Computer Repair and a Customer Refuses to Pay?

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by Samutz, Apr 23, 2007.

Apr 23, 2007
  1. Samutz
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    Member Samutz Wet Tissue Sample

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    For anyone that fixes computers for other people on a regular basis;

    In the US, if you fix someone's computer, and don't run a certified business, and they refuse to pay can you legally keep the computer until they pay?

    The situation is, me and my friends regularly fix computers locally on the side for extra cash. We don't run an official business or anything like that. I think "freelance" is the word I'm looking for.
    About 6 months ago one of my friend's fixed a computer for a lady in town. The computer had viruses out the ass and was incredibly slow. My friend removed the viruses, adware, and such and got it working great again.
    Then a few days ago, the lady came back asking for it to be fixed again. It was again loaded up with viruses and such, so my friend fixed it again. When the lady checked in to see if it was ready yet, she told my friend that she wasn't going to pay because in her opinion it was my friend's fault that it wasn't working again.
    So we're trying to figure out if we can legally hold the computer until she pays for it, or if not, what else we could do.
     


  2. Sinkhead

    Former Staff Sinkhead yay p1ngpong.

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    Put lit fireworks through her letterbox
    Re-install all the viruses and adware then give it her back saying 'You didn't pay, I didn't do the service'

    - Sam
     
  3. hankchill

    Member hankchill I Pwn n00bs.

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    Technically, I don't think you can legally hold her computer. If you're running this "business" as a non-certified business, she could easily take you to court for theft. Especially if you're making money off this and it's not a registered business where you're not paying the taxes, in turn could screw you over.

    The most you can do is not serve her anymore, from what I can tell.

    Regards.
     
  4. TheStump

    Member TheStump Got Wood?

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    riddle her computer with more viruses then it started with and say, "fine her ya go".
    Basically if she is too cheap to pay, you there is no chance anyone else will probably fix it for cheap. So in a way you win that little battle but you just wont get her money.

    First though i suggest you talk to her about why the computer is needing to be fixed and how she can prevent this. If she understands that it's not your fault and you are helpful she will probably pay you.

    Good luck
     
  5. Samutz
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    Member Samutz Wet Tissue Sample

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    My friend is looking for viruses to put on it as I type this. I personally don't want to mess with it and just throw it in the trash or give it to someone that could use it.

    I doubt she'll be able to find anyone else to fix it. We live here:
    [​IMG]
    Now that was taken in 1975, but it's still pretty much the same.
     
  6. Sinkhead

    Former Staff Sinkhead yay p1ngpong.

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    Please post the results of this problem, I would like to know the outcome.

    - Sam
     
  7. GTom89

    Newcomer GTom89 Member

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    What an awesome idea for making money, me and my friends should do that cause where i live they would pay loads and you can guarantee most things would be spyware thats easy as sh** to remove.
     
  8. amptor

    Banned amptor Banned

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    I doubt you can legally keep it if you don't have a business license. You'd be better off giving it back because in the end they can claim that you took it or something if they were that malicious. I do computer builds and repairs sometimes without a license, most of the time I don't charge money. But the people I've had pay me were very honest from the beginning and I usually could tell them at that. One guy I told I'd fix his computer for free because I was already doing business with him and come to think of it, I don't really think he or anyone else at his business would be interested in paying for my services so I pretty much left it at that.

    Well spyware and stuff can be a problem because the user usually ends up reinfecting their computer within a day. If you feel that you can keep the computer you could try that, but all they can do is demand it be returned. To me, it sounds like too much hassle and most computer repair facilities might just in the end give the computer back and refuse to do business with the customer ever again. Some places have a keen eye for that.
     
  9. amptor

    Banned amptor Banned

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    Ya just make sure it doesn't look obvious (now to get spanked by the admin for my double posting)
     
  10. WeaponXxX

    Member WeaponXxX Too F'in Blonde

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    At CompUSA we'd put a magnet on the drive and then give it back to them saying "The Virus wiped your WHOLE Drive"...or knock the hell outta the drive and then say, "It must have been the drives time to go" ....they can't really prove it wasn't
     
  11. skullstatue

    Banned skullstatue Banned

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    Don't put a bomb in the computer, that will get you arrested lol. Yeah, just set her background to tubgirl and install some viruses. I had a virus directory, but that will probably get me banned, so yup.
     
