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View Full Version : Getting blamed for a problem you didn't cause


JRDtechnet
06-21-2009, 05:29 PM
So I did a DC jack repair a few days ago and sent it back to the customer. The customer calls me back and tells me she is getting a message "you may be the victim of software counterfeiting" I tell her I didn't even boot into windows (which I don't think I did, perhaps once but that's it.)

I asked her if she ever had windows reinstalled by someone else, she said no. So I suggest it was probably the latest WGA update was automatically downloaded in the past couple days and for some reason its giving a false positive. Her response was of course "All I know is I never seen that message before I sent it too you!" I insist that I did nothing to her computer and that the message is just a mistake on Microsoft's part. I also agreed to do a remote repair to fix the problem, she was in the car at the time but said she would call me back...that was yesterday so I'm still waiting. It sucks that I have to do a free repair for a problem I'm not responsible for, but if I charge her or refuse to fix it I risk her spreading bad word of mouth.

gunslinger
06-21-2009, 05:42 PM
I have had issues like this before.

I replaced the LCD on a Dell notebook a while back and about a day after I gave it back the customers wireless went out. They blamed me even though it worked just fine here.

Seems like once you touch someones computer you are personally responsible for anything that happens to it from then on.

bagellad
06-21-2009, 05:46 PM
I think you should explain what the error means, and why you are not responsible for it. Its up to you if you fix the problem to keep your customer happy or not, it should be an easy one.. assuming.. I think you will find she doesn't have recovery cds and windows xp mysteriously appeared on her computer after visiting a family member or friend.

stevenamills
06-21-2009, 05:47 PM
I told somebody the other day, I expect to get a call:

"You fixed my computer last month and now my daughter is pregnant"

You're doing the right thing for your sanity. Whatever you have to do to make them go away - do it.

anonymous Mac Tech
06-21-2009, 05:53 PM
"All I know is I never seen that message before I sent it too you!"

Famous last words. I guess it all comes down to how the repair was initially handled. Was it a diagnostic situation where you quoted the machine just needed a DC jack? Or was it Customer just needs DC jack repaired? If it was the latter which I'm assuming it was since you said you never booted the machine to Windows, I'd say shes trying to get something for nothing and don't worry about word of mouth because flaky people like that are going to slam you anyway or never come back. So again, politely explain that has nothing to do with what she wanted fixed and there is no way you could have caused that, then tell her what its going to cost for a diagnostic.

AtYourService
06-21-2009, 07:26 PM
I replaced the LCD on a Dell notebook a while back and about a day after I gave it back the customers wireless went out. They blamed me even though it worked just fine here.


happened to me before , but i found that the u.fl antenna wire came loose on the mini pci card ,probably from the antenna wires shifting around when putting the lcd in

Kenhelms
06-21-2009, 10:53 PM
The thing about people like that....

The people they do talk to and that will believe em...you really do not want them for clients anyway, they will most likely be just like them.

This happens in business all the time, just like the people that slam on their brakes in-front of you so they can sue you.

14049752
06-21-2009, 11:42 PM
My question to you would be: Why didn't you boot it to windows? So what if the only problem she reported is the power jack....you're doing a disservice to yourself and your customer by not checking the system. You could have powered it on, checked it out, and found some problems she didn't know about (probably because it wouldn't power on...).

jbutler9
06-22-2009, 01:20 AM
Well two things come to mind:

The first being that this is an example why Work orders and IT Consult forms are important. Your work order or Consult should have stated that you are not responsible for anything else wrong with the computer, and that once you show here the jack was fixed that anything beyond that would be a different service.

The second deals with the WGA process. I would direct her to follow the instructions given to her by the warnin, which should be to call up Microsoft and asking them to resove it. She should have the product key otherwise I would tell her that you are unable to provide services for any windows products that do not have the proper keys.

Another step to take is to post a blog on your website stating that you recently had an incident where a customer asked you to work on an unlicensed copy of Windows and that because you don't support Piracy, you will only be able to work on licensed copies of Windows.

Now some of these might be extreme, but it all goes to show that documentation (service agreements, work orders, and consultations) are extremely helpful. Another thing to make sure of is that your client actually reads the agreements. I won't work with a client that just signs anything, and they actually thank me for taking it slow.

