Don't Get Taken: A Checklist for PC Repairs
- Try online help. For common problems, check newsgroups such as alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt and comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.
- Call your credit card company. Some automatically extend warranties for products bought with their card.
Before the Repair
- Put a name-and-address label on your PC and monitor.
- Back up your data.
- Know your system's purchase date and its warranties.
- Record the serial numbers of major components.
During the Repair
- Read all the fine print.
- Get written estimates.
- Arrange to get your original components back unless they are needed for a trade-in.
- Insist on authorizing every proposed repair, rather than giving the store a blanket okay.
After the Repair
- Pay by credit card. The credit card company may intervene if disputes arise later.
- Get a signed list of what repairs were done.
- Check your PC's system memory and the component serial numbers to be sure you're not getting short-changed.
- Keep all receipts.
- First ask the department and store managers to make it right.
- Seek help from your local Better Business Bureau.
- Complain to the local district attorney or the state attorney general.