[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting
and Repair Guide | Repairs, Returns and Refunds | Performing a Repair or Return ]
Working With a Repair Shop
A successful experience depends primarily on the efforts of the repair shop you select,
but it also depends on you. Your job is to work with the repair company, providing the
information they need and at the same time keeping an eye on what is happening. Remember
that it is your PC, and therefore your responsibility to stay on top of the repair
job, regardless of who is doing it.
I would keep the following specifics in mind when dealing with a repair:
- Determine the Cost of the Estimate: Make sure you find out what the company is
going to charge you to look at the machine. Tell them that you want to be contacted to
authorize repairs done to the PC before they begin (to give you control over what is done
when, and what the total repair is going to cost). Find out if the estimate they give you
is firm, or is just a guess that they will exceed if they deem it necessary. Make sure you
are clear that you want to have the right to just pay them an inspection fee and then not
perform the work, if you decide you don't want to spend the money on a repair.
- Find Out What the Repair Policies Are: You need to know as much as possible about
what the company's general repair policies are.
- Get a Repair Agreement Up Front, In Writing: The person you are dealing with may
seem like just the nicest guy you have ever met, but if you just hand over the PC based on
a verbal agreement, with nothing in writing, you are begging for trouble. A repair
agreement should be filled out before the work is started, stating what work will be done,
what the charge will be for an estimate, how long the estimate and repair will take, who
will perform the work, and all other details. Make sure that you get this signed and a
copy made for you to take away before you leave the shop.
- Get Information About Parts and Replacement Policies: Since most PC repairs
involve swapping failed components out for newer good ones, you should find out all that
you can about what the company uses for parts. You want to know what brands they use,
whether they are new or refurbished parts, what the source of the parts is, etc.
Basically, you want to employ the same level of care that you would if you were buying the
parts new on your own. You also want to find out what happens to the parts that are
removed from the PC when a replacement is performed.
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