• Report: #532660

Complaint Review: FRY'S ELECTRONICS

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  • Submitted: Wed, December 02, 2009
  • Updated: Wed, January 18, 2012

  • Reported By: Glenn — Tualatin Oregon United States of America
1695 Willow Pass Road Concord, California United States of America

FRY'S ELECTRONICS Frys PC Repair Policy Concord, California

*Consumer Comment: The point is

*Author of original report: RE UPDATE TO FRY'S RIPPOFF

*Author of original report: Fry's rippoff

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Invalid Ripoff Report: Customer's fault, not Fry's.

*Consumer Suggestion: One approach to a Fry's refund

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On March 1st 2009 I bought a brand new Compaq Computer from the Fry's in the store and within 4 month I had a problem and at that it was a simple problem and that was that the Pc was only seeing one stick of Ram when there where two sticks on ram installed in the PC.  I thought boy this is a simple problem and I could even fix this myself but I chose not to because the PC was still in its two year warranty as in was only 4 moths old.  The first thing I did was I called Compaq and told them what the problem was and they told me that I could simply buy a new stick on RAM from them and install it so I took there advise and bought the RAM from them only to find that it was still having problems so the Compaq tech told me to take it to the nearest service center as it was still under warranty and the was Fry's.  I took it to fry's it took them 3 weeks to fix a simple problem like RAM and what took 3 weeks should have only taken like 5 minutes and most people that know anything about a PC could figure out.  So after the 3rd week they called me and told me that I could come pick it up and it was fixed so I get there to pick it up expecting to not have to pay a thing as in was under warranty Not.  Well not only was it not free but just to get to get the PC off there self they have a charge of $35.00 bucks plus they ran 'diagnostics tests just to see what was wrong and that was totally not needed at all like you really need to test to replace  stick of RAM sort of like testing a bar of soap first just to see if it works.   At the end of all the Fry's tech tells me that besides the $35.00 just to get the PC off the self or as I call it Fry's rental payment it was $55.00 just for those tests that they ran for no reason and because the RAM Stick that I bought from Compaq was not part of the PC when it came out of the Store the new RAM stick that they put in was another $39.00 bucks bringing the total for a PC that cost only $450.00 in the store to $112.00 just to get a PC under warranty fixed.  Put simple Fry's Stores rip you off as this repair should have been free and cost nothing at all as if this was car under warranty and I took it to the ford dealer he does not chard the customer rent to fix it nor does he void the trucks warranty because the customer replaced a lug nut that fell off and replaced it with a new one but Fry's does.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/02/2009 08:34 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/FRYS-ELECTRONICS/Concord-California-94520/FRYS-ELECTRONICS-Frys-PC-Repair-Policy-Concord-California-532660. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

The point is

AUTHOR: Ashley - (U.S.A.)

You removed the stick of ram that came with the computer and replaced it with a new stick of ram. You then returned it for warranty repair when that stick of ram didnt work. You didnt have a warranty on that new stick of ram, your warranty applied to the old stick of ram. You should have taken the new stick out, placed the old stick back in and then taken it to fry's. That way the computer had all the original and no aftermarket parts in it. They were correct in charging you to fix a ram card that you purchased and installed on your own. Clearly the computer's warranty does not cover the consumer buying new parts and installing these parts themselves. It is unimportant that the ram was the same type, it was a different ram chip with a different serial number that clearly did not come with that machine from the factory. In the future, when something goes wrong with a device you have under warranty, don't fix it yourself just take it in for warranty repair. If you had done that in the first place you wouldn't have been charged.  
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#2 Author of original report


AUTHOR: Glenn - (United States of America)

I forgot to put this in my last update on fry's so here it is

1. The Compaq PC the was on the floor that I bought not only was the motherboard defective to where it only saw 1 stick of Ram but it was a return as I found out later so fry's already must have known of the problem and the Ram that I bought was from Compaq made just for that model not OEM Ram.
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#3 Author of original report

Fry's rippoff

AUTHOR: Glenn - (United States of America)

The RAM was not OEM RAM it was Compaq Ram that was bought strait from Compaq and match up with the Compaq computer that I had but it did not work and the Support Tech at Fry's even confirmed that it was the correct Ram that matched my computer as it was Compaq Ram not OEM Ram so mybe I am wrong but it just seams like they should have been able to replace the ram or am I wrong.
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Invalid Ripoff Report: Customer's fault, not Fry's.

