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Outlook Express is a program. It can't pick up the phone and give you a call! Find out why I think this is a scam.

I had someone from Outlook Express tell me that my computer needed a tune up and clean it out, which it I'm sure it does. It's about nine years old and has never been done. He gave me a price of $369.00, I said WOW. I just don't trust everyone, I do trust your opinion. What do you think about this?? I sure would appreciate your reply.

In this excerpt from Answercast #23, I wonder about a call that claims to be from Outlook Express. That's actually not possible or plausible.

Outlook Express called?

What I think about it is very simple: I would run away!

Not only is that a lot of money, but there's at least one sign that says to me that this is not what it claims to be:

  • That is there is no one from Outlook Express.

  • Outlook Express is a program; it's a program that's not even supported anymore that ran on Windows XP and was basically your email program.

  • It is not anything that someone would represent themselves as coming from!

Sounds like a scam

$369 seems extremely excessive. In a case like this, I would assume that this is a scam of some sort, that you're being overcharged. If there's any work to be done, it's probably not going to be very much.

My recommendation in cases like this is: if you're not having a problem, then don't do anything. Just keep using your machine.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

If you are having a problem, then fight the problem. Diagnose the problem: troubleshoot the problem.

Don't just accept the promises of someone who says they will clean up your machine without even understanding what kinds of problems; without even asking what kind of problems you are experiencing!

So that's my recommendation.

Computer clean up

On a nine-year-old machine, you're right; it probably could use some cleaning up.

The right way to clean that up after nine years, in my opinion, is to back up, reformat, and reinstall. It's certainly something that my Maintaining Windows XP book covers. But like I said, if you're not experiencing a problem...

  • I would not sign up for something like this;

  • I would be extra suspicious just because there is no such thing as an Outlook Express to come from;

  • $369 seems excessive!

Article C5422 - June 4, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

Dave Markley
June 5, 2012 8:41 AM

I agree 100% with LEO - RUN, RUN FAR AWAY!. First of all, from the info you provided, it appears this person would be doing this remotely. That means giving them 100% access to your personal info, files, etc., that may be in your PC. Second, that is just an outrageous price. I charge $40 in South Florida for a 'tune up/optimization. Granted, that is a little cheaper than most, I've never heard of charging more than $100 or so for a tune up. Not only wouldn't I recommend this person's service, but I would block them entirely from my email, etc.
You can download and run CCleaner for free and it probably will clean out anything this person could. Also, make sure to defragment your computer regularly - this is especially important with an older PC as it could extend your hard drive's life. Good luck!

June 5, 2012 9:14 AM

Someone from Outlook Express? I repeat the advice from Leo and Dave. RUN!!!
There are many place to find free advice about how to clean computers - from dust bunnies to malware to crapware - on the internet. Or 'treat a geek' like my family does.

Jack Hewes
June 5, 2012 10:54 AM

I have never heard of any place who calls to offer this service.
I can not believe any one ,who would charge $369.00 to clean and tune a computer ,even if it was a legit offer ,has _ _ _ _ for brains.
You can buy a new computer for that price.
I clean ,tune and with the owners consent ,install
programs like CCleaner ,this is very simple to use
for anyone,but very good at what it does.
Also will suggest up-grades,such as RAM ect.if needed.
I usually charge $20.00 for this simple service.
Leo,s answer is good and I would only add one thing SCREAM while RUNNING.

June 6, 2012 3:46 PM

A few years ago I read about a lawyer who was arrested for fraud. He advertised his firm as "Dewey, Cheetham, and Howe" (stolen from the Three Stooges). This sounds like a guy who is so cynical he brags about his scam as he commits it!
For that price you would be well advised to replace a nine-year- old mrachine.

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