When your computer has problems, you want them fixed quickly – and fixed right. If you can’t complete the repair on your own, your first instinct might be to ask a friend or family member to take a look. After all, most of us know at least one person we consider a computer “expert,” who can easily fix whatever the issue us.
While there is nothing wrong with asking your teenage nephew to show you how to import photos from your camera, or install some basic software on your new computer, when you need serious help with your machine, such as when you have a virus, the repairs are usually best left to professional computer experts and tech support. Yes, a friend can often fix the problem for free, but you could be opening yourself up to some costly surprises down the road.
“Do You Know What You’re Doing?”
From the perspective of someone who doesn’t know a lot about computers other than how to perform common functions, anyone who has what appears to be more knowledge is likely to seem like an expert.
Just because someone has some more knowledge of the subject than you, though, doesn’t automatically mean they are qualified to fix your computer issues. In fact, many computer “geeks” admit to simply using Google to find the answers to problems and trying different solutions they find online. This might work sometimes, but it can also introduce bigger problems onto your machine.
And because people generally feel bad about telling someone they know that they can’t fix the problem, they often accept jobs that are well beyond their capabilities. Think of it this way: Just because you know how to drive your car doesn’t mean you know how to fix it when something breaks down. The same goes for computer repair.
In short, expecting someone who has a little bit of technical knowledge to be capable of fixing any computer problem is not only unrealistic, but unfair. It’s better to call upon professional home tech support, which will have both the skills and the tools required to deal with your problem.
The Snowball Effect
You may be lucky enough to have someone in your life who is a whiz with computers and knows exactly what to do to fix your problem. Unfortunately, not everyone is that lucky, and if you ask for help from someone who doesn’t really know what he or she is doing, what starts off as a small problem could end up a bigger one.
What if your computer is damaged in the process of the repair? Now you need to either replace the broken part or buy a new machine. Or what if in the process of fixing one problem, a new issue pops up – but it goes unnoticed? Now you’ll need more service.
The problem with relying on amateur computer repair goes back to the question of knowledge. Without the in-depth expertise that professionals have, you never know if everything has been fixed. In fact, it’s common for people who have had their computers fixed by amateurs to blame every future problem on their friend, even if they have nothing to do with it. It’s human nature to wonder if the last repair caused the problem. By calling a pro, you avoid any awkward encounters or unnecessary blame.
A Quicker Fix
When you need your computer fixed quickly, you want to rely on someone who knows what to do and has the tools to do it, not someone who has to spend time researching and trying different options. Unless you are sure that your friend knows what needs to be done, it’s best to call a pro who can get you back up and running quickly.
It’s the Right Thing to Do
Even if you know someone who works in IT, and does have the skills you need, it’s usually a better idea to call a professional tech support service for help. One major complaint among IT pros is the fact that friends and family often ask for and expect help, without offering to pay for their services.
You wouldn’t ask a mechanic or hairdresser to provide services for free, so IT help shouldn’t be any different. It’s a matter of professional respect, so if you do ask a friend who works with computers for a living for help, offer to pay for the service.
Solving computer problems can be complex, and you want to preserve as much of your data and avoid expensive replacements as long as possible. For that reason, and to help preserve your relationships, you should always call on professional help for computer problems.