Is computer tech support worth the cost?

Running a blog or a website is a multidimensional activity. You are responsible for just about everything; including, but not limited to designing the site, determining what software to use, finding a web host, writing or obtaining fresh content, backing up your site, databases and files, updating any and all software you use, answering comments, marketing to increase traffic and rankings, handling any (if you are lucky) advertising, making sure product sales (if any) are secure and completed successfully as well as keeping the computer hardware and software that you use to do all that virus and problem free.

It can easily be a full time job just for one site or blog. Most of us have several.

I love most parts of the experience, but hate with a passion having to deal with computer virus’s and malware.

My experience past two years.

We have had personal computers in our home since 1987 and have never had as much trouble with virus and malware as we have had the past two years.

Granted, I am much more active on the desktop, laptop and internet than ever. Granted, virus activity has increased in intensity over the years, but still!

During 2010, when I was designing the site and blog and starting to generate content, I did not have many problems. However, in 2011 I had multiple serious bouts fighting virus’s and malware. In 2012 – 3 months ago, a virus killed the motherboard on my laptop and infected the desktop so badly that it still isn’t functioning properly – even after a disk wipe and operating system re-install by professionals!

Now it starts again. My three month old laptop is blue screening and my desktop is infected with what looks like the very same virus that almost killed it three months ago.

All of this, even while we run McAfee Security Central and scan once a day.

Personally, I think there is a better use of my time, so I am thinking of hiring the Geek Squad for full time tech support.

Cost for Geek Squad.

When I had the local (25 miles away!) repair shop diagnose my laptop, it cost me $25 and then another $400 for a new laptop. When I had them ‘clean’ my desktop, save my data, wipe the hard drive and re-install the operating system, it cost me around $125. I also lost 4 days worth of working time, not including the time I spent before taking the computers in for repair – trying to fix them myself.

I also freely leaned on my two sons, who helped me try to diagnose and fix, and used up some of their time.

For around $200, I can get a full years coverage for up to 3 computers for any and all problems. That’s less than $4 a week folks.

What you get.

  • Software Installation.
  • Software assessment and removal of viruses and malware.
  • Certain hardware installation.
  • Memory installation.
  • Operating system installation.
  • Annual computer tune-up, including operating software system updates, screen cleaning, fan cleaning, and keyboard.
  • Cleaning.
  • Hard-drive data removal upon request.
  • Password reset.
  • Hard drive removal upon request.

Worth it?

For me, for the past couple of years – the answer is a resounding YES! If I had taken the laptop in at the first sign of trouble, it may have survived, saving me the cost of the new one.  At the very least, the first round of problems cost me close to what a full year of support would cost, so this time would have been all gravy.

However, if you don’t get virus’s, if you don’t use Microsoft as an operating system, if you have a cheap and dependable local option or if you really enjoy these kinds of challenges, then perhaps not.

My laptop is with them now, if the Geek Squad performs impressively, I may just sign up. I really miss the tech support I was used to at my workplace before I retired. I can spend my time more productively and I can avoid imposing on my busy sons.

How do you deal with your computer software and hardware issues?