Why “Mostly Computers?”
Because computers are mostly what I deal with, but I also assist clients with other technology needs. Those needs can include home theater systems, home security systems, mobile devices, and pretty much anything else where technology and electronics are involved. If it has an electrical cord and/or a circuit board, chances are I can help you with it. Just ask. If it falls outside of my knowledge base, I will refer you to another specialist.
So what else do you do?
I provide consulting services in Security and Emergency Planning. These services include personal disaster plans for families; corporate disaster preparation, recovery, and business continuity; security, traffic and crowd management at private events, and more. I have almost 20 years of training and experience with the National Weather Service as an Advanced Severe Weather Spotter, and I have recently become an Advanced Member of the Marion County Community Emergency Response Team, a volunteer organization run by the Indianapolis Department of Public Safety with extensive training to respond in various emergency and disaster situations. It is important for people to understand that being prepared for a disaster is neither difficult nor expensive, but can make the difference between being a survivor and becoming a casualty.
Do you provide services beyond the Indianapolis Metro area?
Yes, I have clients throughout Central Indiana. I do not charge an hourly rate for travel time, but I do assess small flat fees for traveling to locations outside of Marion County. Fees start at $10 for the surrounding counties and go up from there. Please see the map on my Pricing pages for more details.
What if I live in another state?
I do indeed have clients who reside outside of Indiana. If the client’s computer is operational and has Internet access, I can access that system remotely to assist with any issues. Otherwise, clients may ship their computers to me, but they are responsible for all shipping costs and assume all responsibility for any damage or loss due to shipping. This is not as expensive as it sounds, especially if the hard drive can be removed from the computer and shipped in a USPS Flat Rate box. Laptops are also relatively inexpensive to ship.
Do you offer free diagnosis and estimates?
Generally speaking, yes. For on-site service calls there is a minimum $35 fee even if no work is performed. I usually do not charge for any support or advice provided in-shop or over the phone if it takes less than ten minutes.
What payment methods do you accept?
I am currently able to accept all major credit cards, checks, and PayPal. Cash is always accepted, of course, although I generally do not carry enough cash on me to provide exact change.
(NOTICE: Checks that are returned for non-sufficient funds will result in the maximum penalty allowed by state law.)
How long do repairs take?
Every situation is unique. For in-shop repairs I strive for a 72-hour turnaround time. That is NOT a guarantee; merely a goal. Quite often repairs are completed in a day or two. If I think it will take longer than 72 hours, or if I run into something unforeseen, then I will promptly notify the client. I try to keep on-site repairs to two hours or less, circumstances permitting. If a repair is going to take longer than that and letting the computer return back to the shop is a possibility, then I will suggest that repairs be completed in-shop so the client can take advanatge of the lower hourly rate.
Do you guarantee your work?
Absolutely. I will make every effort to make sure a client is satisfied with any work performed before I issue an invoice. Additionally, I offer a limited 30-day labor guarantee on repairs. By “limited,” I mean that if I have missed something in the course of a repair that requires any additional time with the computer to remedy, I will not charge the client for that additional time. Issues such as – but not limited to – problems not brought to my attention by the client during the initial consultation, any new problems unrelated to the first repair, or any problems brought about through the direct actions or inactions of a client, are not covered under the limited warranty. Also, problems with any installed hardware need to be handled through the manufacturer of the hardware in question. I will do my best to assist clients with any warranty-related hardware issues, but please understand that I am not an authorized dealer for any company, so it is impossible for me to honor their product warranties.
My computer and/or network is extremely slow. What do I do?
The fastest and easiest troubleshooting step is to reboot the computer or the router in question to see if that resolves the issue. A large number of minor computer glitches can be fixed in this way. If this fails and the problem persists, you should call in professional help, but there are further steps you can take to reduce the time and expense involved in diagnosing the problem. Try to establish a pattern to narrow down the cause of the problem. For instance, does the problem always occur after visiting a specific website or during a certain time of the day? Does the problem affect all computers on the network, or just one? Were any changes recently made to the computer or the network? Has any new hardware been added? Were any software updates recently installed? The more information you can provide up front, the less time it will take to track down the problem and the less money you will spend fixing it.
What computer brand and/or software do you recommend?
That is not an easy question since every client’s computing needs are different. However, as a general rule I recommend Linux-based operating systems and Free Open Source Software (FOSS) wherever possible, especially on servers. I also recommend Apple computers and operating systems. For mobile devices, on the other hand, I discourage iOS and recommend Android-based devices. I could devote an entire website to the reasons behind my recommendations, but for the purposes of this FAQ, I will just say that my opinions on this topic are the result of 30 years of experience with various operating systems, hardware, security and software licensing issues. Ultimately, the client makes the final decision based on what they feel is the right solution for them and I respect those decisions. For more information on software solutions, see Recommended Software.
Why should I choose you over other computer repair businesses?
- My company is locally owned and operated, which means you are helping to support the local economy.
- My rates are some of the lowest in the region. My on-site rates are lower than the in-shop rates of most chain stores.
- With very rare exceptions, my clients deal with me and only with me.
- I have over three decades of experience, dating back to some of the earliest computers.
- I review technology and cybersecurity websites daily to stay informed about the latest technology trends and security threats.
- I value the privacy of my clients, and I will never allow personal information about a client or from a client’s computer to be copied, compromise, or otherwise misused in any way.
- I treat my clients the way that I want to be treated by businesses. Yes, sometimes computer repairs can be expensive, however, I try to give my clients the best service I can while also trying to be fair about what I charge for those services.
- I genuinely love what I do, and when I’m not working for a client, I am usually tinkering with my own computers and network at home.
What should I do before you work on my system?
First and foremost, clients need to backup all of their personal data before sending a computer to me (or anyone else, for that matter). I cannot and will not be held responsible for loss of data through the course of any repair, especially where viruses and malware are concerned. If a computer has become inoperable before backups could be made, the client needs to let me know that immediately so I can attempt to retrieve and backup personal data before attempting repairs.
Second, clients are responsible for providing any original OEM software installation disks necessary to effect repairs. Please do not ask me to violate proprietary software licenses or intellectual property laws. If you need software installed on multiple computers but the expense of doing so within the restrictions of proprietary software licensing is not cost effective, ask me about possible Free Open Source Software alternatives.
Lastly, please answer fact-finding questions honestly and completely. Inaccurate or incomplete information can lead to longer repair times.
What should I do after the repair is complete?
The first thing a client should do is make sure all programs and features work properly and that all personal data – photos, videos, music, documents, etc. – can be accessed. If you are happy with work I have provided for you, please refer me to others and leave reviews about your experience on my website, FaceBook page, and/or on business review sites such as Google and Angie’s List. I spend very little money on advertising and rely heavily on word-of-mouth to bring me new clients. If you are for any reason dissatisfied with any work I have performed, please call me to let me know and give me the opportunity to discuss it with you.