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Fix That Cellphone Yourself

Retailers, online sites give free advice on misbehaving gizmos

Technology-challenged? If the manufacturer of your acting-up gizmo doesn't have a free hotline, consider these no-cost options before paying for expert advice:

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  • Members of Costco and Sam's Club can get free, over-the-phone tech support for any television, computer, camera, digital music player or select other device purchased at the chains' stores or websites.
Many free online sites offer tech support to common problems

Members of Sam's Club and Costco can get free tech support over the phone. — Photo by Grant Symon/Getty Images

  • You bought elsewhere? For problems with your computer, TechGuy.org and 5starsupport.com offer online forums with solutions to common conundrums. You can post your own questions for response later from a volunteer specialist. The Geek Squad website offers gratis tutorials on troubleshooting and do-it-yourself fix-it advice on computers, music players and other devices.

  • And, of course, there's always the manufacturer's website, which may post product manuals and FAQs about common service issues. Free product manuals are also available at Retrevo.com, Manuals Online, Free Service Manuals and Users Manual Guide.

Sid Kirchheimer writes about consumer and health issues.

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