Author Topic: Why do repair techs / mechanics lie so often to customers?  (Read 1795 times)

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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Why do repair techs / mechanics lie so often to customers?
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2016, 08:50:30 AM »
I bought my first iMac from an independent Macintosh store. There was no Apple store here at the time. After 3 years (about a month after the extended warranty would have expired if I had bought it, which I didn't) the Ethernet died and I could not connect to the internet. I went to the Macintosh store and they told me that in the Mac, the Ethernet is built into the logic board, which they told me was Apple-speak for the motherboard. They quoted me a price for a new logic board which was about $200 cheaper than a whole new computer. They told me the only fix would be a new logic board or a new computer.

I went home and did some on-line searching, and I found a USB-to-Ethernet dongle for $40 or $50, don't remember exactly. I bought it, plugged it in, and never had any trouble. Repeated speed tests showed the same throughput as I had been getting before the Ethernet in the computer had died. Eventually I retired that iMac and bought a new one because of software issues as it couldn't run anything past OS X 10.6.8.

I do not know if the people at the Mac store were ignorant of the fact that you could buy a USB-to-Ethernet dongle for under $50, or if they were crooks trying to scam me for a couple of thousand dollars. That store went out of business and for a couple of years there was no store locally where you could buy Apple products, until the Apple store opened downtown.
Daniel
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Offline superdave

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Re: Why do repair techs / mechanics lie so often to customers?
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2016, 08:58:55 AM »
Honestly, in my experience, the ease at which things are to fix is totally counterintuitive.  I've been on both sides of a conversation where something was much easier to fix, and much harder. Sometimes even an expert really can't tell easily without a detailed investigation.

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Re: Why do repair techs / mechanics lie so often to customers?
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2016, 04:58:21 PM »
Honestly, in my experience, the ease at which things are to fix is totally counterintuitive.  I've been on both sides of a conversation where something was much easier to fix, and much harder. Sometimes even an expert really can't tell easily without a detailed investigation.

Often if you can replace stuff yourself, replacing by guess work is still cheaper than calling somebody in.
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Why do repair techs / mechanics lie so often to customers?
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2016, 07:16:19 PM »
I do not know if the people at the Mac store were ignorant of the fact that you could buy a USB-to-Ethernet dongle for under $50, or if they were crooks trying to scam me for a couple of thousand dollars.

Or maybe they just told you what it would cost to fix your computer, as you asked them to. Did you leave out the part where you asked them is USB wifi adapters existed and they told you there was no such thing? Because nothing in your account suggests either dishonesty or incompetence, to me.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

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Re: Why do repair techs / mechanics lie so often to customers?
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2016, 08:50:47 PM »
I am curious. . . .On older Macs, not these cases that seem as tight as laptop cases, was it harder to replace the motherboard than on your average Microsoft based PC?
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Why do repair techs / mechanics lie so often to customers?
« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2016, 08:58:38 AM »
I do not know if the people at the Mac store were ignorant of the fact that you could buy a USB-to-Ethernet dongle for under $50, or if they were crooks trying to scam me for a couple of thousand dollars.

Or maybe they just told you what it would cost to fix your computer, as you asked them to. Did you leave out the part where you asked them is USB wifi adapters existed and they told you there was no such thing? Because nothing in your account suggests either dishonesty or incompetence, to me.

Sorry. My account was incomplete. What I asked them was whether there was any way to restore Ethernet to my computer. I had assumed that there was an Ethernet card that could be replaced. They told me no, it's part of the logic board. So I asked them if there was any way I could restore Ethernet. When they said I'd have to replace the logic board, I asked wasn't there any other way? They said no. Other than buying a new computer.

I am curious. . . .On older Macs, not these cases that seem as tight as laptop cases, was it harder to replace the motherboard than on your average Microsoft based PC?

I have no idea. It never occurred to me to ask how much of the cost was for the part and how much was for the labor.
Daniel
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Re: Why do repair techs / mechanics lie so often to customers?
« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2016, 10:38:56 AM »
Honestly, in my experience, the ease at which things are to fix is totally counterintuitive.  I've been on both sides of a conversation where something was much easier to fix, and much harder. Sometimes even an expert really can't tell easily without a detailed investigation.

I'm an aircraft mechanic. I'll  get a job with the problem on a job slip. When I get out to the gate it can be a totally different issue. It might be real simple or a total disaster.  Before I get out to the plane I am thinking how to fix the problem. I really don't know until I get there.

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Re: Why do repair techs / mechanics lie so often to customers?
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2016, 10:10:50 PM »
Honestly, in my experience, the ease at which things are to fix is totally counterintuitive.  I've been on both sides of a conversation where something was much easier to fix, and much harder. Sometimes even an expert really can't tell easily without a detailed investigation.

I'm an aircraft mechanic. I'll  get a job with the problem on a job slip. When I get out to the gate it can be a totally different issue. It might be real simple or a total disaster.  Before I get out to the plane I am thinking how to fix the problem. I really don't know until I get there.

