Computer Doctor – Finding The Right PC Repair Center

by Rod Dunne on July 5, 2010

in Articles, Backup Software, Data Recovery, Laptop, Registry Cleaners Articles, Tips and Tools

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Picking the right computer doctor comes down to key principal areas – the services they provide, their proximity to you and the costs involved.  Here we’ll look at these three key elements to show how a little research can save you from choosing the wrong company for your computer repair jobs or repairs.

Choosing the right computer support service can be simply broken down as follows:

  • Services: Can they fix/support the technologies (PC/Mac/etc.) that I want help on?
  • Location: Have they got offices local to me? If specialist help is required, would I mind the time involved in shipping my computer away for repairs?
  • Cost: What warranties are provided in the cost of service? Would it be cheaper to buy/use computer troubleshooting products for myself?

Historically, computer repair services have grown in parallel with the increasing use of PCs at home and in offices. The generic term, computer doctor, refers to any company/person that provides PC maintenance and repair services.

Services

The first step is always to research, via their website, what PC repair jobs they can do and if the computer doctor supports the technologies and services that you require. Computer doctors will often align themselves with specific technologies (PC/Mac) or brands (HP, IBM, etc.) so make sure they support your systems.

Next check that the services you require can be provided. Here are some of the generic services that any regular computer doctor should be able to provide, many of which are not tied to any one technology/brand (e.g. broadband setup is no different for Dell or HP computer owners).

  • Virus Removal
  • Computer Maintenance
  • Networking (Home & Business)
  • Broadband Setup
  • Data Recovery
  • Internet and Email Configuration
  • Erase Data Securely
  • Business & House Calls
  • Training (for example, in basic PC usage)
  • Website Design/Hosting

Location

The computer doctor service may not need to be local to you if you are comfortable with sending your computer away for repairs. This may be desirable if you need specialized services (e.g. severe flooding/mechanical damage, data recovery after format). The downside to this is the additional time involved in transporting the product.

For most generic tasks though, a local company should be skilled enough to complete most repairs. Doing a full PC service now often uses predictive maintenance software to automate component and software checks. For call out services (e.g. internet setup), this is something which a local computer doctor will be best suited to doing due to their familiarity with local telecommunication networks.

Costs

Computer support costs can vary widely based on the nature of the PC repairs. Here are some of the key factors which should be confirmed upfront:

  • Home/business: Choose the right company for your needs – a service that normally deals with business users will charge higher for a once off repair as they prefer ongoing support contracts.
  • Consultation costs: Always establish if there is a consultation cost in addition to the repair costs (time and materials).
  • Call out costs: Some computer doctors can provide a call-out service. Establish how this is charged (mileage/time/other) before securing their services.
  • Repair costs: Establish if repairs are charged on a flat rate or time & materials basis. Services such as a hard drive crash recovery can become very expensive if the disk is physically damaged, requiring a PC technician to use specialized tools to rebuild and read the disk.

One thing to also consider is the alternate costs of making the repairs for yourself. For example, it may work out cheaper to attempt:

  • Setting up a broadband connection yourself using the support service of your telco provider.
  • Recover lost data using tools such as Remo Undelete.
  • Using Microsoft’s own computer Troubleshooting tool (in the Control Panel).

Related Posts:
Getting started in computer repair employment.
Doing data entry from home work.

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