This Is Framingham

This Is Framingham
Life in the ‘ham

Nightmare at Marathon Computer

November 20th, 2008

To make a long story short, (well not that short) I was looking for a place to fix my boss’s laptop.  Marathon Computer (at 693 Cochituate Road/route 30) was recommended by two people I contacted from the Framingham Wiki.  So I brought it down there and while I’m waiting, one of the guys there named Sun (the place is run by Mark and Sun) is dealing with an unhappy customer in front of me. 
It seemed that this woman was upset because her computer keeps crashing even though it was supposed to be fixed and lost her son’s report for school while he was working on it.  I have to say I wasn’t too impressed with how Sun handled her, telling her she’d have to leave if she didn’t “keep it down”.  But again, since these guys were recommended and I did not know the history of this situation, I thought it was probably a fluke thing and sometimes people may not have customer skills but know how to fix a computer, so I left the laptop with Mark who seemed okay although he tried to charge me $75 to drop it off when Sun told me over the phone it would be $45.  I’m not sure why they have different rates but Mark said ok to the $45.

I called to get an update later that day and they said it would be $275 to fix the problem (which was that the computer wouldn’t charge) and it would be 2 days for the part to arrive.  Three days went by and I called to check, no answer.  I called a few minutes later, no answer.  Two more times, no answer and then sent them an email asking for an update – no response.  I called the next day and after a few tries (no one answered) I finally got Mark who gave the phone to Sun and he said I could pick it up.  I picked it up and brought it to work only to find that the laptop still doesn’t charge and now the keyboard doesn’t work either.(!)  My boss brought it back to them and dropped it off.  I called the next day for an update and Sun said he had to order a new adaptor and the keyboard works fine.  He said it would be 2 days for the new adaptor. 

As usual, these guys don’t pick up the phone to let me know what’s going on so I called 3 days later and after 5 tries of no one answering, Sun picked up and told me the laptop powered ok but the keyboard only works sometimes.  I told him I can’t pick it up unless it’s working normal as it was the way I dropped it off and then he got really rude and condescending and said that’s not his problem because it’s not what I brought it in for.  I said it was working fine before I brought it to him and now it’s not and I have to bring my boss’ computer back to him broken.  He just kept saying said “it’s your keyboard” and that he has spent too much time and money on it already as he ordered an extra adapter (although he gave it back to us not fixed for what I brought it in for) so he’s not spending anymore time or money on it.  I told I really can’t bring it back to work with it not working the way it was before and he kept saying “Hey, I don’t need this headache, okay?” and said he is taking out what he put in and will give a refund because again, HE doesn’t need this headache (like I did?) and then hung up on me. 

I would urge everyone to run from Marathon Computer.   They’re so rude and unprofessional.  Perhaps they should not deal with the “headache” of running a business and being responsible for breaking people’s computers.


  1. That’s horrible. At MPOW, we recommend Data Doctors on Rt. 9 to everyone who has hardware problems with their personal computers (we do fix work-owned computers, and the folks who do that are the ones who rec. Data Doctors.) I’ve heard nothing but good about them.

    Comment by Megan November 20, 2008 @ 9:42 pm

  2. Yikes! So glad I read this before ever using them. They are less than a mile from my workplace and we’ve considered bringing stuff there before. Sounds like they’ll be out of business pretty soon with that reputation.

    Comment by Gudlyf November 20, 2008 @ 10:37 pm

  3. That’s terrible! PC Healthstop on Route 9 is a good, reputable computer shop – it’s been in business under this name and a prior one forever. It’s just after Uncle Cheungs and right in front of Bronzetti’s. Ask for Gary – you won’t be sorry.

    Comment by Mcicir November 21, 2008 @ 6:07 pm

  4. Yikes – I’ve never been in there but I’ve driven by there a million times and wondered about them. If hardware issues aren’t still covered under warranty I typically recommend just getting new hardware anyway…

    Comment by Bill Greenberg - Good Computer Guy November 21, 2008 @ 7:07 pm

  5. OK, so what happened to my last comment…? I mentioned that I’ve been by there a million times but never been in – always wondered about them. If a hardware problem isn’t covered under warranty I typically recommend just buying new hardware though…

    Comment by Bill Greenberg - Good Computer Guy November 21, 2008 @ 7:11 pm

  6. I was just saying to my husband we need to get the other computer up and running for our teenager to use as it just needs a tune up. I know where I won’t be bringing it!! Thanks for the update. This is a great sight.

