Alamogordo tech repair company sued by local customers

Michael Bies, an Alamogordo resident is furious after he said his grandmother, Gloria Bies, was taken advantage of by David Peña, owner of Alamogordo Technology Solutions, a technology store that sells and repairs devices.

Gloria Bies said she paid for a laptop on Sept. 14, 2023, to be repaired but never received it. She said shortly after she asked her grandson for help because he has a background with technology software, but receiving the laptop back or even receiving a refund, was nearly impossible.

Michael Bies said it took six months for Alamogordo Technology Solutions to even begin looking at the laptop.

“At one point I told him I needed my computer, but he told me it was not his problem,” Gloria Bies said. “I guess the second time they tried to process all my old data onto a second computer to loan me, but it didn’t work out.”

She said when her grandson made public posts on Facebook they became aware of other customer issues with the company.

“We did not want to take it to court because we had asked a few people about their experiences with the shop and how it took forever to get something done,” Michael Bies said. “One person we spoke to by the name of Silvia Moore had a similar situation. It shouldn’t be this common in such a small town.”

Bies said after the post he went into the shop to retrieve the laptop and when he received it, nothing had been done to it.

“After nearly a year of having the laptop how was nothing done? My grandmother paid nearly $1,500 and not even a penny back,” he said.

Moore and Bies believe Alamogordo Technology Solutions should be shut down but Peña argues some customers just don’t understand the process and patience it takes to fix their devices.

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Moore said she purchased a new laptop for her granddaughter from Alamogordo Technology Solutions on July 26, 2023, a purchase that ignited a civil complaint between the two parties.

“It was about a week before school started and I went in to check on the status because we hadn’t received it yet or any updates. When I went into the store, he (Peña) told me it was being delivered and en route,” Moore said. “So, school started and nothing again, so I went again and asked for an update and he told me it was on back order. I said to him, ‘how could it be on back order if it was on the delivery truck? How is it on back order?'”

She said he told her it would take another week after that. Moore said shortly after she decided to take him to court.

Moore filed a civil lawsuit in the Otero County Magistrate Court that was dismissed on Dec. 15, 2023, after Peña signed an agreement stating he would have the laptop ready no later than Jan. 5, 2024, according to the Otero County Magistrate court.

Moore said instead of receiving the new Lenovo she had purchased, she received a used HP. Following that she decided to drop the situation altogether.

Julian Scott, an airman from Holloman Air Force Base said he had the same issue with Peña in 2021. He said he wound up asking for his computer back so he would not have to not deal with further legal issues.

“When I took my computer to his shop, I had only been here for about two months. I wasn’t familiar with the city and had to look his business up and find a place,” Scott said. “My battery was starting to drain faster than usual so it was time for a battery replacement.”

Scott said he paid $220 over the phone but did not receive an emailed receipt immediately. He said Peña reassured him the battery would take two to three days to arrive.

“I called two days after I dropped it off to check on the status because I hadn’t heard anything,” he said. “He told me they would have it in on Monday, two days later. So, I call on Monday and he said they would have it Tuesday, I call Tuesday and he said they would have it on Wednesday, and I started to notice a pattern.”

Scott said he gave Peña the benefit of the doubt because he sounded like a “cool dude” over the phone but after not receiving a receipt right away and not having the battery by the date promised, he started to get worried.

He said after 10 days of waiting he went in person and asked for an update but Peña told him the battery was still on its way.

“After he told me that, I just told him to give me my money back and he told me they couldn’t do that because of store policy. I told him that they never even emailed me a receipt the day I paid over the phone, so he printed me one there in person, but I never signed the receipt,” Scott said.

Scott said Peña told him it would be here any day now and asked Scott to wait. He said he did.

“I gave him another chance and said to myself, ‘okay, he said it’s coming so I’ll just wait,'” he said. “After waiting and not hearing anything back I called, and he told me he was not in the shop and was around the corner, as I was parked outside his shop staring at him speaking to me on the phone.”

After Scott confronted Peña, he said he asked for his money back or the part he originally paid for and he received an aftermarket part he was not promised.

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Isaac Kincaid has a civil case pending against Peña and Alamogordo Technology Solutions.

“I was in training in California and spilled liquids on my computer so when I got here to Alamogordo. I brought it into him because he is pretty much the only guy in town who does these repairs. I’m not a computer repair guy but I knew it would need pretty extensive repairs if it was salvageable at all,” Kincaid said.

He said he brought in his computer and Peña “sounded super optimistic” that he could get the job done.

“I paid a nonrefundable $200 diagnostics fee so I knew that wouldn’t be refundable, that’s fine,” he said.

Kincaid said shortly after he took his computer Peña told him he would have to send it to a third-party vendor for repairs that would cost him nearly $400.

