Thursday, 2 September 2010

Important Questions To Ask A Computer Repair Service

As a computer repair business owner it is important to me to be able to give my customers clear guidance and advice regarding my services when they bring in a computer to be repaired. can sometimes be difficult as customers rarely ask the right questions, but often ask the wrong ones, or get emotional… both of which make it difficult for me to give the information I really need to get across.

This article is not designed to help my customers, rather it is designed to help all customers of all computer repair centres (especially in the UK) get the information they really need regarding both the repair centres services and the customers own computer.

computer repair problems”How much do you charge per hour?”
Asking the cost of a service seems like a question you’d be unlikely to forget, however customers rarely do.

Answer to expect: “We charge (£20 to £30) per hour”
Rates do vary, as do they ways in which a customer is charged, for example, at Evolve we have an hourly rate of £25 per hour, however certain jobs are capped at certain prices such as Virus Removal which is always set at £37.50, and performance optimisation is capped at £50.

between £20 and £30 per hour is average, too much higher and you’re likely to be ripped off, whereas too much lower and you can expect bad service or be charged for a great many more hours than the actual job took to complete.

Duct Tape Computer“How Long will it take to fix”
Nobody want to receive a final bill for 10 hours at £25 per hour (£250) when a brand new PC can be had for just a little more.  It’s important as a customer to have at least a ball park figure for the repair cost before you leave your computer in the hands of the repair centre!

Answer to expect: “Usually this type of repair takes around (x or x) hours
Having not yet inspected the computer and it’s faults it is difficult for the technician to give an accurate quote on the time a job will take, however an experienced technician will be able to give a rough estimate based on the time it has taken in the past to repair similar faults.  As a customer you should expect the answer to this question not to be accurate, however you final bill should not be exponentially higher.

It may be difficult as a customer for you to judge if this figure is fair or exaggerated.  Do not be afraid to ask around and get further estimates.

If the repair centre is not prepared to give you an estimate at all, do not do business with them.  You cannot be expected to enter into any agreement to have your computer repaired with no idea whatsoever of the likely final cost!

computer problems woman”Do you have a minimum charge?”
Not all repairs take several hours to complete.  There are a great many instances where a repair take only a few minutes.  If the fault your computer is suffering falls into the ‘quick-fix’ repair category you need to be aware of how you will be charged for it.

Answer to expect: “Yes. Our minimum workshop charge is one hour
The greater majority of repair centres will charge a minimum of one hour labour to have a computer on the workshop’s repair bench.

Here at Evolve our minimum repair charge is £12.50 (half-hour) which includes the initial inspection cost, and the fix too if it can be carried out during the time.

“Should I expect any other charges in addition to the hourly rate?”
In a world where consumers are often charged hidden fees, the above is an astute question to ask, no matter if we’re talking computer or car repair (or any other services for that matter).

Answer to expect: “No.
£25 per hour should be just that.  There should not be VAT to be added, there should not be a set-up cost, a feather duster charge or any other additional costs.

However, if your repair required a new item of hardware (parts) then you should expect to pay this.“Do you guarantee your service?”
Here in the UK all physical repairs (hardware/parts) must be guaranteed for a minimum of 3 months, however software repairs do not.

Answer to expect “Yes.  3 months warranty on hardware repairs, and (x) days for software repairs
Expect at least the minimum hardware warranty, if  less is quoted then do not do business!

Software repairs are different.  Quite often software is fixed, but the problem was caused in someway by the user.  For example, it is easy to accidentally delete a file crucial to the Windows start up process.  Deleting it may prevent the computer from starting up.
Once this is fixed the user may once again accidentally delete the same file.
In this scenario, is it fair to expect the repair centre to repair this same problem again (for free) under guarantee?

At Evolve we only offer software guarantee’s on Virus Removal.  Even then that is only when it is obvious that a reinfection has been caused by us missing something during the initial service.  If it is apparent the virus is new, then we charge for the time. answers to all of the above questions should apply in most cases, to most people and to most repairs and should be used as a guideline not only regarding computer repairs, but any kind of repairs – to cars, plumbing, building… anything.  You may think it common sense after reading this article, but quite often customers ask not one of the above questions, and instead ask lots of other questions instead!

(Images sourced through Google Image Search, please contact me if you are the owner of any of the images use and wish them to be removed)

Please feel free to discuss this article in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks.... for your blog you did really
    good work.If you want to know more about computer repair
    then please visit


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