AUTHOR: Concordium - (United States of America)

I just stumbled upon this report while doing a Google search for some info on Fry's Electronics.  I figured I would comment on this since I am a former employee with Fry's Service Repair Department.

First, the reason a simple fix can take weeks to repair is due to the policy that the computer manufacturers have with Fry's Service Department as well as Fry's method of handling shipped items for manufacturer replacement.  You wouldn't believe how much paperwork is required in order for us just to RMA a stick of RAM, order a replacement, wait for it's delivery, and then charge the PSC (Performance Service Contract) for the cost.  Combined with the fact that all items sent out for RMA have to first be shipped to Fry's central distribution location and then shipped from there to the manufacturer.  They have to go through this ridiculous middleman again when the items are being shipped from the manufacturer back to Fry's for installation.  This alone adds no less than a week or two in shipping time.  On top of all of this, companies like HP, Acer, and Toshiba have one central location that takes care of all US, and possibly global, RMA and reissue incidents.  So they are always back logged for parts and take forever and a day to issue and deliver replacements.  The last thing is that HP owns Compaq.....two of the most widely sold and used computers in the market.  So their central distribution location handles significantly more RMA items than the other company centers do simply due to the fact that they sell exponentially more units than the other companies do.  Unfortunately, there is nothing that Fry's can do about this as it is on the manufacturer's side of the repair process.  The only thing Fry's can change is their shipping policy.  They need to eliminate their central distribution center so that individual stores can ship items directly.  All of the techs, myself included, complained to our managers many times that computers were backing up on our shelves collecting dust because the item replacements took so long.

Having said all of that, the tech was correct in that he is not allowed to charge your signed PSC, nor the manufacturer warranty, for replacing an aftermarket stick of memory.  The warranty, and PSC, only cover OEM parts.  The advice of buying a new stick of memory was absolutely absurd advice for the Compaq representative to give you.  Furthermore, you, as an educated individual, should've had the cognitive ability to question why you should have to pay for an aftermarket replacement part 4 months after buying the computer, knowing full well that it was under manufacturer warranty.  You questioned the Fry's tech for asking you to pay but you didn't question the HP tech for telling you that you had to pay?   That part was your mistake and cannot be attributed to Fry's in any way.  

As far as the repair itself and the charges go.  Diagnostic fees are $75, memory replacement fees are approximately $35.  They do not cover the cost of the parts installed.  In your case this would be a stick of memory that cost $39.  The tech did his job correctly.  He charged you for the diagnosis and installation of a faulty aftermarket memory stick that could not, in any way, be charged against your warranty.  He also charged you for the diagnostic test he ran on your entire system.  That included your memory.  What was the tech supposed to do?  Have you come in, tell him the memory was bad, and just take your word for it?  If you knew what was bad and how to fix it then why did you take it to Fry's?  Apparently you had no idea what you were doing or else your "repair" would've fixed the problem.  If you notice a memory error and your RAM replacement didn't fix the issue then there are a number of things that could be wrong.  The aftermarket RAM could've been faulty, you could've replaced the wrong stick, you could've mismatched the bus speeds, your motherboard could've been faulty, or your power supply could've been faulty.  All of those things are possibilities of your issue.  The only way to verify the problem is to run diagnostics.  You made an analogy to cars.  If you took your car in to the shop do you think that you walk up to the mechanic and say "my driveshaft bearing is loose.  I fixed it but it's still broken.  Please fix it for me because all it needs is a driveshaft bearing."  And the mechanic just blindly takes your advice?  Nope.  He has more knowledge of cars than you do.  Your ignorant diagnosis failed to correct the problem so there is no point in him blindly following in your footsteps.  The same goes for computer techs.  Computer repair is much more complex than you are aware of and the techs realize that there are a number of issues that can manifest in the exact same way.  For example, your computer is not displaying anything on your screen.  As a consumer what do you think the problem is?  If you said a bad monitor or a bad video cable then you've managed to guess just a couple of the possibilities.  It could also be a faulty motherboard, a fault power supply, faulty memory, and a faulty CPU.  But you wouldn't know that because you're not a tech.  And techs don't know that unless they run diagnostics.  Your "simple repair" is only simple due to your lack of knowledge.  Otherwise, computer repair techs, like me, would not be necessary because people like you would be "fixing" their own simple issues.

