Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A Tale of Two Technicians

We began experiencing problems with our two year old TV a few weeks ago. The problem was minor, at first. There was difficulty turning the set on, but it would eventually start up after a couple of attempts. Then, it became even more difficult - if one unplugged and then plugged in the TV, it would start up like a wayward PC rebooting. Finally, nothing we could do would restart the TV.

We had had problems before when the TV was still under warranty, and I wanted to take to the set back there. I assumed that the problem could easily be the result of too much dust inside the television. Rather than take the set there, we tried someone else. As mentioned in another post, I had taken small electrical jobs to a shop in Sibulan - Alfred's Electronic Shop. Unfortunately the technician who owned the shop moved to Mindanao months ago. However, we had heard through the grapevine that he had returned to the area and was using a Facebook page to get business, rather than pay the high cost of renting a shop.

We were able to contact the technician and he came by the apartment this past Saturday afternoon. After doing his inspection, and testing and other assorted electronic wizardry, he told us that the motherboard was shot, and because you couldn't order the motherboard without ordering the entire electronic holster, the price for repairing the TV would not be worth it.

We accepted his diagnosis and went window shopping for new televisions yesterday. The appliance stores in Dumaguete really love their televisions. Let me just say that the prices were staggering.

I told my wife that before buying a new TV, we should go back to the shop that had worked on it while under warranty. I was not completely convinced that the tech who looked at the TV Saturday was correct. Besides, even if he was right about the motherboard, his idea of what constituted an unreasonable repair cost might not be the same as mine - particularly in light of the cost of a new TV.

A friend agreed that getting a second opinion was the way to go. He said it had been his experience that techs here will tell you "it's the motherboard" rather than admit that they don't really have a clue what the problem is.

So, this morning, we drove to the shop. The folks there told my wife that there was a "virus" in the TV's software. I didn't really buy that, but they were able to fix the set right away and charged us only PHP 1000 (about $20 in U.S.dollars).

Now, I can go back to watching "The Five".

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