Complaint: Advantage Computer Services u2013 u2013 Scam/Fraudulent Activity SUMMARY: This business is likely intentionally scamming its customers and deliberately engaging in fraudulent activity when a job/work order will allow them to swap your more expensive and higher performing PC parts for much cheaper and underperforming ones without informing you of such changes. Should you attempt to confront them on this, they will claim they made a mistake then place another underperforming part into your computer. Further confrontation will result in them hanging up on you, lying about other business related issues such as being unable to look up your invoice on their computer, and all before attempting to offer you a check for a refund even if you paid with cash while trying to convince you a check is the same as cash even though their business does not accept checks for payment. CHRONOLOGY: n In order to upgrade our PCu2019s graphics card from a GTX 660 to GTX 970, it was discovered that we would need to upgrade our Power Supply Unit from a 330W to a 550W. n This business said they could do it, only to then say they couldnu2019t and suggested they put all our computeru2019s components in a new tower. n Then they stated that they couldnu2019t transfer all the components and that they would have to use a different motherboard and processor. n They placed in a much inferior processor and then said that was an accident. n The u201ccorrectu201d processor was supposed to be only slightly slower than our original one and was in actuality only a little more than 50% as powerful as our original processor. n Business never said any of their computer options would result in a significant performance drop to where our original PC with the old GPU would outperform our new set up with higher end GPU. n Request for a cash refund instead of a check since we paid with cash was not honored and the reason given was completely false. (stated that he would have to close his store early to leave despite the fact that someone else was there and he was witnessed in the mall while the store was open prior to that) n After yelling and refusing to rectify the situation in a way that wouldnu2019t be inconvenient to us granted the amount of inconvenience he had already caused, Ken (the owner) proceeded to threaten to call the police. n We went to a different computer store and asked that if they couldnu2019t use our CPU for whatever reason that the replacement CPU be at least comparable to the original at which point they asked why we thought they would make the computer slower for any reason especially given what we were coming in there to have done. n Computer was done at the other computer store using the original CPU (something Ken said wasnu2019t possible), done cheaper (something Ken said we would never find), and took only one try to get right. n If youu2019re there to get computer accessories and know what they look like and are, you can go to this place, but if you want something done with your PC and care about performance, do not go to this store. DETAILED STATEMENT REGARDING EVENTS: This began with a phone call to see if the power supply could be upgraded on our PC from 330 to 550+ watts. I explained that I had a Dell Alienware X51 BTO. Because of what was listed on my order and because I know little about PCs, I thought it had an external Power Supply Unit. The person corrected me and stated it was an internal one. They stated that they could in fact upgrade its Power Supply Unit. When they get the PC, the story changes to them not being able to do this and they said the reason they didnu2019t know over the phone is because there are multiple versions of the Dell Alienware X51 and needed to see what mine was specifically before being sure that they could do it. Once they saw which one mine was and looked it up, they found they could only put up to a 330 watt Power Supply Unit in there. Looking it up now, not only did I not find an X51 BTO that was stated to be able to have their PSU upgraded beyond 330 watts, I didnu2019t find any kind of X51 that could. This leads me to believe that they knew the PSU couldnu2019t be upgraded from the beginning and if they didnu2019t, they never looked it up nor did they have prior knowledge of any kind of X51 that could have their PSU upgraded. So they state they canu2019t do the upgrade and explain why, but state what they can do is take all the components out of my original PC and put them into a new tower that would have a higher watt PSU and be upgradeable in the future for about $400 USD or they could just build an entirely new PC for no less than $650 USD. We decided on the cheaper option to place our original PC components into the new tower. Then they state that the Motherboard and the CPU are made to only work with the original tower so they would have to put a different one of each in the new tower and that it would cost about $450 to do this work. They suggested trading in the components and tower that we would no longer be using for a $71 USD credit as that would bring the price down on the work to $379 USD. At that point, nothing was stated in regards to expecting a significantly slower PC than the original so we approved the work to move forward. When the computer was done, one of us went and picked the computer up and after taxes we paid $409 USD for the work and we paid in cash. When the computer was given back in its new tower with its new CPU and it seemed much slower than the original, it was discovered that Advanced Computer Services had placed a Dual Core AMD A6 7400K in this new tower. The original processor was a Quad Core Pentium i7 u2013 3770. We called immediately as we were not expecting our PC to be slower than before. In fact, we were lead to believe that if anything it would be faster. Initially Ken (the owner of this business) seemed slightly confrontational. It wasnu2019t so much the fact that he was asking questions, it was how he was asking. It was in a defensive manner, but when he was told that the computer seemed much slower he asked several questions several times. u201cSlower? Slower how? In what way is it slower? Like doing what? What do you mean slower?u201d It was explained to him that everything about the computer seemed slower. Booting up, opening a file, initiating the internet, opening a program, etc. u201cWhy would it be slower? That doesnu2019t make any sense.u201d We arenu2019t computer experts or knowledgeable so it was strange to be asked that sort of question by Ken especially since our reason for contacting him was so he could answer