If ever you were in any doubt that a DIY job should always be your first port of call when it comes to computer repairs, read this -- Which? has found highstreet chain repair stores are massively overcharging their customers for easy-to-fix laptop problems.
Simple software faults were installed on 24 laptops by the consumer group, and brought to six different Carphone Warehouse, Currys & PC World and Apple stores, along with a number of independent repair shops.
The problems Which? prepared for the repair teams shouldn't have cost more than £50 to fix and, in many cases, were simple enough that even novice computer users could overcome them easily at home without training. But highstreet retailers were prepared to take advantage of clueless customers, charging them more than three times as much as was necessary.
Currys & PC World was the worst offender, with one branch charging nearly £170 for the £50 job. None of the retailers tested managed to fix every machine, and 60 per cent only managed to partially repair the problems. Despite only dealing with their own-branded products, the Apple store proved only the second-best repair destination, behind the Carphone Warehouse.
Overall, Which? found that local independent stores proved the most honest when it came to repair pricing, but urged consumers to attempt some simple error-checking before going anywhere near a repair shop. As the Which? investigation proved, running a recovery disc to a non-booting machine can often sort out problems, a simple fix that stores will charge extortionately for. [Which?]