Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Plum Choice at Circuit City

Via InformationWeek:

Circuit City Offers Remote PC Support
The retailer uses desktop-sharing software to provide support for home offices and small business.

Circuit City is using Plum Choice to provide this service. They started in 2001 and are based in Bedford, MA.

Somehow they have flown along and escaped my radar. I will keep it in mind the next time my daughter has a problem with her system at college.


  1. Anonymous10:32 AM

    Don't bother. Plum choice has proven to be incompetent. A friend of mine used them to avoid asking me for a favor. They spent a huge amount of time charging hundreds of dollars and didn't fix the SIMPLE problem. My friend finally called me in tears. It was a 5 minute fix. She had a corrupt TCP/IP stack. I removed and reinstalled it, then used NBTSTAT to flush the NETBIOS cache. Problem solved. This is a common and easily fixed problem showing a complete lack of knowlege on the technicians part. Worse than that, What kind of computer repair outfit operates without an escalation plan. When the problem wasn't found in the first 1/2 hour. They should have escalated it to another tech or a supervisor instead of keeping a warm body on the clock. If they did escalate and the entire shop failed this one, then they don't belong touching peoples computers.

  2. Anonymous1:06 PM

    There are a few companies out there that do this.. The best that I have come across have been ZoomFix.com and YourTechOnline.com. I have never used YourTechOnline, but my aunt has used ZoomFix.com and she said they really know their stuff! Im going to give ZoomFix a shot next time I get a problem

  3. Anonymous2:06 PM

    I have used Xpress computer solutions in the past for my biz. as well as my home they were great!

  4. Hey you can also try supportminds.com. They are way to cool and quick!

  5. to the first Anon:

    Plum Choice uses EXCLUSIVELY remote tech support. If her TCP/IP stack would have TRULY been corrupted, they would not have been able to remote in, and her call would have ended in 15 minutes. Since they were able to remote in, obviously it was a different issue, and while your fix may have, in a rould-a-bout manner, got it to work correctly, saying they are incompetent and that it was a simple "5-minute fix" really show you either aren't as good as a computer tech as you think you are, or you are VERY ARROGANT, and therefor a bad tech as well.

  6. Anonymous12:50 PM



  7. Anonymous2:51 PM

    I have used Plum choice before and it was a great experience. It was quick and easy, and although the price was a little high, it was much cheaper than it would have been to take my laptop to a store and get live support.

  8. Anonymous6:05 PM

    I have used Pum Choice and I consider myself ripped off. As soon as the tech called on the phone I asked if they had a diagnostic program they could run and I was told yes. I described eratic behavior with the cpu running programs on its own. Once into my computer he proceeded to delete unused programs for 45 minutes. Having solved nothing he started surfing some bulletin boards he thought I needed a new cpu fan whic I could install myself. He never ran the diagnostic.

    A $110 later no resolution and told to fix it myself. I took to a local repair man. He found a virus and a bunch of spyware. He removed them and installed a better virus protection system for under a hundred dollars. Moral of the story = Stay away from Plum Choice

  9. Evidently you must not have been using the Plum Choice I know. They are really great! Their press on their site www.plumchoice.com also proves it! Laptop & PC Magazine Editor's CHOice Awards---OPRAH even endorses them.

    I actually signed up for one of thei rmost expensive services and when the tech came on he asked me my problems & said I didn't need as much as I thought, and too kcare of my issue in about 40 minutes---I went and cooked dinner.

    I don't think they would have gotten the editor's choice awards from two great magazines or been in Oprah's list of best gifts if they were terrible.

  10. Anonymous12:50 AM

    If Plum Choice really knows there stuff, how come they charge you even if they cannot fix your computer? I work for another major remote computer repair service (I won't spam our name), but we charge a flat fee and always guarantee to fix the problem or you don't pay. If you go to chat with a rep at Plum Choice, ask them if you have to pay even if they can't fix it and they'll tell you that you are paying for the technician's time. How would one know they are getting the most experienced tech and not some tech on their first day?

    Oh, and being recommended by Oprah? Give me a break, that's called paying a P.R. company a lot of money.

  11. Anonymous4:11 AM

    I found your blog very interesting. You are talking here about Circuit City. I have found out everything about the company from http://www.pissedconsumer.com. Besides, I read consumer reports on the products and services of the company. I must say – very few positive reviews. Most people are not satisfied with the Circuit City, however it is one of the largest consumer electronics retailers in the United States.

  12. I find all this very interesting especially since I spoke to the founder of Plum Choice many years ago, shortly before he landed the Circuit City deal.

    I think part of the widely varying results are due to the business model. Plum's HQ is, or was then anyway, a single office and no techs worked from there. The entire support staff works from home using IP phones. No supervisors or 2nd level staff, they probably don't even have the capability to transfer a call. So you might get an experienced tech, or you may get a paper-MCSE (someone who took classes to pass the tests but really has no idea what they're doing).
    The business has ultra-low overhead so I guess loosing some customers is no big deal, personally I like having a great reputation. Oddly enough I was talking to him about a job, not as a support tech, but as his technology manager which in addition to insuring the necessary infrastructure I'd be managing the techs and insuring the quality of service. We didn't agree on some points so we both walked away....Hmmm maybe I should give him a call.

  13. Anonymous7:29 AM

    @42 - The technology used by PlumChoice is far beyond where it may have been a few years ago. PlumChoice has moved to a large office, and grown to several hundred employees. PlumChoice supervisors have the ability to monitor any call live, and can be transferred easily.
    Customer retention is very important and it's satisfaction rates are extremely high.
    Much has changed in the last few years, and the original blog comments should not be an indication of the current state of affairs.

  14. Anonymous9:00 PM

    I've been a fan of PlumChoice since 2005, but am growing disenchanted due to several missed appointments. I'm not giving up on them yet. More thoughts at LexicalLight.com.