Do PC repairers charge higher prices for parts

  loodan 00:02 18 Dec 2004

I recently took my daughters PC to A-Z Computers in Twickenham for repair. The sound card needed replacement and I was offered a choice of a basic card or a more expensive card (apparently for 4 speakers) costing £85. I asked for the latter to be installed but I now find that according to a system report the card is a 16 bit Creative SB Live! Value II (WDM)and it certainly does not have have outputs for 4 speakers. I tried looking for the cost of this card on the net but there is no listing for this card which gives the impression that it is a very old model. Could someone advise me if I was correctly charged for the replacement of the sound card, and what I should do if I have been cheated.

  Tim1964 00:16 18 Dec 2004

Tell the shop that you think that they made have made 'a mistake' (tech speak for 'trying it on'). I had a similar problem with some RAM a while ago. When the PC booted up it told me the RAM was half the amount I had paid for. "Oops!" they said and swapped it foe the right strip.

Back to the point, do you have anything in writing?

Unless you are seriously into audio work then a basic card will be more than enough. Get your money back, buy a card yourself (from somewhere else)and fit it <it will take longer to take the case off the PC than it will to fit the card>.

This one is well over the top and is only £10 click here

  loodan 07:07 18 Dec 2004

Thanks for your reply. Yes I do have a receipt. I was charged £85 for the sound card £35 for Labour and with the VAT it came to a total cost of £141. I have the feeling that that have put in an old card that they may have removed from someone's computer that was upgraded.

  simonp1 07:47 18 Dec 2004


Just a guess, but maybe the system hasnt been comfigured for the new soundcard..have a look inside, that way you will know for sure..

Had a look around for the Sound card, as yet havnt seen it, but im guessing it cost know more than £25.

I have onboard sound on my MB, and that provides me with 6 speakers, so even your MB might be able to provide you with good sound options...

Check what you have first before going back.

  spuds 11:50 18 Dec 2004

The price charged for computer parts and labour would depend on the company and your agreement. I know that most, but not all, repairers charge the normal off the shelf price for the component with a possible small or standard hourly fitting charge.

If you think that the card fitted is incorrect,and that you have been wrongly charged, then go back to the supplier and ask for further clarification. If in doubt, then consult your local trading standards, or have a browse click here

Regarding the actual card, I would suggest that you try a possible Google review search for that particular card model, this should perhaps prove the cards value. I would further mention, that you should have received a warranty card with the product, which would possibly give you a manufacturer build date. If not, then you could contact Creative worldwide help and support via click here or the UK contact based in Dublin, Ireland. Tel: +353 [0] 18206444 Fax: +353 [0] 18209557

  pj123 12:38 18 Dec 2004

loodan, I do PC repairs (not on a massive scale) but I only charge the "cost to me" price for any new parts fitted plus labour. So, I for one, do not charge higher prices for parts.

What is the breakdown on your Invoice? What does it say the sound card is?

I always list everything on my invoices, including model numbers etc...

  jack 13:54 18 Dec 2004

Well yes. Any repair business is there to make money
They will therefore charge full retail for parts used. This will partly offset a 'competative' hour rate.
Same in Cars/Washing Machines/TV/ you name it.

  loodan 13:56 18 Dec 2004

Thank you all for your advice. The card is properly fitted but the issue is the price. I was informed over phone that I had two options - one a basic card which they quoted at a lower price and a more expensive one costing £85 which would take four speakers. Knowing that there are some costly sound cards I agreed to fit the latter. But now on viewing the cards properties I find it seems to be a 16 bit Creative SB Live! Value ll (WDM). I have just checked in Dixons and Maplins and a 24 bit Creative SB Live 7:1 costs only £29.99. The Invoice from A to z Computers state: 1) Job to Replace Sound Card - £85 and 2) Labour -£35. With the addition of VAT I paid £141. A rip off no doubt.

  Stuartli 15:07 18 Dec 2004

A Creative SoundBlaster Live! Value OEM sound card is about £15-18 - almost certainly less to the repairer at trade.

If you go to Sound and Audio Devices in Control Panel and then the Audio tab, you can set the speaker configuration to stereo desktop speakers, 4.1, 5.1 etc.

However, unless the speakers are particularly good ones, the price seems a bit steep.

  wee eddie 15:26 18 Dec 2004

Go back to them and ask if their engineer possibly misheard you (the bill makes it obvious that the manager didn't).

If you try accusing them of anything, it will only put them on the defensive. They may have made a genuine mistake, but give them a chance to put it right. Before you do this, download "belarc" and print out the system analysis so that you have proof of what is present.

  loodan 17:03 18 Dec 2004

I have followed the advice of wee eddie above. There is no option available to set the speaker configuration to stereo desktop speakers, 4.1, 5.1 etc. I'll also follow the approach as suggested. Thanks to everyone for all the advice.

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