Rogue PC Repair Technicians
Things To Consider Before Paying For PC Repairs
Lanarkshire IT Services are Microsoft, CompTIA and CISCO certified IT professionals with over 12 years experience in home / business IT support. We are also members of the Microsoft Partner Network / Cloud Essentials and partners with leading IT technology providers.
These partnerships ensure we have access to all the relevant support and training materials as well as detailed product information.
We believe in carrying out a professional service however we usually find ourselves working on systems that a local "pc wizard" has attempted to fix or offered advice on.
These people arrive at customers premises spouting pc jargon to baffle the customer and then charge crazy prices like £40+ per hour. Mostly these are untrained people using limited knowledge to make a quick buck.
One example we seen recently was someone who called out a local "pc tech" to repair a laptop that wouldn't boot into Windows. The "tech" completely formatted the laptop including the user's recovery partition and replaced it with no means to recover the system rendering the system useless. Then charged the customer £60.
Another common one we see is people constantly being told that their files / photos etc cannot be recovered. When a simple Boot CD / USB would save them.
Some PC Technicians we've seen haven't even heard of a Boot CD / USB nevermind know how to use one!
Someone who is good on Twitter / Facebook / My Space etc or "good with computers" is not necessarily a qualified computer techician. More often than not these people will advise you to "format and reinstall Windows" or "restore to factory settings" because that's all they know. They have no idea about the internal settings / registry settings of Windows or how to fix them, should they become corrupted.
Sadly these people do more damage than they actually repair. For a start you might loose all your precious data such as photo's, music, personal documents etc. Then you or the "pc expert" might have to spend hours reinstalling all your hardware drivers, programs, updates etc etc. They will probably bill you for this time as well. And at £30 or £40 per hour it's going to be a lot.
So here are some tips to consider BEFORE you call in a local "computer expert"
Certification / References:
- Ask to see any professional IT certifications - Any decent technician will gladly show these to you - Avoid people who cannot display this
- Look for the following professional IT certifications such as:
- CompTIA A+ (PC Technician)
- CompTIA N+ (Network Technician)
- CompTIA Server+ (Server Technician)
- Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP)
- Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST)
- Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA)
- Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)
- Microsoft Small Business Server Specialist - SBS 2003 / 2008
- Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)
- CISCO CCNA
- Although having any of the above is still useless with little or no decent field / helpdesk experience as there is only such much you can learn from a book or course and they don't teach you everything
- Anyone qualified by Microsoft / CompTIA / Cisco can display their qualifications transcript online to be viewed by anyone including potential clients and employers
- Ask to see any references or a portfolio of recent work completed
- Check they have a website and that it looks decent / authentic
On the job:
- Anyone who has begun working on your system and then has to take it home with them is usually struggling and doesn't want you to see that. Or worse, they want to steal stuff of your system. Unless of course there is a legitimate reason for this.
- Make sure the technician arrives with the appropriate tools and parts. If they ask you for a screwdriver then be suspicious.
Recovery CDs / Partitions:
- Never let anyone delete your PC or laptop's recovery partition - It is there to recover your system in event of disaster
- Some means of system recovery SHOULD ALWAYS be provided
- A clean system restore point should ALWAYS be set with old, possibly infected ones removed
Pirate / Cracked software:
- Never let anyone install cracked or pirated software on your machine
Formatting / Data Loss:
- Formatting or wiping your machine should only be done in extremely rare cases - Most decent techs see formatting as a sign of defeat
- Your personal data such as photo's etc should always be retained unless the hard drive is seriously damaged - Get a 2nd opinion when you are told that your files are gone or can't be recovered!
Sensitive / Personal Data:
- Should you have any sensitive, personal or work / business data then please either encrypt this using freely available encryption tools such as: (TrueCrypt) or simply dump the data to an external drive BEFORE any technician works on your system.
- Never let anyone charge home users for FREE anti-virus / spyware software
- If you are having a wireless network installed - make sure it's secure and NOT wide open for anyone to use
- ALL Windows software should be up to date
- ALL security software should be present and up to date
- DO NOT pay for work that hasn't actually fixed your system
- Never let anyone run registry cleaners on your machine - Its another sign of incompetence
- Be wary of someone who suggests "just format and reinstall Windows" - This is easy to do and you will loose ALL your data that isn't backed up
- Ask them what support tools they are using
- Make sure they document or explain the work they are going to do / have done and that you understand
- Your system should be better off by the time the work is done
If the opposite of any of the above has been carried out on your system them you have been conned - You were warned.
If you are in any doubt or need some clarification of these above then please Contact Us BEFORE you have work carried out.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 05 September 2012 10:07)