    Comment by Carol November 21, 2008 @ 8:52 pm

  7. Thanks for posting about your experience. Hopefully it will save somebody else from suffering a similar fate. Have you thought about writing the Better Business Bureau?

    Comment by ptcakes November 22, 2008 @ 6:17 am

  8. I’m sorry you had to deal with those jerks, Michelle. I think you’d be doing everyone on Framcom a favor if you’d send an email to the list about this awful experience. Chances are, it will start a conversation on the board and maybe something good will come of it (like maybe the store guys will be contacted and invited into the discussion). I DON’T WANT SCUMBAGS DOING BUSINESS IN FRAMINGHAM. They hurt everyone.

    Sorry for your trouble.

    Comment by Downtowner November 22, 2008 @ 8:45 am

  9. I’ve been thinking of starting an evening business doing pc house calls to fix peoples computer issues. I live in Framingham. I wonder how many of you would be interested in such a service? I’ve been thinking of putting together some market research but am a little intimidated from the aspect of starting up my own business.

    Comment by Osiris December 1, 2008 @ 1:58 pm

  10. Hey Osiris, do you need another man to help cover more ground? If you do, please reply here. I would love to get into the business to and get the experience I need to be a network/system admin one day.

    And thanks Michelle for this post, you’re really helping out the community at large.

    Comment by Mark December 2, 2008 @ 9:46 pm

  11. Hi Mark,

    Well, if i ever get it off the ground I’ll let you know! I’ve never started a business before, so its all new to me, and I still have a day job, so its slow going right now.
    The benefit of such a business, however, is theres very little overhead or startup costs, since there is no office to rent.
    I’m thinking to start with things that don’t require hardware, like pc-tuneups, setting up internet security, etc… and see how it goes from there.

    Comment by Osiris December 3, 2008 @ 11:41 am

  12. Hi again Osiris!

    I hear you. I live in a place where rent is cheap and that some people run their business out of it. It’s kind of an idea of mine to take advantage and cut overhead as well. But I hear you, at out small and then aim bigger. Sounds good!

    Not only that, I would like to work for someone who has integrity. I know it doesn’t keep people warm and sane, but it does help me sleep at night knowing people get good service and new parts without being charged a whole lot.

    Just some thoughts…

    Please, e-mail me at mark.kennedyjr AT if you would like to discuss this further. I know I would like to start ASAP and eventually get rid of my day job. 😀

    Comment by Mark December 4, 2008 @ 10:12 am

  13. Hi, guys – this obviously isn’t quite the place for this discussion, but welcome to my world. Fixing computers/networking/etc for homes and small businesses is what I do for a living…

    Comment by Bill Greenberg - Good Computer Guy December 5, 2008 @ 12:42 pm

  14. Sorry that you had to endure that, M.

    I doubt that Sun has any stake in that business, not that that justifies the horrific service and attitude.

    Hit them where it hurts; people do sometimes consult the BBB and local chambers of commerce before doing business with companies.

    Comment by nostalgio December 16, 2008 @ 6:58 pm

  15. Hi all,

    I live and work in Framingham and have been providing computer, network, and technology services to homes and small businesses in the area for almost 5 years. I regularly hear horror stories about several of the local computer shops, some related to incompetence, some to outrageous prices, and some to outright lies. I recommend always doing research up-front to find reputable businesses. Ask your friends and acquaintances. Services like Angie’s List can also be a great resource.

    Kind regards, Jim

    Comment by Jim - Geek Handyman August 2, 2009 @ 5:54 pm

  16. Hello,
    As a part-time IT guy and fulltime geek I find that all the PC service shops outside of the Metro Boston area seem to be lacking in one way or another. Most of these stores have very limited inventory and build computer systems that are overpriced. This post isn’t to bash any one particular shop but to open your mind to online alternatives. I find that I save a minimum of $100 on a low-end computer system by shopping online and can put that savings toward support for a real IT person who truly knows the ins and outs of hardware and software. If you are looking to purchase a computer and have any questions, or are in need of any support feel free to drop me a line!

    Comment by Alec October 1, 2010 @ 6:05 pm

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