Monday, January 17, 2011

Thrifty Tip: Repair Local

One winter evening, my husband and I were having a quiet evening at home.  I was sitting calmly at my writing desk while my husband finished a novel in the cozy corner chair.  The smell of cinnamon filled the house from the pumpkin pie baking in the oven.  Our two cats were curled up on the rug snuggling to keep warm.  Suddenly, a ferocious wind blew open the window and spilled a sticky liquid that must have fallen from the sky onto the keyboard of my laptop.

Ok, so maybe that is not exactly how it happened.  Maybe we were actually having our own personal dance party to my latest “work-out” playlist with a bottle or two of Champagne, when I accidentally spilled my glass all over my laptop before it broke in a million pieces on the floor.  Those details don’t really matter. 

The situation was: I had a laptop where the “S”, “D”, “F”, and “T” key weren’t working anymore because something got spilled, somehow on the laptop.  I dragged my husband with me and stood in line for 30 minutes at our local Big Box electronics store only to be told that they would have to do a full diagnostic test, send the computer to their processing center and then provide me with an estimate that would probably be somewhere near $200 unless something other than the keyboard was not working properly and then it could be more.  Being so close to the holiday season, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  It would only be $45 to buy a keyboard and a mouse and turn my laptop into a desktop, so that would have to be a solution for now.

A couple of days went by and I decided to do a search for a second opinion.  I came across a link for ALB Tech on Main Street and gave them a call.  They said, bring it in, we will take a look and do a free diagnostic test if needed.  I walked in, the tech said, “ok we can order a new keyboard and it should be $20 and $10 to install.  You can keep your computer until the part comes in and we will call you.”  I was so excited!  It took a couple weeks for the part to come in, but they switched out the keyboard in less than 10 minutes while I sat there.  All fixed for $31 including tax.

The moral to this story is: Don’t get taken advantage of by the Big Box, get your repairs from a local repair business and save up to $169 (not to mention, your sanity).  Photo credit.

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