Computer Repair & Maintenance Costs

After dealing with my own (and others’) computer problems for so long, I forgot how much computer repairs actually cost (as of today).  It only thought about it when someone who didn’t live locally needed computer help.  Unfortunately, they bought their computer from Best Buy (I died a little on the inside when I heard that).  Either way, I looked at the cost of computer repairs at Best Buy Canada.  I hoped for something reasonable.

Virus & Spyware Removal

Best Buy: Apparently they charge a whopping $249 for in home or in office service and $189 for online service or in store support.  This package includes:

Looking at each of these items are the list, these are all things that people could do themselves for free if people took the time to learn.  Some of these tasks take only a few minutes to do.  For example, malware removal just takes a few clicks on the antivirus and the rest is just waiting for results.  Updating the system just requires getting Windows Update to look for them.  Actually, Windows will even tell you that you need to update.  It is just that a lot of people ignore it or disable automatic updates.  Backing up the files on the computer only requires moving files from the computer to an external storage device with a simple drag and drop.  The time consuming part isn’t moving the files, but is actually thinking of what files need to be backed up.  Geek Squad can’t help with that.  Anybody that knows how to use a computer should be able to do that.  And if people don’t have access to external storage, their friends most likely do. 

The rest of these services provide little detail about the extent of their service.  Formatting the computer solves most software issues, but a fix like that is quite brute force and not extensive at all.  On the other hand, an extensive fix means determining which piece of hardware or software is responsible for the problem.  Say that the client gets a blue screen or that Explorer is crashing repeatedly.  Solving this problem requires knowing what people do on the computer.  But the problem is that some people are not even aware of what they did (whether directly or indirectly) to cause the computer to behave a certain way.  These computer problems make formatting an attractive repair option.  Again, this fix takes only a few clicks, and the rest is just letting the computer do what those clicks told it to do.

A few minutes worth of work to save over a hundred dollars.  Even if someone is new to computers, a quick Google search will show solutions to these problems catered to beginners.  Sounds like a bargain to me.

Security and Performance

Here are more crazy computer repairs/maintenance services that Best Buy offers.  A little more reasonable this time.

Yet again, Best Buy charges people for easy fixes (see the first nine included services on the list).  They are all quick things that people can do on the computer if they put the time in (see pseudo-rant in the previous section).  One thing here that people that I can see people would pay for is physically setting up the computer, but people should not have to.  It is really not that hard.  In grade 3, my mother set up the computer all by herself, and she had never touched a computer in her life before.  It was mostly typewriters back then.  Organizing the wires and cables is an even less daunting task than setting up the computer.  It merely involves taking wires and cables together, wrapping them together and putting them neatly against the wall so it doesn’t look ugly.  Some would say that organizing the wires isn’t even necessary because people don’t even see the mess of wires behind the computer even if it was there.  The next thing on the list seems like a good idea at first, teaching people how to use a computer.  But realistically speaking, people will always forget.  Like many stereotypical middle aged and older people, no matter how many times they are taught to do something on the computer, they will inevitably forget.  The last three things on the list are a joke.  Simply knowing how to read will allow one to complete those tasks.  People do not need to pay so much to get a computer fixed.

Wireless Networking

Here are more things that people pay for at Best Buy.

Three words for people who pay for this.  Read the manual.  Reading the manual for the router not only teaches people how to hook it up, it also tells people how to set up your entire network complete with enabling the router’s security features.  They don’t even have to purchase an upgrade to install an additional device!  The manual explains how.  All that is required, is pretty much plug in the cable in the spot that the manual says and it will work.  Taking thirty minutes to read the manual to connect to the Internet can help save you $169.  Even better deal than switching to Geico for car insurance!

Conclusion

Getting a computer fixed from Best Buy looks like a huge money grab.  Best Buy’s site featured even more computer services that people could purchase, but I didn’t go through it all.  They are all very similar.  They all offer solutions that literally cost people nothing if they took the time to learn.  Aside from the people that are just not very knowledgeable with computers, maybe some people are just lazy and would rather throw money at a problem to make it go away.

Source: http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/category/computers-networking/28857.aspx?path=3aa9e4f25b9e89f41bd934261dff9881en01

Posted on January 6, 2011, in computer stuff, opinions. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Well-maintained blog. Thanks for sharing the information.

  2. although these types of repairs and services seem easy to you
    not everybody was blessed with your computer knowledge

    • It does take an interest to begin with to get into tinkering with this sort of thing. I guess that’s where me being frugal benefited me. I can’t really say I’m “blessed”, but rather I simply made an effort to learn. I didn’t have to shell out money to get my computer fixed every time if I took the time to learn it myself. A lot of other people I know don’t know computers and just rely on their friends.

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