There’s no shortage of horror stories about fly-by-night computer repair shops causing problems as a result of their unethical or incompetent behavior. I’m sure if you talk to your own friends and colleagues you will get an ear-full of the unfortunate experiences they have encountered in this area.
The computer industry, along with many other industries, has its own share of unethical businesses who will always try to take advantage of uneducated buyers. Sometimes this is out of greed for your money. Often it’s simply because they don’t have the skills and competency to do the job right, but won’t tell you that up front. Fortunately, businesses like these are the minority, but we know they exist because we have had a number of customers come to us to clean up the digital disasters these bad businesses caused.
Another big problem with the computer industry is it’s not regulated like other industries. Automotive repair shops, electricians, plumbers, lawyers, realtors, dentists, doctors, accountants and restaurants are heavily regulated to protect the consumer from substandard service/products, or getting ripped off. However, the computer industry is still grossly unregulated and there are not adequate laws in existence to protect the consumer.
Anyone who can hang out a shingle can promote themselves as a computer expert. Even if they are honestly trying to do a good job for you, their inexperience can cost you in network speed and performance, or in lost/corrupt data files. This is why we decided to offer our thoughts on the five most costly misconceptions about computer maintenance and repair.
The information in this Guide is provided to help raise standards within the computer repair and support industry, and to give you information to help guard against unethical behavior or incompetence of some IT companies.
The Five Most Costly Misconceptions About
Computer Maintenance and Repair
#1: If your computer is working fine right now, it does not need any maintenance.
This is one of the biggest misconceptions to which most users fall victim. Computers are just like cars. If you don’t change the oil, change the filter, rotate the tires, flush the transmission and perform other regular maintenance on your car, it will eventually break down and cost you more to repair than the cost of the basic maintenance.
There are certain maintenance checks that need to be done daily (like virus updates and spam filtering), weekly (like system backups), and monthly (like checking for and installing security patches and updates, disk defrag, spyware removal, checking surge suppressors, checking the integrity of the hard drive and so on). Your computer repair technician should be adamant that you have regular maintenance done on your machine and should offer to set up automatic virus definition updates, spam filtering and automatic system backups off-site.
If your technician does not press you in that regard, then simply walk out of their office. Lack of system maintenance is a big reason people lose valuable files and incur heavy computer repair bills. If your technician is not offering you these services, you need to find someone else to support your computer or network to prevent damage, not just repair what was doomed to fail in the first place. Don’t let consultants, who neglect to address failure prevention maintenance, profit from your computer problems.
#2: The maintenance tools provided in the Microsoft Operating System and software are all the maintenance you need.
Again, this is a terrible misconception. Microsoft does not include all necessary security features to protect your data from viruses and data loss. Microsoft and other software vendors are constantly providing critical patches and software updates to protect you from viruses and hackers. However, if you don’t know to look for them, or if you don’t know how to install them properly, you could easily end up getting burned. At Edge our philosophy is to listen to the client. We cater to your vision. From end-to-end service, to simple network audits, we don’t tell you what you need, we listen to what you want and make it happen. If we can’t make it happen, we don’t deserve your business.
#3: My neighbor’s kid’s brother-in-law knows this computer stuff and can help me solve my problems.
If only this were true. Obviously, not all technicians are created equal. Just because a person is good with computer applications (what we call a power user) does not mean they know how to install a critical security patch, or detect and extract a deadly virus.
Most people look for a part time “guru” to help them save money, but this often comes back to haunt them. Every day we get new clients who call us needing a mess cleaned up that was caused by an inexperienced neighbor, friend, or relative who was just trying to help. If the person you have working on your machine does not do computer repair and support for a living, there is a good chance they won’t have the knowledge or experience to truly help you. Technology advances at lightning speed and it takes constant learning and practice to master it. If your part-time technician is not working on PCs and networks every day, they probably only know enough to be dangerous. Our technicians are highly educated and certified by Dell and Microsoft. Michael Kamen has been in this business for 20 years and hires only the most qualified talent to handle his client’s tech related questions. The trust and service upon which he founded the company, affords him the sparkling reputation he’s earned over the last two decades.
#4: You can always get a better deal on computer software, equipment or services by shopping online.
The key word here is “deal.” Sure you can always find a cheaper price if you shop online, but you might actually end up getting the short end of the stick. As with anything in life, you get what you pay for. IT Companies simply cannot give you dirt-cheap prices and unlimited champagne brunch for $3.99 on Sundays.
If you are getting a cheap bargain, chances are you will get very little or no service after the sale. If something goes wrong, or if you just have a question, you might find out that the customer service line only goes to a voice mail box that never gets checked, or that you have to submit questions via e-mail and wait days for a response. Edge has a strict policy to respond within 30 minutes, plus we provide 24 hour support, period.
#5: All computer technicians are created equal. Your best option will be the one who offers the lowest price.
As we stated a moment ago, you get what you pay for. A cheap price usually means a cheap job. Really good technicians are not cheap because they are in high demand. The only technicians who are cheap are those grossly inexperienced beginners with no track record of success.
With your valuable data, precious business documents, and critical application services, do you really want the cheapest technician working on your machine? We take the view that most people want value for money and simply want the job done right. You will find that we are not the cheapest and we do not apologize for that. You will also find that we are not the most expensive. We simply feel that we should offer a good service at a fair price. That’s why we have been able to stay in business for so many years. I’ll reiterate, what makes Edge different is that we listen. We don’t go into a situation giving you a series of choices and/or solutions. Instead, we actually have a real conversation with you to find out how you want your technology to run in conjunction with the daily demands of your business. We want to save you money, time, and stress. But most importantly we want your business to grow.
If you have any questions or comments regarding our services please call Edge Solutions Group at (310) 499-4929.
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