Podnutz Daily #325 - Akron Computer Guy
A podcast for computer repair techs, BY computer repair techs!
Running time: 1:05:12
First of all I want to encourage anyone who listens to Podnutz to use all the resources available to them. From the forums and to especially use Teamspeak. You can check the forums for the information on how to get on to Teamspeak and talk to fellow techs from around the United States, and there are a few from our friends in the UK.
I have a new website http://www.akroncomputerguy.com
A warning to anyone who wants to go with a SEO:
Okay, here we go. Despite all the warnings and issues with an SEO company, I decided to give one a try. It's the same outfit that Leif from Anypcservice.com started with. Anyways, I'm not getting any phone calls, and when I did get them it was usually, what I'm going to call orchrestrated, phone calls or email asking me about prices for computer repair all with the email signature with the SEO company I just called to complain about. So after giving them their 60 days tryout, while they were taking my money away for practically no service, I'm calling and telling them to cancel my account. Now I expected some trouble with the cancellation and what not, but it took me 12 times to tell them that I wanted to cancel my account. Finally, they gave way and I was told that no more charges would be made to my credit card. Well we will have to see.
Here is a headache that I came across, that maybe there are some techs out there who are not aware of this. I had an Pentium 4, XP machine in here pre service pack 1. I only had a XP service pack 3 disc at the time. After the reinstall the product key was not recognized. I found out from Fubar_JohnnyR that the problem was that it was a Service Pack 3 install disc, not a pre service pack 1. So I got a hold of a pre service pack 1, installed it, and the product key took hold. Now the reason why I'm bringing this up is two things: 1 - Windows Vista does not require such a procedure. 2- Windows 7 does. So you techs out there hang on to that Windows 7 pre service pack disc for a reinstall, it'll come in handy.
Installing Thunderbird for customers who like Outlook Express for Windows 7:
Basically, I was getting a lot of customers who wanted Outlook Express for their Windows 7 computer, even though Microsoft said it wasn't going to be available for Windows 7, unless they installed Microsoft Office. Well I just started giving Thunderbird some popularity again by going ahead and installing that client to make my customers happy.
So this lady calls up and says that she needs Windows XP reinstalled because Staples said that her netbook was full of virus's. Well I made it clear to her that just because one store said that that was the problem didn't mean I would have the same diagnostic. I had 19 years of experience, and I know what I was looking for in these machines. So I take it home and started looking at it. The problem was that the screen would automatically highlight anything with a white background, which as a result would interfere with her email reading. I called her and told her that the issue was not software but it was hardware. The hardware issue being the motherboard was going bad on her 6 year old machine. And she says in a nasty tone, "Well aren't you going to reinstall Windows?" I said, I can, but it's not going to fix the problem. "Well just do it anyways!" was her reply. So I did according to what she wanted. After the reinstall, I called her and told her it was done, but the problem was still there. "Well Staples said that that was all it needed!" I told her that the motherboard was going to have to be replaced. "Well how much is that going to cost?" I gave her the price of the motherboard and she said, "Well I don't have that, just bring back my computer!" So I wrote out the work order, packed up her machine and brought it back to her. She turns on the computer and says, "It's still doing the same problem! You didn't fix this!" I reminded her that she asked me to reinstall windows even though it wasn't going to fix the problem. She didn't reply to that. So I handed her the invoice, and she said, "I'm not going to pay you, you didn't fix the problem!" I said to her "Ma'am, have a nice day" turned around and walked out on her. After of course she was yelling, "Get out of my house!" Now why did I leave? I've dealt with a lot of people since my business started, and I knew that this witch was going to be a problem in getting the money owed to me. I made a decision, that it wasn't going to be worth my time to pursue it, and if she even thinks about calling me again, that I will still ask her for my money from the last time. My dad taught me one thing in dealing with customers as he was a self employed carpenter. It's name is called LENA. LENA was a "person". When my dad mentioned that name my brother and I knew to drop the conversation or to leave a matter alone. Hence you have Leave wEll eNough Alone.