that very question as it didnu2019t make sense to us that our computer was slower. But we attempted to answer his question regardless. We suggested that perhaps it was because our old processor was a Pentium and this new one is AMD or maybe it was the old processor having Hyper Threading as well as Turbo Boost. u201cThat wouldnu2019t matter. All that matters is benchmark.u201d We were not sure as to what that was so we asked him and he explained. Then it was suggested that maybe this processor had a lower benchmark because it was a Dual Core and our old processor was a Quad Core and that is when Ken asked what processor was in the PC at that time and we told him. That is when he stated that the one we had in there was placed in by mistake and that we were supposed to be getting AMD A10 7700K. Of course, it was then asked by us what the difference would be and that is when he proceeded to explain. Ken stated the benchmarks are significantly different between the processor we were given and the one we were supposed to get. u201cJust to give you an idea of how different, I will tell you the benchmarks if you give me a moment.u201d He stated the benchmark for the processor that was in our PC at the time was 2,900 and that the one we were supposed to get had a benchmark was 8,990 and that the benchmark for our old processor was 9,300. He advised that, due to the fact that the benchmarks for the CPU we were around 600% (of course his math is way off there but we understood what he was trying to say) stronger than the one we had at the time by mistake and due to the benchmarks being only slightly different between the original processor and the one we were supposed to get, we should give the one we were supposed to get a try. We agreed to this and so the PC was brought back in order to have the correct CPU installed. The person dropping it off was told it would take two hours to get the job done so they went to the mall that was nearby. Before going to the mall they asked Ken if he sold USB extenders. Ken said yes and proceeded to look for them and then was willing to give it up free of charge, but upon further examination, and despite Kenu2019s initial insistence, it was discovered that Ken had handed over a standard USB cord and not a USB extender. This was caught by someone who doesnu2019t know about computers rather than the person who does, but this was easily corrected. While in the mall, the person who dropped off the PC happened to run into Ken who was apparently having his glasses fixed while there. It was at that time that Ken said they were almost done with the computer but they needed to be given the password again so they could test the PC and make sure it was fully functional. Ken was given the password and he texted it to his people back at the store. The computer was picked up while Ken was still in the mall and taken back. The computer still seemed very slow all around which is not what you would expect if the CPUu2019s processor was truly as close in benchmark to our original processor as we were told. This prompted us to research our processor and while it was in fact an AMD A10 7700K this time, the benchmarks Ken provided were not accurate. The actual benchmark score was 5,300 which isnu2019t even twice the benchmark of the processor that was originally placed in by u201cmistakeu201d. Naturally we contacted Ken but in order to be clearer in communication, I e-mailed him first so he would have it during the phone conversation. When we called him rather than being slightly defensive as he was last time, he was fully hostile. Despite being told repeatedly that we did not need to have a Pentium and that we simply wanted a CPU with a comparable benchmark to our own like the one he described, he insisted that nothing would satisfy us and nothing he could say would satisfy us unless he gave us a Pentium CPU for free. He was angry and yelling as if our desire for our PC to be of similar speed to its original speed was an unreasonable request. He was angry with us as if it was our fault that he was misleading and wasnu2019t clear that any option he was giving us was going to make our PC so slow that it would actually be less effective at running games than it originally was even with a higher performing GPU. Eventually he stated that we had two options. We could either pay $300 more to have a Pentium or AMD installed that was the same or faster than our original processoru2026 or he could put all the original things back into the original tower and he would give us a full refund. In order to decide, we just wanted clarification on what he originally said and whether or not the CPU he gave us was supposed to be comparable to what we had or not. He refused to answer any questions we had. He wouldnu2019t even answer the question of what website he went to for the benchmarks he saw. The reason we wanted to know is because if we went to that website and it gave the benchmark numbers he told us, we would know that he did in fact give us the CPU he described and we would be willing to pay to upgrade the processor but if not, we shouldnu2019t have to as he clearly made a mistake again. We were doing everything in our power to continue to do business with this man despite the u201cmistakesu201d he had made thus far because he did seem knowledgeable and it was already inconvenient thus far and it would be more inconvenient to have to go find another place to deal with this when he had already been working on this for us. He hung up on us several times stating that he did not wish to argue, but he instead was just refusing to answer any of our questions. We called back and this time Cameron answered and we asked him, where do they get their benchmark numbers from and he insisted that they do not use a website because of numerous factors that can affect benchmark. Using logic, it was explained that would be the reason we would want to see the website Ken used as chances are they would apply the same factors to all CPUs they test and it wasnu2019t relevant whether or not they were biased as we just wanted to confirm that Ken saw these numbers somewhere. Cameron claimed he had no idea what website Ken used and was asked to ask Ken at which point he stated he couldnu2019t because Ken stepped out on a tech call. Cameron then said that as soon as Ken got back he would ask him and then call back as soon as he could. That is when it was pointed out that Ken does have a cell phone and that he used it the day before in order to contact them. Cameron then said he would text him and then call back. After some time, we