Raleigh Geeks ordered to stop accepting computers for repair
Release date: 5/9/2014
Consumers misled about repair time, never received promised work
Raleigh: Raleigh Geeks is under court order to stop collecting money or entering into contracts for computer repairs, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today.
“Taking money upfront, keeping someone’s computer for months, and then giving it back still broken is no way to do business,” Cooper said. “Customers who paid for repairs that never happened deserve their money and their computers back.”
Wake County Superior Court Judge John R. Jolly, Jr. granted Cooper’s request late Friday to halt defendants Steven Leo, Garret Foster and Timothy Staie from performing business in North Carolina at all Raleigh Geeks locations.
Cooper filed the lawsuit and request for a temporary restraining order after 24 consumers complained that Raleigh Geeks had misled them about repairs or failed to return repaired computers. He is also seeking a permanent ban against the owners’ and managers’ deceptive practices, refunds for consumers, civil penalties, and the return of customers’ computers.
Raleigh Geeks, also known as Caveman Computers, ProTech Computers and Fuquay Computer Center, has locations in Raleigh, Apex, Fuquay-Varina and Garner.
According to the complaint filed earlier this week, Raleigh Geeks regularly accepted payment for computer repairs upfront and did not complete work in the agreed timeframe. When consumers complained, they either got no response or got repeated empty promises that the repairs would be finished soon.
Cooper also contends that Raleigh Geeks sometimes returned consumers’ computers in worse shape or not at all. In other cases, Raleigh Geeks would give a consumer a completely different machine, claiming it was the original one.
According to complaints to Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division, multiple victims lost hundreds of dollars and sometimes their computers. For example, one consumer whose experience is cited in the lawsuit dropped a computer off for repair and was told by Raleigh Geeks she would hear back from them within 24 hours. Over six days, the consumer called Raleigh Geeks multiple times without getting a response. Once she finally got her computer back, it would not even turn on.
The consumer returned the computer to Raleigh Geeks supposedly to be repaired but after two more days it still wouldn’t turn on. She requested a refund of $258.94 in February 2013 and was told to present both the receipts and computer. The consumer tried to follow up with the company for months but Raleigh Geeks never refunded her money or returned her computer.
“When you pay someone for repair work, you expect to get your property back on time and in working order,” Cooper said. “Take precautions in case a fix-it job doesn’t go the way it should.”
To help prevent problems when getting a computer or electronic device repaired:
Avoid paying in full upfront. Wait until you are satisfied with the repairs to make the final payment.
Turn on your computer immediately when you pick it up. Make sure it is operating the way you expect before you leave the store.
Consider paying by credit card. If the repairs aren’t what you expected, you can dispute the transaction with your credit card company.
To check out a computer repair company or file a complaint against one, North Carolina consumers can call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within state. Consumers can also file a complaint online at www.ncdoj.gov
Media contact: Noelle Talley (919) 716-6413