Mariah (halrenna) wrote in thequestionclub,
Mariah
halrenna
thequestionclub

This got a bit longer than I thought, so . . .

I went with my dad to Staples yesterday because a used laptop he bought only had 1 gig of RAM and we figured it'd be best if he upgraded to the max amount (a whole 2). While there he also decided to upgrade to Windows 7 (the laptop had Vista on it) and got Norton 360. I use both of those, and I like both of them, so I had no protests really, but I did recommend Avast first since it's free. Then the tech guy we were talking to got kinda snoody about Avast saying they tanked and whatnot, and I didn't really feel like arguing it, so whatever.

What I couldn't believe was the $160 charges on the invoice I saw for installation services. $30 to install the RAM (fine, I have no idea how to install laptop RAM), $30 to install Norton, and $100 to install Windows 7. I think my jaw hit the floor. I immediately said, "Dad, I could install this for you for free," but then the tech guy cut in again going on about how they also install all the drivers and how drivers from discontinued laptops are nearly impossible to get, and how "if something breaks" during the install they're bonded to cover it.

I mentioned I built my own computer and just downloaded the drivers from websites. He said "Oh but those were probably new hardware." I said I've never had a problem downloading archived drivers. He said "Oh but HP usually doesn't have old drivers." My dad and I both asked how just installing software could physically damage the hardware, and he gave a sort of vague answer about stressing the hard drive or something. It was very difficult talking to him, as he was absolutely opposed to not having them do this all for my dad. I, on the other hand, just couldn't let my dad spend $130 on something I'd done on my desktop countless times with no problem. But the guy kept making laptops out to be fickle, delicate, mysterious little things and I even started doubting myself.

In the end Dad didn't pay for it and I'm going to install it all for him once 7 arrives, but TQC, please ease my mind. Did I do the right thing by stopping my dad from spending all that money or am I just totally ignorant and laptops really are that delicate? Are laptop drivers really that hard to find? It's just eating away at me.
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