The CNET Lounge forum

General discussion

Was the PC technician action right or wrong?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / January 27, 2012 7:12 AM PST

To give you some context to this poll, please click here to see what I am referring to.

Do you think C.R.'s PC technician should have removed those programs without asking him first?

-- Yes. (Please explain why.)
-- No. (Please explain why.)
-- It all depends. (Depends on what?)

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Was the PC technician action right or wrong?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Was the PC technician action right or wrong?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Removing Software right or wrong?
by CMF / January 27, 2012 9:16 AM PST

It's better safe than sorry. I'd rather leave the personal stuff alone. If I think that software is not good or failed, I would tell the customer before I remove it.

I had my daughter's boyfriend junk stuff on computer, I just leave it alone. I would ask him if he want to remove or not. He said nah. I'll just leave it alone. He is not complaining. Even my son tried to fix his friend's laptop, he called and let him know that the software is lost. He said it is ok.

Collapse -
It really depends on the agreement between C.R. and the tech
by Wolfmont / January 27, 2012 9:17 AM PST

As with anyone you ask to perform a service, it depends on what latitude you give the technician or professional.
- Did C.R. sign a service agreement that said the tech had permission to do whatever was necessary?
- Or, was there a spoken agreement? (I.e., "Hey, just do whatever you need to do to make it work properly!")
- Or, is this such a long-standing relationship that it is simply understood without saying, that the tech has tacit permission to do what is necessary.

Collapse -
It all depends on me
by tonyron227 / January 27, 2012 9:42 PM PST

I am a computer technician in a small town. I have a lot of clients who come to me when they can't get good help from someone else and their machines are totally whacked. I will also get a repeat customer come back with major problems and I find all of these programs on their machine. They tell me to "fix it" and I remove all of these so called "optimizers" from their machines. Why? Because most times when "novices" download programs, they failed to read the "extras" that come along with it and end up adding a bunch of junk to their pc's. These programs will ask for money to finish what they started scanning and will exaggerate their conditions to unbelievable proportions.
I am a firm believer that Ccleaner is the only add-on to use. Memory boosters and speed boosters don't work (just add more memory).

Collapse -
Technician should have asked him before deleting software
by sbulger / January 27, 2012 9:23 AM PST

This was not right for the technician to delete the programs his client had paid for. The tech should have asked if he wanted to keep them. Hopefully CR can re-download them with his proof of purchase which he should have printed out for events like this. It's as if the tech stole from CR!

Collapse -
Unless you're told to do it, you shouldn't do anything
by Crash2100 / January 27, 2012 9:56 AM PST

That story almost sounds like a sleazy technician that would do something like removing the software, then telling someone that they need the software sold by them. Either that, or the person didn't know much about what they were doing. Even if the technician was being honest and trying to help, just because you don't like a program, doesn't mean you should be removing it from people's computers, especially without asking the person first. That's something you present to them, if they still want the stuff, it should be their choice.

Collapse -
by Crash2100 / January 27, 2012 10:38 AM PST

Even if the programs they uninstalled had some sort of virus or spyware infection, they should at least tell the PC's owner about having to do this. If they just uninstalled the program because they personally didn't like the thing, and no one had asked them to do this, they should be reimbursing the PC's owner for the cost of the programs they had uninstalled.

Collapse -
Unless you're told to do it, you shouldn't do anything
by pegpluscol / January 27, 2012 11:23 AM PST

Chutzpah! Male dominance! Bigotry! Omni wise! Insistent!
No matter how good he is I'd never trust him to do anything for me, nor would I buy anything there.

Collapse -
It all depends...
by damase / January 27, 2012 10:13 AM PST

It depends on the honesty level of the technician.
If the technician is truly honest he will remove these programs and tell the customer why.
If he is mostly honest or not familiar with the customer he can point out the problem with these programs and hope the customer willingly removes them themselves.
If the technician is dishonest he can leave these programs installed and running for guaranteed repeat business.

