6) Did not install any anti-virus protection on any system

G__K S___D:

1) told customer only way to fix damaged outlook file was to remove and reinstall Office

2) told customer in order to fix his laptop wireless issue needed to replace wireless card

RegEdit
08-08-2011, 05:17 AM
tech told the client NOT to do a defrag as it disorganises the files and makes them harder for the drive to read
This one made me laugh the most!

I had a customer who spent 3 hours on the phone with Dell tech support. Dell concluded that they needed a new motherboard and CPU. I looked at it and the PSU was dead. Everything else was fine.

gooseman8433
08-08-2011, 11:26 AM
I had a customer who called me because their brand new computer wasn't printing. When I got there they explained the computer has a new motherboard. When I asked why, they said the computer had just stopped working one day and the company who built it and installed it, came out. The computer company said the repair wasn't covered under warranty. They said that the customer ruined the motherboard by moving the tower from one side of the desk to the other, static electricity had gotten to it. I asked the customer if it was off when they moved it and they said yes. I told the customer the computer company moved it when they carried it in your store to set it up, so why didn't static electricity affect it then. They also then charged them to come back out to fix the printing issue on a printer they purchased with the computer. They said the tech was there for 2 hours and ended up telling them it was their USB cable that was bad. He didn't have another for them, and charged the 2 hours. When I got there, the computer company hadn't installed the USB drivers for the new motherboard when they replaced it. Got it up and running in 15 min.

Rosco
08-08-2011, 12:53 PM
wow i never had anything that bad! The worst i have had was way over priced repairs, or pave and nukes for any virus. Hopefully i never have to see such shoty work from a fellow tech!

Fubs
08-08-2011, 07:42 PM
Have two stories that come to mind, the first one was an old lady had called some guy on Craig's List who advertised the usual flat repair fee of $50 with a no fix, no pay guarantee. Anyway, she brings the computer into our shop because of her bad experience with the guy. The story goes that the Craig List tech insisted she needed to upgrade her old HP Pentium 4 running Windows XP to Windows 7 in order to fix her slow performance problem. She initially agreed on the caveat that he backup her data. The guy insisted he did not need to do so because he was doing an upgrade and it would save the data. She agreed, but the guy was having a hell of a time getting Windows 7 to install and she said he spent like 2-3 hours trying to get it to run before she stopped him and told him to leave since she lost faith in his abilities.

Anyway the client and the other tech get into a big verbal fight where she said the guy insisted that she pay him for his time and he started screaming at her until her granddaughter intervened and threatened to call the cops on him. The client is in her 80s, so you can imagine the scene. Anyway, she brought her PC to me to fix her original problem, plus she said that the tech put in a password on the machine that locked her out.

Removing the password was easy, but her computer ran like garbage. Since she wanted the cheapest solution, I said it would be easiest to backup her data and redo the OS to factory defaults and then update and restore data. She inquired about putting in Windows 7 and I informed her that with her specs, she would be better off sticking with Windows XP, plus she didn't have to buy a second Windows license. After the repair she was really happy, since she was worried that the guy had deleted her data. I mentioned to her that had he been successful in installing Windows 7, that 7 does not allow in place upgrades from XP to 7, only from Vista to 7, so a proper install would have required that he do a clean install. Anyway, the client was really happy and learned a lesson about trying to save money by going on Craig's List.

Second story is about a local scam artist. Anyway, this happened 10 years ago and our shop was subcontracted out to do repair work for another computer shop. The job was to fix a printer for a video store who used an old Windows 3.11 POS system. Well, when our tech goes out there he is immediately badgered by the video store owner. After we explained that we are from another shop who had been subcontracted out (since the owner was insistent that he not have to pay us since he already paid the first guy), he explained why he was so mad. The previous guy (the guy who hired us) had come a few weeks prior to fix the printer, but failed and said he would come back in. Of course, the other tech would set appointments and fail to show, but had collected payment from the video store owner upfront. The video store owner after chasing after the guy got fed up and tracked him down and punched him in the face and told him to either fix it or he'd be back. Anyway, we fixed the printer problem which was fairly easy and the video store owner was really happy with our service.

