Why people are looking for alternatives to Geek Squad and Nerds

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There are so many computer repair companies out there trying to make a quick buck, and they don’t care about customer service in the least.  Ofcourse, we are all in business (regardless of the type of business) to make money.  We’re not running a charity here.  However, there comes a point when you don’t “get what you pay for”.  Everyone’s heard the saying, “You get what you pay for”, but it’s not always true.  I’ve seen many technicians charge outrageous prices and they are horrible technicians and even worse in customer service.  Then, there’s the ones that typically have full time jobs and work out of the basement of their house for extra money on the side, and these technicians are geniuses.  They’d run circles around any technician and their customer service skills are pretty good too.  How do you find these guys?  Well, like I said, they typically have full time jobs so they don’t exactly advertise their services.  You either happen to know them through friends or neighbours.

Before I go on about how Twinbytes, my company, is one of the rare low priced and high quality companies; I want to show you this video below that was on television where they did a secret shopper basically and tested the service of many technicians on a simple job.  I’m the type that doesn’t charge for a 3 second fix and I don’t jump to conclusions scaring people about a $3,000 data recovery when all they need is a $60 fix and a data recovery wouldn’t cost more than $1,500 to begin with.  Where do some of these guys come up with these prices?  Please take the time to watch the video below and be sure to share this page on Facebook, and email your friends to inform them.

Now that I’ve frightened you with the above video.  There are some good technicians out there.  I’ve written a book (www.tech-knowledgybook.com) that helps people to educate themselves enough that they don’t get taken advantage of.  It’s a great resource and only costs $15.  Also, I’ve got this blog with lots of helpful information, my Youtube channel with how to videos and reviews, www.youtube.com/twinbytesinc and I’ve been on television and a regular speaker on radio providing lots of free information.

It’s difficult to say what the fair pricing would be to repair computers, but we can see what many shops charge and these large organizations that are franchises and you never know who you will get and they are not always trained properly as you noticed in the video above, assuming you’ve watched the video.  If you didn’t watch it yet, I strongly recommend you do.  It will open your eyes to reality.  The only thing I don’t totally agree with in the video is the way they come up with fair pricing on parts.  If you look online, sure you’ll find the cheapest prices possible because you’re doing it yourself.  If you ask a technician to get you the right part, you’re asking them to spend their time looking and if they have to charge you, ofcourse they have to mark up the price to cover the cost of credit card processing fees or even bank fees when the deposit the money.  If we don’t mark up the prices at least a certain percentage, we are actually losing money, not to mention the time spent searching, and don’t forget shipping costs to receive it.  If you pay for diagnostic, you can then buy the part yourself saving some money on the part, then if you can install yourself, you save money, or if you need help, you need to pay for a second visit to install.  Ofcourse if you take it into a shop, it’s cheaper again because we are not making two trips.

The best thing is if you run a business, you probably don’t want a friend or family member helping out.  You want a professional, reliable business that will stick around to help you.  If you are just a student or it’s your home computer that doesn’t generate money for you, you can save money by asking friends and neighbours if they know any students that are good with computers where they can fix issues for just a few bucks under the table.  CAUTION: These students and friends don’t do this as a business, so although they may know how to remove a virus or fix an error, they may not consider the programs you use, or ask if you remember your passwords if they delete all your cookies, or did you backup your pictures and music before we try this potentially dangerous fix?  They might give up half way through, and although they won’t charge you probably for their efforts, you are stuck with having to hire someone in the end, and now that job will cost more having to fix what the original technician did than if you had of hired a professional in the first place.  Yes, I’ve got you asking even more questions now which seems unhelpful, but trust me, you need to be asking lots of questions, and that’s how you can avoid being taken advantage of.

Read blogs, articles, take courses, stay informed.  Educate yourself as much as you can.  Not to fix issues yourself necessarily, but to avoid getting ripped off or gouged by geeks.  Get a copy of my book and subscribe to my newsletters using the link on www.twinbytes.ca for a start.

About Daniel Gauthier

work as a peace officer in various forms. Daniel wrote a book in 2009 called “Tech-Knowledgy” which got him on television and radio a few times. The concept behind the book was “to level the playing field between computer techs and non-techies so they don’t get take advantage of”.
Daniel has a couple certifications including MCP and A+; he is preparing to write the Network+ exam and has studied CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) and CHFI (Computer Hacking Forensics Investigator). Daniel has run his own computer service business “TwinBytes” since 2004. He has done a few talks on cyber security and generally enjoys training, educating and helping others.