General Question

2davidc8's avatar

Have you had computer repair work done recently?

Asked by 2davidc8 (10189points) March 17th, 2016
10 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

Members of an online community of computer tech volunteers helped me fix a computer problem. I’d like to send them a small donation to help keep the site going. So, I’d like to know:
If you’ve had your computer fixed recently, how much were you charged? Was the fix major or minor? And did the tech make a house call?
By “major” I mean things like hard-drive failure, virus eradication, transferring all files and apps from an old computer to a new one, changing to a higher capacity drive, BSOD problems, etc.
By “minor” I mean removing annoying popups, installing or removing Windows updates or Windows applications, optimizing or adjusting settings, changing the battery, etc.
No need to mention names. I don’t have unlimited funds, but I’d like to make a decent donation, am looking for guidelines.

Thanks for your help!

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jerv's avatar

I’m one of those guys people ask to fix their computers, and I tend to give myself a pretty steep discount when working on my own systems.

Anyways, without knowing how the group is set up, it’s hard to say. Some have pretty obvious ways to donate and chip in towards server costs, like a PayPal link, while some are often already funded well enough that they would politely refuse your donation and some are in-between. My buddy ran one here in Seattle that is a 501©(3) charitable organization.

So, in short, it varies widely and depends on a lot of details I don’t have information on.

jca's avatar

I went to the Geek Squad about 4 to 6 years ago because my netbook had viruses. I was charged 175, which, for that price, had I known I would not have had the work done and just put it toward a new netbook. A neighbor who used to work for a large computer company came over to do something similar, and he charged 75 bucks. I was happy with that. That was about 4 years ago.

In the situation you’re in, if you give too little (say 50 bucks), they may be insulted. “50 bucks? You know what that would have cost him elsewhere? 50 bucks is a joke!” Yet, if you give too much, it’s not a favor that they did.

I was going to say send them something like a food gift until I re-read your details and saw that they’re an online community.

Why don’t you ask them if you can send them something and how much do they think “will be helpful?” Also, how can you ensure it’s going to the organization and not just one person’s pocket?

jca (36062points)“Great Answer” (0points)
Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I use to take my computer in everytime it bluescreened. It cost me anywhere from $80 to $130 a pop. I had the sinking feeling I was being screwed, but I had the money and no time to figure all this shit out myself. Now, like you, I search the net for answers. Most of the solutions are there. The amount you give depends on the problem that was solved, if you want to think in terms of compensation. If you think in terms of donation, give what you can.

BTW, how about posting a link to that site you’re talking about. It might come in handy the next time any of us have a problem.

jerv's avatar

@jca “Also, how can you ensure it’s going to the organization and not just one person’s pocket?”

Considering that a website can be run for pretty negligible cost, that is a valid concern. It’s a bit different for a group like my buddy’s group Free Geek which is an actual charity or vBAddict which has a “Donate!” button. And most of Free Geek’s donations are non-monetary, like old computers; right now my buddy is installing LibreBoot and Debian on a pile of old ThinkPads someone donated.

My rule of thumb is that if they aren’t asking for donations, they probably don’t need them.

2davidc8's avatar

Thanks all for your replies. I was just looking for a ballpark figure. I was wondering how much people pay for computer services these days.
@jerv @jca The website in question seems completely legit. They did not push me to make a donation. The person who helped me never once mentioned a donation. In the corner of some of the pages, there’s a note that says something to the effect that you may show your gratitude for the help you received by making a donation. That’s it. It’s been two weeks now, and I’ve not received any requests for a donation. The person who helped me really knew her stuff, and I am extremely impressed, so I’d like to help in whatever small way I can.
Do people really work for free, and help strangers no less? You bet. Take myself, for example. I volunteer at my local AARP location and prepare people’s tax returns for free. In fact, we are not allowed to accept any gifts or money whatsoever.

jca's avatar

@2davidc8: I would think then, if you can afford it, 50 to 75 bucks might be a nice donation. Was that in the area that you were thinking? or more or less?

jca (36062points)“Great Answer” (0points)
jerv's avatar

@2davidc8 As a slight aside, I think you might be interested in learning a bit about FOSS ; Free Open-Source Software. and related things. It might explain the mindset of many in the IT community.

cazzie's avatar

I’m really spoiled when it comes to computer repair and problems. I have a kid who is pretty clued up, but try as he might, he couldn’t fix this last problem which required a replacement hard drive. BBE sent me the hard drive to try to install, but I didn’t trust myself to do it. Luck would have it, BBE came all the way over here and spent a week and did it for us. Little Man’s MiniMac is working better than ever today. New HD and a new set of memory chips and it’s running better than ever.

Little man did get given a laptop two months ago to bring to his computer programming class. It wasn’t working properly, but he had it diagnosed quickly. He took some RAM out of his non-working MiniMac and stuck it in the laptop, cleaned out the junk running on the hard drive and by the end of two hours it was working really well. Not well enough to be a gaming machine or high speed anything, but it was just enough for his classes and a decent enough machine to watch YouTube on. See, I’m rather spoiled. I’m also learning a lot.

2davidc8's avatar

@jca Yes, that’s about the amount that I was thinking of.
@jerv Thanks for the links.
@cazzie You’re lucky!!

Skunky's avatar

Nooo, i just use chromebooks so when they stop working after a couple of years i just replace it. btw. its not the chromebooks fault for breaking. its mine since im careless with laptops (always dropping and other things)

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