An Example of the Depth of Service Offered

Posted on April 19, 2008. Filed under: Consulting, Hardware, Software | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

One of the problems with “break and fix” computer services is they do just that… They come in and fix your computer and leave. They do not get to know you and your specific needs and problems. They cannot or will not apply their knowledge to your specific circumstances and often they sell hardware and software so you may be uncertain to their motivations.

As a consultant I represent you. I get to know you and learn about your specific environment. I do my best to understand your personal needs and challenges over a wide range of issues. I try to get the best product or solution at the best price. I do not sell hardware or software – I recommend it and I want my customers to have good service from it. Sure, I do tend to tier 1 products but they are tier 1 because they work and are more readily supported after the integration in your home.

Below is one such example. The client has a computer that does not have a licensed copy of Windows XP. This has an impact to their enjoyment and reliable use of their computer. So, what ARE their options…

Dear Client,

It is recommended you activate your version of Windows XP. I understand you are still awaiting your son’s response but I have done some research on this and this is what I have found.

In summary, not having a licensed version of XP prevents automatic security and other updates that may resolve the computer hanging. If this is a valid copy of Windows XP we can do one task which may resolve this problem. For your reference keep this email and the link:

If it is a valid copy the above may fix our problem. If it is not the following scenarios apply:

Scenario 1

Check the status of the Windows XP validation per this link and verify if the copy of XP is valid

Services Cost: No cost if client does this themselves. $45.00 if client engages Reliant PC Consulting. Consutlant would assist client in getting the updating process going.

Impact: Client still needs to update the operating system. Can support client remotely.

Time: 1 hour

Precautions: None required.

Benefits: Lowest cost and first thing that needs to be checked.

Disadvantages: May not solve hanging problem.


Scenario 2

Activate the product online.

Software Cost: $199.00

Impact: Once activated the computer should have Windows Update run until the operating system is up-to-date. I can assist you over the phone to do this or I can do this for you.

Time: estimate 2 to 4 hours

Precautions: Back up any data (pictures/word processing documents) the client wants to keep in case a problem occurs.

Benefits: Lowest cost and impact to client if the version of XP they have is not valid.

Disadvantages: May not solve hanging problem. Labour intensive.


Scenario 3

Buy the product from a retail outlet.

Software Cost: approximately $270.00 for Windows XP Home Edition (recommended choice) or $400.00 for Windows XP Professional. I may be able to find a cheaper price and am inquiring about this.

Impact: A complete clean install of the operating system. All important files need to be backed up. Any programs the client has on their computer but do not have discs will be lost.

Time: estimate 3 to 4 hours. More if there are many programs to install.

Precautions: Back up any data (pictures/word processing documents) the client wants to keep in case a problem occurs.

Benefits: Client has clean install. May solve hanging problem and the computer will run better overall. Client has disc for re-installation if a problem occurs in the future.

Disadvantages: Time consuming and labour intensive.


Scenario 4

Buying a new desktop computer: The following scenario is only a suggestion

Source a good desktop computer from a tier 1 manufacturer customized for your needs. Since I have a good idea of your computer use the basic cost of a Dell 530C with one year on-site warranty including a monitor is currently $549.00. I believe Dell is including shipping. Dell and other tier 1 computers are available locally.

I also recommend Neutron Computers. I did a custom configuration of Neutron Nova Essential LY2 Systems with 1 GB RAM and 160 GB hard drive with no monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers and the cost came to $454.00 less taxes. The integration and transfer of data may be included in that price.

Cost of Computer: Approximately $454.00 to $600.00.

Dell Cost of Integration: Approximately 3 hours to set up computer, install operating system and transfer data.

Neutron Cost of Integration: Generally is included unless problems with data transfer occur.

Advantages: New hardware/software with warranty support. Licensed software. Improved performance overall.

Disadvantages: Cost. Learning curve for client.

Does a break and fix service do this? Probably not. There are good vendors out there but not all of them are consultants.


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2 Responses to “An Example of the Depth of Service Offered”

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Does windows always have this problem? I think it can be fixed through a computer check up. Might want to have a good at the website

Thank you for the suggestion logan.

Note to clients: I have not tested or used this product so I currently do not actively endorse it.

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