Norton Utilities examines some interesting alternatives consumers would rather do than try to repair a dilapidated PC.
We don't know whether to be encouraged or frightened by a new "Consumer PC Frustrations" survey (PDF) conducted by Wakefield Research and commissioned by Norton Utilities, so we'll settle on being amused. The survey pinged 1,000 PC users and asked them a series of questions, starting with how they view trying to fix an aging PC. Of those surveyed, 27 percent of the female respondents said they'd rather go three days without a shower than try to fix an old computer, while a third of the male respondents said holding a significant other's purse in the mall while she tries on clothes is less painful.
As if Geek Squad, the PC repair portion of mega electronics chain Best Buy, needed any more damage to its geek cred, it went and got punked by a local Oregon Fox News team. But what's most surprising is how easily the undercover news team did it.
Taking a problem-free PC, the investigators pulled the IDE cable out of the hard drive and told local PC repair shops in the Portland-Metro area that the system wouldn't boot. This included a pair of Geek Squad locations, the first of which identified the problem and fixed it free of charge. Kudos then, right?
Wrong. The second Geek Squad location charged $70 off the bat for a diagnosis, which isn't particularly egregious. But after two days of waiting, a tech called back to inform the undercover team that their hard drive was broken. If that weren't bad enough, the tech claimed it would cost up to $580 to fix the problem! That's not all. Geek Squad said it found a virus and suggested that the 'owner' buy a new PC instead of having the 'broken' one repaired.
"We take any misdiagnosis very seriously, and I personally feel horrible that we missed this opportunity to be consistently accurate," Steve Carter, Geek Squad District Manager, wrote in a statement. "I'm working closes with my Geek Squad agents going forward to ensure that the highest level service is maintained consistently for our customers in Portland."