I'm in this boat somewhat too. I'm a tech versed in almost all aspects of IT but concentrate on industrial computer to machine electronics. I have the same situations at times. We think it's this. Turns out it's that and usually much more complicated than they had thought. They being the bosses that have no technical training.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Why do repair techs / mechanics lie so often to customers?
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2016, 02:01:37 PM »
I think that with any kind of repair people there are competent ones and incompetent ones, honest ones and dishonest ones. The more complicated the item, and the less you know about it yourself, the harder it is to find a repair person who is both honest and competent. That's why it's so hard to find a good doctor or lawyer. Very complicated fields that most of us know little about. Fortunately, cars and computers have gotten better over the years, so we generally need to find repair people less often. Unfortunately, our bodies get more and more frail and worn-out with time, making it more and more necessary to find a good doctor.
Daniel
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Offline Gerbig

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Re: Why do repair techs / mechanics lie so often to customers?
« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2016, 03:32:52 PM »
I think part of it is a lack of an ability to explain complex ideas in a laymans way. So they just make some shit up that is sort of true or good enough to "answer" the customers question.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Why do repair techs / mechanics lie so often to customers?
« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2016, 03:59:39 PM »
I think part of it is a lack of an ability to explain complex ideas in a laymans way. So they just make some shit up that is sort of true or good enough to "answer" the customers question.

Explaining complex issues in a way the layman can understand, without falsifying the information, is a skill not everyone has. The bottom line for me is getting the repair done properly and being charged a fair amount for the work done. As for explanations, give me the real, technical information, and if I don't understand it, I can accept that fact. I'd rather have an explanation I don't understand than a false simplification.
Daniel
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Offline fonebone

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Re: Why do repair techs / mechanics lie so often to customers?
« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2016, 04:50:12 PM »
I think part of it is a lack of an ability to explain complex ideas in a laymans way. So they just make some shit up that is sort of true or good enough to "answer" the customers question.

Explaining complex issues in a way the layman can understand, without falsifying the information, is a skill not everyone has. The bottom line for me is getting the repair done properly and being charged a fair amount for the work done. As for explanations, give me the real, technical information, and if I don't understand it, I can accept that fact. I'd rather have an explanation I don't understand than a false simplification.

When I used to be a bench tech for Best Buy (way before geek squad when we actually fixed things) about the only thing I actively lied about was how long it would take to change memory in a computer.  We had set rates for services and the minimum charge was 1/2 hour which at the time was like $30.  I legitimately felt bad about charging someone $30 labor for a memory upgrade (I would get in trouble if I didn't charge) and would tell them it would take an hour so they would go away while I did it.

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Re: Why do repair techs / mechanics lie so often to customers?
« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2016, 04:56:48 PM »
When I used to be a bench tech for Best Buy (way before geek squad when we actually fixed things) about the only thing I actively lied about was how long it would take to change memory in a computer.  We had set rates for services and the minimum charge was 1/2 hour which at the time was like $30.  I legitimately felt bad about charging someone $30 labor for a memory upgrade (I would get in trouble if I didn't charge) and would tell them it would take an hour so they would go away while I did it.

Amazon now offers installation and data transfer with the charge being $80. Being that it involves hooking up two cables and just running a transfer program, that seems like highway robbery. It might take the computer more than 30 minutes to do the job but your own used time is likely less than 15 minutes.
"Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action, rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith. Banish me from Eden when you will; but first let me eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge."
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Offline fonebone

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Re: Why do repair techs / mechanics lie so often to customers?
« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2016, 05:59:05 PM »
When I used to be a bench tech for Best Buy (way before geek squad when we actually fixed things) about the only thing I actively lied about was how long it would take to change memory in a computer.  We had set rates for services and the minimum charge was 1/2 hour which at the time was like $30.  I legitimately felt bad about charging someone $30 labor for a memory upgrade (I would get in trouble if I didn't charge) and would tell them it would take an hour so they would go away while I did it.

Amazon now offers installation and data transfer with the charge being $80. Being that it involves hooking up two cables and just running a transfer program, that seems like highway robbery. It might take the computer more than 30 minutes to do the job but your own used time is likely less than 15 minutes.

I will say that I have kind of changed my opinion on the matter.  I understand a little better why you charge flat rates and why you dont generally give breaks when you know the service is going to take a lot less time than the charge rate. 

I have worked as both a mechanic and a computer tech at this point in my life.  There have probably been times when customers felt I lied to them about a thing when I believed I was giving them my best guess at the time.  Customers dont tend to hear the "I THINK this is the problem" when you say it.  They hear "this is the problem and this is what it will take to fix it."  Sometimes your best guess is wrong and it ends up being worse than you thought, but about the same percentage of the time you end up being wrong its something cheaper.  I dont think customer remember those instances nearly as clearly as they remember the times you are wrong against their favor.   A little confirmation bias I guess.

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Re: Why do repair techs / mechanics lie so often to customers?
« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2016, 06:24:10 PM »
I would argue that in this case one should just learn how to do it yourself
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