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Last post Author Topic: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show  (Read 11554 times)

nudone

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UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« on: May 20, 2007, 06:32:26 AM »
Uk members may have seen this already - from an ITV show called 'House of Horrors'.

the show aims to expose dodgy service people by enticing them into a realistic looking set up where everything is captured on film.

i've been waiting for the clips to appear on youtube and now here they are:

part 1: http://www.youtube.c.../watch?v=8DsAwt8vf6Q

part 2: http://www.youtube.c.../watch?v=BOrHS50Xkqs

look out for the car he drives - particularly what happens to it as he makes his escape - and look at the license plate, what a classic.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2007, 06:36:32 AM by nudone »

Darwin

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2007, 07:09:33 AM »
Thanks for that nudone - what an eye opener. Talk about caveat demptor... You're right, the license plate is the icing on the cake!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

app103

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2007, 08:11:42 AM »
I heard about this yesterday from Martin, in my chatroom. I thought his description was hilarious, but seeing the actual video is great.  ;D

You're right, the license plate is the icing on the cake!

I have tried to read what it says over & over and I still can't make it out. (it's a blur)  :(

Carol Haynes

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2007, 08:28:08 AM »
It says "WTFN ME" I think ? It is a bit blurred
« Last Edit: May 20, 2007, 08:31:34 AM by Carol Haynes »

nudone

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2007, 08:59:06 AM »
sorry, i didn't realise that the license plate was so blurred (it was clearer to see on the original broadcast).

the plate reads WIIN ME

make of that what you will, but i find it kind of amusing that this bloke thought it a cool idea to brand his posh car after one of the biggest jokes in operating system history. does he think windows millenium is that cool.

of course, it could represent other things but the millenium reference seems the funniest to me.

Carol Haynes

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2007, 09:15:15 AM »
I quite like the idea of "WTF NOT ME"

Originally I thought it said WIN ME but then it didn't look quite right!

I bet Bill Gates would have something to say if he knew - isn't WinME a registered trademark?

nudone

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2007, 10:15:11 AM »
Quote
isn't WinME a registered trademark

probably so.

from reading in other forums about this episode of the tv show if read that there is someone in London with the license plate WIN ME (with a single I, not two). i guess that must be belong to Bill Gates himself - when he's over here in the UK.

Darwin

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2007, 10:21:27 AM »
Hmmm... I strained to read the plate and *thought* that it said "Win Me". Oh well... It was 4:30 am here at the time (for some reason all my posts here are time stamped an hour earlier -and I have my timezone set up correctly).
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

pro3carp3

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2007, 07:46:54 AM »
Amazing.

It makes you wonder how many people are getting ripped off in similar situations.
LGC

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2007, 07:54:49 AM »
Hahah, this episode was awesome... it was so predictable too.

You might hope the damage to his car was more than the hardware that he stole + his overpriced rip off. But the more likely truth is that he stole the car too.

Even so, let's hope his local car technician is a cow boy too, and tells him that he now needs a new engine, new seats and a new radio.

:)

nudone

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2007, 08:29:19 AM »
Even so, let's hope his local car technician is a cow boy too, and tells him that he now needs a new engine, new seats and a new radio.

:)

hahaha, i never thought of that - brilliant.

Darwin

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2007, 10:25:24 AM »
Will he be prosecuted at all, or would that require a substantial number of his victims to come forward and work together? A$$hole deserves bankruptcy and prison time.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

nudone

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2007, 11:39:26 AM »
i really can't say what will happen to him but i would assume that he is still trading - perhaps he will have changed his trading name. i think it is very unlikely that he will be prosecuted even though there must be a substantial number of his customers that would like to see it.

i've checked to see if he's got a website but i can only find an email and contact address - perhaps he removed things before the show went on air (i think it more likely he never had a website).

unfortunately, i think he will be doing just as well now as he was before the show went out - maybe a few people will remember that he drove a nice car with a stupid number plate but i doubt they'll remember his name or face.

maybe if the youtube clip was on digg.com then it might ruin is reputation a little - the real problem is that i expect many people with pc problems that are likely to call an engineer out aren't going to have any knowledge of MIKE QUIGLEY.

i personally wouldn't have any idea who he was if a neighbour hadn't mentioned it - i never really watch those kinds of tv shows that he was on.


