Important questions to ask a computer repair service (from Lifewire), answered.
How much do you charge per hour?
I charge $45/hour for remote technical support, $60/hour for in-home technical support, and $75/hour for business technical support. I give you the benefit of the doubt regarding how my cost to you is calculated.
Can you tell me how much this problem will cost to fix?
I can usually give you a reliable range or a flat rate for technology setups, cleanups, or repairs. For instance, virus removal can take up to 10 hours, but I don't charge for all those hours, because much of virus removal is running various scans, each of which can take an hour and don't require me to keep an eye on the process. I flat rate virus removal, with a cap on the cost being $85 for the most severe infections. In contrast, the cost of copying your data to a new computer or a replacement hard drive may be based on how much data, settings, and software needs to be dealt with on the new computer or new hard drive.
Do I have a minimum charge?
For home tech support or business support, I have a minimum charge of $35. I allot for 10 - 15 minutes of free phone support. The minimum charge question may come up if a problem is fixed very quickly or if I arrive on site and find that the problem cannot be fixed at that time.
Are there any charges other than the hourly rate?
Other than necessary hardware, you can expect no charges other than my hourly rate. You will be kept abreast of any necessary hardware at the time of drop off or as the repair progresses so there are no surprises. I have a markup of 10% for things I purchase for you at Microcenter or (if necessary) Best Buy.
Do I guarantee my work?
Hardware lends itself to guarantees more than software. Hardware is a tangible product for which it is much easier to assess functionality. Most software is relatively intangible and prone to bugs, annoyances, or infections. In addition, it is much more obvious when hardware is misused (this is a rare occurrence) than when software is misused or misunderstood. So, hardware that I sell you will come with a 60 to 365 day warranty, but software will have a 'good faith' warranty.
Will you save my files?
Yes. Nothing on your computer is irreplaceable except your personal files. Most repairs do not put your data at risk, but if a repair puts your data at risk, I will either back up your data or contact you regarding how you would like your files to be dealt with.
When will the repair be completed so that I can get back to using my computer?
Mom and Pop computer repair shops (like Consumer Tech Support) tend to have faster turnaround times than big box stores. I am usually able to immediately begin to fix your computer or other technology-related problem and give you a reliable estimate on how long it will be before you're back to using your equipment. Most repairs or upgrades are completed within two to 18 hours. If a part (for a laptop repair, for example) needs to be ordered online, then the turnaround time is lengthened by waiting for that part to arrive.