Complaint 95150 Details

  • Date Occurred: 03/12/2014
  • Reported Damages: $175.00

The complaint is against an online dating profile

The complaint is a listing fraud posted on public forums or sites against an anonymous entity

The complaint is mobile text spam or smishing related against an anonymous entity

The company or person contact no longer exists

International boundaries

Alan has a website called MacFixLA. For $100, he told me he'd come to my apartment, restore my computer to factory settings and reinstall Snow Leopard. My brand new mac runs on OSX Lion, and I wanted to downgrade because a particular software that I enjoy doesn't communicate well with Lion.

Alan seemed like a nice guy. He restored my computer to factory settings in minutes, then attempted to reinstall Snow Leopard.

After 40 minutes of this, he informed me that brand new macs do not accept Snow Leopard. I googled this. He was correct. I should have researched beforehand, but I feel that, as a specialist, he should have known. He told me he would reinstall Lion.

I asked him what was fair, in terms of payment. He replied that full price was fair, even though he was unable to complete the requested task. I disagreed. He insisted. I asked him if he had a superior. He told me he was the business owner. Suddenly, a large man in my living room was demanding money from me. I was alone. I submitted.

Then, Lion wouldn't install. Or rather, it would...but for some reason it was going to take over 45 minutes. He told me my computer was unhealthy and that he was having difficulty (again, my computer is almost brand new). He was attempting to install both operating systems from burned discs labeled with Sharpie marker. He asked me if I had my install discs that came with my computer. I told him that I never received any (later, I learned that new iMacs do not come with install discs.)

He informed me that he would continue to charge by the minute, and that I already owed him $175 for his time. I told him to please email me a copy of Lion so that I could install it myself (which also requires a blank DVD). He complied and he gave me a blank disc and told me he'd email it to me. I went to an ATM with him (I didn't expect the extra $75), and paid him.

Dissatisfied, I called the Apple store at The Grove and told them what happened. They invited me to stop by. They had appointment open that day. I drove over to The Grove an hour later.

They confirmed that brand new iMacs do not accept Snow Leopard, but then told me that my computer was made right before that hardware change. They successfully restored my computer and installed Snow Leopard in less than fifteen minutes, for free.

Alan is a crook. I plan to announce to all my connections and online network that they should protect themselves from scams like this. I wanted to tell The Met so that no residents would be fooled by him. Lesson learned!

Below is the entire paper trail. I asked him to give me $75 back (though I felt a full refund was in order), and I'd consider the initial agreed upon $100 as a lesson learned. As you can see, he responded to my last warning email by calling me a pestilent child.

Wade Koch Videographer

[Personal Information Removed] | [Personal Information Removed]
[Personal Information Removed] | [Personal Information Removed]

First message:

Hey Alan,

I went to the Apple Store at The Grove. They confirmed to me that brand new iMacs with Lion pre-installed cannot take Snow Leopard. Then, it got weirder. It turns out my computer is not one of those brand new iMacs, and that it actually can take Snow Leopard. I was in and out in fifteen minutes, and now my iMac is running Snow Leopard perfectly.

I essentially paid $175 for nothing. I could have restored my iMac in five minutes. The Grove did that and reinstalled Snow Leopard for free. They told me it was possible that you do not have the correct discs needed to install Snow Leopard on a new (or newer) iMac. Regardless, $175 for a blank DVD and restoring an iMac to factory settings is not okay.

I am very dissatisfied. I am sorry that this cost two hours of your time, but the bottom line is that you did not provide me a service. I want you to consider reimbursing me for $75. I will consider the initial $100 a lesson learned.

I am not trying to be combative, just straightforward. As an editor and businessman, I often need computer work, and you are potentially losing a future customer. Also, needless to say, I have several well-known friends and connections in LA, plus an online network, and I will be glad to announce what I paid to have you leave me without an operating system for $175. If I speak to The Met about this, they will no longer allow you in the building.

I am not trying to threaten you. You seemed like a nice guy, and I empathize with the loss of two hours. But it is important for you to understand the reality of this transaction.

How much gas did it take you to get to Flower Street? How much is your time worth if you fail to provide a service? Please stop and consider this, and do the right thing.

Most Truly,

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <>
Date: Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 9:28 PM
Subject: Re: Last Warning
To: Wade Koch [Personal Information Removed]

Hello Wade

You wrote:
I'm giving you one last warning. If you do not respond to me, I'm going to report our transaction to Consumer Fraud Reporting, I'm going to inform The Met to never let you in again, I'm going to give a notice to The Grove, and I'm going to announce to my online network that I paid $175 to be left without an operating system.

OK, as you ask, I'll respond to you so you do not report our transaction to Consumer Fraud Reporting, inform The Met to never let me in again, give a notice to The Grove, and announce to your online network that you paid $175 to be left without an operating system.

You have no cause or right to threaten me or dare ask me for ANY money back. The fact is that you actually owe ME money.