SIDE TOPIC
i'm planning in starting a little pc repair call out service with a friend. i've been looking at the local market and i believe i (or we) can offer something better.

now, i was sort of wondering whether it would be a good idea to provide links to the youtube clips of this Quigley guy on our pc repair website - as an example of what to look out for when dealing with 'pc doctors'. i'd probabably put other info on the site about other tips customers could undertake if they weren't sure of who to trust.

i'm wondering if this is a good tactic though. maybe it just smells of desperation when you use other businesses as a bad example to your own business.

if you have the time - opinions please...

mouser

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2007, 12:16:44 PM »
Quote
i'm wondering if this is a good tactic though. maybe it just smells of desperation when you use other businesses as a bad example to your own business.

I think it's a good idea to address the issue directly that people are concerned about being ripped off.
So I say yeah link to the videos and other pages with tips and articles on what to watch out for.
Make a point that an informed customer is something you welcome and encourage.
Make clear your real info (names, addresses, phone#) so users can make sure there are no complaints, etc.

Darwin

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2007, 12:40:04 PM »
Yup - I agree with mouser. People are increasingly worried about getting ripped off (with good reason, evidently) so best to be upfront and acknowledge the potential. I'd advise customers to write down the part make/model/part number, etc of the components in their tower. Perhaps you could generate an inventory sheet for them to fill out with you when you first open up the computer. Of course, this is probably OTT, but after watching the YouTube video, it's something that I, as a potential customer, would do on my own anyway (but then I have no problem opening up a computer case and mucking tinkering on my own (just pulled all three of the household notebooks to pieces to clear out a year's worth of dust, lint, feathers (cushions on the couch), and hair - also found the magentic tip from a Magnadoodle pen in my wife's notebook, that can't have been doing anything any good!). Even so, this strikes me as a good way for you to be open with people and to allay any fears that they might have after viewing the "House of Horrors" episode.

PS Disappointing that Mike Quigley is likely continuing to con people. He's a scoundrel and not to be trusted (hopefully this thread will come up if any potential customer is savvy enough to google his name!).
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

nudone

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2007, 01:27:01 PM »
thanks for the good suggestions.

the trouble with these 'rogue' traders/servicepeople is that customers don't check the names of who they are. you look in the local press for the right sounding advert and make a phonecall - names only matter if it's word of mouth information and you've already heard a horror story from a friend.

maybe i'm wrong. i hope i am. i can't say it makes me feel good about helping people out with pc problems if they are thinking in the back of their mind i'm somehow ripping them off - all because of the moron on that tv show.

getting back to informing customers, i don't wish to over stress the point that they need to be cautious as they might just end up taking their problems to somewhere like pc world (big national chain of computer shops in the UK) which we also know isn't a place to be guaranteed quality service (albeit not as bad as Quigley's).

it needs to be tactfully done. i'll no doubt be asking for further opinions when i get nearer to the point of creating the website.

it all just makes me wonder how trusting we all are. not just towards 'pc doctors' but to service people in general. these tv shows have been going for years, exposing dodgy builders/plumbers/plasters/etc/etc and the climate is that we allow these people to get away with it - we just don't expect to get ripped off or if we do we shrug our shoulders when it happens and blame ourselves for it.

another problem i see from this MIKE QUIGLEY episode of the program is that there will be people that will have seen what he did and are now planning in doing exactly the same as him, i.e. it's a brilliantly easy way of making quick money by conning people with computer problems. the whole 'pc doctor' scenario is open to abuse - there are no regulations, absolutely anyone can do it - and, as in Quigley's example, give out a fake address so there's no comeback (how did he manage that).

i think the only real way of being able to trust any kind of repair person is that they have a good reputation already. we can't all be expert enough to know when we are being conned - i know i wouldn't have a clue if a garage overcharged me for fixing my car. same applies to the friends (and friends of friends) computers i've fixed over the years - i could say pretty much anything to them about their pc and as i'm the expert they would have believed me. i can think of many occasions when i've sat them down and explained the problem, explained what they currently have and explained what i recommend they should do - i'm sure that they appreciate this but it's obvious that all they want is for the machine to work. how and why is beyond their level of interest - just get it to work and tell me how much it will cost is really all they are thinking.

i guess reputation really is everything. we shouldn't trust anyone we've never heard about from someone else - kind of a hard code to live by though. and all because of a few vile people like Quigley.

steeladept

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2007, 09:08:25 AM »
Perhaps you could generate an inventory sheet for them to fill out with you when you first open up the computer. Of course, this is probably OTT, but after watching the YouTube video, it's something that I, as a potential customer, would do on my own anyway....

