United We Geek!

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First off, some disclaimers for the sake of liability and not meaning to piss off anyone.

1. This blog entry is my own personal opinion. If others share that opinion, that is their right. If they disagree, that is also their right.

2. These statements are based on personal experience and a myriad of comments from others in the IT Industry that I had seen.

3. The chain stores I give reference to are very good at what they were intended to do and they deserve credit for that. However, they should stick to their original business plan and stop branching out into areas that they are not good at.

4. We all know who I’m referring to in this blog but not knowing how well this will be received, I’m avoiding naming specific companies.

Yes, I’m a coward, but a coward who doesn’t want to get slammed with a slander lawsuit.

Now for the rant.

I’m tired.

I’m tired of the endless complaints and stories I hear and read online from people about how they took their failing computer to some big ‘chain store’ and the ‘Nerd Brigade’ there lobotomized their computer.

These stores do great at selling computers, but when it comes to servicing them, not so much. The poor ‘Nerd Brigade’ is a bunch of well-meaning but completely under educated kids.

Their corporate bosses are more concerned with the sale of new equipment than the support of existing equipment, so, they’re pressured to take the fastest route possible to fix any problem that comes in.

They’re given just enough training to accomplish these ‘fast food’ style “repairs” and move on to the next customer.
These places are fine for NEW computers and accessories. They ARE NOT support businesses.

If these stores were smart, they would ally themselves with small, reputable local repair shops with a solid record and direct all repair requests to them.

That shop could then direct all new purchase customers back to the big chain store. This would be a mutually beneficial partnership.

I’m tired.

I’m tired of the big ‘chain stores’ that have made their foundation selling typewriters, printers, and sundry office supplies, then moving into selling computers. Fine, but they should have stopped at SELLING computers.

These stores would be my personal first stop for things that they are good at, such as office suppliers.
For support, see my comments above, but NO, they decide that “Hey, we sell computers. So that means we can fix them too!”

This is wrong and it is misleading consumers. Companies are riding on their massive reputation for one thing, to get people to trust them for something completely different.

Then when they completely screw up the customer’s computer, oh well, they were only one customer among thousands and they really didn’t matter anyway.

To stores like these, individual consumers are disposable. You leave angry and frustrated but you’re only one of another hundred people that will come into the store that day. You don’t individually matter.

That is wrong!

Guess what you’re going to do next?

You’re going to begrudgingly call “Mike’s Corner Computer Store”, mad as hell and distrusting anything they tell you because of your previous experience with the “big chain store”.

Poor Mike is then, not only going to get the brunt of your frustration, but also have to try and repair the damage done by the previous “experts” at said ‘big chain store’.

I’m tired.

I’m tired of innocent ignorance on the part of the average consumer and the uncaring, ‘sales are the preferred goal’, ‘get them in, sell them stuff, get them out’ attitudes on the part of ‘big chain stores’ destroying the reputations of honest, highly trained, and decent small businesses.

The solution.

If you are a consumer needing computer repair, do your research! Look up directories of local REPAIR shops. These guys fix computers. It is what they do, period and a good majority of them are very good at it.

Do not automatically assume that some place that is a ‘household name’ store that sells computers can also repair them.

For my part, I also think that in this generation of Social Networking sites and applications, we as the repair professionals need to create an online directory of local shops that can be trusted to do the work properly.

This would be a national, or hell, multinational, list of all of our friends and contacts online in the IT Industry. A Twitter List, a Facebook page, a LinkedIn account, etc. All promoting skilled professionals who are around for consumers to take their systems to.

Nearly every average consumer takes their broken computers to the ‘big chain store’ because that is who they see on TV, etc. It is pure ignorance of the other options they have available.

We need to end that ignorance.

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4 Responses to United We Geek!

  1. Chris Muncy says:

    Mike,

    Add a retweet widget to your blog 🙂

    Chris Muncy

  2. CharlesGantt says:

    +! on the retweet. This has needed to be said for a very long time now. I to am tired of the “nerd brigade”. I recently posted a link in the forums of the site I work for. Clicking on the link took you to a very long and sad story where a customer took his netbook to the “nerd brigade” because of a faulty switch. It was a mechanical failure and the “nerd brigade” told him that installing Ubuntu on his netbook is what caused the switch to mechanically fail. When he protested they banned him from the store and had the “security guys” drag him out.

  3. glennym says:

    Good reading. Is there already a repair directory out there? Can we make one?? Just a thought.

    • Mike Rigsby says:

      Yup, excellent question. Myself, and several other Twitter Geeks (mostly them since they have the skills) have been trying to get a Forum/Wiki/Facebook Page, type site going that will include a directory of trusted facilities in every area we can get input on.
      Would love to have you involved in it too if you’re interested. (offer is open to anyone reading this) Hit me up at mike.rigsby@gmail.com if you want to help get the project off the ground.

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