Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What to Look For When You Buy Computers

. Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Every couple of years people replace their computers. Or, they need to buy computers for their children going off to college or for another purpose. When you look at all of the computers for sale, especially if the company has done enough advertising to become a household name you get the feeling that you "know" them. The problem is that the more we see these people on television and in print, the more we trust them. That is a huge mistake!

It is important when you are considering a computer system that you ask some hard questions, and look very closely at the fine print. Here are some of the things you will want to be aware of before you buy computers.


  • It seems that the way that some of the more unscrupulous computer companies that are losing money are making it back is by including outrageous fine print that actually charges you to return the computer system if it is defective. Yes, Dell Computer, offers free shipping. What they don't tell you is that if the product is defective, you have to pay to ship it back to them and if you don't have one of "their" dell technicians go over the computer system before returning it, you will not have a hope of getting a refund!
  • Another little splurb in the fine print is that if you return the computer with a dell technician going over it to make sure that it is lousy and return the computer, not only do you not get a refund for the money you have spent on the computer, BUT you don't get the computer replaced by Dell. So, they get your money AND the computer!
  • Another little "fine print" mega money maker for Dell computer is that if you do return a product, even if it is defective, even if you have done nothing but remove it from the box and put it back, they charge you a 15% "re-shelf" fee. So, if you have bought one of Dell's "cheap" computers for over a thousand dollars and it didn't work and you took it to a "certified Dell Technician" who affirmed that it was defective, and returned it, you are still going to have to pay 15% plus pay to ship it back to the company yourself just for ordering the dell computer. Now I don't know about you, but I have NEVER gotten a "tip" for doing a lousy job. But, this company includes that little message in the fine print so that even if they don't give you a quality product, they are still going to make money off of you.
  • When you are shopping for a personal computer, be certain to read the fine print before paying any money or signing any contracts. Don't assume that the company is honest or reputable. If a company is not selling a quality product they are going to make their money off the backs of people trying to return the bad product. And, if you think that the fine print is too small, then there is something in there that the company does not want you to see. Walk away, find a company locally that will stand behind their product and, even if it appears to cost a little more, go for quality and honesty. In the end, the extra money you spend on an honest and reputable company will be much less than what you will spend trying to get a company like Dell computer to stand behind their product.
  • Just because a company has an 800 number does not mean that they are going to answer it. Or, if they do answer it, it does not mean that you will actually get "customer service." When shopping for a computer system make sure that there is an actual human who will help you if you need assistance. One of the ways that some computer companies avoid having to actually "talk" about their defective products is to run you through seven or eight mechanic and human voices who cannot help you and put you on hold until the next person comes on to say they can't help you. They do this because they know that the majority of people will give up and keep the defective equipment they have purchased, or call in a local repairman to try and fix the computer system.
  • For the life of your system, you will have more contact with a customer service representative of the company that you buy the product from than anyone else. Be certain that you actually will be able to contact a customer service representative that can help you solve problems and issues. "Hostgator" is a very reputable company that has customer service technicians who will come on line for you and walk you through any issues that you may have, they are incredibly helpful. This is a big company, they get all kinds of questions and issues everyday, but they manage to provide personal one on one customer service. If the excuse you get from a computer supplier is that they are "so" big, "so" busy, "so" bored that they can't take the time to help you. Or, if they don't have online live chat to help you, then go to a different computer company. When live chat online is only used as a sales tool, that is not going to help you when you are trying to figure out how to make your wireless keyboard work. You want help when you need it, not when it is convenient for dell computer people to play the transfer game.
Even though the price of a quality computer system has decreased over the last few years, this is still a big investment for most people. We depend on our computers and need them to work. And, we need to know that the company we purchase our computer system from is going to provide a quality product and excellent customer service when we buy computers. It is vital that we make conscious and knowledgeable decisions when we buy computers and do not fall prey to unscrupulous companies that have forgotten who supports them.


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