A report by consumer watchdog magazine Which? has discovered that high street stores are misdiagnosing simple problems when people take in their computers to be fixed.
The Which? report saw reporters go undercover with desktops and laptops that had simple problems and discovered that the issues were not always spotted by the big name stores that they visited.
In fact only two stores in 12 managed to correctly fix a problem where a laptop hard disk's booting information was modified with a value changed in the partition table, preventing it from starting up.
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It's a problem that would be fixed simply by running the repair option on the Windows installation disc, but only one Carphone Warehouse store and one Best Buy store got to the bottom of things.
"You'd expect trusted household names to have the know-how to cure most poorly PCs, so we were disappointed by the service we received on many visits," said Which? technology expert Ceri Stanaway.
"The near universal failure to repair our laptops means we can't fully recommend any high street brand's repair service."
That's a damning conclusion when the majority of consumers take on trust that the experts on the high street – often charging a pretty penny – can correctly diagnose and fix the problems.