About Us

The Best Price And Free Advice!

Here at CDO, we understand that every dollar you spend on technology, must in return make you money. CDO has a unique approach to Customer Service.

1) You will receive a pleasurable customer experience with friendly and knowledgeable CDO representatives. 2) You will be treated like a CDO Lifetime Customer with respect, honesty and integrity. 3) Complete Customer Satisfaction is CDO's goal.

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The Story of Computer Direct Outlet

The story of Computer Direct Outlet (CDO) began when our founder, John Rinehart, came to the Carolinas in 1997. He came to the Carolinas as a volunteer to help a local non profit organization build their computer and communication business network. One day he was shopping for computer and networking parts, but try as he might, he couldn't find a business in the Upstate or Western North Carolina that actually had the parts in stock, would sell them for a reasonable price, and had a knowledgeable technical staff. Rather than seeing it as a shortcoming of the region, he saw it as an opportunity to start a new business. John travelled to a number of computer stores in nearby states to see what other successful businesses were doing. In one location, a computer shop had a small counter area available for local "techies" to install simple parts before taking them home. What a great idea! John decided to include something like that in a new business as a way to educate and give back to the local community.

In January 1998, Computer Direct Outlet opened its doors. At that time, CDO was stuffed into one side of the building space we currently occupy. The techs, who were busily repairing and building computers, worked in the area that now holds the Customer Work Area (CWA). Further into the store, just over the back partition of that area, was our Returns desk, and next to that were 4 small stations setup with monitors, keyboards and mice. That was the CWA. More than just a "do-it-yourself" area, CDO wanted it to be a place where people could build their own PCs, and where folks that liked the idea of working on PCs themselves could get some assistance. The stations were available to anyone that wanted to use them, and if you had a question you simply stuck your head over the partition and asked one of the techs. They would either answer you from where they were or would come around to help you out. If you had a part that needed to be tested, the Returns person right behind you could test most parts at no cost.

In May 1998, we leased another 3000 square feet of space adjacent to CDO to provide ample room for our large parts stockroom, computer repair and build shop, sales floor and showroom, and finally the soon to be expanded CWA. Gary Underwood, who is now the CEO of the company, joined CDO in August, 1998. Dale Woodard, Tech Manager, and Shelia Rackley, Stock Manager, both joined CDO in 2000. Tad Dodds, Store Manager, came to CDO in 2002. Later in 2002, CDO added high-speed Internet to the CWA making it easier to get updates for software and track down missing drivers. With the help of free online virus scans and utilities, a lot more people were then able to keep their critical data while using the CWA. In 2005, we added our website, computerdirectoutlet.com, to have an ecommerce solution for our customers.

From a humble beginning, CDO now keeps well over 20,000 parts in stock, has some of the very best technical staff in this region, helps over 4700 people each year in the CWA, and averages over 100 in-store sales transactions per day. In 2011, CDO repaired more than 3100 desktop & laptop computers and sold over 600 new desktop & laptop computers. Our tech repair shop does data recovery and transfers, complete laptop repair including internal component replacement, builds and repairs new state-of-the-art computers as well as repairs legacy systems, and builds, installs, and maintains business servers and networks. Our newest service is the replacement of Touch Screens, LCDs & Batteries in IPhones, IPod Touch, Androids, Blackberry, HTC, and other Smart Phones.

We believe that by giving great support and advice, selling quality products at a great price, providing fantastic service, and "doing the right thing every time" will keep our customers coming back year after year. And it works! It's the same reason our sales people will sometimes tell you NOT to buy something from us if they don't think it's what you need, and are happy to tell you where to make the purchase if we don't have what you're looking for. As of 2012, after 14 years, we're still growing and grateful to have the opportunity to help those in our community while doing something we love to do.

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