Well, I have been battling a computer problem the last several days, which has been very frustrating. Long story shortened, the new computer I bought at Best Buy a little over a month ago had failed to reliably connect to the wireless internet in my home. A few months ago, I had added two different Wi Fi extenders in our home because of it's size, the signal from the wireless router in my office on the main floor was diminished significantly by time it reached out master bedroom at the south end of the 2nd floor.
The new laptop I bought from Best Buy in October 2016 came with McAfee Anti Virus and Best Buy was pitching Kapersky anti virus which came in the deal with the new laptop. The "Advisor" at Best Buy suggested that I run the McAfee for 30 days and then load the Kapersky, which had a 6 month "free" membership. As a matter of fact, the Best Buy rep even suggested waiting until the end of McAfee's 30 day trial to load the Kapersky to "get the most out of the 6 months membership of Kapersky" which came with the purchase of the new machine. I specifically asked him "Does the scanning of the software at purchase start the "Subscription" clock running or is it when it is loaded?" He assured me it is when the software is actually loaded. He even replied, you could use McAfee for a year and then load the Kapersky and still have the 6 months of "subscription" available. Ok, so I will use the McAfee and get rid of it at the end of the 30th day.
I have used Norton for decades and have always liked it. I have had nothing but positive experiences with the Norton and I never had any problems with it slowing down the machine. I also like that the Norton 360 showed the results on every search of the status of every website by including either a Green Icon in the link showing the website safe or a warning of one degree or another was provided for sites in a google or other searches which either may not be secure or certainly are a risk to access. I even have a license for the Norton for 3 machines for the next year and should have just deleted the McAfee and loaded what I have always used, but the Best Buy so strongly raved about Kapersky I thought I would give it a try. What a mistake that turned out to be.
Once I deleted and completely removed McAfee using the control panel and windows 10 removal program, I loaded the Kapersky. Instantly, the machine slowed to a crawl. The website loading speed and general search speed reminded me of computers 15 years ago. It was completely unacceptable. I tried several adjustments and modifications to the Kapersky which were suggested in the Kapersky website. Nothing helped. Finally, I decided to remove the Kapersky program after trying to use it for a full day. Before removing Kapersky, I checked the Microsoft site for updates and known issues with the Kapersky. I also went to Kapersky's site and their technical forums and found many people had experienced issues using Kapersky with Windows 10. After trying every option suggested on their two source sites. I finally decided enough was enough.
The moment I had removed the Kapersky, the machine performance returned to what it previously had been. But suddenly, I noticed the wireless connection would freeze randomly. Often the wireless was very slow to connect and other times, it would work properly. I went online and checked for updates for the modem and also any other updates for either Windows 10 or through the HP Support website. There were updates, but nothing resolved the problem. I checked all of the settings in the wireless modem and everything was configured correctly. Once I reached the point where I could go no further, I contacted Best Buy. Now, it's important to note the machine was 33 days old at this point.
I spoke with Best Buy customer service on the phone and explained what had occurred. The phone rep assured me that all technical issues had to be addressed by Geek Squad so she put me through to them. Before connecting to Geek Squad, I specifically discussed with the Best Buy phone rep that I had a problem with spending money to address this issue, especially since it was Best Buys strong recommendation and "bundling" of the Kapersky which had led me to this point. She agreed that they should make a "reasonable" effort to resolve the problem. I told her I was concerned that perhaps there was a failure in the wireless modem or some other hardware issue, but I also found the timing of the problems more than coincidental that it likely was a software issue. I asked her how the HP warranty would apply and she reviewed it with me. She insisted the "Best way" to proceed would be with Geek Squad involvement.