found another place that could do the same job so we decided we wanted a full refund. I was at work so I had the other person go drop off the PC they gave us and get the original stuff back. We didnu2019t even want it to be reinstalled as we felt loose components would be easier for the other place to get started on the project. The plan was for the original computer to be picked up and then taken straight to the other place. The person there to get the money and original items back didnu2019t have our invoice with them, but we figured that granted this is all recent and that they made a copy of that invoice that it shouldnu2019t be a problem. Ken, who happened to be there despite neither of us receiving a callback of any kind, stated this was a problem as they had no way of knowing the exact amount we paid. The person there stated that the computer was under my name and Ken said that it was entered under u201ccustomeru201d rather than my name because they didnu2019t have the name of the person that was there. Ken also stated that the physical invoice was already at his house and only his wife would be able to find it. Somehow eventually after a lot of back and forth and arguing Ken conceded to doing the refund anyway but he offers a check. The person there knowing we paid cash, as well as Ken knowing we paid cash, was not willing to accept this as we had been inconvenienced more than enough by this place and felt that if anybody needed to walk over to that bank and cash a check, it should be Ken. Ken refused to do this as he stated that in order to leave he would have to close his store and he was unwilling to do that just to give us cash. Keep in mind that there was someone else at the location working, that the day before Ken was in the mall while his store was open, and that earlier we were told that he was out on a tech call indicating that he can and does in fact leave his store without locking it up. Ken eventually threatened to call the police and so I told the person there to just forget about it and I would deal with it myself. I left work early and found my invoice then went to Ken. I thought it was odd that he told the other person there that they placed the work under u201ccustomeru201d since my name was computer printed on the copy of the invoice I had. I decided to accept his check despite the fact that he had already inconvenienced me once by putting the wrong CPU in the first time, then inconvenienced me again by putting in a CPU with a little over half the power my original one had without telling me it would be that much weaker, inconvenienced me by trying to give a check and saying it is the same as getting cash when he himself doesnu2019t accept checks for his business, and now was inconveniencing me further by making me cash his check. I just didnu2019t want to spend any more time on this issue that had dragged on for 2 maybe into 3 weeks now. SUMMARY OF ISSUES: – Not being knowledgeable enough and/or willing to check information on your computer u2013 Claimed they didnu2019t know that they couldnu2019t put a higher than a 330 watt PSU until the computer was brought in despite being told the make and exact model of the computer and requesting no further information from us – Putting in such a drastically slow CPU the first time u2013 They claim this was accidental, but a business this size should be able to do better than this and it seems less like an accident when the AMD they apparently meant to give us was still very much under the processor that was originally in the PC – Lack of professionalism u2013 When you have already inconvenienced a customer due to a huge mistake you made on your part, you have no right to get angry with them nor should you be attempting to inconvenience them any further especially when they arenu2019t irate and they are still trying to do business with you – Too many u201cmistakesu201d happen here u2013 First it was the wrong processor, then they hand over a USB cable instead of an extension, then the u201ccorrectu201d processor isnu2019t as strong as they claimed it was going to be so either the owner is incompetent and someone else should be handling these things or the owner was caught trying to scam us granted it was possible we would have never known in either case that the processor wasnu2019t what he promised – Fraudulence or Incompetence u2013 One thing Ken NEVER said was that we should expect our PC to be about half the speed it once was if we went with any of the options he gave us and you should know that speed matters to a customer (especially one who has 16 GB of RAM and is trying to upgrade their PSU to handle a GTX970 graphics card) and Ken either knew he was cheating us in the speed department or he was so incompetent that he actually didnu2019t think that speed was important to us, either way that business doesnu2019t sound like the kind of business that should handle anyoneu2019s computer needs – Dishonesty u2013 From lying about what he didnu2019t say, lying about having to close his store to go to the bank that is literally walking distance from his store when he was seen in a mall that was much further away, saying he isnu2019t there when he is, and saying the invoice isnu2019t under my name when it should have been (and turned out to actually be meaning he was lying just to be further difficult) was not only unprofessional but also dishonest SOME OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN NOTICING A LACK OF NEGATIVE REVIEWS: Most people who are wronged by a business do nothing about it and donu2019t even know there are places to write reviews and even if they do, they just donu2019t have or feel like putting in the time to say anything. This place is giving an incentive for positive feedback where they are giving people who provide positive reviews a chance to win $200 which means you are more likely to see positive than negative reviews. People can be and often are forgiving including us as we were still planning to give a positive review despite the mistakes until Ken (the owner) was hostile and unprofessional. We caught the u201cmistakesu201d but many would not and without realizing it they could basically be thanking these people for ripping them off. They may not be ripping everyone off as most places wouldnu2019t as it would draw too much attention but instead only do so under certain conditions so do not think that just because some customers were not ripped off that this place isnu2019t ripping anybody off.

Tags: Computer Service & Repair

Address: 8126 Sudley Rd Manassas, Virginia USA


Phone: (703)367-8709