“My Mom called and told me she’s got a pop up window on her computer that won’t close,” Brenda said. “And that the text says “Click here to authorize all necessary repairs now.” She asked me if I should click it and I practically screamed “No!””
Pop ups telling a computer user that there’s a problem with their computer requiring immediate repair are one common tool of computer repair scammers. Be aware that internet service providers, software companies, and computer companies like Toshiba, Dell, and Lenovo never use pop up windows for customer service messages. If there’s any type of problem these companies want to make you aware of, they will most likely contact you via email or even in writing.
Baby Boomers and the elderly are among the most vulnerable to computer repair scams. The reason for this is two-fold. While older people are increasingly comfortable with technology, many still aren’t entirely sure about how things are supposed to work. Some of the computer scams are quite sophisticated and appear legitimate. The second reason is that there is a greater response to authoritative messaging among older listeners: when they’re told they have to do something like click on a window authorizing remote access to their computer, they do it.
Once remote access has been granted by an owner to a scammer, there’s literally no telling how much harm can be done. Scammers have been known to engage in identity theft, access online banking accounts, and even insert malicious code into a computer’s programming that makes it inoperable without a password only the scammer has. The scammer may be willing to sell you the password for hundreds, even thousands, of dollars, but there’s no guarantee it will actually unlock your computer, and you have no recourse if it doesn’t.
Let your older friends and loved ones know that if they have any concerns about the way their computer is operating, their best bet is to bring it to their local computer repair shop. This removes the threat posed by hackers seeking remote access. Legitimate problems can be addressed, but many times scammers send “You need repair messages” when there’s nothing wrong with the computer at all!
“I’ve had this laptop for three years, and honestly, I love everything about it,” Mark said. “I wasn’t planning on replacing it, but now it’s doing this thing where it goes into sleep mode and won’t wake up when I need it to. What I want to know is if it is better to replace or repair a broken laptop?”
Consumer Reports, one of the most trusted publications on the planet, has found that 24% of laptops develop problems requiring repairs. This number has been trending downward over time, but at this point, it’s still pretty close to 1 in 4 computers having significant issues. Power management issues, such as entering sleep mode and not waking up, as well as battery, keyboard, touch pad and display issues are the most common; another common concern is when a laptop stops connecting to wifi networks.
The decision to repair or replace a laptop has several factors involved. The first is the cost of replacing your laptop. You know what you paid for your computer. A newer model of the same laptop will likely cost more, depending on the features you choose. Any reputable computer repair shop in Boston will provide you with an estimate of what needed repairs will cost. Use these numbers to help you decide what option makes sense for you.
Another factor to consider is the information you have on the laptop that’s not working. “I know you’re supposed to back up all of your files, but who does that?” Mark asked. “I have all of the pictures from the vacation trip we took with our granddaughter on there, and some of the research from a genealogy project that would take many hours to re-create from scratch. I’d love to get that all back.” A skilled computer repair shop may be able to recover your data, whether or not you choose to have the laptop repair.
Still not sure if you’re better off having your laptop repaired or replaced? Give us a call. We’ll be happy to provide you with an estimate and other information you need to make an informed decision!
“So I turned on my laptop and got nothing. I mean, absolutely nothing. It wouldn’t turn on at all. The screen stayed black. I could hear the fans whirring and things clicking around inside, but that was it,” Daniel said. “So I decided to take it to a computer repair shop in Boston.”
Daniel’s first instinct was to go to the big box store where he’d purchased the computer. “That was a mistake,” he said. “It took forever even to find someone who worked in the electronics department, and when I finally found someone, they didn’t have the first clue about how to help me. They asked, “Did you try calling the customer service number on the box?” Daniel shook his head. “Really? That’s the help I can get from you?”
If a computer repair shop isn’t a computer repair shop at all, but is instead the customer service of a big box store, run, do not walk, away! You’ve paid good money for your computer, and need it to perform reliably. Big box stores may be willing to ship your computer off for repairs for you, but they don’t do the work themselves, and there’s no accountability: more than one customer has had their computer come up missing after trusting a big box retailer to repair it.
“The second place I went to looked like it just opened up,” Daniel said. “But I figured I might as well give it a shot. I went in and asked the guy if they work on Macs, and he answered, “It depends. What do you got?” Daniel laughed. “That didn’t inspire too much confidence in me. And when I looked around the shop, things just seemed sketchy. I didn’t feel safe leaving my computer there. I told him never mind and moved on.”
Three signs that you’re in the wrong Boston computer shop include a lack of professionalism, the inability to work on all types of Windows and Mac computers, and inexperience. All of these should be dealbreakers – and the fact that the business hasn’t appeared to be around for long and appears to be on the shady side are also good reasons to exercise extreme caution.
You deserve a Boston computer repair shop that’s skilled, experienced, professional and trustworthy. That’s what you’ll find when you choose Power Up Boston. We’ve been providing top-notch computer repair services for seven years, and work on Mac and Window computers.