Best buy Geek Squad immediately wanted $199 to "Scan and Check" my "new" computer. I told them that I felt they had some responsibility in this mess because it was their insistence on the use of the Kapersky software and their inclusion of the software in their marketing bundle. Oh and I forgot to mention, just imagine my surprise when I loaded the Kapersky on day 30 of the machine's ownership, as the Best Buy rep had suggested and the moment it was loaded, the program indicated I had 141 days remaining on my 180 day "Subscription". Somehow, the machine purchased on October 13th, 2016 has consumed 39 days of the 180 day "Subscription" by November 15th, 2016.........From the moment it was loaded, it indicated I had 141 days remaining, which means that somehow, the "Subscription" started BEFORE I purchased the new machine. When I brought this to the Geek Squad atttention, the guy said "Huh, that's odd"........
The Geek squad guy offerd to run a "complimentary scan" at no charge and It was confirmed that you often do get exactly what you pay for. He ran a very simple scan on the machine using a remote connection and insisted that the only path forward was for him to transfer me to the "advanced analysis" and it would require a payment of $199. I balked at that point and told him I wanted to consider other options. I asked if they had any other "one time" resolution options and he indicated it was the $199 option. I should note that when I purchased the machine, they offered their "one Year" Geek Squad assistance for a purchase price of $99, a "savings" of $100 since it was a new machine purchase. At the time I purchased the machine, I felt the $99 was an unnecessary charge and after all, the machine sold for $300 new, so adding another 33% for assistance on the "new machine" seemed unnecessary. After all, what good is the warranty if you need to pay for all repairs right from the start?
I asked the Geek Squad guy if the $99 option for their "services" would still be available since the machine was just 3 days past the 30 day "purchase window". Essentially, the short answer to their long explantion was NO. At that point, I told them I would "get back to them"........
I looked online and found PC esupport. They charge $89 for their online repairs and assistance and they do not charge you until the repairs are made and you have used the machine and are satisfied. They provide a 10 day warranty on their online repairs. I called and spoke with them on the phone. The representative I spoke with went through their terms of service and explained everything clearly. I had explained the entire problem to this guy and when he asked me if I wanted to proceed with their repairs that he would have to transfer me to a service technician, I thought now I will have to explain everything to yet another person.
The service representative immediately got on the phone and he was aware of everything I had told the first person. He even again reviewed their service terms just to make sure I was clear and then he logged on through a remote connection which I granted. He did indicated that I would have to fill out the customer information online and that they would have to "reserve" a payment of $89.95 on a credit card but that they would only access the money when the repairs had been made and I was satisifed. I certainly understand why they do this and how they verify the availability of a valid payment source before proceeding. The terms of their agreement, which I read while the guy waited on the phone patiently, matched everything they had verbally told me. I proceeded to grant them acess to my computer remotely.
Both of the people at PC e Service emphasized that should I become uncomfortable with anything they are doing or for any reason and I want them to stop, all I had to do was click the big red X on the connection box and the session would cease immediately. If they haven't solved the problem, there would be no charge for their services. These guys spent more time making sure I understood what they were going to do and exactly how they would proceed where Geek Squad simply logged in and went for it. I should also point out that after Geek Squad performed their scan of my machine, the wireless connection no longer functioned at all and in fact, something in the settings that they had changed resulted in a circled X in the wireless connection and the only way I could connect was with an ethernet cable directly plugged into the modem. So with the Geek Squad's "help", my computer actually became less functional.
The service technician from PC e Service methodically began checking out all of the same stuff I had already reviewed. For those who have never had one of these remote connections, you watch the screen on your computer and you can see everything that they are doing. The mouse cursor moves around and you see the files opening and closing and exactly what they are doing the entire time. It's actually a learning experience and the technician from PC e Services was explaining to me everything he was doing and why he was doing it. He went further into the modem operations and configurations than I would dare wander on my own.
He removed the drivers for the wireless modem and went to the modem website and obtained the newest drivers and also went to Microsoft's site for their Windows 10 and obtained some files. He reloaded everything and had me enter the wireless modem security codes several times. I told him to go ahead and click on the password box which shows the actual password instead of the dots when it is entered so he could copy and paste the pass word when doing the reconfiguration. He also checked on the Mc Afee and Kapersky removals to make sure that the programs had been correctly and completely removed. He found some remnants of the Kapersky program which the Windows 10 control panel removal had not deleted and resolved that issue as well. All total from start to finish, he spent about 15 minutes on the machine. He had me unplug the Ethernet cable at that point and he went through and checked all of the machines operation on the wireless wifi while making several changes and after his assistance, it worked better than when the machine was new. The speed was better and the connection was much faster. In fact, it worked almost as well as when it is plugged into the Ethernet cable.
