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Old 06-21-2009, 04:29 PM
JRDtechnet JRDtechnet is offline
 
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Default Getting blamed for a problem you didn't cause

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.
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Old 06-21-2009, 04:42 PM
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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.
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Old 06-21-2009, 04:46 PM
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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.
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Old 06-21-2009, 04:47 PM
stevenamills stevenamills is offline
 
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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.
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Old 06-21-2009, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRDtechnet View Post
"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.
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Old 06-21-2009, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunslinger View Post
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
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Old 06-21-2009, 09:53 PM
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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.
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Old 06-21-2009, 10:42 PM
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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...).
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:20 AM
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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.
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:08 AM
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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.
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