Jory
06-22-2009, 05:08 AM
I hear this occasionally as I'm sure everyone else does, and 95% of the time it's ludicrous. I'm starting to think it's just a habit with some people. It has to be somebodies fault so why not you? I call people out on it whenever it happens, and if they don't like it then too bad. I find it condescending and it's gotten to be a bit of a pet peeve among other annoying customer habits.

They're basically saying that they don't trust your skills or honesty. Either that or they know it's not your fault and are just lying to try to get free or faster service. I just busted someone doing that a few weeks ago. They tried to tell me something didn't work since I fixed an unrelated problem two months earlier. I managed to find file dates that said it was working for up to a month after that, and just coincidentally it stopped working the same day the system got a virus which I verified by looking at the IE history and matching file dates where they downloaded a trojan that installed the malware.

On the flip side of that coin I made a mistake a few weeks ago that did cause an unrelated problem. The customer just assumed something else had broke and called me back. While figuring out the problem I realized it was likely my fault and I told them what happened. Not only were they shocked that I admitted to it, but they were shocked again when I told them there would be no charge. If I would have known they'd be so happy about me making a mistake I would have done it a long time ago. ;)

When customers call me right away like yours did I give them the benefit of the doubt. I'm not above making a mistake, admitting to it, or fixing the problem on my dime after the fact. It's happened before and I'm sure it will happen again. Just don't be afraid to charge, or get rid of a customer that's wrong. I know I've said it a million times, but there is enough work out there that you don't have to deal with bad customers. A few dollars isn't worth your sanity.

stevenamills
06-22-2009, 01:48 PM
Well two things come to mind:

The first being that this is an example why Work orders and IT Consult forms are important. Your work order or Consult should have stated that you are not responsible for anything else wrong with the computer, and that once you show here the jack was fixed that anything beyond that would be a different service.

The second deals with the WGA process. I would direct her to follow the instructions given to her by the warnin, which should be to call up Microsoft and asking them to resove it. She should have the product key otherwise I would tell her that you are unable to provide services for any windows products that do not have the proper keys.

Another step to take is to post a blog on your website stating that you recently had an incident where a customer asked you to work on an unlicensed copy of Windows and that because you don't support Piracy, you will only be able to work on licensed copies of Windows.

Now some of these might be extreme, but it all goes to show that documentation (service agreements, work orders, and consultations) are extremely helpful. Another thing to make sure of is that your client actually reads the agreements. I won't work with a client that just signs anything, and they actually thank me for taking it slow.

All of that is nice and may keep you out of court, but the old lady will still beat you like a dead horse until you succumb.

angrypug
06-22-2009, 04:23 PM
I worked in a VERY high stress corporate enviroment for 12 years where it was my job to listen to executives complain that anything which had electricity going to it and failed was automatically the IT departments problem. Also thrown under the bus weekly because they couldn't explain a service issue or felt a 'software glitch' was the reason their reports didn't add up the way they wanted. The last straw was this past year when I had to go in Christmas Eve at 2am to make sure all the data uploaded correctly from the previous day (it had) because a service report didn't look right to someone 2000 miles away.

This stuff is a walk in the park compared to that.

purple_minion
06-22-2009, 05:16 PM
All of that is nice and may keep you out of court, but the old lady will still beat you like a dead horse until you succumb.

What old lady, and what about blocking her calls? Plus she's old, she'll drop soon... or forget who you are. ;)

ProTech Support
06-22-2009, 08:02 PM
Once sold a custom built computer to a customer....the person had given me a lot of trouble in the past, so I had her come to the store to sit down and use it before she took it home. She was there for about an hour, than left.

I get a call about 30 mins. later that she could not play web-based games as the pop-up kept getting blocked. Now I specifically remember her playing them in the store as that was one of the main things she claimed she needed the PC for. I walked her through disabling the pop-up blocker, etc...still no go. Now she is flipping on me that I sold her a "shotty" computer. After I connected with her remotely, I immediately noticed a toolbar in IE that she "had" to install as soon as she got home, it was blocking all pop-ups. :rolleyes:

usacvlr
06-22-2009, 08:13 PM
Yeah and then you get blasted for trying to upsell her on other problems that she didn't know about and that she didn't ask to get fixed. Upselling usually just pisses people off.

