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Thread: who do you use for you support issues

  1. #1
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    who do you use for you support issues

    When your computers starts to screw up who do you call? I just started my computer support company and I was wonder how i can get more clients and I wanted to see how many people are using my competitors and why?

    Who are you using for computer help and why?
    Things change
    -----------------------------------

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    I use myself.

    People typically choose friends/family over computer shops.

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    Quote Originally Posted by huskyfan23 View Post
    I use myself.

    People typically choose friends/family over computer shops.
    Yep, same boat here... I use Google to research issues and my friends/family have me fix their problems.
    My first cell plan was with Cellular One (circa 10/94). It was $49.95/month for 100 LOCAL minutes, voicemail was $4.95/month extra, and it was an additional $.10 to per call to call a landline. No "nights"! - only weekends.
    Now: Nation 850 (total of 4 lines): Unlimited M2M & N/W~$79.97/mo. No landline since 1/05!

    Right now I feel:

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    I love it when family members "fix" computers. Eventually the family ends up bringing the computer to me to be fixed properly. Amateurs fixing computers makes me some pretty good money. ;-)

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    I use myself, as do my friends and family. If I have a problem with a product that's beyond me, I turn to the community and forums.

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    Myself, to include using Google to fix issues.
    Because I usually can fix most issues on my own.

    I know a friend that's into this stuff as well, but he's busy.

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    I have a job with a small computer shop (three locations) and generally we get a huge gamut of customers, even some that are technically proficient but don't have the parts they need to diagnose or fix their problem. One of the stores happens to be in a wealthier neighborhood, so people there have lots of money and would rather pay somebody else (us) to be taken care of. We're open all the time, as opposed to someone's nephew or cousin etc that might be away during the summer or going to school, so they're not always available. I'd say many families don't have a geek in the family or one that is accessible on a whim.
    A good thing to do would be to run small discounts in small local newspapers or pennysavers as we call them here (they're little coupon books for local businesses). As long as you spread the word a little bit, build up a good reputation with your first customers and tell them to spread the word. There are some competitors around but we don't even think about them and business is fine regardless. Even better, talking to small businesses in the area is good because they are generally willing to pay for your services and will happily buy computers and servers built by you rather than going through Dell/HP.
    Personally, when I set up systems my way, I have very few problems. I can't remember the last time I've had to go looking for a solution to some arcane error code at home, and the worst might be rebooting my dad's laptop to get the wireless connected (rarely). I do know a lot more than I did two years ago when I started this job, because I've seen so many systems with just as many different combinations of problems that I've gotten good at picking them up right away and knowing what to do.
    What services are you providing, do you have a storefront or are you just working out of home? Do you know about business networking, Windows domains etc? As I said earlier, that would be a very valuable source of income and the employees can bring in their personal machines for repair as well, which is even better.

    And yes, sometimes self-proclaimed experts will try and fix a problem on their own and end up in an even bigger mess, usually just a simple oversight that anyone with a decent amount of experience would have known. Even Staples' repair shop was going to charge a friend $300 for a motherboard replacement when that wasn't even the problem; the hard drive partition got corrupted and needed a chkdsk to fix it. Took me about fifteen minutes with a boot CD to fix the drive, reboot and get the important data. BTW, if you are doing hardware repairs, don't charge a diagnostic fee because they're annoying. In the case I just mentioned, the customer was charged $75 and not only did they do nothing, they didn't even properly diagnose the problem.

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    Me, myself, and I. They're very exclusive, and very proficient in fixing problems fast.
    Anything below this statement isn't part of the post I just made.
    Past Phones: Nokia 3390, 6010, 6133, 5310, X2-02
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    I use myself also.
    I doubt you'll get much different responses on a technology based forum.

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    Its somewhat difficult to break out of the stigma of the Geek Squad-style computer support shop, that are notorious for overcharging unknowning people for incredibly simple services (like "Let Us Install It!" offers for xBox games) and some dubious ethics in regards to privacy. Alternately, its also difficult to beat them. They have a huge retail network behind them and are relatively prominent thanks to great advertising and promotion.

    While a lot of people call family or friends who are more tech-centric than themselves, I've known countless people who don't know who to ask, or rather not ask and end up spending $59.99 through their computer manufacturer's tech support people or where ever. It is also important to note that your target is more likely older, out of warranty computers. At least for hardware issues.

    I had a Sony VAIO laptop with the faulty Nvidia graphics that failed under manufacturer defect and even though I was 100% able to diagnose the problem, I still had to pay $30 to talk to a tech support rep through Sony, have them tell me to format the drive (against my wishes) and for them to tell me they didn't know what was wrong with it in order for me to be able to send it in for repairs.

    If I were doing it, I'd want to target the 65+ for computer help and parents of recent college enrollees. If the kids/grandkids aren't there to solve the problem, they have you!

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    I'm an IT Manager.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ii Candor ii View Post
    I'm an IT Manager.
    An IT Manager that doesnt know the difference between antispyware and antivirus programs?

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    I had a feeling that a good size of people on HOFO were the DIY kind. We are similar to geek squad but we don't kill it with pricing in fact our rates are very reasonable, we have annual plans from $99.

    computers are getting easier and easier to fix, its not like the days or setting IRQs and sh*t like that.

    Is there anyone here in business doing IT like myself?

    you can check out the site at www.ithelpcrew.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by baudbwoy View Post
    Is there anyone here in business doing IT like myself?
    Yes, though I personally do more in the web development business these days. Our company does IT mostly for business clients though we do work with a fair number of home users. Typically we get our home clients through the business ones -- referrals and all that. We charge between $94 and $125/hr depending on who's onsite doing the job.

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    I myself own and run a business that includes everything from basic computer repair and troubleshooting, to network installations and cellular services. I've found, the more I offer, the broader range of clientele, and the more income.

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