Collapse -
The Technican's Action Was Wrong...
by proseandpoetry / January 27, 2012 10:15 AM PST

Although the technician probably has knowledge superior to CR's, basic respect for the client should have been observed. If you were feeling bad, and went to a physician for relief, you would rightly be very angry if the doctor thought to himself after examining you, "This patient has cancer. I will cut it out now," then proceeded to sedate you and operated then and there. You awaken some time later, maybe cancer-free, but feeling violated for not having any say in your treatment. Though removal of programs from your computer isn' t the same as surgery, the principle is the same. A patient or a customer likes to be consulted before something fairly major is set into motion. Out of respect for his client, the technician should have had a consultation with his client, where he would have explained why he thought removal of the programs was the right action, giving CR some choice.

Collapse -
by Sobitthen11 / January 27, 2012 10:18 AM PST

I would remove any application that had any spyware attached to it, if that involved this software he removed or not, I do not know...

But I would research on the bloatware the EU had purchased and if he was a novice and the software was creating a performance issue, I would have removed the application and installed, and taught him how to use, a freeware utility such as Ccleaner to remove garbage files and erroneous registry entries.

Numerous times I have encountered EUs running 2 anti-virus programs at the same time and have removed 1 without asking as well, if one was a free one, it would be the one to go, if both were paid for, I would call and ask... But if he felt his AV program was not performing well I would suggest to add something like paid version of Malwarebytes. 2 AV programs will really slow down a computer and will fight over monitoring and viruses will sneak past them.

If computer does have a performance issue, almost all of them do compared to what I use daily, I would search for running processes and typically find numerous programs running that do not need to be running, Quicktime-Real Player-outdated HP utilities and so forth and remove from start up to speed up their systems.

Allot of computers that have been coming in have been so badly infected that they have had to be backed up, wiped and reinstalled, when you perform a service at a flat fee you ask right off whether there would be an objection to a wipe or not, some tell you right off to wipe, others want to see if you can save it or not, the root-kits lately are like a cancer, their creators must be proud...

If any users are still using XP I create 2 accounts, if person's name was Mike, one would be called Super Mike, the admin account for making changes, and Internet Mike, the account to cruise the internet which is a limited account, if you do not have permission to change system files in the limited account, an attack from the internet is harder to perform, assuming that if you have Pro or above, you have an Admin password loaded...

I've been using computers since before the days of the PC, most of my knowledge is self taught, but I took courses to make it official... my 2 cents...

Collapse -
No, it wsn't his computer to play with
by falconflyer174 / January 27, 2012 10:23 AM PST

No, the tech should not have removed anything from the HDD without asking and explaining what and why.
You don't allow an auto repair tech do anything to your car without permission, and this is no different.
I wouldn't use any of those advertised utilities, and I would tell someone not to use one, but I would NOT without their specific permission, remove the software from another persons machine. It is a PERSONAL computer. belonging to that person.

Collapse -
removing programs without asking......
by condobloke / January 27, 2012 10:39 AM PST

The tech was hired to FIX.....(not to then turn around and ask your opinion). . He found MULTIPLE "fixit" programs.....which can cause similar dramas to multiple antivirus programs. SO, being the professional he is, he got rid of the source of almost certain problems.
Being "paid for" programs, you would still have access to another download of the program, and no doubt you would still have the "key" to activate the program.....but why would you?....if you go to the doctor and he removes some cancerous growth.....are you going to put it back ???

Collapse -
I think you kind of missed the point here...
by darrenforster99 / January 27, 2012 4:07 PM PST

Condobloke - I think you kind of missed the point here....

Collapse -
uninstalling without say so.
by gunnerds / January 27, 2012 11:00 AM PST

The tech had no right to remove any software for anyone computer without permission. C.R. paid for that software be it good or bad it is up to him what he wants in "HIS" computer. He was "Smart" enough to install the software so he can uninstall it.

