Rates vary all around the country but in general you should be paying between $60 and $75 an hour for most repairs plus any parts needed to fix your system. Too low and in many cases your getting the “bait” rate and your charged lots of “add ons” for extra services. Too high and you have somebody that does not know the going rate.
Question # 2: What happens when somebody comes to fix my computer or I drop it off for repair?
The first thing that should happen is the technician asks you questions about what the problem is, what was going on when you first noticed the problem and was anything else happening right before or when the problem started.
If nobody asks questions or the technician is to busy to talk to you then it’s a sign you have not hired the right company.
Also unless it’s a very simple repair the technician should ask if you have backups of your files and if not, offer to make them for you so that if something goes wrong with the repair your data is not lost.
Question # 3: What happens after I drop off my system or show the tech my problem?
If the computer is in a state where it can be done, a backup is the first order of business if the customer did not have one already.
Next the technician will try and replicate your problem to make sure it is a real issue that needs to be addressed.
Once the technician knows for sure that you do indeed have a issue they will perform diagnostics to find the cause of the problem. After the cause of the issue is found all work should stop and if the computer is in a shop they should call you comfirming all issues and at this point give you a estimate for the cost of repairs. (of cource an onsite tech will do this with you right then and there).
Beware of any repair place that says they will just fix the machine and tell you what it costs after the fact. A good technician should be able to give you an estimate before having to fix the whole machine.
Question # 4: What kind of Warranty should I get?
Today many companies (not just computer shops) are giving their customers less and less warranty time. Some even just have a 7 day warranty clause in their service contracts. But in general a good shop should have a 30 day warranty on labor and they should warranty the parts they use for a year. Make sure that the warranty is printed on your invoice.
Question # 5: Is there a charge if I decide not to fix my system?
Most places will charge about half of their hourly rate just to cover the cost of the technicians time looking at your system. But you should always ask about all charges before letting anybody start work on your computer.
Question # 6: How do I find an honest technician or shop?
I would ask your friends and family first as they will have already done business with anybody they tell you to go to. Many today will jump online to find a tech but online ratings can be fake, old or misleading.
After you get a few recommendations from your friends or family log into your local Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) and check them out. After the BBB I would also tell you to lookup the person or company you plan to use with your state or city’s business license office.
Beware of anybody that claims to be in business but has no business license.
Question # 7: How safe is my data from prying eyes?
Today people keep everything on their systems. Personal email, photos you would not want shared in public, journals, business files, and tax records just to name a few.
These tips should help you find somebody good to fix your computer problems. But I’ll leave you with one more…
Ask lot’s of questions when you call the tech or computer shop. There is no such thing as a stupid question. Make sure you feel good talking to them. See if they ask questions back or just try and get you off the phone. A place that wishes to both answer your questions and makes you feel like your questions and business is wanted is a good place to try.