On average Americans spend about 8 hours a day staring at some kind of screen, and much of that screen time is racked up staring at the screen of your office PC. You spend so much time staring at your computer screen you probably even feel pretty good about your computer skills, but how much do you really know? Knowing your way around Microsoft Office does not a computer expert make, which is why the world, and your business, still needs assistance from qualified IT professionals.
In our experience, overconfidence in computer savvy is usually a factor when we’re called in to resurrect a completely fouled up office network. It’s usually the result of Steve from accounting, or Rob from sales, messing with something they really don’t understand, which makes things far worse than they were when they started. Then we get called in to not only fix the original problem, but to fix the new ones made by Rob and Steve at two, or even three times, the cost.
This is why having an affordable managed IT service is so important to even the smallest of businesses. When little things go wrong, Rob and Steve don’t need to fiddle with it, they can continue doing the sales and numbers crunching they are actually good at.
Here is an excerpt from our special report, “Consumer Awareness Guide To Choosing An Honest, Reliable, and Competent Computer Repair Technician” explaining just a few misconceptions surrounding computer repair and maintenance, reinforcing the need for competent IT help.
#1: If your computer is working fine right now, it does not need any maintenance.
This is probably one of the biggest and most deadly misconceptions that most computer users fall victim to. 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 FAR 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 or quarterly (like checking for and installing security patches and updates, disk defrag, spyware detection and removal, checking the surge suppressor and 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 (to avoid viruses), and automatic system backups OFF-SITE.
If your technician does not press you to let him do this for you, then RUN – don’t walk – out of their office. Lack of system maintenance is the NUMBER ONE reason most people end up losing valuable files and incurring heavy computer repair bills. If your technician isn’t offering you these services, you need to find someone else to support your computer or network for two reasons:
Either reason is a good one to get as far away from that person as possible!
#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 of the security features to protect your data from viruses, hackers, and data loss or prevent your PC from running slowly.
Additionally, Microsoft (and other software vendors for that matter) are constantly providing critical patches and updates to their software 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.
#3: My nephew/neighbor’s kid/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, detect and extract a deadly virus, or upgrade your machine.
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 customers who walk into our shop needing us to clean up a mess 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 lightening 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.
#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. Companies simply cannot give you dirt cheap prices AND champagne service.
If you are getting a cheap bargain, chances are you will get very little if 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 that takes DAYS to return.
Before you buy ANY computer equipment, make sure you know the answers to these questions:
#5: All computer repair shops 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 do NOT work cheap because they are in high demand. The only technicians that will work cheap are those that are just starting and they are grossly inexperienced.
With your valuable data, precious family photos, favorite music files, and other irreplaceable documents at stake, 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 over 5 solid years.
Also in the “Consumer Awareness Guide to Choosing an Honest, Reliable, and Competent Computer Repair Technician” report:
Get the full ““Consumer Awareness Guide To Choosing An Honest, Reliable, and Competent Computer Repair Technician” report for free on the CloudPoint Technology Website.