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Old 24-11-2013, 20:32
Soundbox
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My aunt has had the TV repairer out to set the channels of her freeview equipped TV as they were not aligned to the same in the Radio Times. I'm not sure about this but it cost her 45. Whilst he was there he informed them that the TV remote control was out of date and sold them a new one for 25. The old one worked seemingly perfectly. Is this possible - to have a remote become outdated?

The people who came out were from an independent shop so either they are taking her money needlessly or this is a known issue.

I don't know the model of the TV but it is a smaller LCD model from about 2 years ago.
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Old 24-11-2013, 20:37
chrisjr
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My first inclination is they took at the very least 25 quid off her for absolutely no good reason. And the other 45 sounds a bit dubious.

How the hell a remote can become out of date is beyond me. I would be down their shop with that remote demanding my money back.Total rip off.
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Old 24-11-2013, 20:40
call100
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What a rip off. Re-ordering the channels in the guide is a fairly simple process....Then he compounds it by conning her into buying a new remote. A two year old remote certainly wouldn't have been 'out of date'. It either works or it doesn't........
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Old 25-11-2013, 12:42
Winston_1
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45 for a call out is quite reasonable and is similar to what other trades charge. The replacement remote issue however sounds like a rip off.
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Old 25-11-2013, 13:29
Soundbox
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Yes, as I thought - the remote was not needed.

My aunt is well over 100 years old and so not able to detect a fraudulent sale as well as she used to be able to.
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Old 25-11-2013, 13:49
gomezz
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A nearby family friend or neighbour would be able to do the job for nowt. And stock up their kitchen cupboard while they are at it.
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Old 25-11-2013, 14:18
evil c
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You could easily find out how much the remote costs via the net and personally I think the TV guy should be ashamed of himself for charging an old lady 45 for such a simple job. We should respect and honour our senior citizens and do small things like that gratis out of the goodness of our hearts.

It's totally despicable that if the old remote works perfectly she was charged for a new one. I would be contacting Trading Standards asap and quite probably a local newspaper and/or one of the TV broadcasters. They'd have a field day with that story.
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Old 25-11-2013, 14:27
abarthman
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45 sounds OK for a callout when you factor in the time and travel. They are a business, not a charity. I've paid far more than that for a washing-machine call out that just required a fuse changed.

25 for an updated remote sounds a bit off, though. Unless it was defective, I can't imagine why it would need replaced.

Someone in the family or a friendly neighbour should really be taking care of these sort of things for people after they reach a vulnerable age.
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Old 25-11-2013, 14:36
mac2708
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Someone in the family or a friendly neighbour should really be taking care of these sort of things for people after they reach a vulnerable age.
Sorry to ask, but was it not possible for the OP to do this small job for his aunt - or is he too far away or, more probably, not asked/didn't know?
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Old 25-11-2013, 14:47
evil c
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Given that the TV guy is a business I still think 45 is out of order. Sometimes, frequently in fact, older people don't like to bother neighbours or family with things like this. It breaks my heart when I read stories like this.

There was an old lady in her nineties next to me in my last place. Often she would need things like bulbs replacing, fuses changed, furniture moved, and she was forever messing up the TV channels because she couldn't get her head around the change to Freeview.

I would knock on her door nearly every day to see if there was anything that needed doing. I lost count of the number of times I had to re-order her TV channels and she became embarrassed and wouldn't tell me if she'd cocked it up. But I knew that she would do without the TV and sit alone and in silence, even though she depended on it, rather than make a fuss.

You don't realise the state of mind and the values that old people live by. It's exceedingly cruel to say it's a business not a charity. We all should find room in our lives to make a difference to a vulnerable person's quality of life if the chance arises and making a profit out of it is wrong.
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Old 25-11-2013, 15:16
call100
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45 for reordering the channels on a tv for 100+year old lady cannot be justified by anyone IMO, not to mention the remote rip off. Unfortunately the sort of people who cannot understand the concept are becoming more prevalent. Sorry state of affairs that will only come back and bite us all eventually.....
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Old 25-11-2013, 15:44
Nigel Goodwin
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Given that the TV guy is a business I still think 45 is out of order.
So you expect TV engineers to work for free?, and plumbers?, and electricians? - these people aren't social services or a charity.

Do YOU expect to go to work and not get paid because it's an old lady? - I presume not?.
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Old 25-11-2013, 15:59
stud u like
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What a con! It only takes a few minutes. I often retune televisions over the telephone for family and friends.
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Old 25-11-2013, 16:04
Soundbox
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Of course I would help if I lived nearer. She lives in a remote house and her daughter lives in with her but her mum is still 'boss' so deals with household matters. I don't really want to get into that side of things though as what I hear is quite upsetting to me.

I will see if I can press for a reimbursement for the remote but I must be careful not to be seen as interfering.
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Old 25-11-2013, 17:04
call100
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So you expect TV engineers to work for free?, and plumbers?, and electricians? - these people aren't social services or a charity.

Do YOU expect to go to work and not get paid because it's an old lady? - I presume not?.
Some do, I work for a charity in my spare time and we have a list of those that are willing to help out free of charge for the more vulnerable in our society. Oh yes, there are two TV engineers on the list, several electricians and plumbers, a carpenter, interior decorators and even a landscape gardener.
No, they are not social services, just people with a social conscience...sadly lacking in some quarters....
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Old 25-11-2013, 18:38
2Bdecided
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Let's be generous for a moment: what might have happened is that he sold her a remote with larger buttons and writing, having noticed she was pressing the wrong buttons on the existing one because they were too small. He saved her blushes by calling it an "updated" remote.


