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When Computer Help Goes Wrong... - Page 3

post #21 of 39
that is the very reason i didn't start a local PC help business. some ppl are just looking for someone to blame to get new free stuff. whenever u deal with someone like this try to remember, things that ppl pay for and dont understand frustrates them. think of how you would feel if you took a trani(transmission) somewhere to get rebuilt and he tells u its junk and you have to buy another. well you would want to know why and after he goes into detail you will still have no better idea what happened. but you would still have to cough up the couple grand for it. hence, angering you.
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post #22 of 39
Well the mistake you made was trying to remove viruses and malware first before backing up any files. There is always a chance malicious programs will take operating system files with them when you attempt to remove them. Although her computer was not working properly, she was still able to use it before you started working on it. At that time you should've asked if there was anything she needed to be backed up. If she needed her outlook emails you still had the opportunity to either export a pst file in outlook or export the wab file in outlook express. It sounds like it was not explained to her before you tried to remove the viruses that there was a possibility that she would've lost all her stuff. You have to be blunt with these people. "You have viruses and spyware. I can try to remove them but there is a possibility that you will lose all data on this machine. Do you have a backup of your pictures, emails etc.?" It seems that this lady did not fully understand what was involved in a reformat of the computer. You have to be sure to explain it in simple terms that a re-os will basically put the computer back to out of box state, meaning it will be exactly like it was when she first purchased the unit. Finally if a machine looks like its going to be a headache, its sometimes better to just walk away, because the money gained isn't always worth the stress.
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post #23 of 39
Tell her; "If you want professional help, go to Geek Squad."
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post #24 of 39
If you still have the image, offer to restore it back to how it was before.

Also, as said before, make an image before you begin anything.
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post #25 of 39
For one thing good job ridding the internet of a virus infected spyware spewing zombie!

Secondly, you treated her very nicely and did what you could. The only thing you can do is make sure they trust you and take your word for the truth and respect your expertise.
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post #26 of 39
Good post spooky!


I have had this with a friend of family, so not quite as professional but equally as annoying.

I told him on numerous occasions that if clean the hard drive and install a fresh copy of windows then everything will be wiped and he said "yes there is nothing important i want to keep on here".

I did and he started going on about his outlook e-mails and addresses being deleted, he though they were saved on a web server!

Difference is he kept pestering me over and over and over to do stuff to make his machine faster, he had a cyrix like 100mhz processor and like 64mb ram and was asking me why his PC was so slow.

He just kept saying "you know people, you can get me free RAM and a fast processor right?" and i just kept saying well no i would have to pay generally and your motherboard is so old it wont support today's sockets which he always replied with "MY MOTHERBOARD/PC IS NOT OLD!!!"

In the end i ignored his calls
and he soon got the message.
Though it took him a while because i think he has something slightly wrong with him (like slight autism or something similar)
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post #27 of 39
I feel your pain. I've had this occur before in the past and since then I've sworn off fixing machines for this reason. Some people just don't understand and it's more trouble than it's worth.

There's not much you can do at this point, it seems like reasoning with this person isn't going to get you anywhere. Maybe one final call, letting the customer know that you won't be dealing with them anymore and why. Also what the original expectations you agreed upon. "Your Verbal Contract"

From what you stated you fixed everything that the customer asked for.
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post #28 of 39
Been in a similar situation myself a few times.. I usually don't end up in a situation like you had.

As SpookedJunglist pointed out, an "Agreement" if you are doing this work as a business is of utmost importance. Right now, she could possibly sue you for negligence & you wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Now, if there was an agreement drawn up that you would perform an attempt to recover the items she wanted, that would give you all the legal grounds to stand on.

When I come across a PC to repair that is in this type of state, I simply tell them that they have 2 options. Send it to a data recovery service at $200/hour or let me try to recover what I can & wipe the drive clean and reinstall Windows.

Remember, 9 times out of 10, you are dealing with non-techie type people that don't give a rat's behind about what it takes to do things. They just want it fixed. They don't care how/where/what you use to fix it.

You will be very well off if you just follow the last thing I mentioned. You might be classified as a "Geek", but that stereotype fits for working professionally with people.

Spend a few bucks on some lawyer time putting together the "fine print" at the bottom of an agreement that your clients will sign before you leave with their PCs.

Congrats on going on your own & hope it pays off for you!!!
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post #29 of 39
Just remember that backing up there already screwed up computer will only allow you to restore the same screwed up computer.

Make them understand what software is and make sure they understand that you can not guarantee it.

Explain your techno babble in a way that they can understand it. Analogies FTW.
    
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post #30 of 39
one of the main reasons I dont do retail...I hate the general population.

I dont even have a sign in the front of the building....if people knew we were a computer company I would have jackasses walking in the door to either buy something or get something fixed.

Screw the general public!!

Kudos to you and your patience.

As to what to do...explain to her one more time, in a really nice tone, that you have fixed her computer and this will be the last communication you are having with her.

Explain to her that she is harassing you and you will contact the authorities if you have too.

Then tell her you will strangle her dog if she tries to call you again.... I am joking of course
    
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