On November 4, 2006, a technician from Geeks on Call came to my residence to fix my computer. He was unable to fix the computer on-site and took it to his office. Several days later, he called to say the computer was fixed and that he would bring it to my house that evening. When he arrived, the work had not yet been completed, and he sat on my couch for about 4 hours working on it and making inappropriate remarks about my looks and asking if I was single. Even though I didn't respond to these remarks, he continued to make them, and I began to feel very uncomfortable.
At one point, I asked a question about how I can keep the problem from recurring (it's happened more than once), and his reply was that he would tell me if he could take me out to dinner. This was very creepy, since the guy looked to be about 30-35 years older than me. Also, regardless of age or the fact that he was interested in me, the fact is that Geeks on Call charges exorbitant hourly rates for their techs to come out and fix your computer. For the amount of money they charge, I expect professional and respectful behavior, and when I ask a question, I expect it to be answered. I still can't believe Geeks on Call allows its employees to behave this way.
When the tech was finished working on my computer, he told me the charge for the work was $498.49. I was shocked, as I had not agreed to have any major work done, only to have him fix my computer so that it would power up. However, because of his odd behavior and the fact that it was late at night and we were in my apartment alone, I felt threatened and paid the charge. In addition, after he left, my computer would not hook up to the internet. I immediately called the number for Geeks on Call and left a message (the office was closed) stating my complaints and asking for a refund. In the past 2 months, I have spoken with the company numerous times waiting for this problem to be resolved. Today, they informed me that the technician, who is also the local franchise owner for my area, has declined to provide a refund and that there's nothing they can do about it.
I disagree completely with the way they do business. After all, the company, itself, chooses the people to whom it grants franchises and has some responsibility to regulate their behavior and the type of service they provide. While they cannot control every aspect of every transaction, they have a responsibility to provide recourse to the consumer when things go wrong. As far as I can tell, there is no mechanism in place to resolve complaints.
The supervisor I spoke to at Geeks on Call headquarters was obviously well-trained to placate customers without actually doing anything to solve the problem. She kept telling me that she would speak to the regional manager and have him call me and then sounded surprised each time I called back to say that no one had contacted me. She also promised me a refund and then pretended not to remember that promise the next time we spoke.
I know several people who have had good experiences with Geek Squad and I would recommend them over Geeks on Call. From what I've heard (and what I've witnessed myself), Geek Squad has a higher standard of professional behavior and treats its customers better. While I'm sure they're not perfect, I believe they at least provide a way for customers to talk to someone impartial, i.e. not involved in the situation, when making complaints. In my case, Geeks on Call allowed the person who was accused of wrongdoing decide if I should get a refund. It defies all logic. If someone robs a bank, do you then go and ask that person if they should go to prison? Of course not. You can't allow the person accused of wrongdoing to control the situation, because that person will never voluntarily punish himself/herself. I understand that Geeks on Call wants to delegate the responsibility for handling complaints to the local franchise owners. However, when the local franchise owner IS THE PROBLEM, there must be some other recourse for customers.
If you're a single woman, you should be very wary of having one of these guys come into your house. Geeks on Call headquarters does NOT take responsibility for the behavior of its technicians. In addition, it does not take responsibility for the quality of service provided by its technicians.
If after reading this, you're still planning to risk dealing with these people, I have one piece of advice. No matter what, do NOT let the technician take your computer back to the office to work on it. This allows them to do all sorts of unauthorized work and then charge you a fortune for it. If you don't want to get ripped off, you should be standing over the guy's shoulder every second, asking what he's doing, asking how much it will cost, and making sure they're doing only what you called them for.
It's almost funny now, but all the guy had to do to my computer was stick a paper clip in the clearly marked reset button on the bottom (I had no idea it was there). Somehow, that very simple fix turned into a HUGE ordeal and ended up costing almost $500. Take it from me, THEY'RE NOT WORTH IT. CALL SOMEONE ELSE.