Computer Store Horror Stories

Herrterror

Junior Member
Dec 6, 2005
11
0
0
The fact that PC parts are cheaper online is not the only reason I shop for them there.

We have a handful of shops around my town that sell parts and service systems. A few of those are chains, like Best Buy and Radioshack; The rest are locally-owned and operated. It's the latter that concern me. I expect ineptitude and high prices from the chains because they're just places where kids need jobs and corporations need profits. I can even understand where the little guy needs to mark up parts to make a living.

But what I can't understand is how every local shop in every town in which I've lived can be this inept about the particular field in which they specialize. It actually makes me really mad when I need a part quickly and have to go online to get it because local shops are no help. I'm on this kick right now because I need some common parts for a new system and will be waiting another week to get the thing up and running, because I don't want to deal with them.

Off the top of my head I can think of a couple examples... In Fall 2004, my mom's Athlon XP system went down. The ABIT motherboard died. She was getting impatient with the downtime so I figured I could just give her the motherboard out of my secondary system and it would run the same - except that the replacement motherboard wouldn't support SATA, which was the interface of her HDD. So I go to this local place the same day... for anonymity's sake we'll call it Pierre's of Exchange... and ask about SATA add-on cards. The guy there - the assistant to the owner - gives me a puzzled look. I ask again, being very explicit about what I need. He furrows his brow and says, "Well Serial's kind've an old interface, don't think we can help you with that," and literally WALKS AWAY to talk to a different customer. I leave.

I walk several blocks to the next-closest place. I ask about the add-on card. The owner tells me they don't carry any at the moment. I call my mom and let her know it'll take a new motherboard, she says sure. Good, I'll just replace the motherboard. It'll cost her more but it'll be resolved. So I ask the guy about Socket A motherboards with SATA onboard. "I don't think we don't have anything like that. That's on the way out." I clarify: a motherboard that supports an Athlon XP 2500 and also has SATA. He becomes indignant, and responds, "Look, I don't think they MAKE anything like that... It's old tech." Well, I was replacing a Socket A motherboard with SATA that had been built within the last 8 months, but that part had eluded him. So I go to leave. Near the door I notice a display case, inside of which is a stack of 3 Asus A7N8Xs, which were the exact model I needed. The best part: They had one of those pink star stickers with "NEW!" written in marker. For the sake of time I had to buy it.

You'd think that if these guys run shops dedicated to computer technology, they'd at least keep up.
 

ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
25,135
2,445
126
Most people weren't using Serial ATA yet in 2004. That really didn't get popular in 2005.

But, yeah... those guys were stoopid.
 

0roo0roo

No Lifer
Sep 21, 2002
64,862
84
91
expecting minimum wage monkeys to answer technical questions is a bit unreasonable.
you tend to get the service you pay for.
 

Mermaidman

Diamond Member
Sep 4, 2003
7,987
93
91
Originally posted by: digiram
I'm thinking about opening up a shop now.
Good luck. I think charging a premium for good service and tech support for individuals and small businesses is where the profits lie. My grandparents have used the same local PC shop for at least 5 years and they've been happy with the service, even though I'm sure they pay more than the typical AT'er.

The OP has 11 posts in 2 years!
 

OdiN

Banned
Mar 1, 2000
16,431
3
0
You spoke to idiots.

Back when I was managing a computer store, all the employees would have been able to help or if not they would find someone who could help.

I always kept stock in just about every common component - PSU's, RAM, heatsinks, thermal paste, chipset/video card heatsinks, case fans, ide/sata add on cards, etc. The nice thing was that if we didn't have something, lots of times I could get it the same day because our distributor was in the same town.

I even was stocking e-machine proprietary power supplies for a while because we had so many of them coming in with dead PSU's.

I would also give out sata/pata/power cables, screws and such free because we had tons of those just sitting around from system builds.

Most stores are not run nearly as well. I worked for one previous to managing a different store and the owners were older - they knew Novell really well but they just couldn't keep up with new tech.
 

OdiN

Banned
Mar 1, 2000
16,431
3
0
Originally posted by: Mermaidman
Originally posted by: digiram
I'm thinking about opening up a shop now.
Good luck. I think charging a premium for good service and tech support for individuals and small businesses is where the profits lie. My grandparents have used the same local PC shop for at least 5 years and they've been happy with the service, even though I'm sure they pay more than the typical AT'er.

The OP has 11 posts in 2 years!

Good customer service is the cornerstone of any small business. Treat people well and they will come back to you, even if your prices are higher than other places.
 

pontifex

Lifer
Dec 5, 2000
43,806
46
91
but the thing is, your typical at'er has pc experience (usually) and knows of sites with good deals.
people who aren't "in the know" are a lot different.

hell, i remember the first time i wanted to upgrade the ram in my first PC. i really had no experience with hardware at all. i probably didn't know much about the pc itself anyway. i was scared to death that i would break it or ruin it. yes, RAM. one of the easiest components to replace. hell, most components are easy as pie to replace.

Same thing still happens to me when i work on other things, like my guns or my car. I know how to drive a car and do basic stuff with my guns, but I don't know all that much else. i'm still afraid i'll screw something up.

some people just don't want to take that chance or don't want to learn.
 

PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
21,732
561
126
Originally posted by: Herrterror
The fact that PC parts are cheaper online is not the only reason I shop for them there.