My question to you would be: Why didn't you boot it to windows? So what if the only problem she reported is the power jack....you're doing a disservice to yourself and your customer by not checking the system. You could have powered it on, checked it out, and found some problems she didn't know about (probably because it wouldn't power on...).

14049752
06-22-2009, 08:17 PM
Yeah and then you get blasted for trying to upsell her on other problems that she didn't know about and that she didn't ask to get fixed. Upselling usually just pisses people off.


Regardless, I think not booting the system is irresponsible. I don't think I've ever been yelled at by anyone, for letting them know other things that I noticed. And, even if they don't approve the repair, at least you can document that you mentioned them and that the customer is aware. If you're frequently getting 'blasted' or pissing people off for mentioning other problems, you're doing something wrong.

seedubya
06-22-2009, 08:19 PM
Once sold a custom built computer to a customer....

Everyone has a story like that. My favourite ending was with the "psychic" lady who tortured me for a little while after I sold and installed her new PC. Stupid things like - this computer isn't working with my printer (AKA There's no paper in the printer), the internet's not working (AKA I forgot to pay the phone bill) etc. As soon as her cheque cleared I called her and told her I would not be giving her any more phone time. If she had a problem she was to bring the system back to me. Never heard from her again.

ProTech Support
06-22-2009, 08:24 PM
Everyone has a story like that. My favourite ending was with the "psychic" lady who tortured me for a little while after I sold and installed her new PC. Stupid things like - this computer isn't working with my printer (AKA There's no paper in the printer), the internet's not working (AKA I forgot to pay the phone bill) etc. As soon as her cheque cleared I called her and told her I would not be giving her any more phone time. If she had a problem she was to bring the system back to me. Never heard from her again.

I wish I could say I never heard from her, but she just called the other day with the same exact problem. I immediately recalled what the issue was the first time, and what do you know - she had the toolbar back :D . Charged her for that one.

bagellad
06-22-2009, 09:37 PM
I think its all about not taking it personal, It feels like they are being critical of your work, but since you didn't design the hardware, software or take care of the system until they called you it is hardly your responsbility. They really just want their problem solved. Unfortunately some of them are a little unreasonable or unbelievably cheap!

Austin
06-23-2009, 05:01 PM
I get this all the time.

The best one started.... You fixed my computer 6 months ago and since I had it back the CD drive doesnt work!! (And now your calling me)

The most recent issue was a lady who had an illegal copy of Windows which was nagging her to get genuine. She also had a dodgy copy of Office 2003 professional. I informed her I could sort out the Windows by supplying Windows XP with the Disk and COE and the box etc.. I could also do the same with Office but it would have to be Office 2007 and would cost quite alot of money. We discussed it all and decided to have new genuine Windows XP but instead of MSOffice have OpenOffice for free.

I did this for her and the following day she called and she wasnt happy. Apparently according to her "computer club" she should have MSOffice because the computer went away with it on and when it came back it didnt.

I explained for me to put Office on it would cost her and I couldnt install it for free because that would be illegal. Do you think she would listen!

I had her sign the job sheet prior to work being done and I fully discussed the situation but still I am the crook not the person who sold her the pc in the first place and installed dodgy XP & Office.

joe25
06-23-2009, 05:54 PM
Recently, I setup someone with verizon email. Verizon will automatically log you out after about 45 minutes of no typing. This guy would type for an hour , leave for an hour, then hit the send key ignoring all the logged out messages.
Of course he blames me now for losing all his email for a year!:mad:

purple_minion
06-23-2009, 08:00 PM
Recently, I setup someone with verizon email. Verizon will automatically log you out after about 45 minutes of no typing. This guy would type for an hour , leave for an hour, then hit the send key ignoring all the logged out messages.
Of course he blames me now for losing all his email for a year!:mad:

Why the hell wouldn't he hit send before walking away? Most things time out too... sheesh.

gunslinger
06-24-2009, 03:04 PM
"You fixed my computer last month and now my daughter is pregnant"

This is one call I hope I never get. :eek:

innovativecrs
06-25-2009, 04:36 AM
Yeah and then you get blasted for trying to upsell her on other problems that she didn't know about and that she didn't ask to get fixed. Upselling usually just pisses people off.

