AG cracks down on Raleigh Geeks computer repair shops
Posted May 8, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — The state Attorney General's Office has filed suit against a group of Wake County computer repair shops that operate under the Raleigh Geeks name, accusing them of deceptive practices.
The lawsuit, which also names three of the owners of the chain as defendants, seeks a court order that the shops halt their services, cancel all contracts, turn over their financial records to state authorities and return customers' property. A hearing on a temporary restraining order is set for Friday.
The shops have been the subject of numerous consumer complaints and were the focus of a 5 on Your Side investigation last October.
There are four Raleigh Geeks stores in Wake County: Raleigh, Apex, Garner and Fuquay-Varina. The business is also known as Fuquay Computer Center, ProTech, Garner Geeks Computers and operated previously as Foster Computers and Caveman Computers.
Customers said they paid in advance for computers or repair services and then got computers back in pieces, without original parts or, in many cases, got nothing back at all.
Caitlin Boyce said she took her MacBook pro to a Raleigh Geeks on Glenwood Avenue and never again saw her computer or any refund.
"They have fought me or just ignored me for the most part every step of the way trying to get that back," Boyce said.
Kathy Russell said she purchased three new Hewlett-Packard computers from the Fuquay-Varina store but was given three used ones, including one that the Wake County Sheriff's Office confirmed was stolen.
"It's outrageous," Attorney General Roy Cooper said Thursday. "You need basic consumer fairness. That means doing what you say you are going to do, and if you can't, give people their money back."
Cooper said the lawsuit was a last resort, noting his office tried to work with Raleigh Geeks to resolve the consumer complaints.
"We've not seen appropriate response, so we are going to take action," he said.
The Garner location was padlocked on Thursday, and the landlord told 5 on Your Side that the owners failed to pay their rent. Meanwhile, the Glenwood Avenue store had a sign up that it was closed because of a power outage.
Kathleen Mayfield-Garcia had left an iPad at the Glenwood Avenue store for repair. She said someone answered the phone number at the Raleigh Geeks location in Fuquay-Varina and said the store is no longer affiliated with the Glenwood Avenue operation, and she couldn't get an answer at any of the other stores.
"It makes me very nervous that I'm not going to get my iPad back," Mayfield-Garcia said with a laugh. "So, I'm not sure what to do at this point."