PC Repair For Fun and Profit?
After reading an article in Wired about the Geek Squad I am astounded at what passes as genuine good customer service. I have seen more articles about “We’ll Come Fix Your PC at Home” services (maybe I should copyright that name) and what they charge. These services really do make me scratch my head.
I am one of the folks that people call when they aren’t sure what to do about their computers. By no means am I an expert, more of a well informed “noodler of technology”. The stuff I know, I usually have learned through trial and error (emphasis on error). I am glad to help friends who ask questions or need help. I am also quick to point out when I am in an area I have little experience in. Most of the people I help, usually pay me back by helping me in other areas. Sometimes they let me drink their liquor or beer (which is fine payment by me).
The “We’ll Come Fix Your PC at Home” seem to offer similar services, but with highly inflated fees. They do have overhead costs, but not that much. I wonder if this is really not just a “mugs game”.
Who really uses these services? Let’s assume small businesses use legitimate service providers in these areas. The folks that are using this are families and folks that do not know computers,. This makes them easy prey to these “Technology Buzzards”, who can do what they want to your system. You won’t know whether they caused the problem or not (much like a lot of Car Repair shops work, but let’s stay away from that subject for now).
How can consumers protect themselves from this techno-scurge? Find friends who know computers and ask them questions, most folks will gladly help out (but make sure they know what they are talking about too). Take courses at your local community college, if your PC is an important part of your life maybe you should know how it works? Only use repair services that have been recommended by people you respect and who you think know computers, better still ask the folks at work that support your computers about things, sometimes they are glad to help out too.
Don’t pay $249 to get someone to come to your house to do an Operating System Installation/Upgrade. If you really don’t want to do that, then Caveat Emptor is all I can tell you.