Monday, February 21, 2011

Ranty post: Quit assuming I'm stupid because I'm female.

So my laptop needs a new lcd screen. There is currently a spreading crack from top to bottom that makes viewing a website something akin to a Jackson Pollock painting. So I decided to go get some estimates on screen replacement. I figured I'd get a few, then do some looking at customer reviews of the businesses, then make my decision. I'm not even sure yet that I will fix this thing; I may sell off its component parts and buy a new one; the parts go for quite a bit on ebay, and in the three months since I bought it, the price for my laptop has gone down 200.00. Dell's warranty apparently covers everything BUT my screen; they won't tell me how much to fix it til I pay to ship it to them. I'm not going to ship it off so they can hold it hostage to whatever price they choose to quote me.

The three "small business" computer repair places around here surprised me; only one of them will give a written estimate for free. That place quoted me 205 for the job. The other two quoted "ranges" of prices- one said 184-240, but wanted 10.00 to put it in writing. The other said 250, but refused to write it down at all and said "it might change once we get it open." Neither of these folks inspired confidence in me.

But the worst of the worst was Best Buy. Their very sincere-sounding employee told me it'd be "at least 500" and then said, "but honestly, if it was me, I'd just toss it and buy a new one." The laptop is three months old and cost 729.00. Toss it? He's either the stupidest man who ever lived, or he's just plain evil. My guess is, he looked at a middle-aged housewife-type and the dollar signs just clouded his vision; he thought he could sell me a new computer instead of quoting me a price on fixing this one. Asshole. I swear, I loathe people like that; I will likely never set foot in Best Buy again, after the experience. He wanted to take advantage of me, only he didn't know I'm NOT stupid and I already priced the job elsewhere. (Actually? I priced the screen online myself- 150.00; I just was gathering job costs in order to decide if it's worth me fixing it at all, or fixing it myself. The hassle of finding a schematic online, and borrowing appropriate tools, might make it worth paying someone else to do it.)

Anyway, I just wanted to put this out there: Best Buy's "Geek Squad" service is a scam, designed to prey on the ignorant. Don't shop there, don't use their services. Put them out of business.

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