The Five Most Costly Misconceptions About
Computer Maintenance & Repair
#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 & filter, rotate the tires, flush the transmission, and perform other routine
maintenance, it will eventually break down and cost you FAR MORE to repair than the cost of basic
certain maintenance checks that need to be done daily & monthly such as virus updates, weekly data backups, and
monthly or quarterly installation of security patches and updates, disk defrag, spyware detection and removal,
etc. A 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 and automate data
Lack of system
maintenance is the NUMBER ONE reason most people end up losing valuable files and incurring heavy computer repair
#2: The maintenance tools provided in
the Microsoft Operating System and software are all the maintenance you need.
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.
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 friend/nephew/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. Quite often we get new
customer calls needing us to clean up a mess that was caused by an inexperienced friend, neighbour 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
#4: You can always get a better deal on
computer software, equipment, or services by shopping online or a major retailer.
The key word
here is “deal”. Sure you can always find a cheaper price if you shop online or at a major chain, 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 plus quality components and service.
If you are
getting a cheap bargain, chances are you will be getting cheaper components and service after the sale. If
something goes wrong or 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
Before you buy
ANY computer equipment, make sure you know the answers to these questions:
1. How long have they been in business? The last thing you want to do is buy a lemon
of a computer from a fly-by-night organization. Thanks to the Internet, ANYONE can set up a website and start
selling computer equipment, parts, and software. That is why you want to look for a company that has been in
business for 5 years or more.
2. What is their
guarantee or warranty on the equipment or services you are buying? As a standard rule, they should offer one year
replacement warranty on all parts at a minimum.
3. How do they
handle returns and exchanges? Do you have to ship the defective item back to them on your dime or do they arrange
for onsite support? What is the guaranteed turnaround time for a service call? This is why many people prefer
to buy all equipment from a local vendor. If something goes wrong, you can call a real person and get an instant
4. What type of
technical support do you offer? If you are like me, you want to speak directly to a knowledgeable technician when
you need help. However, many companies only offer e-mail and web-based support, and charge a hefty fee for anything
outside of that.
5. Is your
support free or charged by the minute? Make sure you are very clear on what support is free and what is
6. Where is
their help desk and customer service office located? Many of the big vendors are shipping their help desk support
overseas to save money. While this works out great for them, it can be incredibly frustrating when you are trying
to communicate with their customer support representatives.
7. Do YOU really know how to install, configure and troubleshoot this new device?
If not, you may want to consider hiring a qualified technician to install it. Quite often, drivers and software can
conflict and cause problems and unless YOU have installed this device before, it might be worth the small fee to
get someone else to do it for you.
#5: All computer repair shops
are created equal. Your best option will be the one who offers the lowest price.
As stated earlier, you get what you pay for. A cheap price usually means a cheap
job. 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. However, 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 10 solid years.
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