Now, that might have been the end of the story, but our shop owner had joined a business network association group and after he got to know the guys, they lamented how the previous computer guy was a con artist. He scammed several members. In one case one member was taken for $3K and his brother of about $10K to build a custom PC and another to build several PCs and a server, but he failed to deliver. When they went to track him down they found that his address went to a local motel. Anyway, they showed my boss one of the previous tech's flyer's and we recognized it as the same name and number from the guy who hired us out to fix the video store guy.

A few years later, we started seeing flyer's from the same guy advertising his computer services again. We of course passed on the info to the members of the business networking group so they could track him down and get their money.

NETWizz
08-09-2011, 04:04 PM
Our local City Hall asked me to look at a problem with one of thier workstations. It would not connect to the server or web. After the usual diagnostic procedures I quickly realize that the onboard NIC had stopped working. Very common. I explain the problem and offer to put in a new NIC card to correct the issue. Before I couold begin the City Clerk comes in and says "I am very sorry, it turns out we have a contract with (xyz comapny) for pc maintenance. We have to have them do the work". I state that I understand and even agreed not to charge them for the diagnostic.

They call "xyz", they come and evaluate the problem and tell them that the cat5 running to the server room is no good and has to be replaced. For this service call under contract only costs them $125! They call a cable installer who charges them $275 and then they have a new line and NO internet or server access. They call xyz back. They come back and then say that the machine is to old to accept updates and the machine needs to me replaced!

At this point the City Manager tells them to call me back. I come, replace the NIC and have them back online within 15 mins.

The City Clerk is pissed because it turns out her nephew works for xyz company and they shouldn't have let me do the work.

They still have xyz contract! These are my tax dollars at work!!!


Wow you virtually never have to replace the cabling. At worse a network keystone jack in the faceplate on the wall or even a patch panel (Less likely). Generally speaking, if there is a problem with the cabling it is at the terminations where a human messed up, or it got hit by a door, tripped over, kicked... whatever...

kaiser715
08-09-2011, 10:10 PM
Had a client call once... Couple of workstations downstairs couldn't connect to network. Tested lines from patch panel (fluke microscanner)and both showed a break about 75' out. Went to the chase between floors, found out alarm company installer, who was there the previous day, had simply slit the jacket and used two pair off of each CAT5 so he wouldn't have to fish through.

They had to pay for that one.

NETWizz
08-09-2011, 10:53 PM
Had a client call once... Couple of workstations downstairs couldn't connect to network. Tested lines from patch panel (fluke microscanner)and both showed a break about 75' out. Went to the chase between floors, found out alarm company installer, who was there the previous day, had simply slit the jacket and used two pair off of each CAT5 so he wouldn't have to fish through.

They had to pay for that one.



Did they use the Blue and Brown pair? limiting things to 100 mbps??

Paul Rodgers
08-09-2011, 11:32 PM
Wow you virtually never have to replace the cabling. At worse a network keystone jack in the faceplate on the wall or even a patch panel (Less likely). Generally speaking, if there is a problem with the cabling it is at the terminations where a human messed up, or it got hit by a door, tripped over, kicked... whatever...

The company I work for full time is the exception. I have had to replace one run already this summer and I think I may have to replace it again. Right now I have a wireless bridge set up until I can fix it.

SmithFamilyDesigns
08-09-2011, 11:58 PM
I often get customers coming in from a shop down the street. In the course of 1 week, I had 3 customers with the same issue, resolution and comments;

Issue: Wireless of laptop not working (no networks detected, etc)
Resolution: <FN> + <F2>
Comments: "I just came in here for a second opinion, the place down the street told me I need a new motherboard and it would be around $300 - 500. Thank you so much!!"

Paul Rodgers
08-10-2011, 12:35 AM
I often get customers coming in from a shop down the street. In the course of 1 week, I had 3 customers with the same issue, resolution and comments;

Issue: Wireless of laptop not working (no networks detected, etc)
Resolution: <FN> + <F2>
Comments: "I just came in here for a second opinion, the place down the street told me I need a new motherboard and it would be around $300 - 500. Thank you so much!!"

From an actual shop?