The plumber's girlfriend:
The neighborhood plumber if you will asked me to work on his girlfriends computer and he would fix a bathroom sink for me. Well, first of all, it was a hardware wireless issue. The wi-fi card in her Dell netbook failed. And it also needed a windows reinstall. It was slow, had mcaffee on it, all kinds of issues. So a nuke an pave was in order. AFter the nuke and pave, and a complete Windows reinstall, all the drivers installed, the wi-fi still didn't work. So it was a bad wi-fi card that was the issue. So I had a USB wi-fi stick, I tested it out on my network and it worked great. So I took it back to her house. I got a weak signal from their wi-fi network, only, it wasn't their wi-fi network. She was a Facebook fanatic who was stealing from a neighbors. So I had to inform her that that is basically stealing and she could end up in trouble, and she needs to get her own internet. "Well we don't have money for that....". Well a couple of months went by and she calls me up again and says she still can't get a good wi-fi signal. So I stopped by again to see what was going on. I noticed something going on inside the house. She runs to the back of the home and comes out in a different shirt. It is the middle of summer and she comes out with a shirt that allows the sides of her boobs to show completely. This is happening right in front of her boyfriend, my wife and me. By the way, the girl wasn't that much to look at. She's a heroine addict and I don't think the guy is with her anymore. So back to the issue of the wi-fi. So I said the only recourse is to order a replacement for the original wi-fi card inside the computer. It came and it ran fine, but again I had to warn her that what she was doing was illegal. All I wanted to do was to get the heck out of there.
The separation anxiety Dell XPS owner:
So I get this phone call saying that this custom.mode so I can run my tools on my usb stick. The computer was so infected that it was not cooperating. So I told the customer that it would be necessary to take the unit back to my shop so that I can get the virus's out or do a data backup and do a reinstall. He goes, "Well how long will that take?" I said a virus scan can run a couple of hours. A Windows Seven reinstall can take about an hour maybe a little bit more. This guy, Steve, wanted to come to my shop which is in my home and wait around while I do the work. I go, "Sir, I don't let customers in my home." He goes that's ok I'll wait in my car until you get it done." He was willing to wait all the time it would take to run the virus scans and a possible Windows Seven reinstall! He then goes, well what about remote support? I know a guy who does that. So I can see that I've lost the sale, but from what I've experienced so far this guy was going to miss his "baby" and would be calling me all the time and just going to be a pain in the butt.
The flaky Silex Wire Printer Software problem:
The son who wanted the computer fixed but the mother was a pain in the A**
So I get this call from a guy who said he needed his laptop fixed because the Windows 7 2011 virus window came up. I said yes it was a virus, and he agreed to let me come by and pick up his computer. He appeared to be a young guy, met me at his pull around driveway, and had the laptop bag in hand. We went over the contract agreement I have from Technibble and he signed it and I said I'd be back as soon as it was done. Well a couple of hours later I get home, and I started running Kapersky. About halfway through the Kapersky run, I get this panic call from a lady who was this guys mother! She's saying, "Why do you have my computer?" I said, "Well, someone in your house hired me to do a virus cleanup on it." She said, "Yes well that was my son, and I can't believe he just gave my computer to a stranger off the street!" I told her that basically I wasn't a stranger, that I have a signed contract with her son and I was performing the cleanup now. "Well do you have a shop?" I said no my shop was based in my home and I got the sense she wanted to come over (at 9pm at night by the way), and then she said, "Well I want to come over to see my computer!" I said that I don't allow customers into my private home. She then gets all angry on me and says "Well how do I know I can trust you?" I said that I've worked on computers for 19 years and that I know hers has a virus in it and I was performing the clean up right now. "Well I just can't believe that my son, just gave my computer to someone he doesn't know!" So I wanted to clean up this mess right away and I said,"Ma'am what do you want me to do?" She thought about it, and said,"Well can I see a drivers license" I said, "I'm not in the habit of giving out my personal drivers license." I then thought, this is just getting worse and worse. So I said, "Ma'am how about if I come over, you can see your computer and then we can go from there." She agreed to that. So I shut down Kapersky, rebooted to see if the computer would start properly even though it still had the virus in it. It did and in the process I said this could be a real headache for me so I'm just giving her computer back to her.
I get there and she comes to the door, and she starts to say, "Ok good, now here is what I want from you...." I stopped her and I handed her laptop bag back to her and said, "Ma'am have a nice day," she took the bag, said thank you and I just walked back to my car and drove off. And never looked back. My thinking was, this was not going to be a good transaction and no matter what I did, she was not going to be happy.