Bad technician or bad customers?

KGhaleonKGhaleon Member Posts: 1,347
Last week I had a lady come to me with her laptop that was booting slowly. She couldn't access anything and the OS kept crashing. I took it out and examined it on another machine as a Slave device and noticed a number of disk errors in the system logs. I ran a chkdsk but that didn't fix anything. I tried to access her documents and started getting CRC errors, and the hard drive would disappear every few minutes prompting me to reboot and start over.

I figured there was no way that the hard drive was fine. I diagnosed it as being "bad" and decided to help her out by grabbing her documents off. I got most of them, but a number of files wouldn't copy due to various disk errors.

She needed the laptop as soon as possible, and could not wait for dell to send a new one(it was under warranty). She wanted to keep the old drive and have a drive specialist recover the remaining files. I overnighted a new one which was around $99. It was a SATA 80GB drive. The next morning when we were planning to put it in and start installing a new operating system(so she could have it back later that day), she came back and explained that dell was going to fix the problem for free. They were offering to recover her data and replace the drive...so we ate the charge of the new drive. icon_rolleyes.gif

I gave her the data and charged her $65 for my time.

Now: I come in this morning and find 6 nasty messages from her. She's disputing the charges since she was somehow able to get her data off over the weekend and is now threatening to go to her credit card company and the credit bureau about it. She's also reporting damages done to her laptop, a couple scratches.

I've yet to hear back from her since she hasn't returned my call, but I found this to be ridiculous. I don't know about any scratches, but there was no way for us to get her data off. We even used data recovery software to access the partition and extract the files and there was a lot of corruption. She's saying that she just loaded the operating system disc(maybe did a repair?) and got it working.

That shouldn't be the case since the problems were apparent even on another machine as a slave. I'm at a loss until I hear back from her and get the facts straightened out.

Is there another way I should have handled this?

KG
Present goals: MCAS, MCSA, 70-680

Comments

  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Yes. Tell her the labor is non-refundable and you will take her to small claims court if she refuses payment. You will also charge her for the hard drive if she wants to go that route. Then tell her not to come back or you will have the police bodily remove her.

    If you want to handle it more softly, just tell her you are canceling the charges but she is banned from your shop as above.
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • Non-Profit TechieNon-Profit Techie Member Posts: 418
    Seems to me you didnt charge her enough.
    Some people are crazy like that and you might just want to let it go and tell her to never come back. Its not worth the trouble.
    That is one really bad customer, lol
  • Non-Profit TechieNon-Profit Techie Member Posts: 418
    oh yeah, and i doubt dell will recover any data. let her send it there and lose all here crap, lol
  • amyamandaallenamyamandaallen Member Posts: 316
    I would be tempted to take the moral high ground.....

    Some people are just idiots who will do anything to get out of paying. If you dont charge then she can hardly complain about it being bad service. Your shops reputation doesnt get tarnished. OK a few hours wasted but shes now banned for life. Write it off as you would a bad debt.


    Just my .02 cents
    Remember I.T. means In Theory ( it should works )
  • KGhaleonKGhaleon Member Posts: 1,347
    I may have to write it off, though we will have to take her to court if she tries to hurt our company. She had told me before that she was attending a law school and needed the laptop for her job. Maybe that's where her personality came from? icon_lol.gif

    KG
    Present goals: MCAS, MCSA, 70-680
  • OutspacedOutspaced Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    my opinion... bad customer, you should still charge her but stay legit, dont put any other charges to teach her a lesson. just play it cool once she has calmed down she will relise that she is wrong, if she does take it further stand your ground, you know what you are talking about, and she doesn't otherwise she would not have come to you. you did the right thing its just a shame that there are those select few idiots out there that don't relise when someone has done all they can.
  • sthomassthomas Member Posts: 1,240 ■■■□□□□□□□
    oh yeah, and i doubt dell will recover any data. let her send it there and lose all here crap, lol

    I agree with that statement. I find it hard to believe that Dell will recover the data for free. I am sure they would charge her a lot for that and probably not get everything. Some people are just irrational.
    Working on: MCSA 2012 R2
  • boyles23boyles23 Member Posts: 130
    I wouldn't refund her the money for what you did but for me if a machine is under warranty with someone like Dell then I would automatically suggest the customer contact them. If they wouldn't help then you could help her from there but now you have put your time and labor out there and for nothing but a loss. She sounds like a pain but just chalk it up to a lesson learned.

