I created this checklist to help people choose a good computer repair technician. This checklist has been copied many times on the Internet since I first wrote it back in 2005, but the information is still useful to anybody looking for a Computer Repair Technician. (if you wish to copy this, please link back to this page and don’t claim it as your own.)
In the Forty plus years I have worked as a Computer Technician I have seen many people get scammed by dishonest or unqualified Technicians. Please feel free to use this checklist to help insure that the person you do call is qualified to help you.
1. The Technician has a Business License:
A license shows that the technician is legal and less likely to be running any scams. If a “tech” is doing things “under the table” and cutting corners what will he cut with you and your repair? And what are you going to do if something goes wrong? There will be no license to pull or cancel and less chance your local government can help you.
2. A Professional Tech:
Make sure it’s how they make their living and not a side or 2nd job.
Being a Pro Technician is a full time job. Besides being busy doing repairs a good tech is spending much of their time getting educated on all the new software and hardware that is being release or updated at any given point.
If it’s just a side job or hobby they are not putting the time in to stay current and will they still be around when you really need them or something goes wrong with your repair?
3. Always get Written Warranties and Receipts on all Work Performed:
Make sure any guarantees are on paper or they are useless.
Ask for a copy of their warranty before doing any work.
And always make sure you get a receipt. Real people in business will be happy to provide written proof of their claims.
If your given the runaround on this point, run! Don’t walk away.
4. “Real World” Pricing:
You get what you pay for. We all know that. If somebody is offering service that seems dirt cheap find out why. Make sure you know about any extra charges that may come up. Such as travel time and “fuel use” or other items designed to pad your bill. Or rates that shoot up after you used the first block of “cheap” time. Lookout for “deals” that claim to give you free time or hardware.
Everything has to be paid for at some point and it’s the customer that always pays. Otherwise the company could not stay in business. No problem with looking for a good deal. Always look around. But keep in mind that your computer and software cost you a fair amount of money. Do you want to trust it to somebody that thinks their service has less value then a pizza delivered to your door?
5. Real Contact Information:
If a Tech does not list a local phone number and they use only email accounts such as yahoo or hotmail ask yourself why? Should they claim its to stop spam and telemarketers ask yourself if you want a technician that does not know how to use caller ID and a simple spam filter on their own systems working on yours.
Will you be able to find that anonymous somebody if something goes wrong with your repair? Real businesses list their phones, email and websites as they want to make it very easy for you to contact them. If you have to jump through a bunch of hoops to find the “tech” ask yourself why? If you had a real business would you hide from customers? Or shout from the rooftops “Here I am”!
While there are many Techs that are not certified it’s always a good sign when you can see that the Technician your thinking about using has taken the extra step and verified their knowledge through testing. Never be afraid to ask somebody your thinking about using if they are qualified.
As with most things in life nothing beats real world experience. Ask anybody your thinking about using how much real world computer repair experience they have. If they name just one or two places they have worked at or they are still in school or have less then 10 years experience then more often then not they will not have the level of experience you’ll need.
8. Other things to remember…
Don’t let yourself be rushed. Make sure you call around so you have an idea what is being offered by different businesses. Ask all of your questions and make sure you feel comfortable. If your being rushed or the Technician is too busy to help you then you need to call somebody else.
Does the Technician ask you questions? If they do and listen to what you have to say it’s a very good sign. If they also try to help you over the phone or email then its an even better sign. A real Technician will try and help you if they can before setting up a service call or having you come to their shop. Why you may ask? Good Techs are always in high demand and they will not want to waste their time on very simple fixes. As it takes away from their time to get the “big” jobs done. And they are secure enough that they don’t have to “squeez” every cent out of people.
You have spent lots of money on your computer and its software. It holds information that you use and need everyday and some of its data is priceless to you. Make sure your investment is secure by calling for professional computer help when you need it. And taking a little bit of time to make sure your hiring a real computer professional.