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I guess you can enjoy your paperweight....
  #1  
Old 04-09-2017, 06:10 PM
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sld72382 sld72382 is offline
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Default I guess you can enjoy your paperweight....

Hi guys. First post here in a VERY long time. This is not about my day job, but my freelance side job. Normally I don't post stuff publicly about my freelance PC repair customers but this just pisses me off!!

Here's the story....

So a couple of weeks ago I get notice that I receive a prospective client (An elderly lady) that her computer is "not starting up."

So I get the info, got to her house and see the issue. In Windows 8/10, the PC boots up to a wallpaper with the time and as soon as you click the mouse or press a key, it goes to your login screen. Well, it wasn't doing that. It would go to the "please wait" message then loop right back to the wallpaper. Simply put, it wouldn't load to the desktop. So I booted into safe mode and the first thing I noticed is that it took a really long time to load, but it did finally load...

....To the login screen. It did load to the desktop, but almost immediately windows system process errors started popping up - keep in mind this was in safe mode. So right there, was an indication that the current windows installation was corrupted and a factory restore was recommended.

I let her know this, but she kept saying things like....

"Why would you have to do that? I just want it back to where it was before!"

"I had an issue before and the [other company] was in and out in 15 minutes!" (They are the computer repair people whose agents drive around in black and white cars).

"I hope that whatever you do doesn't lose pictures of my grandchild and my AOL!"
(AOL? Oh dear....)

I let her know that the fix that [other company] did must have been for a minor issue, and if all problems can be resolved in 15 minutes I would love it, but that is simply not the case.

I do a system restore - that failed. I uninstall her McAfee - that failed.

I boot to the startup menu. Windows 8/10 has the option to "refresh" your PC. I warn her that even though it says it won't erase anything, there is a chance that some things will be deleted. She says OK.

So I do the refresh. Takes a while but it worked. It boots to the desktop in normal mode and she was happy.

End of story? Nah....

She calls my house saying her AOL and her control panel for her security system is gone. I set AOL as a homepage to both IE and Chrome last time I was there so didn't understand what she was talking about....

....So on a free day I go over to her house and see that she was talking about the AOL desktop software. So, I reinstall it and as far as her security system, it's a web based control panel site. I just create a desktop shortcut for it, and that was that. I didn't even charge her for the visit.

End of story, right? Nope....

I get a call that her PC don't boot up at all, gives a error while installing update 235 of cxxxxxxxx. I go a little google-fu and some other people are having these errors when trying to install "Update 2" for windows 8.1 (The new name for the service pack, I guess).

So I try to boot the computer into safe mode and amazingly, it finishes whatever update it was doing and boots into normal mode. Great! I finish installing the remaining windows updates install some missing plug-ins, reboot a total of 10 times and the PC was running OK. Bootup was slow (Well, compared to my personal desktop with 2 SSDs in RAID 0) but manageable.

I let her know that in really, this computer needs a factory restore based on what I saw before, otherwise these issues are likely to happen again. She says that all she needed from me was to "bring the computer back to the way it was before," and that she felt that was all.

I say to myself that next time she calls with the same type of issue, it's factory reload or nothing else. I won't even charge her to back up her stuff to my flash drive (Providing I can find a way to get it to boot to the desktop first).

So last week, I get notice she called again - with the same damn update install error at startup. I tell her that it's best to factory restore, I'll back up her stuff before I do it and afterwards, put back everything and the computer will be as good as new but it has to be on a free day. She says fine.

So today I call her to let her know I'd like to come over. I tell this this my be a little time consuming, but she'll have a perfectly functioning machine afterwards. This was when it got crazy...

Her: Look, I just want to put it back to the condition it was before you first came out!

Me: Look, when I came out the first time it was clear that your computer needs a factory restore. Once I am done with that, you'll have a properly functioning machine.

Her: But before at least you could start it up now it won't even get that far!

Me: Thinking: Really lady? You couldn't even boot to the desktop! Yes, I corrected the issue last time but as it's happening again, and also due to what I saw in safe mode on my first visit that tells me that your operating system is corrupted and you need a factory restore.

Her: I just want you to bring it back to where it was before you came out here the first time!

Me: Your operating system - Windows 8.1 - was corrupted before I stepped foot in your house the first time. I'll bring it back to where it was before, yes but as I stated it requires a factory restore at this point.

Her: What does windows have anything to do with this?! I just want you to bring it back to where it was before!

Me: Windows 8.1 is your operating system, and if gets corrupted then it will do things like causing routine updates to fail, or do things like no letting you boot to the desktop.

Her: Well at least it started up to the wall paper at that time now after you worked on it, it won't even get that far! It's like it bad to worse!

Me: Actually the last time the update failed I managed to get it back to the desktop and I must have rebooted like 10 times. It's doing it again, in order to get this computer working a factory restore is needed, I wish I could tell you different.

Her: You know the first time you were here, you got it to start up but you erased my AOL, my security software....

Me: And I came out free of charge and put those back. If I recall correctly, the first time I was there I warned you that doing a refresh might erase some data and you OK'ed it.

Her: You know what? I'm just going to call someone else. Bye!

*Click.*

What gets me is how could windows get corrupted to the point of needing to factory restore when she only goes on AOL (Using the software, not the website) and a few basic websites. Regardless, I get that she is stubborn but damn, I am a technician, not a magician. As a freelancer, my rates are low. Let her spend much more on [other company] just for them to tell her the same thing!

