Checkout Lane: How to find a good computer technician
If your computer isn't working properly, finding someone to fix it can be unnerving.
"What you are mainly looking for is someone that knows what they are doing and someone that you can trust," said Bob Black, owner of RGB Computer Solutions in Hingham, Mass.
Black recommends asking for references when choosing a computer company.
Black said Apple computers tend to be a bit more expensive for repairs, at about $90 to $120 per hour, depending on the problem. But he said he is able to fix some problems - such as a broken screen - for half of what an Apple store charges.
Many shops are able to run a diagnostic test for about $75, or the cost of the first hour of repair, to find out what is wrong and quote a cost for the rest of the work.
Black suggests looking for a company that checks with you before performing the work and lets you know exactly what is being done, as well as the final pricing. In addition, he says you should find out how long it will take to fix the problem (anything over a week is generally not a good sign).
Finding a company that can communicate effectively with you about your computer is something that Sherri Neely of South Shore Computer Repair in Middleboro, Mass., said is important when choosing a company.
Neely said that having all the right certifications is good, but choosing someone who is creative and inquisitive about the work they do can be just as much of an advantage.
She also recommends being wary of a company that is charging rates that are much lower than the average cost, because the service you receive may lack quality. The average cost for virus removal, for example, ranges between $45 and $75 per hour.
Neely said a shop often will not be able to offer a guarantee on a repair because of the number of things that could go wrong.
"It's hard to guarantee this kind of work, so the local shops are probably a better bet," Neely said. "They are not going to leave you high and dry."
Shaunna Gately may be reached at email@example.com.