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Industry Tips

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Computer - Buying

The Better Business Bureau suggests that you follow these guidelines when shopping for a computer: * Keep in mind that you may not be able to visit the physical location of the company, meaning telephoneor e-mail contact may be your only resources for resolving problems. * Make a note of the exact type and quantity of merchandise ordered, and when orders are shipped, get the tracking number from the company so that you can keep tabs on the package yourself. * Be aware that some companies offer a limited - and strictly enforced - return policy, often 30 days or less, and that transportation time for repairs will use much or all of that time. * If your computer comes with a warranty, get all the terms before purchasing. What time frame is offered? How will service be performed - will it be on-site or, will you need to return the system to the dealer for repairs? Also be aware that many warranties are invalidated if someone other than the authorized repair facility attempts to fix the system - this includes you. * Be aware that restocking fees and shipping charges are frequently assessed, no matter what the company representatives may imply. * Be leery of companies that ship computers without providing the software documentation. This may be a clue that you have received a computer with pirated software. * When your purchase arrives, check it thoroughly to ensure you have received everything you ordered. Is the modem operating at the speed you expect? Did you receive all the memory you ordered? Is the hard drive the right size? You may check these specifics by selecting the "My Computer" and "Control Panel" icon. In an adjoining window called "Device Manager", you can confirm that the properties are what you requested. * Report any problems to the dealer immediately. Document the entire repair history and costs.

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