Performing thorough diagnostics will never be perceived as upselling if you are honestly not using them to upsell but to inform your client the state of their computer. Document everything that you find, inform them about the diagnosis and validate your findings. Provide several options to fix it, migrate to a new system or leave it as is. In my experience clients have been grateful that I found issues that could render their valuable data lost forever and I warned them beforehand. Not only does it protect you but it informs your clients the health of their computer.

Take this same idea and think about two auto shops: One honest and thorough and the other deceitful and just out to make a buck.

The honest shop will check over the entire car and annotate the percentages left on your brake pads, the life expectancy of your air filter, mention the recommend service intervals for your make and model, and provide validating reasons for their findings. Their sole purpose for doing this is to look after the safety of their customers and keep their vehicles maintained. They have plenty of business, get tons of referrals and when confronted will recommend getting a second opinion. If you approach your clients and their computers the same way this will never be perceived as upselling.

On the other hand, the deceitful shop will try to sell you an air filter and a fuel system flush, change your oil and filter and send you on your way without ever looking over your car or annotating any findings. When confronted they always backpedal and usually "misplace" your old parts. Why the air filter and fuel system flush? Their inexpensive with a large markup and can be done in minutes to get you down the road in order to sell the next customer. The have a high attrition rate for their clientèle and offer unbelievable discounts on services in order to bring in new customers. Sound like pizza tech tactics to you?

Why do I know this? When I was a teenager in high school I worked for an oil change place that hired a ex-radio disk jockey to "manage" the store. He was one of the best salesman I have ever seen. He would sell at least 10 air filters and fuel system flushes a day and a majority of them before the work order made it back to the shop for us to do the work. I left quickly after that and never worked in the auto industry again.

usacvlr
06-26-2009, 10:31 PM
I'll take the guy who just changes my oil and shuts up :)

Performing thorough diagnostics will never be perceived as upselling if you are honestly not using them to upsell but to inform your client the state of their computer. Document everything that you find, inform them about the diagnosis and validate your findings. Provide several options to fix it, migrate to a new system or leave it as is. In my experience clients have been grateful that I found issues that could render their valuable data lost forever and I warned them beforehand. Not only does it protect you but it informs your clients the health of their computer.

Take this same idea and think about two auto shops: One honest and thorough and the other deceitful and just out to make a buck.

The honest shop will check over the entire car and annotate the percentages left on your brake pads, the life expectancy of your air filter, mention the recommend service intervals for your make and model, and provide validating reasons for their findings. Their sole purpose for doing this is to look after the safety of their customers and keep their vehicles maintained. They have plenty of business, get tons of referrals and when confronted will recommend getting a second opinion. If you approach your clients and their computers the same way this will never be perceived as upselling.

On the other hand, the deceitful shop will try to sell you an air filter and a fuel system flush, change your oil and filter and send you on your way without ever looking over your car or annotating any findings. When confronted they always backpedal and usually "misplace" your old parts. Why the air filter and fuel system flush? Their inexpensive with a large markup and can be done in minutes to get you down the road in order to sell the next customer. The have a high attrition rate for their clientèle and offer unbelievable discounts on services in order to bring in new customers. Sound like pizza tech tactics to you?

Why do I know this? When I was a teenager in high school I worked for an oil change place that hired a ex-radio disk jockey to "manage" the store. He was one of the best salesman I have ever seen. He would sell at least 10 air filters and fuel system flushes a day and a majority of them before the work order made it back to the shop for us to do the work. I left quickly after that and never worked in the auto industry again.

jft135
02-16-2012, 05:34 PM
Yeah and then you get blasted for trying to upsell her on other problems that she didn't know about and that she didn't ask to get fixed. Upselling usually just pisses people off.

