Best Computer Repair: Secrets They Don’t Want You To Know.


By: Andrea Eldridge, CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, an on-site computer and laptop repair service company.

Computer repair is like taking your car to the mechanic, at least for most of us. As much as I depend on my car, it’s a mystery how all the parts work together to get me down the road. This lack of fundamental understanding of the car’s inner workings makes me feel vulnerable and out of control every time the mechanic tells me what’s wrong, and what needs to be done to fix it. If he tells me it’s the flux capacitor, how would I know if I was being taken for a ride? That makes it especially hard to find a mechanic and finding the best computer repair professional puts most people in the same uncomfortable position. Here’s my guide to the questions you should ask to ensure your trusty PC is in good hands.

#1 Where will you fix my computer? If you have a desktop system, taking it apart to drag it into a shop can be a headache. Some problems are best diagnosed and fixed at home, in your computer’s ‘native’ environment, like an inability to get online or a loose cable. However, it’s often easier to drop a laptop off at the computer repair shop than it is to wait at home while a tech gets to you and fixes it. These days, some problems can even be fixed right away over the internet, so you can hang out in your PJs and still get back up and running. Decide where it’s most convenient for you to have the work done and confirm there won’t be an additional or exorbitant charge to get it done your way.

#2 Who will fix my computer? Many larger chains outsource repair work overseas to reduce their overhead. This can make it difficult to get questions answered after service. Anyone who has spent an hour searching for their music files after having Windows reinstalled can attest to how frustrating this can be. If you’re considering an independent repair person, what happens if they encounter a question or problem they don’t know the answer to?

#3 Can I get a free fixed estimate? It frustrates me to pay for an estimate. In know it’s broken. I want to know how much it will cost to fix it, not pay someone else to confirm it’s broken. When I started my company, it was rare to find a computer repair person willing to look at your computer without charging something, but these days there is so much competition in the industry that free estimates are much easier to come by. What happens if the technician’s original estimate or what he/she thinks the computer will require isn’t going to work? This is not uncommon. When will you be provided with a new or revised estimate and can you decline at that time without charge?

#4 Do you charge by the hour, or do you offer flat pricing? If you pay by the hour, a computer repair technician is inherently motivated to work slowly. If they aren’t initially familiar with your problem and need to research or work through trial and error, you pay for their inexperience.

#5 What happens if I have a problem after service? This is especially important if you are considering a small or one-man operation. If there’s only one person doing the work and they’re likely to be busy with another customer when you call, how long are you going to have to wait to get help? What sort of guarantee or warranty do they offer on parts and service? Make sure that the company stands behind their work before you give them your trust.

If dropping your laptop off at the shop makes you as nervous as leaving your child at their first day of preschool, contact me for more tips to select the best computer repair professional!

About The Author: Andrea Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, an on-site computer and laptop repair service company for consumers and businesses. Andrea is the writer of two weekly columns: Computer Nerds On Call, a nationally syndicated column for Scripps-Howard News Service, and Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She regularly appears on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, The CW, and CNN on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, Good Morning Arizona, and Good Day Portland, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, and gadgets. Andrea recently has begun working with Demand Media to produce content for eHow.com and has written a book for them: Smartphone 101: Integrating Your iPhone Into a Windows World. Andrea is available for Q & A’s, expert tech quotes and will appear on your show. Call today! See Andrea in action at callnerds.com/andrea.

Video TranscriptHi, I’m Ryan from nerds on call, and today were going to be talking about how to hire a computer repair professional. We came up with a list of things to look for when you’re when you’re hiring a computer repair guy. Now if you take your entire computer apart and haul it into a shop you might think that they’re going to fix it there. But not always, especially if you go to a large retailer. A lot of times they will take it in and they will either ship it out to someplace else to be fixed, especially if it’s a laptop or they will connected to the Internet, and somebody from another country will fix it.

Well if you’re like me, I’m going to be a little bit more leery about somebody else but I’ve never seen before touching the stuff inside my computer. Like my pictures and my documents and things that I don’t everybody seeing. Always ask who’s going to be fixing it, where is it going to be fixed and how is it going to be fixed It’s really frustrating to have to pay for an estimate. You already know it’s broken, so why pay some body for the details. Basically, you want to make sure that when you get your computer fixed, you find out up front how much it is going to cost before they even start work.

Next you want to find out what happens after service is there warranty or some kind of guarantee? You want to make sure that after your computer comes back to you 30 or 60 days later, if the same problem occurs. What is the computer repair shop going to do about it? You want to make sure that you get it in writing or at least speak to somebody like a manager and find out exactly what is going to happen, if something goes wrong in the future.

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