Computer repair and customer serviceDecember 2006
I ran across the clip below the other day and found it pretty interesting. A TV station started with a perfectly working computer and disconnected a basic cable so that the computer wouldn't boot. They then took the computer into a number of computer repair shops to see if the problem would be diagnosed correctly, and how much each shop would charge.
I was surprised to see how many shops either misdiagnosed the problem or were dishonest regarding the repairs. Unfortunately, since all that's out there of the story is that short clip (the story doesn't appear to be on the TV station's website), we don't know everyone else's side of the story. For instance, did the reporter drop one of the computers and it really did have a bad motherboard?
I was mostly surprised to see that the biggest offender was someone from a small independent shop. How long is he going to be in business if he makes a habit of gouging his customers? His relationship with customers is pretty much the only competitive advantage he has against the larger computer stores even though there's no shortage of people who hate Best Buy.
It was good to see that at least one shop didn't charge anything for plugging in the cable. They obviously get it right. If I was on the customer end of that transaction, that probably would've won me as a customer for life.