What I have learned, is that I tell everyone up front that everything that walks through our door gets a full diagnostic up front no matter what is wrong with it. This is so that we don't accidentally charge you to fix something on a computer that may have a different catastrophic failure a week from now. We just want to be thorough with your system.

Since I started this, I've never had anyone get irritated because of an upsell, and most of them are rather thankful for it. Not to mention, I make a lot more money this way.

PCX
02-16-2012, 11:32 PM
First off, everyone would avoid this issue if they did two things

Price your self out of that market:

If you are a bargain computer repair shop and charge little to nothing, then these are the types of customers you are going to get. You need to price your self in the range of customers who are not going to try and get one over on you. These are the same customers who are more likely to be reasonable and understand that you get what you pay for.

Run a FULL diagnostics on every computer regardless of the issue:

I learned to do this a very long time ago and jft135 is really the only other one smart enough to suggest this. If the customer wants to refuse a diagnostics, then refuse their business, simple as that. Trust me, if they refuse a diagnostics, you don't want to deal with that customer anyways.

Other reasons why you should run a full diagnostics with each repair:

Many of the people who come in for a virus removal or a tune-up on their computer end up with a hard drive replacement because their hard drive is failing. Why, because often times the same symptoms can be caused by a failing hard drive. Even if their is a virus, there is no sense in removing it on a failing hard drive.

Half of the screen replacements that come in also have failing hard drives due to the nature of the accident.

And just as suggested before, reasonable people (the ones you hopefully target) will be happier that you helped them prevent data loss or told them about problems before they wasted their money. In fact, if you aren't running a full diagnostics before every repair and informing your customer of issues found before you do any repairs, then you are shady as crap.

Only shady people refuse to run a full diagnostics with each repair

Finally, as far as I am concerned, only shady shops decide not to run a full diagnostics. These shops are typically the ones who will only repair the obvious issues, knowing that the customer will probably be back to fix something else that should have been caught the first time it was in the shop. For instance, if you replace the screen and their hard drive was failing, but you did not check it (or if you did and did not inform them that it was failing), then your almost guaranteed to replace that failing hard drive in a matter of months. However, had you checked that hard drive and told them it was failing, they probably would just opt to get a new computer. Just another shady practice that focuses on you being #1 instead of your customer.


ProTech Support

Once sold a custom built computer to a customer....the person had given me a lot of trouble in the past, so I had her come to the store to sit down and use it before she took it home. She was there for about an hour, than left.

You should have known better and refused her business. Period.

usacvlr

Yeah and then you get blasted for trying to upsell her on other problems that she didn't know about and that she didn't ask to get fixed. Upselling usually just pisses people off.

As mentioned before, you are obviously doing wrong and obviously not pricing your self out of that market.


Austin

I get this all the time.

Same as above.

jft135

What I have learned, is that I tell everyone up front that everything that walks through our door gets a full diagnostic up front no matter what is wrong with it. This is so that we don't accidentally charge you to fix something on a computer that may have a different catastrophic failure a week from now. We just want to be thorough with your system.

One of the only smart people to respond to this topic.

'putertutor
02-17-2012, 12:55 AM
@pcx:
I understand what you are saying, but the fact of the matter is that, full diagnostic or no, each and every one of us either has or will run into the sort of customer who will blame us for issues we did not cause. I, for one, could not run my business based solely on knowledgeable business customers, there is simply not enough business in my area to do so. And I am sure that many techs make a fair amount of money in the residential market.

Knowing that this market is my bread and butter, and that many residential customers are at a loss when it comes to understanding the finer points of how their machine works, I do make it a point to run a full diagnostic, educate my customers, and document, document, document. And, for my market I am not overly cheap, nor overly expensive. I think the OP's point was that there does exist the customer for whom no level of documentation or service is enough to satisfy them. In his case it may very well have been easier to comp the repair job than to go on arguing with a person who may never be swayed.

I guess my point is - lighten up a little. We have all seen a difficult customer, and always will no matter our due diligence. Performing thorough and well-documented work may shield us from that type of customer, but every now and then, one will get through. Guaranteed.

RedFoxComp
02-17-2012, 12:55 AM
If it's a new customer that I haven't developed a relationship with I always keep in mind that many people EXPECT to get ripped off more often than getting good, honest service.

