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The Computer Buzz May 10th, 2007


Nome and Paul Van Middlesworth - owners - The Computer Fact
ory
 

 

"What's the Matter with My Computer?”

It won't turn on, it won't turn off, I can't get on the Internet, I can't get my E-Mail, it won't open any attachments, the screen is blue, the screen is black, I can make a pot of coffee in the time it takes to boot up, it's making funny noises, it keeps turning itself off, it's printing gibberish, my icons have disappeared, Microsoft says my operating system is counterfeit, Norton says I have a virus, my home page is a porn site and our very favorite: what does it mean when smoke comes out of the top?

Our homes are full of electromechanical gadgets nowadays and we can live quite well for extended periods without most of them. The TV, radio, clothes washer, dish washer, stove, furnace, air conditioner and refrigerator are mere conveniences The computer on the other hand, like the toilet, is a basic necessity. When the home or office computer is down, life gets tough. If you can't fix it yourself, life gets even tougher. If you're unfortunate enough to own one of the"name brand" PCs you may have had the opportunity to experience"award winning service."

Your limited "free access" to"award winning service" is routed to some teeming third world city where life is cheap and "phone techs" even cheaper. Your "service representative" has an exotic accent and a name like Ken, Barbie or Tex. You speak to several "technicians" (all with American names) and the results are predictable.

Ranked in order of probability they are:

1. You will be disconnected several times and give up.
2. They will give up and disconnect you.
3. They will guide you through a complete reformat and you will lose everything you had on your PC.
4. You'll starve to death while holding for "the next available customer service representative"
5. They will actually fix your problem.


If you are past the "free access" point, the result will be the same but it will cost you $39.95. We learned a long time ago that fixing PCs over the phone is a very time consuming activity with a very low probability of success. That's why we don't do it. Repairing computers on site is better but also has its downside. On site technicians" cost you $75 to $100 per hour and must remain on "the clock", twiddling their thumbs while automated programs "clean up" your PC.

Sometimes this process takes hours. When service is performed in our shop, the automated "clean up" programs allow our techs to be doing work on other PCs while the programs run. That reduces the labor costs to our customers. The difference can be huge. A clean-up in our shop runs about $60. On site with the Best Buy"Geek Squad" will set you back 3 or 4 times that much. We recommend the use of our on-site service mainly for system and network set-up and network related problems that can only be resolved on site.

 

 

 

 


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