Anyone these days can throw together a website offering computer services, just because Joe Schmo offers computer services at $40 an hour, doesn't mean that you won't pay for lack of quality and experience in the near future. Be careful when selecting your computer technician/ consultant.
#1: If your computer is running fine now, it does not need any maintenance.
This is probably one of the biggest and most deadly misconceptions
that most computer users fall victim to. Computers are just like cars.
If you don’t change the oil, change the filter, rotate the tires, flush
the transmission, and perform other regular maintenance on your car, it
will eventually break down and cost you FAR MORE to repair than the cost
of the basic maintenance.
There are certain maintenance checks that need to be done daily (like
virus updates), weekly (like system backups), and monthly or quarterly
(like checking for and installing security patches and updates, disk
defrag, spyware detection and removal, checking the surge suppressor and
the integrity of the hard drive, and so on). Your computer repair
technician should be adamant that you have regular maintenance done on
your machine and should offer to set up automatic virus definition
updates(to avoid viruses), and automatic system backups OFF-SITE.
If your technician does not press you to let him do this for you, then RUN – don’t walk – out of their office. Lack
of system maintenance is the NUMBER ONE reason most people end up
losing valuable files and incurring heavy computer repair bills. If your
technician isn’t offering you these services, you need to find someone
else to support your computer or network for two reasons:
• Either they don’t know enough to make this recommendation, which is a sure sign they are horribly inexperienced, OR
• They recognize that they are profiting from your computer
problems and don’t want to recommend steps towards preventing you from
needing their help on an ongoing basis.
Either reason is a good one to get as far away from that person as possible!
#2: The maintenance tools provided in the Microsoft Operating System and software are all the maintenance you need.
Again, this is a terrible misconception. Microsoft does NOT include
ALL of the security features to protect your data from viruses, hackers,
and data loss or prevent your PC from running slowly.
Additionally, Microsoft (and other software vendors for that matter)
are constantly providing critical patches and updates to their software
to protect you from viruses and hackers. However, if you don’t know to
look for them, or if you don’t know how to install them properly, you
could easily end up getting burned.
#3: My nephew/neighbor’s kid/brother-in-law knows this computer stuff and can help me solve my problems.
If only this were true. Obviously, not all technicians are created
equal. Just because a person is good with computer applications (what we
call a power user) does NOT mean they know how to install a critical
security patch, detect and extract a deadly virus, or upgrade your
Most people look for a part time “guru” to help them save money, but
this often comes back to haunt them. Every day we get new customers who
walk into our shop needing us to clean up a mess that was caused by an
inexperienced neighbor, friend, or relative who was just trying to help.
If the person you have working on your machine does not do computer
repair and support for a living, there is a good chance they won’t have
the knowledge or experience to truly help you. Technology advances at
lightning speed and it takes constant learning and practice to master
it. If your part-time technician is not working on PCs and networks
every day, they probably only know enough to be dangerous.
#4: You can always get a better deal on computer software, equipment, or services by shopping online.
The key word here is “deal”. Sure you can always find a cheaper price
if you shop online, but you might actually end up getting the short end
of the stick. As with anything in life, you get what you pay for.
Companies simply cannot give you dirt cheap prices AND champagne
If you are getting a cheap bargain, chances are you will get very
little if NO service after the sale. If something goes wrong, or if you
just have a question, you might find out that the customer service line
only goes to a voice mail box that never gets checked, or that you have
to submit questions via e-mail that takes DAYS to return.
Before you buy ANY computer equipment, make sure you know the answers to these questions:
• How long have they been in business? The last thing you want to do
is buy a lemon of a computer from a fly-by-night organization. Thanks
to the Internet, ANYONE can set up a website and start selling computer
equipment, parts, and software. That is why you want to look for a
company that has been in business for 5 years or more.
• What is their guarantee or warranty on the equipment or services
you are buying? As a standard rule, they should offer one year
replacement warranty on all parts at a minimum.
• How do they handle returns and exchanges? Do you have to ship the
defective item back to them on your dime or do they arrange to have it
picked up? Do they send the replacement first? What is the guaranteed
turnaround time for an item? This is why many people prefer to buy all
equipment from a local vendor. If something goes wrong, you can drive to
the store, speak to a real person, and get an instant replacement in
• What type of help desk support do they offer? If you are like me,
you want to speak directly to a knowledgeable technician when you need
help. However, many companies only offer e-mail and web-based support,
and charge a hefty fee for anything outside of that. Which brings me to
the next question…
• Is your support free or charged by the minute? Make sure you are very clear on what support is free and what is fee-based.
• Where is their help desk and customer service office located? Many
of the big vendors are shipping their help desk support overseas to
save money. While this works out great for them, it can be incredibly
frustrating when you are trying to communicate with their customer
• Do YOU really know how to install, configure and troubleshoot this
new device? If not, you may want to consider hiring a qualified
technician to install it. Quite often, drivers and software can conflict
and cause problems and unless YOU have installed this device before, it
might be worth the small fee to get someone else to do it for you.
#5: All computer repair shops are created equal. Your best option will be the one who offers the lowest price.
As we stated a moment ago, you get what you pay for. A cheap price
usually means a cheap job. Really good technicians do NOT work cheap
because they are in high demand. The only technicians that will work
cheap are those that are just starting and they are grossly
With your valuable data, precious family photos, favorite music
files, and other irreplaceable documents at stake, do you REALLY want
the cheapest technician working on your machine?
We take the view that most people want value for money and simply
want the job done right. You will find that we are not the cheapest and
we do not apologize for that. You will also find that we are not the
most expensive. We simply feel that we should offer a good service at a
fair price. That’s why we have been able to stay in business for over 13
(this awesome list was provided by: http://computerheaven.com/2009/10/computer-trust/)