“I told him I wouldn’t do that because from what I know from electronics I didn’t think it could get fixed. I spilled cranberry juice on it and sugar is conductive so when you spill something conductive on an open circuit it fries stuff. I told him I would only do it if I could get a guarantee that I would get my money back,” Kincaid said.

He said Peña agreed but that the receipt said otherwise.

“It was kind of an oxymoron because on the receipt it says nonrefundable but where I signed it said if the product could not be fixed there would be a refund of $350,” he said.

He said he never received any updates after multiple calls. He would call twice a day for over a year.

“I brought it in June of 2022, and I don’t get an update until Dec. of 2022 to Jan. of 2023. I’m a people person so I try and remain optimistic,” Kincaid said.

Kincaid said he was fed up and decided to go back to the business to ask for his money back and his computer. Kincaid said he was only given his computer back with no refund and missing parts so he took Peña to court.

The case is still open. A pretrial was scheduled for Feb. 18 of this year but Peña failed to show.

Kincaid said he must now reschedule a pretrial date but is having trouble doing so as he is an active-duty airmen. He said he must leave for training in two weeks and has no clue how long it will be. Once he returns, he said he may get stationed elsewhere losing out on his money and parts to his computer.

“It’s just such an inconvenience because I can get sent somewhere else and now, I have to worry about all this,” he said. “What am I supposed to do if that happens?”

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The Better Business Bureau website gives Alamogordo Technology Solutions an F rating. It lists seven complaints in the last seven months against the company, according to the site. Complaints range from lack of transparency and communication on dates products will be ready to refunds and money allegedly being mishandled.

“On 08/18/2023 this business’s accreditation in the BBB was revoked by the BBB’s Board of Directors due to failure by the business to adhere to the BBB requirement that Accredited Businesses meet and abide by the following standards,” according to the website.

In the case of Alamogordo Technology Solutions, they failed to provide a response that “is professional, addresses all significant issues raised by the complainant, includes appropriate evidence and documents supporting the business’ position, and explains why any relief sought by the complainant cannot or should not be granted,” all of which is a necessity of any business.

The Better Business Bureau is a nonprofit founded in the early 1900s for consumers to find businesses they can trust. The Better Business Bureau’s reviews can impact your business largely based on your response, or lack of response, to reviews.

Alamogordo City Clerk Rachel Hughs said there is no business registered with the City of Alamogordo by the name of Alamogordo Technology Solutions.

“There have been complaints regarding this business, and we referred the people to the Alamogordo Police Department,” Hughs said.

The Alamogordo Daily News did find Alamogordo Technology Solutions listed as a domestic limited liability company in good standing with the New Mexico Secretary of State’s office.

Peña addresses upset clients and refund policies

Peña said he takes pride in his business and is hurt to find that residents in the community are unhappy with Alamogordo Technology Solutions.

He said some of the upset clients have already settled their differences, but others may not understand the steps to repairing devices causing a long saga for both the company and client.

“For us, I think at the end of the day, there is going to be customer discrepancies,” he said. “Like I explain to my customers, we’re in the tech business so it’s a little bit tough when we had a no refund policy but that policy was in effect due to parts that were sold and came back broken or had phones sold that came back broken. Now when we realize that these policies started becoming an issue, we decided to change the policy.”

Peña said the new policy covers customers refunds on a case-by-case basis. The previous policy on customer receipts read: “All sales including payments are final. Payment is due at time of service. Repairs will not begin until payment is received. There will be no refunds for any reason after device has been accepted for repair by Alamogordo Technology Solutions. Signature represents complete and full understanding of the terms and conditions listed above.”

He said instead of having one policy for every customer, he explains the policy depending on the customer’s needs.

“Unfortunately, there are some clients that they just weren’t happy with what the solution was just like with any business. We do our best from a business perspective to try and resolve every issue,” he said. “There are some customers that unfortunately some of those claims were unfounded and we have evidence to the contrary. We just state the facts, we go by our agreements that were signed.”

Peña said refunds take longer than usual to process, so if he’s able to resolve those in store he will.

He said in some cases it may not be an issue with his store directly but with a third-party vendor. He also said he was the only one in store who works on the devices.

“We had shipping delays for a long time, one of our vendors got bought out by another company,” he said. “We were unaware that the sale had happened in the background and all of the equipment was placed on back order.”

Peña said in instances like this, he tries to get a customer an alternative device until their product is ready.

He said the delays are not intentional and unfortunately, they do happen. He said the goal is to always deliver on time but when dealing with larger companies sometimes it’s hard for them to do that.

“We’ve always offered or always made the attempt to rectify whatever situation there was,” Peña said. “Every time that this has happened, we have made every attempt available to rectify it.”

Juan Corral can be reached at JCorral@gannett.com or on X, formerly Twitter at @Juan36Corr.


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