We have a handful of shops around my town that sell parts and service systems. A few of those are chains, like Best Buy and Radioshack; The rest are locally-owned and operated. It's the latter that concern me. I expect ineptitude and high prices from the chains because they're just places where kids need jobs and corporations need profits. I can even understand where the little guy needs to mark up parts to make a living.

But what I can't understand is how every local shop in every town in which I've lived can be this inept about the particular field in which they specialize. It actually makes me really mad when I need a part quickly and have to go online to get it because local shops are no help. I'm on this kick right now because I need some common parts for a new system and will be waiting another week to get the thing up and running, because I don't want to deal with them.

Off the top of my head I can think of a couple examples... In Fall 2004, my mom's Athlon XP system went down. The ABIT motherboard died. She was getting impatient with the downtime so I figured I could just give her the motherboard out of my secondary system and it would run the same - except that the replacement motherboard wouldn't support SATA, which was the interface of her HDD. So I go to this local place the same day... for anonymity's sake we'll call it Pierre's of Exchange... and ask about SATA add-on cards. The guy there - the assistant to the owner - gives me a puzzled look. I ask again, being very explicit about what I need. He furrows his brow and says, "Well Serial's kind've an old interface, don't think we can help you with that," and literally WALKS AWAY to talk to a different customer. I leave.

I walk several blocks to the next-closest place. I ask about the add-on card. The owner tells me they don't carry any at the moment. I call my mom and let her know it'll take a new motherboard, she says sure. Good, I'll just replace the motherboard. It'll cost her more but it'll be resolved. So I ask the guy about Socket A motherboards with SATA onboard. "I don't think we don't have anything like that. That's on the way out." I clarify: a motherboard that supports an Athlon XP 2500 and also has SATA. He becomes indignant, and responds, "Look, I don't think they MAKE anything like that... It's old tech." Well, I was replacing a Socket A motherboard with SATA that had been built within the last 8 months, but that part had eluded him. So I go to leave. Near the door I notice a display case, inside of which is a stack of 3 Asus A7N8Xs, which were the exact model I needed. The best part: They had one of those pink star stickers with "NEW!" written in marker. For the sake of time I had to buy it.

You'd think that if these guys run shops dedicated to computer technology, they'd at least keep up.

The most confusing part of this is his stubborn insistence that they don't make motherboards with serial ATA...which he seemed to be confusing with a plain old serial port, right? Even if we assume that was what he was thinking...even modern motherboards in 2008 still have at least one serial port.
 

OdiN

Banned
Mar 1, 2000
16,431
3
0
Yeah serial isn't going anywhere....there are still a LOT of devices that use it. A lot of proprietary hardware/software uses it for communication still.
 
Oct 20, 2005
10,978
44
91
Originally posted by: Herrterror
The fact that PC parts are cheaper online is not the only reason I shop for them there.

We have a handful of shops around my town that sell parts and service systems. A few of those are chains, like Best Buy and Radioshack; The rest are locally-owned and operated. It's the latter that concern me. I expect ineptitude and high prices from the chains because they're just places where kids need jobs and corporations need profits. I can even understand where the little guy needs to mark up parts to make a living.

But what I can't understand is how every local shop in every town in which I've lived can be this inept about the particular field in which they specialize. It actually makes me really mad when I need a part quickly and have to go online to get it because local shops are no help. I'm on this kick right now because I need some common parts for a new system and will be waiting another week to get the thing up and running, because I don't want to deal with them.

Off the top of my head I can think of a couple examples... In Fall 2004, my mom's Athlon XP system went down. The ABIT motherboard died. She was getting impatient with the downtime so I figured I could just give her the motherboard out of my secondary system and it would run the same - except that the replacement motherboard wouldn't support SATA, which was the interface of her HDD. So I go to this local place the same day... for anonymity's sake we'll call it Pierre's of Exchange... and ask about SATA add-on cards. The guy there - the assistant to the owner - gives me a puzzled look. I ask again, being very explicit about what I need. He furrows his brow and says, "Well Serial's kind've an old interface, don't think we can help you with that," and literally WALKS AWAY to talk to a different customer. I leave.

I walk several blocks to the next-closest place. I ask about the add-on card. The owner tells me they don't carry any at the moment. I call my mom and let her know it'll take a new motherboard, she says sure. Good, I'll just replace the motherboard. It'll cost her more but it'll be resolved. So I ask the guy about Socket A motherboards with SATA onboard. "I don't think we don't have anything like that. That's on the way out." I clarify: a motherboard that supports an Athlon XP 2500 and also has SATA. He becomes indignant, and responds, "Look, I don't think they MAKE anything like that... It's old tech." Well, I was replacing a Socket A motherboard with SATA that had been built within the last 8 months, but that part had eluded him. So I go to leave. Near the door I notice a display case, inside of which is a stack of 3 Asus A7N8Xs, which were the exact model I needed. The best part: They had one of those pink star stickers with "NEW!" written in marker. For the sake of time I had to buy it.

You'd think that if these guys run shops dedicated to computer technology, they'd at least keep up.

You should probably freshen up your grammar skills a bit before making your next post.
 

Auric

Diamond Member
Oct 11, 1999
9,596
2
71
I gave up on local mongers for just about everything many years ago. It invariably ends in dissapointment and wasted time. Mail-order FTW.