Excuse the title. I just like to think it might, just maybe, save some poor confused pensioner when these scammers come calling. He’d Google “My Tech Online” or “mytechonline.net” and there in the search results would be the title of this article. And he’d be saved.
PC Repair Scammers. What a bunch of arseholes. I’ve dealt with them before. And I was starting to think the scam was dead when once again I pick up the phone to hear an Indian-accented voice tell me my computer may have problems.
The scam hasn’t died but it has mutated. Read on to find out more…
Gone more official. They (supposedly) have a do-not-call list, and even will give you a number to call them directly. Still, their website, mytechonline.net (which I won’t link for fear of boosting their search engine ranking) is registered out of West Bengal.
(Not that I seek to smear the reputation of India and Indians by constantly mentioning them and their country. It’s just a matter of truth. Every scammer that’s called me — and there have been dozens and dozens — has had an Indian accent. I don’t for a second think it’s because Indian people are inherently scammers, rather I imagine it’s because only in India has there been this particular collision of high-tech and fairly unregulated business.)
You can trust him becoz he’s a perfessional!
For all its professional appearances it still, at its heart, relies on a dirty trick. Suggesting that errors in the Event Viewer indicate serious problems. To anyone reading who may not be so technically inclined — THEY DO NOT.
This scammer didn’t go beyond the Event Viewer as others have done, but did want me to have someone connect to my computer before payment. No thanks. Not so much because I think this lot would be malicious while connected, but more because I imagine they’d expect payment for even the most cursory of visits.
I delighted in wasting the caller’s time as much as possible. That’s time she can’t spent conning unfortunate grannies, and money her scumbag employers are wasting. Let me share some of our conversation highlights.
I told her that the Event Viewer was not a indicator of “infections”, and it was a dishonest tactic to frighten people into their services. Even if their services were useful it’s still a shady immoral tactic to gather business. I even got her to agree that Event Viewer errors are not always “infections”. So why, I asked, did they bother with it at all? Why not just call and ask if the person was interested in a PC check-up? She could not give a good reason, falling back on the irrelevant fact that no-one is forced to pay for services. The real reason, obviously, is to frighten the technically uncertain into payment.
Computer support and weight loss!
So, I am supposed to be so scared of “infections” on my machine that I open up my computer to an unknown third party? Isn’t that a bit bizarre? It’s like visiting a public restroom and worrying about getting germs when sitting down, so you decide to lick the toilet seat clean.
I didn’t use that analogy, but I did ask her for her home address in exchange for access to my computer. When she refused I asked why not, didn’t she trust me? She told me it was policy. I asked what the reason was for that policy. Was it because I couldn’t be trusted? Alas, she just repeated the policy argument, she didn’t seem to understand the point I was making.
She also said that they could be trusted because they are a business with a website. Huh. Any arsehole can get a .net address, I should know.
She was a little bit rude. No F-bombs or threats to kill me (yes, I’ve had those). But she did occasionally tell me I was flat-out wrong, and question my motivations, and accuse me (if correctly) of concoting a lie about the oven to cover me fetching my laptop. These are things a Western call-center employee would not do.
And lastly, what a strange woman! It was clear fairly early on I wasn’t a likely customer. I never conceded so much as a sliver of interest in letting them connect to my computer. Yet I managed to keep her on the line for a long time by simply saying I wanted to “know more about the business”. (Try that with the ATO or Department of Transport and I doubt you’ll get far.) She was going well above and beyond to defend her business. It’s like she took it personally.
We can establish a fault for you too, call today!
So have many scammers, actually. What’s the deal? Do they truly think their tactics are above-board? Is it that they think Westeners are so dumb, drunk and racist that we’d just complain without reason? Are jobs so precious that employees compete on zeal? Is it some cultural difference where you and your job are intertwined and, unlike the West, it’s impossible to concede your work sucks?
Whatever the case it’s a crap situation for the people on both ends of the phone. The business owners, the real scammers, are to blame.