There are alot of computer repair scams and scammers looking for their next unsuspecting victim. Craigslist and Google searches can return results claiming to be computer repair businesses, but how can you be sure? Often when people become desperate from their computer being broken, they will make irrational decisions that end up costing them big time headaches, money, and possibly their computer. When getting your computer repaired, how can you be sure that you are not going to be scammed out of money or worst yet, have your computer stolen from you?
The following is a short list of helpful questions you should ask a computer repair business and yourself before handing over your computer and/or money.
What is the average computer repair turn around time?
Some of the big-box store computer repair services can take several weeks to months for simple computer repairs that should only take a few days. Ask the computer repair business about how long their average computer repair turn around is based on your particular issue or one that is similar. If the time is over several weeks, this may be an unreasonable length of time for an average computer repair. How long can you really be without your computer? If the repair is going to take several weeks, ask the next question.
Will your computer be sent off to another place to be serviced?
Does this computer repair business perform the computer repairs on-site, or will they ship your computer to a third-party vendor in another city, state or country for the actual computer repair service. Are you comfortable with your computer data leaving the country where different computing laws and ethics apply? Does the middle man computer service company have the ability to dictate information to the third party company on your behalf, or will they have issues when important information needs to be passed to the computer repair technician. If they will be shipping the computer repair off then what turn around time should you expect (as it could be a very long turn around).
Does this computer repair business have a store location?
Many computer repair businesses claim they will only come to your house to service your computer. Before trying in-home computer service, insist to bring your computer into an actual store for repair service and support. If after a while you feel you have an established and trustworthy relationship, you can request in-home service and support. Be suspicious and leery if you end up having a “technician” come to your house instead of you being able to go to their commercial store. This may not be a real computer repair business at all, and in a worst case, could be a scam to steal your computer and money from you. Seriously, listen to this story:
“I thought I was saving a bundle by having who I thought was a laid off computer professional come to my house. I saw his advertisement on craigslist.org and he said he could fix any computer problem for fifty dollars cash! He came to my house, I gave him the twenty dollars and he said that he needed to take my computer back to his “lab.” That’s the last I ever saw my computer and he never returned any of my emails.”
Is the price TOO cheap?
Everybody loves getting a great deal. However, watchout for deals that seem TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. Craigslist for instance is full of these deals. A low price could mean you are going to get mediocre, at best, computer service. Don’t forget you only get what you pay for, and you don’t ever get what you don’t pay for. In order for you to receive top notch computer repair service from IT professionals running a business with overhead, you should expect to pay a reasonable price for those services based on complexity of the computer issue at hand.
Is this computer repair service reputable in the local community?
Who told me about this business? Have I heard my neighbor or friend speak highly? Does this business have positive reviews on the Internet? If it has none, then maybe nobody has been a raving happy customer, and could offer a bit of insight for you about the experience you are going to have. However if the business has a ton of reviews, keep in mind that some of the reviews on the Internet can be fake, so look for real people posting real reviews. If you notice a low ranking, don’t just take the reviewers word, see if the business responded in a professional manner that explains their position, and remember to not rely solely on reviews and ratings as these review services allow anyone to post reviews and rating even if they were never a customer at all. If possible ask around your local community to talk to anybody who has used computer services, and if they were satisfied with the price and service they received. Also see if the computer repair business is involved with or donates to any local neighborhood groups, business groups, and/or charities. Reputable businesses build their reputation and earn business by participating in their community.
These questions are also helpful to the many people that feel that they do not know enough computer technical lingo and have a limited knowledge when it comes to their computer and therefore worry they may not be able to communicate with a computer repair technician to get the help they need. They may worry that they will not know how to answer questions and voice their concerns and needs in a manner that a computer technician will understand in order to assist them with their computer repair service needs. This is a very understandable feeling, so instead of being hooked on only the technical aspect of computer repair service, you can ask the following non-technical questions, to try to provide you insight on how this computer repair business will treat you during the computer repair relationship.