    Jonathan
  • SmallguySmallguy Member Posts: 597
    There are always people out there who try to play the system

    I would personally offer to refund her money just to keep her happy as these types tend to have big mouths aswell.

    then as others have suggest politely refuse to service her computers at your store again

    I also doubt dell offered to recover her data for free as any OEM I've ever delt with will send out a new drive but it is up to you get all the software loaded on it unless under warranty and then it depends on the type of warranty you have.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    I would be tempted to take the moral high ground.....

    Some people are just idiots who will do anything to get out of paying. If you dont charge then she can hardly complain about it being bad service. Your shops reputation doesnt get tarnished. OK a few hours wasted but shes now banned for life. Write it off as you would a bad debt.


    Just my .02 cents


    I agree.

    Not worth the hassle, suggest she contact a different shop in the future (and maybe warn them ;) ).
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • RussSRussS Member Posts: 2,068 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I just called and asked the local Dell service technician - they do not handle data recovery and ask a client to have that done prior to repairing a machine. Their default proceedure is to reimage the disk and if that doesn't work - fit a new one.

    As far as this client goes - I would politely explain to her that you account will be handed over to debt collectors if she tries to have the CC company nuke the charges. Explain that you are happy to see her in court and that besides asking the court to pay your expenses you will also be submitting an account that fully recovers the time you have spent on this .... remembering to include and courier charges and phone calls.
    Explain that once the court has ruled in your favor she will have a bad debt lodged against her that that is going to effect her proposed career in the law field.
    www.supercross.com
    FIM website of the year 2007
  • strauchrstrauchr Member Posts: 528
    Well if it was so easy for her to get the data off then why did she come to you in the first place? She authorized you to do the work.

    Logic would prevail in any court. Its worth winning it just because I am stubborn :D

    Next time I take my car to a mechanic to change my oil I'm not going to pay him because I could have changed the oil myself. icon_lol.gif
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    strauchr wrote:

    Logic would prevail in any court.
    Depends on the court and perhaps the country one resides ;)


    Its worth winning it just because I am stubborn :D
    ....

    In my younger years I'd agree, however, sometimes it is better to just move forward as I can earn much more then trying to win on principle.
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    What a beeyotch
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • 5no-yt5no-yt Member Posts: 79 ■■□□□□□□□□
    What a beeyotch

    icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
    I'm having a boring day... thanks for making me chuckle hahaha
    Security is like exercise: everyone talks about it, but not many people do it.
    -J.R.Purser
  • seuss_ssuesseuss_ssues Member Posts: 629
    I know this is sort of off topic, but the whole time i was reading i kept asking myself.

    Did you run a hard drive diagnostic tool? Did it show to have bad sectors? Corrupted file system?
    Ive had many a drive that you could do nothing with and performed a chkdsk on it till it doesnt show to be fixing problems and voila I could access everything.

    Hardware diagnostics are always the first thing we do for 95% of our work. An over all diagnostic and then a more specialized memory and hard drive test if it appears that they are the problem.

    If those arent tools you have, i would highly suggest looking into it.
  • jojopramosjojopramos Member Posts: 415
    This is just a case of a frustrated but inconsiderate customer......BAD CUSTOMER....

    Charging customers for professional fee(Labor) is normal in any field that needs expertise.....anyway, as for me, i am always telling my client/customer first if they always backup their data and if not educate her/him about the importance of data backuping even only in flash drive. Second thing that i am checking is the integrity of the drive (if lost files/drives is the problem) as if I saw that thier is bad sector/CRC Errors/HDD weird noise, I always tell them that thier is no assurance that I can retrieve all the data cause of error...so thier is a chance that only 50 % of that is good then I let them decide if they will give that to me for repair.
  • KGhaleonKGhaleon Member Posts: 1,347
    Haven't heard back from her, so she may not return my call. She might have decided to drop the whole thing or possibly realized that she was mistaken. If she goes any further I'll ask my manager about taking her to court since we have all the paperwork along with the bill. We clearly explained to her that proper data-recovery was not possible due to the state of the drive, and that I could only grab small things like the documents.