Collapse -
Ya think???
by Wolfmont / January 27, 2012 11:17 AM PST

OH, or, gee... maybe the dentist pulling your tooth because you have a toothache?

Collapse -
Maybe it was ok
by ESUNintel / January 27, 2012 1:59 PM PST

I think it's fine. The tech was right in saying that such programs cause more issues than they solve. Should he have asked first? ...maybe; however, most people aren't tech knowledgable to give a straight yes or no answer, and asking/explaining the why to them is just a pain.

I'm in IT, and sadly most people seem to think all IT people are computer tech's; and in all honesty, I really hate fixing and troubleshooting computers. I do want to be nice to people though, so when they ask for help, I'm happy to assist. I do make it very clear that the only way I'm touching their system is if I can take what it think is the best action without taking responsibility on lost software or settings, most agree because they don't want to pay their local tech shop. Often times their issue is from running so much pointless software.

Collapse -
by darrenforster99 / January 27, 2012 3:53 PM PST

I don't think the PC tech should have removed any programs without asking the customer first.

Collapse -
Tech should have discussed it with the pc owner!
by bobber135 / January 27, 2012 4:02 PM PST

Since the pc owner PAID to have the software installed on the pc, it should have been discussed with the owner as to whether the software should just be tossed. Depending on what was wrong with the pc in the first place, too slow, keeps crashing, etc., there might be good reason to take out the installed software or some of it. But the tech should not have just taken it upon himself to make that decision.

Collapse -
Tech should have discussed it with the pc owner!
by pegpluscol / January 28, 2012 11:26 AM PST

Possibly, we missed the main reason why the technician removed those programs.
He obviously took much time to do that.
Did the customer have to pay for that time? Happy

Collapse -
Wrong way to go about it
by lawli56 / January 27, 2012 6:49 PM PST

I think the techician should have explained to the owner the problem and allowed him to make the decision as to which programs to remove or not. After all the owner paid for them and they were his to dispose according to the technicians advice as he saw fit. By deleting them without permission the tech puts himself in the position of having to compensate the owner if he's unhappy with what he has done. At the end of the day you can only advise people of the right thing to do, it's up to them whether they want to take that advice or not. that applies for most situations in life.

Collapse -
I generally leave the programs but disable all but the best
by bcw142 / January 27, 2012 9:14 PM PST

I do this often when asked to fix or tune up a system, I leave only one active program of each thing. I do sometimes delete programs if they are causing problems, but I mostly just disable them and advise the owner to pick one. You can't have multiple programs of the same time, like virus checkers without them fighting and causing problems or locking you out of the system entirely. Multiple toolbars is the most common problem I see, often stopping IE from running till I disable them.

Collapse -
Removal of extraneous programs.
by cvacinc93 / January 27, 2012 10:33 PM PST

C.R. took her PC to the technician to improve the performance of her PC. A competent technician will know what is essential and what is not. I trust my tech to do this for me without asking, because I tell him ahead of time what I want to keep! Communication with your tech is essential. You need to form a relationship and be confident in his/her abilities , before committing your PC to him/her.

Collapse -
Never remove a program without consent
by bbdec1 / January 27, 2012 10:53 PM PST

As a PC tech, I would never remove a paid program with out consent though i agree with the tech, they often do more damage than not. Still, I would ask my customer and strongly suggest my opinion and show proof if possible but in the end, it is their decision and since they paid for them it is not my place to remove them.

Collapse -
Depending on how well he knows tech
by rec108 / January 27, 2012 11:11 PM PST

If the guy knows and trust the tech to do the right thing then it would be ok to remove and then explain to him that the programs were part of his problem.
If he's never dealt with the tech before then I would expect a call explaining the problems and that removal was necessary. I don't know how much he paid the tech, but considering this is a old xp machine I would recommend
investing in a new pc.

