Sting catches evil PC repair guys!

So a laptop with a half-unplugged memory chip is brought into a shop. The techie fixes it right way, and calls the owner to tell her that a new mother board is needed. In the mean time, he’s looking through private photos on the hard drive.

That was one of several documented events chronicled in this piece from PC Pro.

Comments

  1. #1 JH
    July 24, 2009

    My first thought: I had no idea aging British rockers were helping to catch evil PC repair guys. But he was in The Police back in the 1980s, so I guess that makes a kind of sense. :-)

  2. #2 Tony P
    July 24, 2009

    That’s why the contract I use for standard repair/consulting says in one section that your data is yours only, that it is not shared or copied by my company at all.

  3. #3 Ian Tindale
    July 24, 2009

    That’s no comfort to Gary Glitter.

  4. #4 Jason Thibeault
    July 24, 2009

    I recently worked on a friend’s girlfriend’s computer, trying to figure out whether or not her ex had planted something spyware-ish. In digging around, I happened upon a folder of pictures that might have been questionable for me to have seen (it was not in, say, “My Pictures”). It happens when you’re asked to actually dig around.

    However, I actually mentioned that fact while giving her the “everything checks out” report at the end of the investigation, and she was not upset at all, but actually grateful to me for telling her, as well as grateful that I was thorough in looking. A few days later I got a bag of M&Ms-filled cookies in recompense.

    The lesson here? Being moral about your computer activities, gets you cookies.

  5. #5 Monimonika
    July 24, 2009

    I’ve recently become the go-to person for PC help among my mother’s friends (although I’m not really THAT proficient)(Google is my main tool, along with stuff from FreewareGenius.com). I don’t set a price for whatever I do to fix their problems. Instead, they choose how much to put inside the envelope (which I do not peer into until I get back home).

    I actually got $70 (each!) for helping one of them setup their new desktop and laptop (their old desktop was painfully slow in transferring important files)(like, “OMG it’s been 2 hours so far for 3GB! And we still have a quarter more to go!!” slow). Of course, all tech-problems that I can resolve over the phone are absolutely free.

  6. #6 Paladin
    July 25, 2009

    As a (former) it repair guy, i have to tell you, not all the techies are like that. I think the companies are to be blamed, they probably teach them to do the old “motherboard needs to be changed” gambit, and if letting a voyeur employee snoop around somebody’s private stuff means they’ll get away with not giving him a pay raise, than it’s all good.

    I still do “service work” for friends when i can’t avoid it (not paid or paid in beers). It usually is uninstalling of spyware and other crapware, but i’m always surprised at the amount of private data i can glance without trying or wanting to – like bookmarks and browsing history, or holiday pictures on the desktop. People need to be more careful with their personal stuff.

  7. #7 MadScientist
    July 25, 2009

    This reminds me of the consumer electronics repair business in general. Remember those bits on, say, 60 Minutes from the 1970s which showed how the TV repair guys ripped you off? Not much has changed since then; if you find a competent and honest technician you’d better make sure you’re good friends. :)

  8. #8 PC Repair
    July 30, 2009

    That bad. I think is up to the Technician to have the ethic, to do the right thing. This is not a perfect world and we will always will have people like that.

  9. #9 Notebook Repair
    July 24, 2010

    It is not easy to belief on any one these days. It all depends on Technician to do the right thing and be ethical.

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