Computer services cost guide
Computers have filled the US in the past 30 years. In 1960 there were only about 2,000 units in use, while in 2018 the number of computers and laptops reached 67 million. The Americans spend about $164 billion on computer services yearly and this number continues to grow. While it’s possible today to learn how to repair a computer or install a new OS with the help of the Internet, it takes much less time, money, and nerves to address professional computer services experts.
Here you will learn about:
Average computer services coste
How to hire computer services expert
Other frequently asked questions
Average computer services cost
Computer services include a very wide spectrum of offers available. You can come to these professionals with a minor physical damage of your computer and ask them to reinstall you the whole system or reboot the computer. Some experts focus on hard- or software issues only, while in most cases you will be able to fix everything within the same company. Most computer services cost between $50 and $80 in total per project. However, major cases may raise the cost up to $460 in total. Besides that, be ready that additional parts (if needed) will also be charged separately.
How do computer experts charge?
There are three basic models that computer services experts practice, namely hourly, flat (itemized), and monthly (or yearly) rates.
Hourly charges are not very common in the industry since most computer-related problems are relatively easy to identify. However, if you don’t know which problem to address, your computer services expert may charge you per hour of work. The average cost is $50-$75/hour.
Flat fees are expected for fixing of or working over the particular items, such as the installation of a program, virus removal, etc. However, most companies will also require some preliminary examination fee before they get down to fixing your computer. The primary diagnostic usually costs between $40 and $150 depending on the problem you are suspecting. The flat rates vary significantly depending on a number of factors: from your location to the personal attitude of the repairman.
Monthly and even yearly rates are frequently adopted by the businesses who require computer services on a regular basis. However, as an individual, you can also sign up for a yearly plan and pay a relatively small fee for having an opportunity to fix your computer at any time. Generally, yearly payment equals about $300-$450/year for an individual. Corporate and business deals are always calculated on a case-by-case basis.
Should I choose per-service or per-year pricing?
Everything depends on the amount of support required daily and monthly. If you are using your PC at home only and don’t do any business on it, then chances are you spend less than $100/year for computer services. However, if your daily routine consists of communication with computer support and weekly repairs, then a yearly plan will be a better and more affordable solution for you. To know better, begin working on a per-service basis for a couple of months to evaluate the level of help needed and then transfer to per-month or per-year payments.
What are the most common computer services?
Most common computer services can be divided into the groups of problems that experts are dealing with. Usually, users address computer professionals with hardware failure, software installation, malware or virus removal, physical damages to the units, and usual data or maintenance issues. Here are the most common services and their cost (based on the flat rates).
|Laptop/computer supply failure + socket/power supply replacement||$80-$120||1-2 hours|
|Hard drive failure – replacement (for desktop)||$110-$160||2-4 hours|
|Hard drive failure – maintenance and cleaning||$50-$70||0.5-1 hour|
|Hard drive replacement||$150||2-3 hours|
|Hardware repair (including keyboards, RAM)||$30-$80 + parts cost||3-5 hours|
|Virus or malware removal|
|Malware removal (laptop)||$60-$120||1-4 hours|
|Virus removal||$60-$150||0.5 hour|
|Expired antivirus removal and replacement||$50-$70||0.5-1 hour|
|Installations and upgrades|
|New OS installation||$60-$80 + software cost||1-3 hours|
|Desktop set up (home-based)||$60-$80 + transportation and software costs||2-4 hours|
|Software installation/update||$40-$50 + software cost||0.5-1.5 hours|
|Wireless network installation and configuration||$150-$440||1-2 hours|
|PC tuneup||$70-$100||1-3 hours|
|Laptop liquid damage||$60-$90 + parts cost||24+ hours|
|Broken screen replacement||$160-$370||2-3 hours|
|Data and maintenance|
|General service||$60-$80||1-3 hours|
|Full in-store checking and cleaning||$100-$250||1-2 hours|
|Data recovery||$100-$270||3+ hours|
|Data transfer (from one PC to another)||$70-$160||2-5 hours|
Do computer experts charge extra for in-home/business service?
Some computer services don’t have any charge differences for their in-house or outside-office services. However, most companies do have some minor charges for the in-home and business service. You can expect to get either flat additional payment of $10-$20/visit or a more natural 10-20% rise of the hourly rate. Make only sure that you ask about such calculations before ordering a home-based service.
How to hire a computer services expert
Here are a couple of tips that will help you find the right expert for your computer problem.
1. Get recommendations
There are many computer services existing, yet only some of them get 5-star ratings on forums and in directories. This is related not only to the human factor but to the actual quality of their work. Unreliable companies may not know how to fix your device, and can even steal a couple of details from the insides of your laptop or computer. Avoid such misfortunes and always verify the company’s ratings.
2. Ask questions
Before you hand over your device to the computer services, ensure that you learn everything you need about their offer, namely:
- Do they charge a diagnostic fee even if you already know what kind of service is required?
- What is their charging method? Ask also for the estimate of your case to know the tentative cost of the service.
- How long will it take? Most problems can be fixed within a day yet the time when you get your computer back heavily depends on a load of a particular service. If you are in need of the urgent repair, make sure to air it.
- Ask about call-out fees because they may not differ from the regular charges.
- What will happen to your data? Will they back up your data in case of OS reinstallation? Or do you have to do it beforehand?
- What if the problem persists? Should the problem reoccur at home, will you have to pay for the repeated service or not.
3. Tech training
Be ready that experts with tech training will have higher rates. This is a beneficial point, yet not obligatory. A lot in this business depends on the experience. So it’s better to ask whether a particular computer expert had any cases similar to yours rather than inquiring about any certificates.
Don’t agree to the first service you see, shop around. Take your time and find the right professional for your problem. Also, do not leave any upfront payments. Never! In the computer services business, all payments are made only after your problem is fixed.
5. Replacement hardware or software
Always ask if the service will involve replacement of any physical or programming parts on your computer. Most hardware failures will involve replacement while software cases are rarer. This is an essential point for those using licensed and expensive programs since some of them don’t allow reinstallation.
Other frequently asked questions
Which is better on-site or remote support?
There are a lot of tech support issues that can easily be solved online. For this reason, it is highly recommended to address online support first. This service is usually free, especially for the licensed programs. However, in case you see that you don’t know how to solve the problem or search for its solution, call a computer expert without hesitation.
Is there a warranty involved?
Far too many computer services refuse to give any additional support and warranty after completing their job. Such services are among the scam ones. Always look for a company which takes responsibility for its service in the form of a warranty. At least 30-day warranty is a must. Better look for experts who feel completely confident in their service and give a 90-day guarantee for it.
How long do computer services take?
It’s an unpleasant situation when you realize that you are charged for six hours of work to fix a problem at a rate $80/hour. Calculations say that this is a cost of half of a new unit. Of course, don’t expect to receive a firm answer like 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cases differ one from another, so computer repair professionals can name only an estimated time of repairs. However, always ask this kind of question to understand your grounds and plan the budget.
In most cases, it takes up 5 hours of work yet you will need to leave your PC at the service for at least a couple of days.
Computer services include many services from minor fixes of falling-out buttons on the keyboard to the major malfunction issues. The cost within this business varies from $10 to $460 in total and heavily depends on the nature of your issue.