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Paul Ramon
31-03-2010, 01:08 PM
Can anybody here give an idea of the approx cost to do a bios update. I'm only asking because a lady I know has had her PC into a local main street computer shop here (Kaitaia) with intermitant shut down & freezing problems on a machine she purchased from them. After returning the computer many times for repair (being charged extra each time) they now have told her that it was a bios problem (on a M/B they replaced as part of the diagnostic proceedure) and have asked for $150 to update it, mentioning it was half price since she is a previous customer.
Surely the charge is a bit much for a half hour job (max). They have also told her her 1 yr warranty has run out yesterday!

wratterus
31-03-2010, 01:16 PM
It would be a MAX of $40 here, more likely $20 - $30. $150 is ludicrous for a standard BIOS update, assuming that is whats happening. Sounds a bit like she's been taken for a ride. :(

inphinity
31-03-2010, 01:24 PM
If it is literally a BIOS update, its a sub-15minute job. $150 sounds more like half-price motherboard replacement.

Also, if the machine has already been in for that same fault prior to the 1yr warranty expiring, I believe you'll find they have to honour the warranty based on the date the issue was FIRST brought to their attention. And, if a BIOS update is required to fix an issue with a machine they sold, then I can't understand why they expect to charge for it.

Gobe1
31-03-2010, 01:32 PM
Must be a motherboard replacement, a bios problem wouldnt give you shutdown and freezing problems, unless it happens at posting

Nomad
31-03-2010, 01:36 PM
For many shops a motherboard could be $300. Online shops are cheaper. But then again, if you are only after a simple system could be had $100-150 ...

Sweep
31-03-2010, 01:55 PM
Hi Paul,

Could you do the BIOS update? It sounds sus to me and is there any guarantee that the BIOS update WILL solve the problems?

robbyp
31-03-2010, 02:06 PM
Hi Paul,

Could you do the BIOS update? It sounds sus to me and is there any guarantee that the BIOS update WILL solve the problems?

Perhaps name and shame the store. That sounds like they are taking advantage of the customer. $150 is robbery. However there maybe another side to the story, such as other work they were going to do.

pctek
31-03-2010, 02:17 PM
Eighteen-year-old Scott Laurenson could be the youngest IT managing director in the country. He started Laurenson Technology in Kaitaia in March of last year, after he had been working from home since mid-2007.

Laurenson Technology specialises in service and repair of home and small business computers in the Kaitaia region.

Laurenson says the main competition is the Computer Shop in Kaitaia, the only other computer shop in the town. He claims it specialises more in serving businesses, while Laurenson Technology caters more for the home user.



[Moderator comment: The post above is not advertising. Pctek has copied and pasted information about an IT company in Kaitaia who she is guessing is the company mentioned in this thread - Jen ]

Speedy Gonzales
31-03-2010, 02:18 PM
There's only a few ways to do it. Its either with floppy, flash drive, thru the update program (loading it), if its an ASUS. Or from within windows. Depending on WHAT it is

Paul Ramon
31-03-2010, 04:02 PM
Hi Paul,

Could you do the BIOS update? It sounds sus to me and is there any guarantee that the BIOS update WILL solve the problems?

Yes sweep I could do the update, no problem, or I suggested she take it too Far North Photographics & Digital who seem to be the most competent repairer (via reputation) up here but the job was already done and was still, I thought, a warranty issue. They also say that it resolved the problem but won't let her collect the computer untill payment is made.
I also go along with Gobe1 & don't believe it is a bios problem!

wainuitech
31-03-2010, 06:02 PM
They have also told her her 1 yr warranty has run out yesterday! How convenient == sounds more like a scam job to me. Most Motherboards these days ( apart from the crap ones) come with a 2-3 Year warranty.


They also say that it resolved the problem GET THAT IN WRITING - other wise if the problem is still there, they will say its something else this time, and try to charge again.


intermitant shut down & freezing problems If after fixing it the first time, if they couldn't find the fault, AND assuming all other possible causes were addressed, any descent repair place would have swapped out the board under warranty, at least to eliminate the problem.

