How many times have you brought your computer with a minor problem to a computer repair service like best buy geek squad, and your computer has been diagnosed with all kinds of problems by one of their so called geek? I bet you have.
The problem with your computer might be as easy as tight up a loosen IDE cable, but a geek squad technician will tell you that the motherboard is fried, and you will need to change it, and then they will tell you the power supply is faulty, and you will need to change it also. The price tag for the repair and replacement parts can go as high as the price for a brand new computer, but you need the data on that computer, and you are left with no alternative but to shell out the money for the repair.
You might be quiet about these kind of rip offs because it seems every computer repair shop does the same, and unfortunately you don’t have the expertise to fix the problem yourself. But your are no fool, and you suspect something is quite not right when paying such a high price for a computer solution. As a geek myself I can assure you that your guts are 100 % right. So, what’s wrong with these people that charges me so much money to repair my computer you might ask?
The problem is that these people see you as a consumer and not as a person. Their business model is to suck up as much money from you as possible. They see every opportunity in you to sell you anything they might think they can get away with it, even though you don’t need it. They are not professionals much less geeks, they are parasites waiting for you to feed on.
Let me tell you, before I got into the computer field ( that was back in high school) I got ripped off by these so called computer professionals too. I worked at a restaurant during that time and let me tell you, it was not nice to give my paycheck to one of these slob just to fix a simple problem with my computer. If you think I’m lying or you think those guys are the geekest on earth, put your glasses on and watch these videos:
FYI. I have nothing to do with those geekteks guys, I just couldn’t find the videos without the promotional URLs. I wouldn’t be surprised they are parasites from the same carcass. I don’t think the videos are biased though.
Watching those videos and thinking that those facts are everyday events at those places, you wonder, do these people have lost their ethics? Do they think they have divine knowledge a god right seated angel have whispered to them so they don’t feel morally guilty when ripping off people this way? As you can see, these people don’t know anything about computers. A techie that is capable enough be be called a techie should be able to catch the problem shown in the first video as soon as the computer is turned on.
The problem in the second video is more subtle but it shouldn’t take very long for an experienced technician to diagnose the problem.
Am I saying that you shouldn’t charge when repairing computers? Not at all. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t take advantage of people, remember that they need to work to get the money. Some of them don’t even have good jobs, have kids, family, debts.
Don’t make their lives even harder. Be reasonable in your prices. What’s reasonable you might ask? For me reasonable computer repair prices in Boston are 25 to 30 dollars per hour, depending on the problem. If the technician has a local shop and pays rent, 50 dollars per hour is reasonable. People should not pay for consultation or diagnose of a problem. Period.
Is that degrading your work or devaluing your knowledge? I don’t think so, being reasonable and honest on the work you do, is not degrading or devaluing your work. Rest assured that people know that you depend on your work to live and support your family, and they will be happy to pay you and come back when having computer issues when you are reasonable with them. Just remember they are not responsible for the lifestyle you think you deserve.
Do people have alternatives to geek squad like rip off places when needing computer repair service? Sure they do. Even though they think they don’t, but there are many real computer geeks that might do the job for you for a reasonable price, and if the problem is easy, they can do it for free. Where can you find those geeks, and how can you make sure he is what he says he is?
You can spot real geeks in local newspaper classifieds, or poster ads on your local streets. Geeks normally have day time jobs, but try to supplement their income by doing side work on the evenings or weekends, also you can ask family or friends about someone they might know that has done good computer work for them at a reasonable price. This is how I get many calls. Word of mouth.
How can you know the person is a geek? Ask them if they work in the computer field. And if yes, ask them where. If he works for a company in IT he mostly likely is a geek. Working in a company he needs to justify his paycheck, so he might know something, but keep in mind that there are some rotten IT departments in companies, so ask him many questions like, how many years has he been working in the IT field, and why is he doing side work while having a day work? An honest person should have an answer for all those questions. Once you find a good techie, stick with him.
What do you think about this, do you think charging people $250 to tight up a loosen IDE connector is reasonable? Post your opinions on the comment section.