First off, ask yourself if it really IS your problem. If the customer came in with corrupt OS files and you did a CHKDSK and replaced the file, then their hard drive completely failed 3 days later, IT'S YOUR FAULT if you never properly scanned and diagnosed the drive. These kinds of oversights might be an opportunity to create and maintain proper Operating Procedures so that these things don't happen again and you have better service and happier customers.

In the event that it is a complete coincidence, what I do is explain that the problem is a separate issue that could have happened months after service. If the problem is simple, I tell them I will fix it as a courtesy because I understand that computers, like cars, can be frustrating and I like to take care of my customers. If it's more involved I offer a small discount.

The big thing is not to be apologetic or too accommodating in a way that makes the customer feel like they 'busted' you. That is almost as bad as refusing to do the service since they still have the same opinion of you.

REMEMBER, if they are ungrateful and annoyed when you finish, there was no point! Having said that there are always those few customers who can't be swayed and sometimes it's easier to fix their problem and cut them loose. They probably won't ever come back, but if someone feels they've been ripped off they will tell EVERYONE!

PCX
02-17-2012, 01:12 AM
tutor, I think you miss understood. When I said "price yourself out of that market" I was not meaning residential or commercial, I was referring to the market of home users who are cheap and want the whole world for nothing vs those who are willing to pay for good quality work and understand that you get what you pay for. Of course we are going to deal with this form time to time, but you can greatly minimize the likely hood by pricing your services outside of the bad customer market.

+1 on redfox.

Because I typically do not have to deal with this problem (thousands of computers and less than a handful) I do not have any formula for dealing with these problems. However, I basically explain that (if was not my fault) there was nothing that I could have done to prevent or cause this issue. I of course offer to look at their computer and see if I can't quickly fix the problem for free (5 to 10 minute fix) and if its going to take a substantial amount of time, I charge a fee. One thing that really saves my butt in those situations is that I have printable diagnostics logs from the diagnostics test run on the hardware.

RedFoxComp
02-17-2012, 01:39 AM
Because I typically do not have to deal with this problem (thousands of computers and less than a handful) I do not have any formula for dealing with these problems. However, I basically explain that (if was not my fault) there was nothing that I could have done to prevent or cause this issue. I of course offer to look at their computer and see if I can't quickly fix the problem for free (5 to 10 minute fix) and if its going to take a substantial amount of time, I charge a fee. One thing that really saves my butt in those situations is that I have printable diagnostics logs from the diagnostics test run on the hardware.

Exactly, if you find yourself dealing with this frequently then the problem might be your service and/or procedures.

As far as a formula, I'm a big believer in written procedures for everything. (probably because of my career in a previous life)

PCX
02-17-2012, 01:45 AM
oh yeah, I most definitely have a written procedure and formula for diagnostics and troubleshooting, but when it comes to dealing with situations as described above, I typically know how to deal with people well enough to help them understand the situation.

Berk
02-17-2012, 02:08 AM
Quite simple. Go in, find when the OS was installed. If it was before you ever set hands on the computer, it is impossible for you to have installed the counterfeit software.

If that's a problem with the system, you couldn't have done it.

'putertutor
02-17-2012, 02:12 AM
I think we are on the same page, pcx. Just for a minute sounded like you were dealing in absolutes.

I shall now secure my flamethrower, and pick up a stiff drink. Sounds like I could use one.

PCX
02-17-2012, 03:30 AM
Quite simple. Go in, find when the OS was installed. If it was before you ever set hands on the computer, it is impossible for you to have installed the counterfeit software.

If that's a problem with the system, you couldn't have done it.

I personally will not troubleshoot a program or OS that is pirated. Period. They either have to pay me to install a new one, buy the product key or go somewhere else.

Berk
02-17-2012, 04:12 AM
I personally will not troubleshoot a program or OS that is pirated. Period. They either have to pay me to install a new one, buy the product key or go somewhere else.

Oh, I agree with you there. I am just saying in this case where the customer is complaining and he didn't realize it at the time just go in and see when the install was done. That way he covers his butt in case any legal issues arise. Plus it "hopefully" shows to the customer he didn't do it.

