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Computer Repair: Common Scams and Frauds

By Dustin Pedro Subscribe to RSS | May 12th 2012 | Views:
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Preying upon the ignorance and vulnerability of most computer users by smart and crooked repair-services providers is becoming a huge problem in the industry. Like the auto business, this sector is largely unregulated. It is difficult to pinpoint a true scam, since users may not have the technical know-how to prove anything.

One of the oldest tricks in the business is to hype up the issue. A worn-out cable, faulty wiring, damaged plugs or dust in the works is portrayed as a major problem. Your machine may be returned to you after a week or two, along with an inflated bill for parts, hours spent etc.

Inexperienced technicians may simply fail to spot simple problems and escalate up to their supervisors who could then defraud the customer.

The “minimum charges” scam is another trap. Since every repair firm has its own charges, you will have to shop around a little to find firms that charge reasonable assessment fees. However, most big firms charge a heavy initial-visit fee but they offer higher quality services. Free-estimate providers may not always be reliable or trustworthy.

Fake references, licenses and qualifications are another big fraud perpetrated by unscrupulous technicians and they are not very easy to verify.

Don't be taken in by verbal assurances. Get all warranties and bills in document form and keep these safely.

Replacements, upgrades and parts are another source of shady dealings. Always insist on standard parts with warranty. Some con-artists may also, in the process of conducting repairs, replace good working parts with inferior/used parts.

Theft of personal information, identity markers, breach of confidentiality and hacking are other things to watch out for when you hand over your computer for repairs. Items like personal photographs, mail and financial information could be used by unscrupulous repair personnel.

Wanting cash payments, not providing receipts or bills and asking for the full fee upfront are some ways in which you can be defrauded. Some fraudsters lure you with a No-Assessment-Fee scheme and later, hit you with huge bills for parts and services.

Take the time to really understand the problem. Most scammers rely on the fact that users are in a hurry to get their machines up and running. If required, take notes and cross-check with other sources.

Don't be mystified by jargon. “Experts” can intimidate you with their “superior knowledge” so make sure you take a second opinion before opting for such services.

If you do suspect you've been ripped-off, get a reliable expert to investigate – this way you can prevent further damage, get adequate compensation or your money back and also warn others.

Dustin Pedro - About Author:
Fixitnerds provide computer repair services in central London, we repair pretty much any sort of problem, give us a call if you need imac repair

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