D.I.Y Laptop Repairs can cost more than you expect!
Do it yourself or seek expert help?
This week so far has been an interesting week for us...... We have so far seen more than a handful of machines whereby people have tried to carry out repairs themselves..... or they have a "friend" who is handy with computers that has tried to offer their assistance. So my question for this blog is.... are computer repair shops and individual freelance technicians charging so much that people feel forced to D.I.Y their repair works?
Here at Sivill Service, we like to think that we are fair and just in our pricing and that we do not overcharge our customers, in fact many have been shocked by how little the repair work has cost them. So what is going on out there with other repairers that is giving rise to this belief??? We have seen a lot of second rate jobs over the years - a few of which will remain with me for the rest of my days but when it comes to charging how do other people deem that you are charging too much? Is it that the work is being carried out to a substandard and people feel they are not happy and not getting value for money? Or simply that they feel overcharged?
From our point of view we always work to the principal of honesty is the best policy. If we feel that a repair job is just not worth the money then we will always tell our customer's this. This is often to our own detriment and cost but it keeps people coming back year after year. It does seem that this is not the case with our competitors. Now that is not to say that everyone is overcharging but it is certainly the case that people seem to have the view that they are better to attempt it themselves than pay repair shop prices. This image of costly repairs is coming from somewhere....... I would hope it is not us!
This week we have seen a rise in the number of people attempting what in some cases are pretty complex jobs on their own and this has in at least one case been a fatal decision to make. These people when I have asked would never dream of getting out a spanner and screwdriver and attempting to repair their own cars yet they have felt the need to do so with their own laptops and computer equipment.
Within our area there is one repair person's name that has come up over and over again as having carried out work for people before that seems to have left people unhappy. From my point of view the work carried out is not worth what they have paid and in one case was actually dangerous. Yet people still use them. With so many good repair shops around why is this the case?
With Google at their finger tips and so much information online, people seem more keen than ever before to have a go themselves. They are willing to put their own data, photos and content at risk to try and save a few quid. Much like with cars though the DIY attitude can often have the opposite result and result in a more costly repair job than just bringing it in with the original problem.
Looking at the evidence from this week - a week in which I have seen more DIY repair attempts than I have in any other week in over 15 years of working with computers, I am unsure what the reasoning is but there does seem to be a number of combined reasons why people are attempting repairs.
Here at Sivill Service we like to enable people to do simple things on computers themselves like showing them how to run a scan with their virus software thus protecting themselves and their data a little better but we would not actively encourage customers to open up their computers themselves to tinker with things inside.
This week we had a mum that brought in her sons computer. He had with his mate (we name these people Doug - I will explain) set about upgrading the CPU (processor) in his gaming computer. He has always had an interest in computers and thought how hard can it be!!!?
Out came the old processor..... And in went the new one. Or so they thought. With Doug's helpful assistance, they proceeded to force the CPU into the slot and bent the pins on the CPU in the process. The motherboard had also been incorrectly fitted and the M.2 drive was sat at an angle from where they failed to remove the pin before installation. The worst damage though was the processor as you can see in the photo.
If the parts had been brought to us for fitting instead of attempting the job themselves.... they would have been looking at around a £50 bill at most. This would have included updating the machine. Instead the lad in question with Doug's help wrote off the brand new CPU. He has purchased a power supply unit that Doug thought might be the reason for the failing of the machine to function - a power supply he did not need! The CPU was damaged beyond repair and has resulted now in a £200 bill to replace the processor!!! OUCH!
Another customer and the origin of the Doug name - could not access his email. He has a friend named Doug. Doug knows a thing or two about computers or so he said. Between them they had installed Malware (another computer technician of whom I have a very low opinion tells everyone to install this software which then spreads like a plague through the machine and slows it to the point of no function), totally lost track of what password was being used for the email and managed to change the default browser to open webpages using Internet Explorer - consequently nothing was loading as the IE was so far out of date.
Now my customer knows nothing about computers and admits that he struggles to even turn it on let alone use it and therefore relies on Doug. The job took me 3 times as long as everything I did I had to explain twice and in terms Doug could understand. Doug should stay well away from computers and stick to watching the television as he really was not helping! It seems a lot of people know a "Doug"..... be warned Doug is a liability!
Our advice - if in doubt please get help and do not rely on Doug to fix the problem as the chances are it will cost you more in the long run. Computer repairs do not need to cost the earth. Just find someone that you can rely on to do the job right and at a fair price! In other words tell Doug thanks but no thanks and seek professional help to rectify the small problem rather than create a bigger Doug made issue!