The reason why this pisses me off is I am afraid that she might try and demand that I give her money back that she paid me. I provided a resolution, if she didn't want to listen to me that's her own problem.

Last edited by sld72382; 04-09-2017 at 08:43 PM.

  #2  
Old 04-09-2017, 06:35 PM
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EricKei EricKei is offline
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Sounds to me like you've earned that money -- she paid for your time and expertise, and, if she chooses to look elsewhere for help after the fact (again...), that's her decision. You gave her the only realistic option, and she chose not to accept it. Not really a valid reason for a refund, from where I'm standing.

Reminds me of an older *ahem* gentleman back when I worked at a tiny computer repair shop back in the Win9x days. We kept a custom Ghost CD of his system, as he came back every month like clockwork to have it re-done. He willingly paid for it every time, as he readily admitted that the cause of the problem was the same every damn time -- his hard drive had been (re-)filled with all sorts of porn -- an impressive feat on late-90's dialup -- and the nastybad unwanted viruses and other software that came with it. Completely borked his system every time, to the point where we couldn't even get to the Desktop half of the time, and we (perhaps wisely) refused to plug it in to our inhouse network. He knew exactly what he was doing, but did it anyway.
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  #3  
Old 04-09-2017, 11:04 PM
raw1989 raw1989 is offline
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Im afraid that ahem the black and white car guys will do a tape over job husband used to work for them and they were at my house this weekend to install a microwave over my stove and it wasn't anything but normal everything and anything that could go wrong did... I got everything they needed they came back out installed it but the wood at the top of cupboards is to thick making the screws they send with a microwave to bolt it in at the top to short they don't make them any longer so they had to bolt it under the microwave and they are not sopped to leave it that way but had no choice and I OKAYED it if not they would have taken it back out no just get it in there make sure it stays and I could care less how

  #4  
Old 04-10-2017, 01:12 AM
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sld72382 sld72382 is offline
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I'm confused on that reply.

  #5  
Old 04-10-2017, 01:31 AM
raw1989 raw1989 is offline
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Quote:
Quoth sld72382 View Post
I'm confused on that reply.
she will take it back to them and they will do a bandaid job I bet they don't do anything and she continues to have problems she will likely call u back just wait for it

  #6  
Old 04-10-2017, 05:20 AM
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sld72382 sld72382 is offline
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Sorry about the mix up, now that I know LOL....

I was thinking the same thing earlier. They are probably going to appease her by just running what certain PC vendors used to call a "non-destructive recovery/restore" which does nothing and when it starts malfunctioning they'll recommend a full factory restore and she'll start in on them like she did with me.

  #7  
Old 04-13-2017, 05:53 PM
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I'm wondering if this is one of a few different things:

1. Corrupted (bootlegged) version of Windows 8 (though bootlegging is harder now, it seems).
2. One of her kids/grandkids tried to fix it, and made things worse.
3. She tried doing things she didn't understand, and hosed the system herself.
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  #8  
Old 04-16-2017, 03:45 AM
Pixelated Pixelated is offline
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Quote:
Quoth sld72382 View Post
Sorry about the mix up, now that I know LOL....

I was thinking the same thing earlier. They are probably going to appease her by just running what certain PC vendors used to call a "non-destructive recovery/restore" which does nothing and when it starts malfunctioning they'll recommend a full factory restore and she'll start in on them like she did with me.
If so, I hope you tell her 'factory restore or nothing' again, and if she starts to argue -- again -- you just tell her "Sorry, I'm not going to spend more time arguing with you. That's my only recommendation at this point, so you decide: yes or no?"

My mother was more than a little bit techno-paranoid, and she wouldn't have had a clue what you were talking about, unless you broke it down into single-syllable words, with pictures (not disparaging Mom's intelligence, by the way). I often had to "translate" what the techies were trying to say to her (and I am no techie, so it was quite fun, let me tell you).

If this woman can't get a similar "translator" that she trusts, it's not worth your while to try keeping her as a customer.
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  #9  
Old 08-24-2017, 05:54 PM
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This right here is why I'm so glad to be out of the freelance game. These customers will forever blame you, because "it was fine before". These "clients" don't seem to understand that all of these repairs and fixes are separate instances, and despite warnings (which they conveniently forget) refuse to believe that the work you've done in the past doesn't really apply to what's happening now. This is especially true if the problem presents with the same symptoms, but is actually being caused by something different. It seems to me that your customer is doing something to it that she doesn't want to admit to. The 'ol "I don't know, it just started doing that".

  #10  
Old 11-08-2017, 01:51 PM
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protege protege is offline
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Quote:
Quoth mjr View Post
2. One of her kids/grandkids tried to fix it, and made things worse.
3. She tried doing things she didn't understand, and hosed the system herself.
Both of these are usually what causes 99.9999% of computer problems.

But then there's...

4. The (l)user took a computer class back in 1982, and is now an "expert."

Never mind that things have moved on since then, and nobody runs 8088-based machines now. No, they took that one course, and know everything there is to know

I quit doing tech support for certain family members for that very reason. I got tired of getting screamed at/blamed for unrelated failures to whatever I'd just done. Trust me, running the antivirus program will not destroy your hard drive. If your drive is failing, it was a piece of crap before I ever stepped into your office.
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