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Is it ignorance or deliberate rip off?

Posted 10-15-2013 at 04:07 AM by Leo-duke

As a retired person I have the time to help other 'older persons' learn to use their computers, and carry out simple software repairs and set-up. I was therefore deeply shocked on two occasions by clients having been well and truly 'ripped off'.
In the first instance a lady had problems opening a programme (OK, program), so took her laptop to PC World. Here she was told that her computer had failed, was out of warranty and she should replace it. They sold her a top of the range unit, better suited to heavy end use, while her needs were simple - a little e-mail, surfing the net, and the occasional letter. She also stored her photos.
Next they charged her more than 100 to 'recover' the data and a further 60 to put it on the new machine. MS Office followed at full price as well as Windows 8 Professional - wholly unsuited to her needs. They then retained her laptop 'in part exchange' and took a total of 900 off her for the privilege.
In fact all it required was to change some setting on the laptop's software and in 5 minutes she could have been happily reunited with her program.
The second occasion of a client being well and truly 'done' again involves PC World. Another lady client had start-up problems with Windows XP Home. Her machine was, in her words' "stuffed with irreplaceable photos and information". On collecting her laptop from PCW, she discovered that her machine now had a different version of Windows (Vista) and that all her data had been wiped. For this she too was charged an extortionate 72 for the service and 96 for the software. She was never told that another operating system would be installed or that her data would not be saved.
In each case the clients now have a proper external back-up to their system and are being regularly shown Linux as a better alternative to their current OS. Hopefully they will eventually feel confident enough to make the switch - and more importantly, will stay well away from PCW. But are they alone in this? Is it the local branch or is this practice widespread?
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  1. Old Comment
    It makes you want to weep, especially when there are people who are quite willing to install and help maintain an appropriate Linux distro for free/a nominal fee/a few bottles of beer...
    Posted 10-15-2013 at 01:34 PM by rich_c rich_c is offline


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