Agent_24
01-04-2010, 01:02 AM
Half Hour Job? $150? Who the **** are these people?

After finding the BIOS update (although not always easy) the update would take 5 minutes maximum (usually a lot less)

To be fair it may have taken them a while to find an update, if it was an older board... but still, $150 is insane.

I'd feel guilty charging anyone more than $20 for doing such a trivial job, and that's if it took a while to find the updated BIOS.

inphinity
01-04-2010, 08:08 AM
To be fair it may have taken them a while to find an update, if it was an older board... but still, $150 is insane.

It is, apparently, a board that shop sold to her 12 months ago, so it's not an old board, and if it's a brand you supply you should be familiar with sourcing any relevant drivers, firmware, BIOS updates etc.

DeSade
01-04-2010, 08:17 AM
Threaten them with the Commerce Commission and Disputes Tribunal.

Trev
01-04-2010, 08:34 AM
Should be covered by the Consumer Guarantees Act. She should mentioned this to them.
:)

BigBadBob
01-04-2010, 08:54 AM
$300 for a bios update!!!!!! Good of them to offer a half price deal when under the consumer guarrantee act it states that an item sold not working properly you have three choices - Repair, Replace or Refund.

Paul Ramon
01-04-2010, 11:28 AM
As an update to this, the lady has paid the $150, picked up the machine & was told it took 4hrs to update the bios, it has fixed "some issues" (but they did not say what issues - there were no other issues apart from the freezing!) Then said that there were STILL some freezing problems.
She paid under duress but made them sign a letter as advised by the local Kaitaia People Centre (Citizens Advise). I suppose her next step is a legal one.
This company should be reported to someone for their dodgy practices - but who?

Paul Ramon
01-04-2010, 11:33 AM
Eighteen-year-old Scott Laurenson could be the youngest IT managing director in the country. He started Laurenson Technology in Kaitaia in March of last year, after he had been working from home since mid-2007.

Laurenson Technology specialises in service and repair of home and small business computers in the Kaitaia region.

Laurenson says the main competition is the Computer Shop in Kaitaia, the only other computer shop in the town. He claims it specialises more in serving businesses, while Laurenson Technology caters more for the home user.



[Moderator comment: The post above is not advertising. Pctek has copied and pasted information about an IT company in Kaitaia who she is guessing is the company mentioned in this thread - Jen ]

The company in question IS NOT this Laurenson fella

wainuitech
01-04-2010, 12:01 PM
This company should be reported to someone for their dodgy practices - but who? You may be able to complain to consumer, BUT unfortunately as far as I know there is no "offical" place to complain.

The old tried and true, "name and Shame" goes a long way -- Generally bad service travels like wild fire - and word of mouth gets around.

OK no place is perfect, BUT there is a huge difference between not being 100% correct all the time and ripping people off.

Some places have staff with different skill levels, then of course theres the cowboys.
was told it took 4hrs to update the bios, it has fixed "some issues" (but they did not say what issues - there were no other issues apart from the freezing!) Then said that there were STILL some freezing problems. WHAT !!!! what a bloody joke -- 4 hrs, ( doggy board I'd say) AND there are still problems :groan: This STINKS of cowboys or people who have no idea what they are doing.

1st thing I would have done is change out the RAM, PSU, if it still freezes attach a different HDD, load up a basic XP install, if still playing up - then change out the Motherboard. IF it didn't freeze on a Different HDD, then its either a HDD problem or OS corruption somewhere.


To the Mods: can we please:wub have a cowboy smilie :lol: may be needed sometimes.

Nomad
01-04-2010, 12:04 PM
30mins? More like 3 mins. I have been told that reflash shouldn't be tempted unless you really need it, cos if it fails, you could be buying a customer a new motherboard.

Well there might be some techs that break something and say it was already broken ......

Agent_24
01-04-2010, 12:24 PM
Probably someone trying to cure a case of "Faulty Hyena PSU with failed capacitors" with a BIOS update because they don't actually know what they're doing.

