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Local IT Firm Warns Of Slow PC Repair Scams

In Business, Home Improvement, Local News on June 28, 2011 at 2:43 pm

JAMESTOWN – Over the past several months Miami Valley residents have been exposed to a barrage of ads from websites and software companies who claim that they will clean up a computer’s programming and make it run faster. These firms then take credit card information, remote into the PC and install invasive software that, at best, turns off some of the Windows maintenance features.

Local writer and entrepreneur, Gery L. Deer, is the owner of Deer Computer Consulting, Ltd., an on-site computer support firm based in Jamestown. Deer said his company has been inundated with calls relating to consumers who have been taken advantage of by companies offering so-called optimization packages to speed up slow computers.

“Computers become slower over time for a multitude of reasons ranging from overloaded startup cues to excessive maintenance software,” Deer said. “These companies use scare tactics and offer an online program that they claim will clean up your computer and make it run faster. Usually, they install expensive, highly invasive programs that conflict with your machine’s built-in maintenance software.”

Deer added that he’s had to go so far as to issue confirmation of repair letters to credit card companies on behalf his clients to help them recover payments when refund requests were ignored by the online service providers.

“One of the ways we diagnose computer problems is to find out how the ailing machine is used and who uses it,” Deer said. “That’s something that cannot be done over the phone and an on-site check of the computer is far less costly.”

Deer also noted that there is rarely a need to install third-party software to speed up a computer. Additional programs running in the background only add an operational burden to the processor and would just serve to slow the machine down even more.

Security is also an issue here. Deer cautions people about letting any third-party have access or remote control over your computer. “Most of these companies use the Windows remote access program to go into your computer and manipulate its operation, load software and even extract information,” Deer said.

“Because you’ve given them access, these individuals, most of which are out of state and often out of the country, now have the ability to see any information stored on your computer, no matter how private.”

In response to these calls, Deer Computer Consulting, Ltd., has initiated a flat-rated computer check. Priced between $49 and $79 per hour, depending on the type of service and the location, a technician will perform a check on the computer to look for malware, viruses and the presence of any unwanted software.

“The goal here is to help people keep from being ripped off by these companies,” Deer acknowledges, adding that regular maintenance is just as important to a computer as it is to a car. “If you’ve already used one of these companies, with negative results, we may be able to help recover your money. We want to try to help our community be aware of these problems, provide solutions and offer steps consumers can take to prevent them.”

From now until July 21st, Deer Computer Consulting, Ltd., will be offering free phone or email consultations to help local consumers determine whether they need further help with slow, lagging computers.. For more information call (937) 902-4857, or visit http://www.deercomputerconsulting.com.

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