  12. Darkforce

    Former Staff Darkforce DERP!

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    I think the best thing to do is try to explain to her how it is her fault and if she does agree to pay for the clean up then maybe you could put a free firewall and antivirus on for her (or recommend some paid products) so she doesn't come running back after a few months.

    If she refuses to pay... then putting a load of viruses back onto the machine seems like a lot of hassle, if she was a bitch of a customer I'd probably put a password on the bios or something and give it back. =D
    Though if you're trying to be professional about it then the sensible side of me would say just give it back in it's current state and refuse to offer her any help/service in the future.

    From now on maybe it would be a good idea to have the customer pay upfront (in partial or in full) or even type up a little agreement which the customer has to sign stating that failure to pay or collect their item after 'x' days will result in the PC becoming property of yourself and your friend.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. BoneMonkey

    Banned BoneMonkey The cheese stash is a lie.

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    Look save yourself some trouble and chaulk this up to a loss and give back her computer thats it end of story dont waste anymore time on this
     
  14. TanookiSuit

    Member TanookiSuit Game Reviewer/Writer -- formerly Vampire Hunter D

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    Coming from experience as someone who did it on the side under a computer related small business I know what room you got, and you got next to nothing. The ONLY way you could force her to pay is if in advance you had a verbal(and recorded it) agreement or something signed. As it stands, all you can do is re-run the same crap she screwed it up with and return it as it was. That's your only weapon is to return it to the owner in the original condition it was left to you in. Don't be malicious and add 10 new viruses, erase that bitches crap, or anything else she really does deserve.

    She was dumb enough to allow it to happen twice that bad in such a short amount of time, just set it as it was (messed up) and just tell her some story like you used windows restore to go back to the day before you fixed it and am returning it as she left it.

    That way you win and she's still out of a PC worth a crap for usage in any way.

    Come to think of it, DO see if Windows Restore is running, and go for the last saved day before you fixed it. That really would be the best fix. And if she decided to threaten you to fix it at that rate, then she would have to admit she gave you the thing for a few bucks incentive to fix it, then she'd be forced to pay for the work to have it done. Win-win in that case come to think of it. You win if you leave it like trash, and you win getting paid if she tries to push it because then the police(or whatever) would know she tried to scam you for your labor.
     
  15. aj421

    Member aj421 GBAtemp Regular

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    Fill her hard drive up with gay and midget pr0n and then give it back.
     
  16. lagman

    Former Staff lagman I wish I was green.

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    Just do what Darkforce says, explain it to her, be nice and she may be back and/or recommend your service.
    Screw her and she┬┤ll do the same to you.
     
  17. Samutz
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    Member Samutz Wet Tissue Sample

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    We tried explaining it, but this is one of those people that you have to explain what right-clicking is.

    Anyway, thanks for the responses all. I'll show this to my friend tomorrow and see what she thinks.


    Another one of my friends suggested filling the case with peanut butter and jelly. Which I would love to try just to see what happens. [​IMG]
     
  18. Kissell13

    Newcomer Kissell13 Member

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    Fix the computer.....tehn go to your local hunting supplies store and buy some deer urine. Now while she is picking up the computer(give her a nice explanation about what you did and how you fixed it. Have your friend go out and spray some of that deer ruine shit in her car. Problem solved. You wasted some time, but she got what she deservered. Shell never figure out what the smell is and even if she does, shell never get rid of it [​IMG]
     
  19. pikachucrackpipe

    Member pikachucrackpipe President

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    i sign people to a contract and if they dont pay within 2 weeks, i sell it for the amount in question on ebay.
     
  20. Samutz
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    Member Samutz Wet Tissue Sample

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    My friend is going to take it home today and finish re-infecting then give it back tomorrow. The great thing is, it was the lady's cousin that gave us the computer for fixing. So we're going to give it back to the cousin to give it back to the lady (and the cousin was the one that told us that the lady wasn't going to pay, and she was also the first one to suggest that we re-infect it lol).
     

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