Monthly Archives: March 2011

Beware of the Tech Charlatan!

Remember the movie, Ghost Busters? Remember the popular phrase that came from the movie? Who you gonna call? Ghost Busters! These guys would come to your house and handle any ghost you had, any size, shape or evil would be cleaned up without a trace. As usual life doesn’t follow a script like the movies of Hollywood. Every repair person who touches your life isn’t always on top of their game. We all have our stories of the repair person who presented themselves as knowledgeable but in the end proved they could not be trusted, usually to the detriment of our pocket books. In the years before I started my repair business, I learned to be aware and careful in choosing who I trusted with my repairs.

As computers grow in popularity and the number of people who use them increase, the need for competent repair techs increases exponentially. Anyone can hang a computer repair shingle outside their office and begin a business. The average consumer doesn’t have a clue about how computers operate. Other than pushing a button to turn the computer on, and moving the mouse to get online, the rest is pretty much a mystery. Computers are an unknown or uncharted area. In talking to my customers and students I have come to realize there are many people who are unschooled in repair or may be out right charlatans when it comes to computer repair.

Some of my students have had a less than satisfactory experience with tech repair. One elderly student was told the motherboard was damaged and the laptop couldn’t be repaired. The true problem, he needed a new power supply. Another lady was given the same diagnosis for her motherboard, by the same repair person. It was the operating system. The hard drive was erased and the operating system was reloaded. Another student was told that she had viruses and trojans. She was told that the trojan couldn’t be removed so the tech would just go around the trojan and she shouldn’t use Internet Explorer anymore because that was where the trojan was hiding. One doesn’t go around a trojan. Viruses and malware of any kind must be removed. A store chain worked on another student’s computer. They erased the drive without saving the customers data, and loaded the operating system incorrectly. He has an unusable computer.

I encourage you to be careful when handing your computer to someone for repair. Not everyone who says they know how to fix computers can fix computers. It is even hard for me to tell you what to ask or look for. There are no guidelines. Other then asking to see a diploma, there is no measuring stick for choosing a computer tech. Even with a diploma, there is no guarantee. Computers and all things about computers changes by the week, sometimes by the day. There are many good techs out there but there are many charlatans too. Be wise, be smart and ask questions of others who have had repairs done. Get recommendations from friends or family members that have used someone they were satisfied with. When you find a good tech you can trust, stick with him/her. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I’ll be glad to help in any way that I can.