Fire-Doggies Charge $40 To Fix Bios On New Computer?

The Consumerist has an interesting tale from a reader who states he was charged $40 to update the BIOS on the new computer he just bought.  According to the article a CC associate told the buyer if he wanted to do anything but surfing on the new computer he had just bought, he would need to update the BIOS. Say what?

It does sound kind of strange doesn’t it. But it gets better. According to the article it states that:

So he turned down the video card upgrade, the hard drive upgrade and
memory upgrade that the sales associated recommended he would need. Of
course all of these upgrades were services that Firedog could perform
for a fee. He told the sales associate, “Look, I know what I’m buying
and this is all I need.”. After convincing the sales associate of this,
they finally started the check out process. So he slides his credit
card through and signs for the purchase. The sales associate hands him
his receipt and he is on his way to his dad’s with his new computer.
Until, after a quick scan of the receipt, he notices a $40 charge from
Firedog. He turns right around and asks the sales associate what the
line item was for. The sales associate replies that Firedog needed to
setup Windows Vista and flash the bios for the computer to work.

Whether the story has any validity or not, it does serve to warn consumers of some of the obstacles they may face when buying a new computer. Those who are ignorant of computers may be taken advantage of by unscrupulous sales people who only want to make a quick buck. But Circuit City isn’t the only store you have to watch.

During the Black Friday sales event Best Buy had a special on a Panasonic 42″ Plasma TV which was discounted by $600. I arrived at the store and was told they were out of stock. I said you best check that inventory again, because as of 15 minutes ago you had six in stock. Oops says the clerk and found the TV. Great. Now here is a 10% off coupon you can add on as well, and I have already checked at your customer service desk and it is valid with this purchase. I really had not checked but what the heck. The coupon was valid and I saved another $90.

Bottom line as always is buyer beware! :-)

Comments welcome.


Article Written by

I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.

  • teddgcm

    This falls back to my previous ramblings about Geek Squad and services like them. They take advantage of the people who do not understand technology.

  • Agarath

    I remember that I was given nothing but static over my insistence to install my own OS by the vendor that I bought my current computer from. They wouldn’t (or couldn’t)say outright weather or not there was a charge for it.

    I finally went out and bought a legit OEM XP copy and did it myself.

  • george

    thats true, they do take advantage of that stuff, but if your someone who isnt educated about it, what can you do anyways?

  • Randy

    I agree. I too work at Circuit City. I’m not a sales person, but I am a Lead Tech @ our store. I would kill any associate that would say/try that. I can assure you that it’s not just Firedog or Geek Squad it’s everywhere. It’s just a new associate (which CC has a bunch of lately) trying to make his mark. I dealt with an issue today that the customer was charged $30 for an install that wasn’t even performed. I personally called the store to find out what the hell they were doing. The customer had the install version of Norton in her hand, unopened, saying why did I get charged this. Now she was getting a better deal than buying it off the shelf, but is that really the right way of doing things? Well lets just say, not all CC stores are like this. Bottom line, some people are just stupid, don’t cheat people out of their money when the economy is as bad as it is anyways.

  • Derek

    The reality is that internal system reputation hasn’t been the measurement of choice in the past; volume and frequency was always king as the social graph built itself out. Now we have a scenario in which our attention’s been on the wrong ball. You’re right…certain Yelp users deserve to know that their reviews are seen the most and causing the most influence. Quora and Stack get closer to the idea that expertise or per-submission reputation metrics matter most. If we could get great analytics out of Twitter we could break down influence in a much more effective way.

    All of this reputation should also travel outside the confines of these walled gardens…but that won’t happen until it’s actually being measured and presented correctly.

  • Judi Huck

    And I quote: Fuck klout! They don’t know that I can DM Wyclef.

    • Chris @ Rizzo Tees

      Game, set, match

  • Dillon Rhodes

    I couldn’t agree more on the argument of quality over quantity. Unfortunately with many of the systems in place it is hard to track true influence, hence why these systems are referencing quantity instead. What if Facebook had a 5 star ranking system under each individual post? There would still be a way to manipulate it.