    We charge $150 for data recovery services. icon_lol.gif
    The drive was showing all symptoms of failing hardware...drive unmounting every few minutes, disk errors in system log, drive diagnostics showed that there were issues and so on. I can't think of anything else to check to confirm a bad drive. <_<

    I just called and asked the local Dell service technician - they do not handle data recovery and ask a client to have that done prior to repairing a machine.
    Thanks for confirming that, I thought it was highly unusual. I'll have to make a note of it.

    Did you run a hard drive diagnostic tool? Did it show to have bad sectors? Corrupted file system?
    Yup, yup and triple yup. The corrupted file system was especially obvious. The drive definately had issues that needed to be corrected by Dell, but the customer didn't want to send her data to dell until she got it off. I suggested a few data-recovery companies.

    I have windows memory diag and Memtest(for memory) and a couple hard drive diagnostic tools. Any suggestions on some good ones that are reliable that I could add to my toolkit?

    KG
    Present goals: MCAS, MCSA, 70-680
  • KGhaleonKGhaleon Member Posts: 1,347
    I know some computers come with a diagnostics utility that you can boot into, but I'm looking for new diagnostics utilities that can be installed. I have ActiveSmart, HDDlife, Diskcheckup, etc.

    KG
    Present goals: MCAS, MCSA, 70-680
  • RussSRussS Member Posts: 2,068 ■■■□□□□□□□
    KGhaleon wrote:
    I know some computers come with a diagnostics utility that you can boot into, but I'm looking for new diagnostics utilities that can be installed. I have ActiveSmart, HDDlife, Diskcheckup, etc.

    KG

    The UBCD is you friend :)
    www.supercross.com
    FIM website of the year 2007
  • garv221garv221 Member Posts: 1,914
    She got all excited and would have paid any charge to get her data back. Once she found out Dell was going to service it for free, she regrets having made a commitment to your services, throws a fit and expects all charges to be waived? Break her hip
  • mrhaun03mrhaun03 Member Posts: 359
    garv221 wrote:
    Break her hip

    Yea! And tell her we don't like fat chicks!!!
    Working on Linux+
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    mrhaun03 wrote:
    garv221 wrote:
    Break her hip

    Yea! And tell her we don't like fat chicks!!!

    icon_lol.gif
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • mastercormmastercorm Member Posts: 64 ■■□□□□□□□□
    i agree with one of the above posts--have her send it to dell and let them try to get it, and likely they'll wipe the whole thing out in the process and she'll be stuck with nothing. lol. that'd teach her. -i doubt dell would even do recovery anyway.
    Working towards MCSE w/Security, then CCNA, then CCSP, and, eventually CISSP
  • KGhaleonKGhaleon Member Posts: 1,347
    I certainly don't wish any ill-will on her, I just think she's just crazy. I want to help her but with the way she's going about this there's nothing I can do. I like to do things thoroughly and make sure my clients are happy, and this is just a spit in the face.

    That UBCD looks awesome...I'm downloading it right now.

    KG
    Present goals: MCAS, MCSA, 70-680
  • SieSie Member Posts: 1,195
    RussS wrote:

    The UBCD is you friend :)

    I was thinking the same while i was reading this. Anyone know of a USB version?

    Or can you setup USB device as bootable and run ISO off drive?

    Plus i agree, charge her for it. You only did what she requested!!
    Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools
  • KaminskyKaminsky Member Posts: 1,235
    This highlights exactly why I hate fixing peoples PCs out of hours. You can't win. Regardless of the amount of time and expense getting your knowledge and skills to where they are so you can fix quite in depth problems way beyond the scope of an intelligent user, they still **** and whine about payment. Not only that but you fix something once and you somehow become their slave and anything else that goes wrong it somehow is the fault of your previous work! So much frustration for the reward. To actually go into business fixing PCs makes you a much braver person than me.

    I think in this case, the law student is just chancing her arm. Just stick to the strict policy of if they don't pay for whatever reason, straight to the debt collectors even if there are small claims suits pending. Hit em with the debt collectors whilst waiting for the pending case.

    Think of it this way. When this person qualifies, how much would she charge you for advice whether you needed it or not? If you went to her for legal advice and it turned out you didnt need it you would still pay for her time. The moment she dropped her laptop off with you she was paying for a service whether that service was eventually needed or not. It's really that simple.

    Don't beat yourself up about it. Your bound to run into these people every once in a while.
    Kam.
Sign In or Register to comment.