End the laptop repair ‘racket’
2017-09-01 14:14:42 -

Laptop computers are one of the computer industry’s greatest rip-offs. They represent very poor value for money or none at all, and start causing trouble very soon after they are bought. There is hardly a house anywhere which does not have a laptop stored away in an attic or garage because it has caused so much trouble, time and money for its owner.


Despite the passage of time, laptops have shown little improvement with higher cost ones showing up similar problems as lower cost machines. PC repair shops are snowed under with scores of laptops, many of them fit for the bin, and which may come close to the cost of buying a new one to repair in many cases. 


They are littered with myriad problems from hard drive issues to complex configuration problems and software driver hassles. They are also extremely slow and highly unreliable generally. Laptop computer users are spending their lives in repair shops. They shell out hundreds time and time again for their expensive laptop which they bought for half a grand or more, while it fails and fails and fails. 


Many laptops are not fit to be sold and carry very limited and highly restrictive warranties, which many stores are reluctant to honour. Many of the so-called high-end laptops can actually be worse than their lower-end models, with crucial ports and interfaces missing. 


Some manufacturers are also boasting advanced features while cutting back on processors to cover the cost. They install a retrograde processor or one which has been superseded long ago or other piece of dated hardware, while selling a so-called advanced new model. 


It is also interesting to note that manufactures are still making desktop or tower computers, which seem to be faring better repair-wise because there is limited confidence in a laptop market that sees the customer out of pocket again and again for junk merchandise. 


It is time for tough consumer legislation against a computer industry which is selling a defective product and giving zero value for money, given the ongoing repairs that need to be made. Laptops are proving unviable and it will be a matter of time before customers stop buying them. Many customers are so annoyed they will take them immediately to the local rubbish amenity centre where they can dispose of them free of charge and get rid of a load of trouble. It is time for the computer industry to sell a much better product, stop the sharp practices, and end the repairing racket.


Maurice Fitzgerald


Co Cork


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