Computer repairs can be expensive and just like maintaining your car, maintenance is important and repairs are often unavoidable as the machine ages. Do you repair or replace? If your computer is 5 years or newer or has a nice processor, a repair can often be the best option. There are other variables to consider and that's why you need a pro you can trust.
If you opt to take your computer to a professional, do not pay for repairs you do not need. But how do you know if the repairs suggested are necessary? Can you trust the professionals to tell you if you should opt for a new computer versus investing repair dollars into your old computer? Sometimes there are too many issues with your computer and the best solution is a new computer. You can have peace of mind you are working with an honest pro only if you do your research first or by getting more than one professional diagnostic.
Most of us are not computer experts and we can use a computer to varying degrees; a few of us have a general understanding how computers work and some may even be able to do minor repairs like driver updates and etc. The rest of us need to find a tech guru who is both trustworthy and talented to diagnose the issue(s) and give us a time & cost estimate for the repair.
So when your computer isn’t working right, you basically have three options:
Google search your specific problems and find the solution and fix it yourself following videos or tutorials
Call a Technical Support Service and have them guide you over the phone as you do your own repairs (note: these services start at $80 and go up quickly depending on the number of issues you need resolved)
Take your computer to a repair center for a professional diagnostic and repair
If you decide to go with a pro, keep reading!
Finding the best person or team you can trust to fix your computer can be as simple as making a few phone calls and is always worth you time. A few minutes of qualifying a repair pro can save you money from unnecessary “repairs” and services, avoiding "padding" and overcharges AND you can find someone who will guarantee their work… oh, and bonus points if they do not charge an arm and a leg! Where to start looking for this perfect specimen of Tech Sagacity?
Google search for “computer repair near me” and results will give you several options from the big box repair centers to your local businesses who specialize in tech repair. How do you pick from that list?
Reviews are an excellent preview for the products and services you can expect from businesses. Look at all the reviews… good and bad. Google, Yelp, Facebook and more are popular platforms where people share their experiences. Benefit from this!
Sometimes a referral from a trusted friend or colleague is better that all the online reviews in the world. Ask your friends who they would recommend. Who have they used? Who have they heard great things about?
Once you have a place or two in mind… here are 5 important questions to ask:
How much does it cost for you to diagnose my computer?
If you find a place that offers free diagnostics, that is fantastic, jump straight to the next questions! Most places charge around $99 for a diagnostic. The techs time should not be free just as your time should not be free at work. If a diagnostic is done correctly, a tech will spend an hour or more looking at your computer to find out what the issues are.
If you decide to NOT use them for the repair, the diagnostic fee pays the business for their time and you are walking away with knowledge of the health of your computer. If you decide to move forward with the repair, ask if they apply that diagnostic fee to the cost of the repair. Or is your final bill going to be $99 plus your repairs?
If your computer is more than 5 years old with significantly depreciated value, it simply may not be worth the $99 fee let alone additional costs for repairs. A reputable professional will tell you if the age and condition of your computer merits such expenses when you bring your computer in. There should be no charge to find out if your computer isn’t worth putting time and money into.
How long will it take you to run the diagnostic and get back to me?
A routine diagnostic and return call should not take more than 3 business days. In most cases, a diagnostic should take 24 hours or less.
How long will the actual repair take?
This is a hard question to give a generalized answer to. There are many different kinds of repairs computers need and each repair will have a different time frame. If the repair requires soldering, that takes time and meticulous concentration. If there is a huge amount of data to be retrieved, saved, transferred, etc that also takes time. Do they need to order parts and wait for them to come in? Most common repairs should take about 3 business days UNLESS your repair is more labor intensive, parts need to be ordered, etc.
Is there a minimum repair fee?
When a complete diagnostic is ran on your computer, the health of the system will be revealed as various parts are inspected and systems are tested. Sometimes simple repairs can be made during this process. Sometimes these are the only repairs needed. This is often the case with driver issues, etc. Is this covered in your diagnostic fee or is there an additional minimum repair fee that will cover these simple fixes?
Is there a no fix, no fee policy?
If the repair pro is unable to fix your computer, what will you be charged? If they do not possess the necessary knowledge to fix your problem, you should not be charged a repair fee.
If YOU decide to not proceed with the recommended repairs or YOU are unable to provide the necessary information, etc (license info, etc), you should pay for the time spent to that point to diagnose the issues. If your computer has so many issues and repair needs or the recommended repairs exceed the value of the machine, you need to decide if it is time to repair or replace. If you opt to replace, will they apply all or part of the $99 diagnostic fee toward a new computer if you buy with them? Understand the techs have likely spent at least an hour testing and inspecting your computer and their time should be compensated.
Computer repairs can be expensive and just like maintaining your car, maintenance is important and repairs are often unavoidable as the machine ages. Do you repair or replace? Will the professionals tell you if you should opt for a new computer versus investing repair dollars into your old computer? Sometimes there are too many issues with your computer and the best solution is a new computer.
If a repair is advisable, some tech repair businesses charge a per hour fee for labor plus the cost of parts. The average hourly repair fee is $50-$75 per hour and can be absolutely worth it if they are fast and guarantee their work. If they are charging you by the hour, what are the the costs for parts and how long do they expect the repair to take? Do they have a minimum labor fee if the repair only takes 15 minutes?
Other repair centers will charge you a flat rate per repair to include parts and labor. For example, hard drives are the most common computer part to replace. (If replacing your hard drive, upgrade to a Solid State Drive. Solid State Drives require their own blog, check back for that next and you’re welcome).
Let’s say you have a Dell laptop and want to replace your hard drive with a 256GB Solid State Drive; expect to pay $150 to $250 (with that cost increasing according to the model of 256GB drive you select) this cost will cover the installation fee/labor, the cost of the parts and the Windows installation. Ask if all or part of your diagnostic fee will get applied to that cost? This is just one example of a thousand possible repairs you may need.
Does your repair pro warranty their work? A business that is confident in their skills and stands behind their service with a guarantee on parts and labor offers you peace of mind. Most professionals should offer you at least a 30-Day Warranty on the parts and service they provide you.
A problem many computer repair professionals run into, especially with service warranties, is their client blames every single future computer problem on them... whether is was related to the work done or not... and expect them to fix future issues for free. There are guarantee voiding conditions including new/repeat virus or malware infections, the computer was tampered with outside normal use, water damage, etc. Once your computer is repaired and you are surfing the web or checking your emails and you get a virus… this is not something covered under a service guarantee! Pro tip for Windows users… Windows 10 has Defender built in and is a great and FREE antivirus program; simply keep Windows updated and Defender will do its job and protect you from most threats. Use it.
NE Ohio can trust RizTech
If you are experiencing any computer problems, consider adding RizTech in Medina to your list of repair professionals to research and trust. RizTech is a family-owned local business providing exceptional service with unmatched results to NE Ohio. Our business model is to fill all your tech needs, save you money and deliver the friendly professional care and attention you expect. We are committed to earning your business and being the business you would send your mom to. Call or stop in today and let us help you. 330.952.1225 #riztech #computerrepairs