I think it would be decent and honest to charge a lower call-out fee in these circumstances. However, if 45 is the fee needed to buy+run the van, pay tax, and take a living wage, then it's fair to charge it. I'm sure, especially around DSO, any "aerial man" willing to do re-tunes for free could have filled their day with them - and suffered a dramatic cut in their income if they did them on a cost-only basis.


"evil c" is dead right with "You don't realise the state of mind and the values that old people live by." Sometimes it's very hard to know what to do for the best. Sometimes people won't take your help and prefer to pay someone else for it, out of pride and independence as much as anything.

Cheers,
David.
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Old 25-11-2013, 18:56
Orbitalzone
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2Bdecided makes a valid point. it's entirely possible they struggled with the fiddly TV remote and so the engineer supplied another simple one, maybe he made a trip back to the shop to get one and bring it back and set it up?

Is 45 a lot to retune a TV? well 15 years ago I charged 25 and didn't make much money doing that taking into account my (low) wages, vehicle costs, tax, insurance, business rates etc etc.

I'm not saying this isn't a potential rip off, it could well be but you have to consider all aspects and we only know one side of the story here.... if it was a 20 min job then probably it's expensive, if he drove 15 miles, spent an hour or more then it's probably not excessive.

Just because more and more of us can do these relatively simple tasks doesn't mean that others can and sadly that usually means paying for someone else to sort it out unless they have helpful neighbours/family etc.

Also I rememeber the number of times I'd go repair a TV or suchlike, leave a bill and then later the customer would phone and I might answer the phone (the customer unaware it was me that they saw) and they'd say the engineer was only there for 5 minutes and it was a loose wire or such like.... customers have a superb ability to forget the facts or get them somewhat muddled up whether intentional or otherwise.
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Old 25-11-2013, 20:11
dearmrman
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A company called Visiontech have a 40.00 call out charge, includes first 30 mins and then 15.00 for each additional 30 mins.

Sky have a 65.00 call out charge.

So 45.00 would seem about right for a call out charge.

The control I don't know, maybe not all the functions on the control worked, if it was a replacement official control for the TV, then 25.00 is probably about the right sort of price from a shop, internet would be cheaper.

I would imagine if it was a proper rip off, they might have tried it on with saying a new tv is needed. 70.00 in total for a rip off doesn't really seem worth it.
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Old 25-11-2013, 21:28
evil c
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So you expect TV engineers to work for free?, and plumbers?, and electricians? - these people aren't social services or a charity.

Do YOU expect to go to work and not get paid because it's an old lady? - I presume not?.
Actually I am now retired Nigel, but yes when I worked I often did things like that. Money isn't everything in my life. As long as I've got enough to get by, I'm happy. If I can help someone deserving for free then that's worth doing for the good of society.

Anyway it's a bit OTT to say I'm expecting tradesmen to work for free. Of course I'm not. But I would expect them to do the odd job for free or maybe just a tenner and especially a 100 year old lady.
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Old 25-11-2013, 21:38
Nigel Goodwin
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Actually I am now retired Nigel, but yes when I worked I often did things like that. Money isn't everything in my life. As long as I've got enough to get by, I'm happy. If I can help someone deserving for free then that's worth doing for the good of society.
I'm pleased to hear you earned enough to retire

You obviously either earned a LOT more than TV engineers, or didn't work for nothing very often


Anyway it's a bit OTT to say I'm expecting tradesmen to work for free. Of course I'm not. But I would expect them to do the odd job for free or maybe just a tenner and especially a 100 year old lady.
So you'd like him to get fired them? - he probably works for a company who the old lady asked to send an engineer out to do the job for her. She would have been informed of the charge before hand, and it's out of the hands of the engineer who called - unless you think HE should pay the 45 for her?.

I don't really see the relevance of '100 years old' either, she may very well be 100 years old and RICH - plenty of old folks are.
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Old 25-11-2013, 22:00
stylo
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So you'd like him to get fired them? - he probably works for a company who the old lady asked to send an engineer out to do the job for her. She would have been informed of the charge before hand, and it's out of the hands of the engineer who called - unless you think HE should pay the 45 for her?.
The same thing went through my mind...

If you're self-employed, you can make the decision yourself. Work for somebody else, and the privilege to 'make your own call' on any cost is probably zilch.

To the OP, I would suggest giving the repairman the benefit of the doubt at this stage, and then make discrete inquiries as to why a replacement remote may have been a good idea.

People ripping off old folk are the lowest of the low to me, and I can fully understand your concern, but at this stage I would chill-out a bit until you can find out a reason for the replacement
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Old 25-11-2013, 22:14
Soundbox
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I never jump to conclusions so will call the repairer. I was a repairer myself and have had a few failed remotes but never an out of date one. I'll report back with my findings.
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Old 25-11-2013, 22:40
chenks
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I never jump to conclusions so will call the repairer. I was a repairer myself and have had a few failed remotes but never an out of date one. I'll report back with my findings.
or how about you do nothing as it's not your issue.
does your aunt feel ripped off? the the daughter feel ripped off?

why isn't the daughter dealing with this if it's such an issue?
this doesn't really sound like your issue at all to be dealing with, and the repairer would be in the right to not deal with you at all as you aren't the customer.
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Old 26-11-2013, 10:01
Nigel Goodwin
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I never jump to conclusions so will call the repairer. I was a repairer myself and have had a few failed remotes but never an out of date one. I'll report back with my findings.
Exactly, as we don't know the circumstances, or what actually happened I've declined to comment - but on the details as presented (which might or might not be correct) the new remote doesn't sound very 'honest' at all.
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Old 26-11-2013, 11:01
corf
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45 is cheap tbh and by the sounds of it a satisfied customer.

My mum has a working remote as she calls it, I'd bin it personally, but she has more acceptable threshold of issues with equipment.
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