You are acting like a petulant child, so let me straighten you out:
After we first spoke on the phone, you were fully aware of my rates and you engaged me to perform work on your computer because it was not working properly.
Although you did not know the cause of the problems, you believed it to be "corrupted files" that one of your friends installed on it a while back.

You wanted me to "roll-back" the machine's Operating System from Lion OSX 10.7 to Snow Leopard OSX 10.6.

While running normal diagnostic protocols, I found your machine to be exhibiting unusual crashes and sluggish behavior, which, in a diagnostic hierarchy, could mean there might either something possibly wrong with the Operating System, the hard drive or the logic board; I would need to keep trying to ascertain the root cause through testing.

There was also, as you told me, a problem with one of the Firewire 800 port, which you often used with different external hard drives for your work. As this port is part of the logic board, if that was even slightly broken (a single connector wire, solder points, etc) that may also be contributing to an underlying cause of malfunctions; another clue I had to keep in mind as I checked the machine.

After I ran a perfunctory testing of the machine's performance, at your request, I wiped out the hard drive to prepare for the re-installation of Snow Leopard OS 10.6.

This installation failed part way through.
I then tried the reinstallation again, with the same results.
This is symptomatic of a myriad of reasons, but instead of ascertaining what the problem was, you instructed me to instead reinstall Lion OS 10.7 (not because we had learned anything, but you were worried about how long it was taking and the costs being incurred).

Although it is basic common sense to back up your data, you had not done this until I insisted you get an external hard drive and make at least 2 Time Machine backups before our appointment.
Luckily you did this, so after the Lion 10.7 reinstallation, you would easily be able to restore all your data.

Unfortunately, you did not even have your own iMac's OS install discs.

Luckily, I had my own copy of the Lion OS on a disc (which is unusual, as Lion is primarily an online download only).
Although Lion costs $30.00, to help you out, I agreed to install it on your machine for free.

Three-quarters of the way through the 10.7 re-install, you decided you wanted to do the Lion re-install yourself and requested I quit the reinstallation that was already in progress because you were worried about the time it was taking and the costs already incurred.

We discussed and you were aware that this would leave your machine with no Operating System.

So, obeying your request, I quit the OS reinstallation, leaving your machine without an Operating System.

Since you did not even have your own machine's OS install discs, you now wanted me to give you a blank DVD (for free) so you could burn Lion onto that disc and then do the re-install yourself.

Although you are not my friend or a member of my family and I owe you nothing, to help you out, I gave you a disc.

Then you wanted to burn a copy of my Lion OS onto that disc (again, for free).

As I would have had to sit there while my Lion OS disc was copied, you then realized you did not want to pay me to stay, so you wanted me to send to you, over the internet, a Disk Image (.dmg) file of the Lion disc (again, for free).

Although you are not my friend or a member of my family and I owe you nothing, to help you out, I agreed to do it.

You gave me a YouSendIt account to use and assured me it would work with a file the size of the Lion OS .dmg.
(Later that night, I attempted to send it to you, but the file transfer failed, because the fact is that YouSendIt does NOT work with files as big as the Lion OS.dmg).

As I was ready to leave your home, although you already knew and agreed to my rates, you decided you did not want to pay me the full amount you owed me.

So, to help you out once again, I lowered the amount that was due to me.

Even though I did not charge you the industry-standard travel time (1.5 hours extra), to help you out.
Even though I was ready to install Lion for free, to help you out.
Even though I gave you a blank DVD, to help you out.
Even though, on my own time, I tried to send you the Lion file over the internet, to help you out.

And then, you were obviously satisfied and accepting of the work I performed, because you paid me and I left.

Then you start leaving me messages and writing to tell me "you found out" your iMac CANNOT take Snow Leopard, so that means I don't know what I am doing, etc.
But, lo and behold... amazingly, they tell you at the Apple Store that in fact your machine CAN take Snow Leopard. So I guess I DO know what I am talking about after all.

So stop crying and let's review:
1. You were aware of, and agreed to, my rates and engaged me to work on your iMac.

2. Your machine was exhibiting unusual behavior of unknown cause.

3 During the course of me trying to fix it, you instructed me to stop in the midst of an Operating System reinstallation because you decided you would reinstall Lion on your own, even though we discussed and you were aware that this would leave your machine with no Operating System.

4. You are not my friend or a member of my family, yet I tried to help you in ways above and beyond what I had to, by giving you a blank DVD, agreeing to install Lion for free, agreeing to give you a copy of Lion for free, and by agreeing to send it to you after-hours, which, although you insisted the file transfer would work, did not work because of your ignorance.

5. At the end of the work I performed for you, you were obviously satisfied and accepting of the work performed, because you paid me.

Please stop threatening me. It is laughable.

Goodbye, and stop pestering me.

Most truly,

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Business Profile Summary

  • MaxFixLA logo

Company Statistics

  • Complaint Against MaxFixLA
  • Complaints Filed: 1
  • Reported Damages: $175.00
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