The nice thing about this idea is you don't need to open up the case.  There are many free software packages that will query your hardware for you, and do a more thorough job (e.g. give serial numbers, firmware versions, etc.) then you can print it out.  I will see what I can come up with then post it here later.


nudone

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2007, 12:56:53 PM »
it's a nice idea but the problem is that it's only going to be of use when the computer is still working correctly, i.e. it's not going to be practical when you can't get into windows.

actually physically inspecting peoples hardware inside the case and making a note of it is also a bit impractical as things are usually not clearly marked (or even that visible).

i certainly have to agree that it's important and would reassure the customer if they knew exactly what hard/software  is part of their machine but i can't think of a quick way of doing it that is going to work.

it still seems like a simple matter of trust at the moment.

maybe if i took a photo of the insides of their machine???????????  :huh:

steeladept

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2007, 07:20:48 PM »
True, but I was thinking more of when you were done and that way repeat customers would know you were not taking advantage of them.  If you become an "OEM" and sell new as well, then you could give it to them with the new PC too.  Provide the program on a CD and then they can run it after any upgrades or repair and verify they were not conned even if they don't take it to you...

nudone

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2007, 02:29:57 AM »
True, but I was thinking more of when you were done and that way repeat customers would know you were not taking advantage of them.  If you become an "OEM" and sell new as well, then you could give it to them with the new PC too.  Provide the program on a CD and then they can run it after any upgrades or repair and verify they were not conned even if they don't take it to you...

very, very good ideas.  :Thmbsup: now i understand. credits on their way to steeladept and Darwin.

justice

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2007, 06:40:37 AM »
I don't see how making phots or video's of the repair job is going to help really, there's nothing wrong with swapping the graphics card. It is if it's replaced by inferior models or if nothing is wrong. But you can't see that on the video.

I guess inventory sheets migth help, also explaining your procedure beforehand (on the website?) would probably be good. Or refunds on repairs if not satisfied.

For people with pc problems it's maybe a good idea before starting repairs (after diagnosis) to get a few quotes from different people.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2007, 06:42:39 AM by justice »

Carol Haynes

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2007, 06:55:43 AM »
The other thing is that if parts need to be replaced that is fine but the faulty parts should also be returned to the customer - they are theirs after all. They should also be consulted and given a choice of replacement parts and prices.

nudone

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2007, 07:39:25 AM »
The other thing is that if parts need to be replaced that is fine but the faulty parts should also be returned to the customer - they are theirs after all. They should also be consulted and given a choice of replacement parts and prices.

very true. i wouldn't really have considered doing otherwise but it is surprising what many people must be doing judging from the 'house of horrors' clip - the con/repair man did behave like it was an everyday situation for him, i.e. he pretty much did what he wanted without any fear of the customer questioning him.


justice, you have also reminded me that it will be a good idea to outline on the website what customers should expect from my service. i think being able to convey that i am trustworthy will be a crucial factor in why someone should choose me for the job - so being as up front about everything on the website sounds like a good idea.

i'd say offerring refunds on repairs if the customer wasn't happy is going a bit too far. i can't imagine any other service industry making such an offer - maybe they'd make the claim but i doubt they'd fulfil such a request. i'll have to think about that one as i'm really undecided but i don't quite see how it would make good business sense to ignore the cost of the hardware you've just paid for to replace a faulty part - or the time you've spent on the job. maybe it's worth making the claim as it would draw in more custom - with just a small risk of someone not being satisfied with the work. hmmm.

steeladept

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2007, 08:24:02 AM »
I definitely agree with these comments, especially Carol's suggestion of returning (or at least offering to return) the parts replaced.  As for the promised software to inventory the hardware, we use PCI32 at work.  You can download it and the instructions from http://members.dataf...dft0802/downlads.htm

Belarc Advisor is another one I have used, though not extensively.  It is nice because it uses a GUI interface:  useful for non-technical users.  You can get it at http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html

I have also found a few others, though none of these have been tried.  They can be found at:
(Please note:  Many of these are commercial and/or free for personal use only)

FreeSysInfo                          http://shareme.com/d...oad/freesysinfo.html             
HWareInfo 1.01                     http://www.surfpack....HWareInfo/27267.html
AIDA32                                http://www.majorgeek...com/download181.html
ASTRA/ASTRA32                    http://www.astra32.com/
EVEREST                              http://www.lavalys.com/
Hardware Inspector v2.2.2      http://www.hwinspector.com/

The keyword search in google to get good hits for this type of software is "Personal PC Audit" and/or "system information software" if you want more options.

nudone

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Re: UK pc con (sorry, i mean repair) man captured for TV show
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2007, 08:37:28 AM »
thanks, very useful links there, steeladept. i shall see which offers the best print out that will make the most sense to a layperson/customer.

also, i think it be very useful to provide a link to the right software (free to use) when i set the website up.