Friday, February 4, 2011

In-store computer services : Let us scam you!

How to get the most out of your budget without being scammed when buying a brand new computer.

Buying your first brand new computer?  Exciting moment!  I know I was rather excited!

The first thing you need to understand about the computer market is that it is a fierce market.  Everyone wants a piece of the pie so the prices are fairly aggressive.  Stores do not make a significant profit from computer sales anymore, so they need another way to make a profit.  Here's how to avoid the traps.

Before I begin, if by all means you do not know anyone who can help you with this, and are unsure on how to proceed with computers, than these services work well, overpriced, but they will help.  If so, stop reading now!  If you know how to use a computer (even simple basic skills) and wish to save a few $$$, please read on.

I've looked at 2 different in-store services from 2 different stores that I will not name ... somewhere I might buy in the future and something to hold my pages together ...

Anyways ...

Let's see how they can help us, at least how they SAY they can help us, and what they really mean!

What they say :
Computer Setup and Restore CDs ($99.99) : Set up the computer, make sure it's working properly and
create restore CDs for easy re-installation of the operating system.

What they really mean :
Computer Setup and Restore CDs : For $100 I will plug your PC, press the power button, pick my nose, type on the keyboard your name and insert the TimeZone, I'll text my friends, click the mouse a couple times and insert blank CDs when the computer asks me to do so.  By the way, computer manufacturers nowadays always include a restore DVD with the computer that contains the full OS (operating system, like Windows or OSX for Apple) and all the drivers for the specific needs of your machine.

What they say :
Diagnostic ($49.00) : Figure out what exactly the problem is.

What they really mean :
Diagnostic : CHA-CHING! $$$ I opened the computer and looked at it, cool $50!

What they say :
Software ($20-$30), Expansion Card ($39), Memory ($25) installation : Let us install some of that new hardware or software for you.

What they really mean :
Hardware/Software installating : Let us open your case, pop the piece in, in 2 1/2 minutes, or pop the DVD in, let it install while I'm going back to Facebook.

What they say :
Data Back-up ($80) : Let us copy your data for you to another device.  No hard drive disk provided.

What they really mean :
Data Back-up : Let me plug that in for you, click three times and wait for it to finish.  Oh cool, a new Twitter message!

Don't get me wrong!!!  Data back-ups are CRUCIAL!  But it can be a very easy task to do it yourself.
I think by now you get what I am coming at.  Some services offered are very good and cannot be done
at home.  Data recovery for example is a difficult process.  If your hard drive fails, it will cost you in the 1000s of $ to get the data back.  That is why a $50 back-up hard drive will save you if your main hard drive fails!

When you buy a new computer, once you have decided which system you will go for, make sure you do not fall in the trap.  Some salesperson can be very pushy.  You can be sure of a couple things when
you buy a new computer from a known manufacturer :
- the system will work out of the box and the full operating system is installed on the machine, it only needs to be configured such as, computer name and account password, timezone, and how it is connected to the internet.
- you do not need anything else to get the computer to work.
- new systems that come with Windows 7 are fantastic and are easy to connect to the internet.

When it comes to installing software, insert the DVD and follow the on-screen instructions.  Make sure you read carefully and the installer will always give you by the default the best safe option to choose.  Trust me, all the technician will do is probably keep clicking Next and OK until the software starts installing.

To install hardware (physical pieces in the computer), Google is your friend.  I will probably do a little guide on how to install basic hardware eventually.

And if all fails with your brand new computer, they charge $99.00 to re-install the operating system ... hey it's the same price as the setup!  Whadayaknow?!  A chance to save money, learn a little, feel great about your accomplishment and to share your knowledge with your friends and IF by the worst of luck it fails, you pay the same price to fix it.  Seems like a pretty good deal to me!

Know what you want and buy smart!

1 comment:

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