There are so many different IT services available that can help fix computer issues, ranging from people who do it on the side to large franchised companies. It can be difficult knowing who to go to when it comes to getting tech support, and more importantly how much you should be paying. While it may be tempting to trust someone that is advertising a really cheap rate in a local Facebook group, having someone that doesn’t know what they are doing can end up costing you more money in the long run. It is important to ensure that the person you are engaging with to come in and fix your computer is professionally trained and knows what they are doing. There is a difference between a trained IT technician and someone that gets by using Google. If you are paying someone to do the job, you expect them to do it right and using reputable parts and suppliers.
When you do find a person or company you are thinking of engaging to complete the work, it is essential you discuss a work agreement or get a form of a quote in advance so that you have a good understanding of how much it will cost (even if things go wrong).
Agree on the pricing structure and terms before work commences
- (Fixed or hourly rate).
- If an hourly rate is agreed to, get them to call you the moment they think this will go over the agreed amount and ask you if it is OK to proceed
- Get them to call you if any additional parts are required to be purchased to complete the job (for example a faulty disk drive)
- Agree on the timeframe expected to complete the task. If you need it urgently, this may result in an extra charge or could involve a call out fee
Discuss the issue in detail to get a better estimate
The better you can explain the issue that you have and what your expectations are on the result, the better it is for the IT servicing group and how they can estimate the costs involved.
IT services can sometimes be fixed in minutes or in some cases several hours such as charging an hourly rate. This depends on the work involved and the speed at which this can be done which is why it is crucial you should explain the issue in detail as described above.
For example, if you have a virus on your machine, the IT service group must determine the estimate based on:
- Is scanning, copying or backing up the data going to take a long time? (if a computer is aging, this can take a long time)
- How much data is there to copy? (There is a big difference between years of photos compared to a few work documents)
- Can the data be saved?
- Can the virus be safely removed or will a re-image and data restoration be necessary?
Things to check before approving work
- Check if warranty on your machine is still available. This can be done by either calling the manufacturer or contacting the place of purchase
- Call the support line of the manufacturer as it could be a common problem they may be able to assist with over the phone
- Check with your IT servicing company if there are any callout fees, travel fees or penalty rates
- Check if the work will be completed with the technician onsite at your property or if they can complete the task remotely
- If a detailed report on the work done and the results can be given at the completion of the job (this is important as if any future work is required, this will be needed as a reference)
- Do not pay in full before the work is completed. While some companies may ask for a deposit (usually if parts are required to be ordered), the final sum should not be paid until the work is completed.
- You should be given an invoice with an ABN number and a receipt once you have paid.
Check other surrounding IT servicing companies and compare prices keeping all the above in mind. You usually get what you pay for and be cautious of prices that are considerably cheaper that may attract hidden costs or subpar work completed by someone without proper qualifications. If you see a flat rate price with an * check the terms and conditions as this means there are conditions.
Computers contain vital and private information. In a lot of cases, it also involves inviting a stranger into your home to complete this work. It is essential that the person or company you are engaging with is one that you trust.
Trusting the IT Servicing Company
Trusting in an IT servicing company is very important, not only for your own peace of mind, but for your protection. Here is a small checklist to consider when it comes to reasons why you should trust your provider
- Do they supply legitimate licensed software (no on-selling of hacked software)
- Brand new hardware (no second-hand hardware – unless specifically stated for a discounted agreed price)
- If any software or hardware is purchased, ask for the proper documentation and any boxes or included manuals, serial numbers or activation codes.
- If this is a remote support call, can you trust this company to fix the work involved without:
Installing malicious software on your computer
Making the issue worse
Not looking or snooping through any personal information
- Will they give you what you need and not over charge, or over provision what is needed?
- Are you confident they know what they are doing? The same task could take one technician 30 minutes to fix while it could take someone with less experience several hours if they are not confident or have the knowledge to complete the task. If you are paying by the minute or hour, this will make a big different to your bill at the end.
Try to do some online research before trusting a company.
- Check on their current and previous clients.
- Check online and see their customer reviews.
- Check if they have pages with Facebook, Twitter and Google Business and how often they post.
- Check online forums such as whirlpool to see if anyone has anything bad to say about them. Usually people only talk bad about a company and take the time to post this, but whirlpool is a good source for this.
- Ask family and friend if they have had any good experience with a company
Remember, just because something seems cheap, doesn’t mean it is the right solution. You get what you pay for and often there can be hidden costs or you find the person providing support is someone who is not qualified to be charging for support. Hourly rates vary between companies and people but at the end of the day, it needs to be with someone that you trust can get the job done.
Briter computers is currently providing quality and affordable IT support to Melbourne’s South East home & business.
Contact Us for a quote