I love the comment about “It was fine when I brought it in.” I deal with this as well in IT. My comment is then “Why did you bring it to me then? You don’t take your car to the mechanic if there is nothing wrong. You don’t bring your computer to someone that advertises repair and other services if there is nothing wrong with it.”
As for the Yugo, I can totally see it. It often seems that those who are willing to pay the least expect the most. Yep, the people who buy a Yugo probably expect a Bentley ride. I used to deal in used computers but no more. I remember selling off some old Windows XP systems back when it was losing support for $50. People would expect them to come with a 24 inch flat panel monitor and all the latest stuff and gaming graphics. You couldn’t believe it. The people who bought something in the $300-400 range were a little more realistic. I would tell those people “You need to come up with about $4000 more for all you want.” I would also let them know that the $50 system was just for kids use and that it couldn’t be used online. They would say they wanted that unit but had plans to use it for many of the things I had just told them it wouldn’t work for. I told them it wouldn’t work again but they would buy it anyway and then call all mad when it didn’t do what they wanted… I can totally feel the pain of a Yugo dealer!
I went to having people sign a form and then finally got out of this altogether. Those older units just get sent off to be properly recycled these days. Newer ones get refurbished donated for a write-off but even a lot of these get junked simply because I would be drowning in them otherwise. Anything that can’t be upgraded to Windows 10 automatically gets recycled without a second thought.
The difference between a cheap car and a cheap computer is that a cheap car is still worth enough to be repaired. That is likely not true for a $99 or $199 Black Friday cheapo. It seems they roll out stuff with such horrible specs for this one day or week a year. Even the simplest repair is likely going to exceed the value of these units. As with the Yugo, people are upset about the terrible performance and quality these units provide. They want to have them upgraded and call me. I let them know that it would cost more to upgrade something like this and you STILL wouldn’t get what you want. They always seem amazed when the cheaper option is to buy a decent system and forget about the old dog. I am sure the answer on “upgrading” a Yugo would be simply to replace the thing with a different car, even a used one as mentioned.
Cheap cars may be a lure to get people into something better. I am not sure this is the case for computers when Wal-Mart has a $199 unit on the shelf any day of the year. Lots of people just go buy the cheapest one they can find and are often disappointed. I had one where the person bought such a small drive that it crashed during the first Windows update, leading to a real mess to recover it. There was simply not enough space for the thing to operate, much less run an update. I normally wouldn’t have even bothered with something like this but I was curious about the thing and wanted to check it out in person. I would also be interested in checking out a Yugo just to see how bad it is.
Stuff like this is what I no longer offer the “cheap” option. I offer what is going to be a good value for the majority of customers. The associated services I bundle also help guarantee a quality user experience by ensuring they won’t get infected the first time they use the computer. This has been working out well for me. Many think I am doing myself a disservice by avoiding the very low-end but I am only avoiding headaches for myself and my customers.
I went through the bait and switch deal when my GF needed a new car a couple years back. We went to the local Kia dealer. She wanted a small economical car as she was driving a lot for work and school. We settled on the Kia Rio as the best possibility. She didn’t like all the bells and whistles. She told the salesman “I want one without the touch screens all that stuff. I also want a manual transmission.” Well, they had two on the lot and they were buried behind other cars. It took them 30 minutes of playing musical cars to get one of these two base models out for a test drive. We drove it and it was a nice car for a basic little ride. The 6 speed manual was fun.
So, the dealer wouldn’t give a price. It was all about the finance terms and the monthly payment. Of course they wanted a sale RIGHT NOW and were real pushy. My GF didn’t like their attitude and I didn’t either. I never got an out the door price on the thing. It was all about the monthly payment. I got the feeling that selling financing was more important to them than selling cars which I hear is common practice these days. They wanted a phone number before we left so I gave them mine. I didn’t want them bothering my GF. We drove to a nearby city and she got a car there that night. We got home and there was a flyer from the local Kia dealer giving an out the door price for a Kia Rio that was very agreeable. Why did they come right out with a price on a paper sent to everyone in the county but couldn’t do this in person at the dealership? The deal was done at this point and they lost a sale.
The salesman called me next week and asked what we were thinking about buying cars. I told him that she bought a car that evening. He wanted to know why we didn’t pick his local dealer. I informed him that the tactics used at his dealer were a major turn off for both of us. I also let him know about the sales flyer we got in the mail that night. I told him that there was a good chance we would have bought the car from him had he just come right out with that price and not started playing “the game.” He was like “Well, that price is for the base models that don’t even have an automatic transmission or anything. Nobody wants one of those.” I had to remind him that this is what we wanted and they had to spend 30 minutes moving cars around to get one of these out so it could be driven. There was a long period of silence and that was that. He didn’t have a good answer to that.