Would love to know more about this PC, eg: brand and model of motherboard and PSU etc, is it brand name or custom build?

Nomad
01-04-2010, 12:26 PM
What did the receipt say?

inphinity
01-04-2010, 12:26 PM
As an update to this, the lady has paid the $150, picked up the machine & was told it took 4hrs to update the bios, it has fixed "some issues" (but they did not say what issues - there were no other issues apart from the freezing!) Then said that there were STILL some freezing problems.

As far as I'm concerned that is outright lies and theft. A BIOS update cannot take 4 hours if you even vaguely have a clue what you're doing. I agree with Wainui, either their "techs" have no idea how to do their job properly, or they're blatantly ripping people off.

I'm sure you can find some recourse through he Small Claims Tribunal, as I'm sure it would be very easy to show that what they're charging is clearly above and beyond any reasonable market rate for the work, AND from the way you've described it at least, they performed the work WITHOUT quoting you prior.

How would you handle it if you took your car (let's say a 5 year old Corolla) in to get a new battery and they tried to charge $1500?

I'd really love to know which company this is (partly to prevent any inaccurate speculation) to ensure that I can avoid any potential dealings with them.

Is there a description of fault found & work done on the invoice? Would love to see how they've worded that one.

Nomad
01-04-2010, 12:29 PM
How would you handle it if you took your car (let's say a 5 year old Corolla) in to get a new battery and they tried to charge $1500?


Overnight as well :D

I've had 2 bad experience or 3. A local Wellington store who refused to acknowledge a CDROM were from them with a receipt b/c had a EDGE sticker on it.

Noel Leeming wanted to charge me tech fee b/c the soundcard were not shipped with correct drivers.

A Wellington shop who is now closed, tried to quote you diff than on the phone call and then at payment tried to add in 50% GST and gave me a broken used floppy drive. Oh well .. 2nd byes was the shop I think. A friend of mine bought a computer that didn't go and his father was a lawyer, haha.

The first is Quay Computers. There. In my personal experience. Now I don't step a foot in there at all.

Paul Ramon
01-04-2010, 01:25 PM
What did the receipt say?
They are great at taking the "Fold(ers)ing stuff" (hint hint google).
I can check out the receipt & specs from her tonight when she gets home.

Speedy Gonzales
01-04-2010, 01:42 PM
Well, if you're there, why dont you do it?

Paul Ramon
01-04-2010, 02:15 PM
Well, if you're there, why dont you do it?

They built & supplied the machine and because at this stage it could nul & void any warranty claims according to the Kaitaia People Centre (Citizens Advice Bureau).

Speedy Gonzales
01-04-2010, 02:54 PM
Well I wouldnt pay $150 to do it. But if she's got money to burn go for it

Gilgamesh
01-04-2010, 03:19 PM
It's pretty obvious which business is referred to here.

I have heard a number of suspect sounding things coming from that particular business, some of them from the customer involved.
For example a lady took in an older lappy that was freezing and rebooting itself. She was told it 'was not worth fixing' and they sold her a new lappy.
She then took the faulty lappy to another local computer tech that was recommended to her and 1 of the 2 sticks of memory was found to be faulty when it heated up. Remove faulty stick and it was good to go.

As for the question about the cost of a BIOS update, $300 is utterly ridiculous, and to charge $150 calling it half price for the customer I'm reading about here seems to me to be just plain greed.
Also, think a BIOS update is not an appropriate step to take for the problem the customer seemed to be having.

There are 3 other local people that do excellent work at reasonable rates and are honest with customers... and dont charge like a wounded bull when a job isn't fixed first time and the customer has to go back.

Nomad
01-04-2010, 03:22 PM
The computer if outside the warranty might be worth just that.

Deimos
01-04-2010, 04:17 PM
When I was working retail (many years ago), even if warranty had expired by a short period of time we would still send it back to the supplier to try and get a replacement (I can't recall ever being unsuccessfull) I believe she is covered under the consumer garuntees act anyway.

Also, as a matter of duty to our customer, we would NEVER have charged for a BIOS update if the machine was bought from us, no matter how old it was.