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“Anything that’s wrong we’re going to catch”


Chirag Patel never knows what may come down the line in his job as a computer refurbisher. But he knows what to expect when work on the equipment — mostly top-of-the-line desktops and laptops from manufacturers such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo — is done.

“We make sure it’s equally good as a new one,” says Patel, who has worked for two years as a technician for Toronto-based CDI, a leading computer refurbisher.

“That’s why we’re on the line. anything that’s wrong we’re going to catch.”


Patel has earned an A+ certification from the computer technology industry association. He’s one of about 20 technicians on a long conveyer belt that makes up CDI’s production line. Workers can look at as many as 75 computer systems in a day, but the average is about 30 to 35.

CDI buys used machines in lots that average failure rates of about 30 percent. By the time Patel and his linemates put the PCs through two inspection cycles the rate drops to as low as 1.5 percent.

Customers typically report failure rates of 3 to 4 percent, as some problems subsequently arise from shipping or storage. Still, that’s a lower failure rate than most brand new equipment — and a point of pride for Patel.