The Technology Channels Association (TCA) formerly the PCA has moved to strengthen its code of practice in the wake of a Sky News sting that caught one of its members red-handed.
London-based TCA member Revival Computers was uncovered hacking customers’ personal data and overcharging for routine repairs. The TCA immediately expelled the firm from its ranks an action it has taken only three times in its history.
But the body has now pledged to shore up its governing rules in response to the probe.
TCA chief executive Keith Warburton said he hoped the planned revisions would come into force by the end of the summer.
“Until now our code of practice has focused primarily on the relationship between the reseller and the customer and how the reseller should act if something goes wrong with that relationship,” he explained.
“As well as green issues, we are now looking at [rules relating to] safeguarding customer data.”
Sky News sent laptops with a loose memory chip to six different stores for repairs. Only one shop, Pix 4 in Shepherds Bush, correctly diagnosed the minor fault, put the chip back in place and did not charge.
Engineers at Revival attempted to charge £130 for an unnecessary new motherboard and were caught copying personal photos and password information onto a memory stick. PC World’s Brentford branch was among others to misdiagnose the problem.
“Pix 4’s actions are what we would expect from most of our members, because if you look after the customer, they will come back to you,” said Warburton.
Unlike the other five companies investigated, Pix 4 is a photographic shop and does not advertise itself as a computer repairs firm. Shop manager Steve John said he was shocked so many specialist IT resellers had been caught out.
“We do not do Macs so when we get Mac enquiries we pass them on to other places, but I’m now asking how safe this is,” he said.
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