I don't touch pirated software either.

PCX
02-17-2012, 05:17 AM
Oh, I agree with you there. I am just saying in this case where the customer is complaining and he didn't realize it at the time just go in and see when the install was done. That way he covers his butt in case any legal issues arise. Plus it "hopefully" shows to the customer he didn't do it.

I don't touch pirated software either.

yeah . . . not going to help him now, this thread is 3 years old ;)

16k_zx81
02-17-2012, 07:17 AM
Its an interesting conversation, and seems to have generated some refreshed discussion today after having sat in the background for awhile.

I guess we can all relate to 'that' customer, the stress involved with dealing which them, and the powerful motivation to do whatever we can to avoid having people come back to us.

Seems like the upshot of what has been said here is:

1. do a full diagnostic on every machine.

2. complete all the paperwork. every. time.

For those guys who do run a full 'diagnostic' on every machine, care to share your procedure?

As far as the paperwork goes, for my part, every customer has to physically or digitally sign a T&C document before any work is done on their machine. The T&C covers all the usual stuff. Its saved my butt a couple of times!

I dont go as far as taking photos of the machines or doing a full hardware inventory, but can see the sense in doing this.

Would be interested to hear what others are doing...

Berk
02-18-2012, 01:03 PM
Haha, totally didn't realize that. That's what I get for browsing forums and posting when I've only had 2 hours of sleep.

I just saw recent posts and didn't even think to check to first post date.

But, it has sparked interesting and informative discussion non the less.

RockIT Man
02-19-2012, 05:24 PM
I've started doing a full diagnostic on every computer that comes in. I recently replaced a laptop screen. Once the screen was replaced, I booted into windows and found that the machine was badly infected and could also benefit from more RAM. I performed a few different scans (didn't remove anything) and wrote down the results. I then drafted a nice looking email recommending some things that she could do to improve the performance and security of her computer.

I've done two things here.

1. Offered additional services to the customer. Which means more revenue.
2. Proactively defended myself from the dreaded "Blame The Tech" game.

PC-MOT
02-19-2012, 05:49 PM
I posted a while ago after I did a DC jack, and got a call a day later saying 'i've now got no sound'

It turns out that the whole wiring strap was missing (obviously before I got to it!) so I looked on ebay and found one for £5.

On this occasion I just ordered it and fitted it, simply because I KNEW the family had about 6 laptops in total. And sure enough they were grateful and gave me more work, ive just added the cost to the next few they have given me (and im sure they didnt realise that they hadnt had music and were just confusing it with one of the other laptops that DID have working speakers)

It depends on how yopu value them as customers ( i.e. do thik you will get more work...??)

RockIT Man
02-19-2012, 06:10 PM
I dont go as far as taking photos of the machines or doing a full hardware inventory, but can see the sense in doing this.


I'll take pictures on occasion. For instance, I had a customer that wanted me to remove malware from their laptop. The laptop had a crack in the bottom left of the screen. I made sure to address the cracked screen before taking the computer. The customer didn't want me to replace the screen. They just wanted the malware gone. Once I got it to my workshop I took a few pictures just to be safe.

RedFoxComp
02-19-2012, 10:08 PM
I'll take pictures on occasion. For instance, I had a customer that wanted me to remove malware from their laptop. The laptop had a crack in the bottom left of the screen. I made sure to address the cracked screen before taking the computer. The customer didn't want me to replace the screen. They just wanted the malware gone. Once I got it to my workshop I took a few pictures just to be safe.

I had a guy spill soup on his laptop and was insistant that he wanted JUST the keyboard replaced. When I pulled the keyboard off it was obvious the soup had leaked into the system. I called and recommended a full cleaning and he declined based on the fact that he "flipped it upside down right away and then let it dry and besides it's working now". I explained that liquids, especially something like soup, contain minerals that will corrode the components and cause them to fail. He snorted and told me to just put the keyboard in, so I took pictures of the soup stains under the keyboard and indicated that he had declined a full cleaning against recommendations.