SmithFamilyDesigns
08-10-2011, 01:37 AM
Yes, an actual shop. Its a shop that I had applied at before my current employer and was turned away because I was too qualified. One of the customers was a "gruff" older gentleman that informed me he was going back down there to show them the fix and let them know what he thought. I now also service an entire apartment complex because of another one of those customers.

Laimbo
08-12-2011, 12:43 AM
This was really a scam rather than a previous tech but same general idea.
Had a client last week who had a call from a man claiming that his PC has viruses and corrupt files (How did they know? They received the error reports from microsoft of course :p). Anyways they show him the event viewer with all of the errors (Viruses of course). I'm sure you guys are familiar with these types of calls. Apparently they are particularly bad here in Queensland. I usually get a few a month. So he is convinced and they direct him to the payment page, Only $99 for their antivirus, bargin! He was using google chrome, which warned him that the certificate was not valid and that he should not proceed (Big red intimidating looking screen) and he clicks proceed anyway. Pays them the money and allows them remote access to install the antivirus. 7 hrs later they are finished and he calls us to see if he has made a mistake. They removed his Kaspersky A/V and ran some cleanup tools but didn't even install their A/V. So I cleaned it up and ran some scans. Called him to find his Kaspersky details to reinstall. Apparently he got it off Ebay for $11 (Another bargin!) and was emailed the licence by the seller directly. Regular price is $39.95. Believe it or not the licence would not activate. Rang Kaspersky and sure enough it had been purchased as a boxed package in the UK and had been activated 50 times already. Just can't win some days. ;)

AdamP
08-12-2011, 03:26 AM
I worked for an ISP for many years. I had an elderly lady call in one day that had been having problems trying to use a linksys e3000 router with her service.

She purchased it from a local tech who wasn't able to get it working. The internet service worked perfectly fine without the router connected. The modem we provided btw was an AM300.

After passing the buck several times and even for some reason replacing her NIC and the router even though the original one was in perfect working order, telling her the issue was with either the ISP, which she called us several times, or that she would need to contact linksys, she finally reached me.

Everybody (including the other support reps at our company) failed to diagnose the issue. Within about two minutes of her explaining I knew exactly what the issue was, both the modem and router had dhcp enabled with 192.168.1.1 gateway, I bridged the modem and the service was working perfectly.

She told me she had paid the tech she purchased the router from for several service calls even though he was never able to get it working and charged her for a NIC she didn't need and for two routers (he told her linksys would refund her for the defective one which wasn't defective at all) and that she had almost $600 total into trying to setup a wireless router which she only purchased in the first place because her granddaughter was coming to stay with her and she wanted to get online with her laptop and had came and gone by this time. This was truly a screw up on the part of everyone involved, the other reps for not figuring it out because using the am300 it was a common occurrence when setting up routers, linksys for not knowing that two of their products had the same gateway and thus wouldn't work together with the default settings, but most of all i was disgusted with the tech that charged an elderly woman probably most of her social security for the month to do the same thing over and over and never actually fix the issue. this was actually one of the reasons i decided to go in to business for myself, I have millions of stories like this just from customers that called in to the helpdesk, there are only two shops here and it would seem both specialize in screwing the customer.

The other company I've gotten several of their previous customers and know someone that use to work there that told me its common practice to not completely fix issues, like leave straggler trojan virus' behind or disable auto updates on their av software to keep the customers coming back for more repairs.

ljtechservices
08-12-2011, 12:33 PM
The other company I've gotten several of their previous customers and know someone that use to work there that told me its common practice to not completely fix issues, like leave straggler trojan virus' behind or disable auto updates on their av software to keep the customers coming back for more repairs.

I'm not sure what I would do if, face to face, anyone ever admitted to me that they did this.
It screws all of us over.

AdamP
08-12-2011, 06:00 PM
I'm not sure what I would do if, face to face, anyone ever admitted to me that they did this.
It screws all of us over.

well it is one of the reasons i started doing this. and probably the main reason i'm doing so well in just a month of doing it full time even though with some things i charge a bit more. when customers options are pay less 20 times or pay more once, they usually choose the pay more once option.