Monday, January 3, 2011

Don’t Trust Your Computer With Just Anyone

Happy new year!  Hard to believe 2011 is here – where is my rocket ship or my personal jet pack, you know the one we all thought we would have by this time?  OK, so no jet pack but we sure have excelled in the techno-gadget field that’s a fact you can’t deny.  The other day I was driving down the road listening to my 10 year old daughter talking on the phone with a friend of hers.  I then started thinking about how when I was 10 (1985) all I could do is DREAM of the day I would be allowed to have a (corded to the wall) phone in my own bed room.  If you would have told me in 1990 that when I turn 35 in the year 2010 I will not only have a phone in my car or on my body at all times, that phone would also have all of the applications such as (I’ll list the ones I use most often) internet, which includes email and texting, Camera, stop watch, flash light mode, radio, mp3 player, note pad, calendar, alarm and clock, video player, video recorder and hand held gaming unit – all in one… I would be sure that future me was a millionaire!  Secondly, no I don’t think I would have believe that I would own something like that… and we’re only talking about looking back 20 years!  Amazing isn’t it? 

Well all this technology needs people to fix it – lol if you would have told me 20 years ago I would be the person to do those repairs, I never would have believed you either!  Each and everyday people trust me with their very valuable information.  A computer is a very intimate tool when you think about it.  Your family photos are there, documents which might include sensitive information about you personally, including medical records and financial information.  Knowing this it freaks me out every time I hear the story my client starts to tell about how they had the lawn man in to the fix the problem.  Why would you allow someone to have access to your very valuable information? 

Simply Seniors Computer Tutors goes above and beyond to let clients know our company Computer Tutors are experienced and trust worth folk.  Simply Seniors Computer Tutors has been helping seniors since August 2002.  Our mission is to help senior citizens learn new technology; therefore expanding their world.  We are here to aid seniors throughout central Florida with their computer and technological needs.  Each of our in home tutors has received a state or county background check before coming aboard with Computer Tutor. For your safety when a Tutor or technician comes to your home  she wears an easy to identify name badge and ID and is dressed in a Computer Tutor uniform. 

I started this business by myself and have worked hard to expand and share the knowledge.  Many of our clients have been with us now for 7 years or more!  I think it is very important to know who is working on your machine. 

Here is more on the topic from a fellow Computer Technician out of LA.  TI can’t say the following any better, thank you guys for caring! Computer Heaven is the name and they are locally owned as well. 

Hiring the wrong computer repair guy can not only be incredibly frustrating and expensive, but you could end up losing ALL of your irreplaceable files, photos, music, e-mails, and other important documents!


· Computer scams and rip-offs that you MUST be aware of.

· 5 Costly misconceptions about computer maintenance and repair.

· Viruses, worms, spyware, and hackers: what you need to know to protect yourself.

· 7 Questions you need to ask before buying any computer equipment.

· Why you need to avoid “cheap” or “bargain” computer repair shops.

· The one surefire sign that you should run – not walk – out of a computer repair shop.

There are no shortages of horror stories about fly-by-night computer repair shops causing problems as a result of their unethical or incompetent behavior. I’m sure if you talk to your own friends and family you will get an ear-full of the unfortunate experiences they have encountered in this area.

You see, the computer industry, along with a lot of other industries, has its own share of unethical businesses who will always try to take advantage of uneducated buyers in their greed for easy money. Fortunately, businesses like these are the minority, but we know they exist because we have had a number of customers come to us to clean up the disasters they have caused.

Another big problem of the computer industry is that it is not regulated like many other industries. Automotive repair shops, electricians, plumbers, lawyers, realtors, dentists, doctors, accountants, and even restaurants (to name a few) are heavily regulated to protect the consumer from receiving substandard work or getting ripped off. However, the computer industry is still very new and there aren’t any laws in existence to protect the consumer.

Anyone who can turn a computer on can market themselves as a computer repair technician or shop. Even if they are honestly trying to do a good job for you, their inexperience can cost you dearly in your machine’s performance or in lost or corrupt data files. That is why we decided to offer this report.

The information in this Guide is provided to help raise standards within the computer repair and support industry, and to give YOU useful information to help you guard against the unethical or incompetence of some companies and technicians.

The Five Most Costly Misconceptions About

Computer Maintenance and 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, 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), 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(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 they don’t know enough to make this recommendation, which is a sure sign they are horribly inexperienced, OR

•  They recognize that they are profiting from your computer problems and don’t want to recommend steps towards preventing you from needing their help on an ongoing basis.

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 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 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:

•  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.

•  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.

•  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 to have it picked up? Do they send the replacement first? What is the guaranteed turnaround time for an item? This is why many people prefer to buy all equipment from a local vendor. If something goes wrong, you can drive to the store, speak to a real person, and get an instant replacement in most cases.

•  What type of help desk support do they 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. Which brings me to the next question…

•  Is your support free or charged by the minute? Make sure you are very clear on what support is free and what is fee-based.

•  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.

•  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 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 13 solid years.

Your Customer Bill Of Rights

Here is what I promise to deliver if you choose Simply Seniors Computer Tutors to service your computer or company network:

When you call us with a computer problem, we guarantee that your phone call will be either answered immediately or returned within 24 hours or less by an experienced member of our staff who can help.

You should not have to wait around weeks for your computer to be repaired. We understand how important your computer is to you; that is why we offer expedited service where we will start working on your computer the day you bring it in. In most cases, we can fix it within 24 hours or less. * Call for more details.

You deserve to get answers to your questions in PLAIN ENGLISH. Our technicians will not talk down to you or make you feel stupid because you don’t understand their “geek speak”.

You deserve complete satisfaction with our products and services. We will do whatever it takes to make you happy. No hassles, no problems.

You should EXPECT that no damage will be done to your machine or your data. Before we start working on your computer or network, we will evaluate your problem and alert you to any potential risks involved in fulfilling your job. If there are any risks, they will be explained in full, and your authorization and agreement will be obtained before the work commences. You can also choose to have your data backed up before we start any work on your machine.

A large proportion of our business comes from referrals from happy, satisfied customers. We want you to recommend us and we know that you will only do this if you are happy with the services we provide. That is why we work so hard to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Please visit www.ComputerTutorHelp.Us for more help! More Coming soon!  Please tell your friends!!!  Help Spread the word!  Simply Seniors Computer Tutor! 321-431-FUNN – Because Computers should be fun!

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