Picking a Good Computer Repair Company

Computer Repair Companies - they're not all equal

Computer Repair companies - They're not all equal

Find a computer repair company that is available when you need them.

If you always get voice mail, that’s not real encouraging – particularly if it’s a generic voice mail. If you don’t get a call BACK in a timely fashion – usually no more than an hour or so, that’s also not a great sign. If you’re a business customer and you need timely service, you probably don’t want to hear, “I’ll see if I can swing by after class (or work)” or something similar. Business computers require a business response – “We’ll be there in 1 hour.” Or two or whatever, but if your computer repair company or computer tech isn’t available regularly during YOUR business hours – how much good will they really be to you when you HAVE to have your computer fixed? If I’m going to be busy on a particular day, my voice mail reflects it and it ALWAYS gives the number for my tech manager to call if it’s an emergency. Your computer repair person should be available when you need them.

Ask About Pricing and Service Levels

All computer repair companies charge differently based on the service level, knowledge and experience that they bring to the table – more on service levels below.  There are hourly charges or flat fee rates usually.  Many computer repair companies don’t go with flat rate pricing. Flat rate can really sock it TO the computer repair company if it turns out badly.  Hourly can sometimes sock it to the CUSTOMER.  Some virus repairs can drag out hours. I personally use a flat fee for all offsite work and hourly if I have techs onsite.

Beware of falling into the “lowest price” trap. If you pay a company $50 to fix a computer, do you really think they’re going to be keen on spending the second hour, or the third, or the fourth to do the computer repair right if it requires it? That lowball price is going to be to get in, quickly fix the immediate problem and get out with your check in hand. We have a general idea how long most repairs and services will take us. We get a few calls from people like this – ” Well, my daughter’s boyfriend fixes computers and he said he’d do it for $50!” By all means, have HIM fix it.  If you trust him with your computer, then why are you calling Lizardwebs? You’ll get what you pay for.  Being a good computer technician requires training and experience and there IS a price associated with that knowledge – computer repairs are not a yard sale.  If you’re getting lowball pricing, you’re probably also getting lowball service.

Ask about the service level you’re getting for that pricing. Ask about the service that you’re going to GET for that price.  Some companies will actually JUST repair the issue and ignore other issues as you are only paying for the stated repair. We approach it as a whole and fix whatever we can find, as well as optimize it, update all software, etc while we have it.  Lizardwebs is neither the cheapest nor the most expensive either hourly or flat fee, but our goal is to provide the best value every time.

Talking to the Computer Technician

Talk to the tech – can you understand what is being said? Maybe it’s just me, but I really want to have  a grip on who is working on anything for me – be it my car or my computer. If you can’t understand what the computer repair tech is saying, you’re going to have  a problem at some point.  Most computer techs speak fluent geek – but that’s not always so helpful when you’re trying to figure out just what it is the tech is about to do to your computer.  Make sure they can adequately explain what and/or why they are doing something in a language you can understand.  You probably DON’T want to know the gory details as your tech will immediately go into “geek”, but you should be able to get a grasp of what’s about to happen to your computer.

Additionally, if I’m getting a repair done, any repair, I really want to be sure that the repair person knows as much as possible about the situation. If you don’t even speak to the tech doing the computer repair, how can you possibly be sure that your MP3s in the C:Recipes folder are going to be safe? Or that there’s a particular program that you rely on heavily that MUST work when all is done?  Most computers aren’t really setup the way Microsoft tells you that they should be setup. Each computer has it’s own “personality” for lack of a better word. Good techs rely HEAVILY on the info they get from the user to ensure the modifications are going to align with what the user needs – not what some big box computer drone feels like they “should” have. Your computer should NOT be an assembly line project.  Too many techs think that your computer should be like theirs – a hot rod – and most of the time, that isn’t even close to what you need or want.  I’ve noticed that tendency particularly in younger/less experienced computer techs. Talk to them directly before they work on your computer!

Are you being “sold” all the time?

Does your computer repair company seem to be trying to sell you new hardware or software every time you have a problem? If your computer repair company is always trying to sell you a new computer – bad sign.  Most people have pretty modest needs. Unless you’re an avid gamer, you probably don’t really need the hottest quad core 8 GB gaming machine.  Once your machine is over 3 years old, it’s time to think about it as an option, but if it’s any less than that – you might be getting taken for a ride. If your tech’s answer to everything is that you need to buy something more from them, there’s probably an issue – and a large markup involved.

I’ve followed behind a number of other computer companies through the years. TOO many times, I’ve heard the first company’s solution was to sell the customer the newest computer hardware or newest computer software as a way to resolve a problem. And TOO many times, the fix to the problem was no more than a 5 minute search away on the internet. Most computer problems really are configuration issues and don’t require new hardware or software. Hardware does fail and software does eventually meet the end of life or is incompatible with other software and needs updating, but when it seems to come up as a pat response to all of your problems?

As a side story, one of my techs called me not long ago. We had been called by a home computer user for a  laptop computer repair .  From what the customer said, another computer repair company had worked on the computer but was unable to fix the problem. (We DID fix the problem FYI) but the tech called to tell me that it looked as though the laptop had been taken apart with a hammer. Screws missing, parts not plugged in properly, cables dangling.  And of course, the first company’s solution? “You need to buy a new computer.”  Perhaps if they’d actually been focused on fixing the problem and not selling the customer another computer, there would have been a different outcome originally. Maybe they just lacked the knowledge to fix it – either way, beware.

When You FIND a Good Computer Repair Company

Honestly, as a tech, I think about the best thing you can do is find and treat your computer repair company the way you would a friend. Remember that they will hold a lot of your online life, and probably a lot of your REAL life, in their hands whenever they walk out that door with your computer or sit down in front of it.  When they work on your machine, they should have your best interests in mind and know what your needs are. They should KNOW that you need to run payroll tomorrow am and whatever is wrong needs to be fixed asap – you don’t have a week for them to get it fixed for you.  They can choose to put you at the top of the list and come running – or at the bottom. Your computer repair company can make or break you and your business.

Of course, I could be biased…

If you want to experience what it’s like to have your computer repair company look out for you – and treat you like a friend and not just a service call, see our site  at <a href=”http://lizardwebs.net/raleigh_business_computer_service.asp”>Lizardwebs</a> for more information. We service home computers and business computers in Clayton, Knightdale, Raleigh, and surrounding areas and always appreciate your business!

Author: Eric Erickson

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