Most people don’t realize that there are better choices for computer repair than their local big box electronics retailers.  There are many reasons why this is so. 

Big box retailers are more interested in selling you a new PC than repairing your old one.  That’s why they charge exorbitant prices for any of the services they provide. 

The technicians that work in these corporate chains are at best A+ certified but most often have no IT certifications. They don’t pay enough to get technicians with any of the advanced Microsoft certifications.  Nor do these technicians have a lot of experience, and when they have earned enough experience they get a higher paying job somewhere else.    

I have personally had dozens of customers tell me they were told by one of the major electronics retailers that they had a bad motherboard and would have to buy a new computer.  In 50% of these cases, the issue was something other than the motherboard and was easily fixed.

I’m not saying there aren’t unqualified and unskilled computer technicians in the locally owned computer repair businesses, but if you do a little research first you have a much better chance of getting a good result at these shops than you do at a corporate chain store. 

If possible, get a referral from friends or family.  If someone you know is happy with a particular computer repair shop then you probably will be too.  If you can’t get a referral, do an Internet search for computer repair in your town and state.  Try to determine the following by visiting some of the websites:

  • What IT certifications does the technician have?  Some examples include: Comptia A+ Certification, Microsoft Certified Professional, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, Comptia Network+ Certification, Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist etc… Choose a shop that has at least two of the major certifications.
  • How much experience does the technician have? 
  • Is the repair work done in shop or is it sub-contracted out?
  • Is there a diagnostic fee?
  • Does the shop have liability insurance?
  • Do they charge flat rates or hourly rates?
  • Will they save your data in case the operating system has to be reinstalled?
  • Do they guarantee their work?
  • Call the shop and ask questions.  You can get a good idea about how a person will be to do business with by how they treat you on the phone.

Computers contain sensitive financial and personal data.  I would not let just anyone have access to my computer.  Do your research first and save yourself a lot of trouble.