Continuing with your analogy to cars.....you talked about not being charged for replacing a lug nut that the customer replaces.  Unfortunately, your analogy is incorrect.  You didn't replace a lug nut.  You replaced something along the lines of the alternator.  A part that is intricate and can cause extreme damage to the overall motor if the wrong one is installed or is installed incorrectly.  The answer?  Yes, the dealership would charge you for telling them the alternator went out and then bringing in the car with an aftermarket alternator that you installed yourself.  Again, your analogy appears accurate to you due to your inexperience and lack of knowledge in this field.

The ONLY thing that I see from your report is that the repair never should've taken three weeks to complete.  That is a repair that would've taken approximately a day, depending on how backed up the department is with repairs.  The only reason I see that this might have happened is because the tech wasn't paying attention to the memory stick, sent it off to HP, the company that owns Compaq and handles all of their RMA's, and then received it back in the mail with a notice from HP that they would not replace it due to it being aftermarket.  The tech then realized he had made a mistake and proceeded to resolve the issue the way he should've when the machine was first brought in.  That is a careless mistake made by the tech and I can totally understand all frustration you would have with that.  That part was 100% the fault of the tech.  

All in all, the issue of being charged would've been completely avoided had you simply brought the computer in at the first sign of problems instead of trying to fix it yourself.  Had you brought it in to begin with you still would've had to wait three weeks, due to the circumstances I explained above, but you would not have been charged a single penny.  You were charged because you attempted to fix it on your own and neither your manufacturer warranty, nor PSC, cover aftermarket parts.  Whether you think that is how it should be or not is irrelevant because that is all explained within the warranty documentation you received, and signed, when you initially purchased your computer.  That was YOUR fault.  Not Fry's.  And because of that, this ripoff report is completely invalid and misleading.  As I stated before, the only validity within this report is the issue with how long the repair took.  I will support that claim 150%.  However, the rest of this report was the fault of you, the customer, and the HP rep that told you, an untrained individual, to attempt the repair yourself.  This is not a ripoff report.  This is a "Professionals exist for a reason.  Don't try to do their job on your own" report.

Shane Young
Former Fry's Service Technician
CompTIA A+ Certification Verification # 5CZ9VFSKYC11SJQK
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

One approach to a Fry's refund

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (USA)


Hello.  I have had a similar experience with Fry's, and I may be able to help you. 

Write a letter to John Fry, 600 East Brokaw Road, San Jose, CA 95112.  Explain your situation step-by-step and "respectfully request" a refund.  Use that phrase (NOT IN QUOTES) and be very friendly, not angry.  Also, point out that requiring you to pay for the repairs after you had bought an additional warranty is a "deceptive practice".  They are scared to death of that phrase, so use it.  Mail it by certified mail, return receipt requested.  This worked for me and may work for you.  Since this was so long ago, I urge you to do this right now.

Good luck.  Please add to your post and let us know the result.


Sincerely yours,


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