He asked me to use the machine for the next half hour and he would call me back to make sure everything was fine. If at that point, I was satisfied, then I would approve the payment of the one time charge of $89.95. In about 35 minutes, he called back to check how everything was working. He asked if there were any other issues or anything else I needed assistance with. Once completed, I authorized their payment and then he reminded me that the should I have any firther problems to call their technical support number and use my "Case Ticket Number" and they would address the concerns. He reminded me that should I have any problems within the 10 days, there would be no new charge for their assistance.
Frankly, it was very refreshing to actually have someone do what they said they would do and make sure I was happy before charging my credit card. The entire experience with them was very good and it was interesting to see how they performed the repairs. I learned a couple of new Windows 10 shortcuts I was previously unaware of. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being terrible and 10 being perfect, I would give the PC e Services technicians a 10 and I would give Best Buy and their entire approach and efforts a 2. Why a 2 and not a 1? Because at least the guy was polite while not accomplishing anything helpful for my problem before actually making the machine less functional.
I went in and checked my bank card account and sure enough, there was a reserve for a payment of $89.95 pending to be drawn out today. So everything that PC E Services told me was true and they did everything exactly as they should. They never questioned my abilities as did Best Buy. The Best Buy people kept insisting that my wireless signal was the issue. Oh, I forgot to mention, I had run a speed test at the beginning of this issue and even had a Comcast Service Technician come out to check everything because the speeds were not what I thought they should be. According to Comcast, the Wireless signal was working just like it should be. But of course, I could upgrade to a faster service for only $139 per month........No thanks. I explained to the Best Buy guy that I could use a Wireless Tablet in the same exact place as the note book computer I was experiencing problems with so I knew the wireless signal was adequate. I could even test the wireless signal so there was no question that was not the issue. But Best Buy kept implying that was part of the problem.
So, bottom line is that if any of you have a computer problem and can't resolve it on your own, I was very pleased with the service of PC e Services. They repaired the issue and charged less than 1/2 of what Best Buy wanted. Not to mention that after Best Buy ran their scan and told me everything was "working" according to their scan results, my wireless ceased to function at that point. I am very disappointed in Best Buy and this entire episode. I plan to write their CEO a letter outlining the issue and my experiences. It will be insightful to see if they respond. Interestingly, Morningstar just issued an updated statement regarding Best Buy and check out the irony in what the beginning of the statement says, when compared to my personal experiences;
""Investment Thesis 11/17/2016
Competition and evolving industry dynamics have eroded Best Buy's once-narrow moat. We believe online retailers, mass merchants, and direct sales activity from consumer electronics OEMs have diminished the clout Best Buy once had with customers, resulting in greater market share competition and making margin gains more difficult. Moreover, as key consumer electronics vendors increasingly take products directly to consumers and introduce trade-in programs, we expect Best Buy's competitive advantages--including a well-known brand name and high-traffic retail locations--may fade. ""
Failing to satisfy the customer is also going to impact their future..............The reason I bought from Best Buy verses just ordering online was the "Theory" that if I had a problem, I would have the local store to go to for assistance...........Well, so much for that advantage. Guess I will just purchase from the lowest cost online source in the future.
Here is the actual link to the website I used for PC e services because there are several companies with very similar names and some of them are not well reviewed by those who have worked with the other service providers.
Contact | PC eSupport
I know that from time to time some of our GTT family members have had issues which require assitance. My experience was very good with this company. I certainly hope that should anyone from the GTT family utilize this companies services, that they receive the same positive outcome and professional response and services which I did. I wanted to share this with all of you just in case you should need support for your computers or network, etc.