When his laptop dies in a few months he'll be kicking himself. It was about a year old too... I don't understand some people.

coffee
02-19-2012, 10:56 PM
Its threads like these that help you hone your skills as a tech/owner. Love it. Here is my latest which I think is pretty unbelieveable.

Have a service call recently with a man that complains that 2 months after replacing the motherboard in his laptop it will not power on. Records indicate we did the service about 1.5 years ago! I asked him onsite why he is complaining only now and told me that his son has been using it and didnt bother to tell him until recently. WHen it quit booting up the son just set it aside and used another I guess. So, Wanted free service and the MB replaced again!

I told him: NO. :D

Normally when I service equipment I do a full virus scan and also a cleaning. I try and check everything out as best I can. But there are always those looking to scam you. The hard part is trying to seperate those that are trying to scam you and those that simply are misguilded.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Take care,

coffee

MobileTechie
02-20-2012, 09:36 AM
As a rule I just say no to these. I'm not sure if that's the best business approach or not. I'm sure there are some customers out there cursing me and blaming me for their problems. But I'm not doing free work unless it's my fault, in which case I'm happy to do it.

I've had it the other way around - I fixed some networking problems on a laptop and then got a call saying that it no longer powered up. Clearly no s/w changes I made could possibly be responsible for a power issue. I said I was happy to look at it and they said "but would that cost us £x?" and of course I had to reply "yes, it's an entirely unrelated problem".

PCX
02-20-2012, 04:18 PM
For 16K,

I am not going to go into the whole process that I use or even the utilities or programs that I use, but basically my process goes like this.

1. Customer drops off computer and pays a diagnostics fee upfront.
2. Immediately, a tech pulls the drive out and runs a diagnostics on the hard drive on one of our dedicated machines (running linux) that we use for diagnostics, virus scans, cloning, data recovery, backup, etc. We do a short diagnostics first (also check for bad sectors) and then we run an extended if needed. Obviously, if it fails with a read error or with tons of bad sectors on the short scan, then we do not need to run an extended scan. Also, if the computer is time consuming to take apart, then we run the test on that same computer and then we move on to the next test. This does set us back about 2 to 4 hours, but it saves in actual handling time.
3. While the hard drive is being tested (if we were able to pull the drive out easily; 98% of the time), we put the computer on a diagnostics bench for a memtest86+ test.
4. Once both of those are done, we run a diagnostics on the motherboard.
5. After documenting all that we find, we either contact the customer or troubleshoot the problem depending on whether or not it is hardware or software related.

A full diagnostics will take about a full work day or more depending on the issue. Also, it is important to have the ability to show your customer the actual diagnostics print out and explain to them where each piece of hardware failed.

cyabro
02-20-2012, 06:21 PM
For 16K,

I am not going to go into the whole process that I use or even the utilities or programs that I use, but basically my process goes like this.

1. Customer drops off computer and pays a diagnostics fee upfront.
2. Immediately, a tech pulls the drive out and runs a diagnostics on the hard drive on one of our dedicated machines (running linux) that we use for diagnostics, virus scans, cloning, data recovery, backup, etc. We do a short diagnostics first (also check for bad sectors) and then we run an extended if needed. Obviously, if it fails with a read error or with tons of bad sectors on the short scan, then we do not need to run an extended scan. Also, if the computer is time consuming to take apart, then we run the test on that same computer and then we move on to the next test. This does set us back about 2 to 4 hours, but it saves in actual handling time.
3. While the hard drive is being tested (if we were able to pull the drive out easily; 98% of the time), we put the computer on a diagnostics bench for a memtest86+ test.
4. Once both of those are done, we run a diagnostics on the motherboard.
5. After documenting all that we find, we either contact the customer or troubleshoot the problem depending on whether or not it is hardware or software related.

A full diagnostics will take about a full work day or more depending on the issue. Also, it is important to have the ability to show your customer the actual diagnostics print out and explain to them where each piece of hardware failed.

What do you use to run diagnostic on the motherboard?

PCX
02-20-2012, 06:22 PM
Sorry, for the simple fact that my competitors could be reading this, I would rather not say. I will say that it is not cheap and that NASA and Google uses the same diagnostics.

You are more than welcome to PM me.