Collapse -
Was the Tech right or wrong....Ask first!
by sumria / January 27, 2012 11:28 PM PST

<font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font>
<span style="'font-family:" "Arial","sans-serif";'><font size="3">It depends on
the contract between the two, has C.R. given the Tech status quo over the PC
without having to contact him, or is it, "Would you take a look and let me
know what is wrong." It seems to me that being C.R. had used this Tech
before that a little common courtesy would have fallen into place and the Tech
should have given him a call and said, "I think it best to remove these
programs, is that OK with you." Some programs such as Adobe Creative Suite
5, must be removed different from just going into the add/remove programs. In
addition, there are more problems if C.R. has lost his original disks for
programs such as Microsoft Office, or one for the printer installation? If I
was the Tech I would have taken the time to make a quick phone call to C.R. to
include him in on the process, even if C.R. did not know how to send an email,
it is still his computer and would seem a better business practice. On the
other hand, there are the programs that people download mindlessly from the
Internet, still I think a phone call is in order, explaining that these
programs can be harmful and are most likely the problem with his PC. </font>
<font size="3" face="Times New Roman">

Collapse -
by cycousp / January 28, 2012 12:09 AM PST

My computer my decision , technicians should ask first like any good mechanich repairing your car

Collapse -
Removing programs
by WAArnold / January 28, 2012 2:13 AM PST

Absolutely not. Worked on computers for MANY years and still do. I would never remove a client's software
without asking first. Let the Client know the reason you oppose having the software installed and let them make
the decision to remove. If they tell me to remove it, then, and only then, will I do so. I would also be interested
in knowing what criteria the person used for condemning the programs cited.

Collapse -
Well, that's honest.
by Hartiq / January 29, 2012 12:46 AM PST
In reply to: Removing programs

For a paid client or even a friend for whom I was doing a favour, the most I wold do is offer advice, even if the program was malware. It's his box, not mine. He might even have a valid reason for the duplication. He could be testinmg them to see which is worth keeping, for example. Binning his stuff might ruin the test and cost him a lot of wasted work.
I have more than one video player, for example, because I like Cyberlink, it came with the box, but there are things it won't open. Any tech removing it and leaving just VLC would get *sued*.
For my sister, who knows and trusts me, I might take redundant, duplicated "rubbish" off of the machine, but only if I decided they were causing issues, creating problems, ugly or something I disliked. Optimisers are a class I would seriously consider binning from her box. I have a lot more freedom to play with her box because she knows I would never do anything evil or bad or nasty. ("Rubbish" being anything *I* decide is rubbish, of course.) My sister knows a lot less than me and she freely admits this. I'm a professional, I do this for a living. Computers to her are mere tools. She knows I can do things she doesn't want to spend the time and effortt to learn how to do.
I do anything I want to on the wife's machine. I do ask her first, but she only encourages me to go ahead. She has a healthy respect for my abilities, trusts me totally and knows that if I break it *I* have to fix it.Oh, and she trusts me completely.
Anyone else, I would *always* ask. Thinking I know best is arrogant and stupid. Even when i do.

Collapse -
removing client's programs without so advising
by sfellman / January 28, 2012 12:54 PM PST

if for no other reason, to advise the client so he/she will not repeat doing the same thing in the future - good business practice and common courtesy

Collapse -
by jmbrownscc / January 28, 2012 2:22 PM PST

No programs, software, etc. should be removed without permission from the owner. The tech could have ask about removing items at the outset or could have called the owner and notified him what the tech had found and why he recommended the items be removed.
The programs remove, especially if the owner had paid for them, are his property and his call if he wants them left or removed. The tech places himself in a potentially liable position for those programs. The owner may have a reason (good or bad but it is his reason) for having the programs and for leaving them. If the tech advised removal and the customer refuses, the problems become that of the customer and not the tech.

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Help, my PC with Windows 10 won't shut down properly

Since upgrading to Windows 10 my computer won't shut down properly. I use the menu button shutdown and the screen goes blank, but the system does not fully shut down. The only way to get it to shut down is to hold the physical power button down till it shuts down. Any suggestions?