The Computer Group

The Computer Group

5.0 (7)
6 hires on HomeGuide
5 employees
35 years in business

About this pro

The Computer Group has operated in the Phoenix area since 1987.  All of our consultants have a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and have worked many years in the corporate world which is not the case with most consultants.

All consultants are clean-cut, well-dressed, patient, friendly, trustworthy individuals who are *professionals*, not hobbyists.  We have offered professional services not only to residential clients, but also many business clients including many large corporate institutions which will only hire individuals with exceptional talent.

 

Our staff hold certifications including A+ certifications, Microsoft certifications, and Cisco certifications.  This is not unusual for professional consultants, but most do not have college degrees like ours do.

 We provide extensive services related to computers and networks.

- Sales, repair, upgrades
- Windows, PC's, Apple, Macs
- PC's, laptops, desktops, servers
- Virus removal and security services
- Network cabling, phone cabling, network routers, and WiFi services.

Although most computer technicians have installed network cabling, they often do not do it properly, nor do they own the proper network cabling test equipment.  We do.  We specialize in network cabling, which most others do not.  Many other technicians and consultants often encourage clients to use WiFi-devices because they do not have the ability to properly install network cabling.  With that said, we enjoy working with other consulting groups, and we often partner up so that we can provide such services to their clients as well.

As the owner, I am a people person to the core.  My clients can quickly contact me via phone calls, texting, or emails, and I respond very promptly.  I'm friendly, patient, and I enjoy helping others, solving their problems, and simplifying what they do.  I enjoy reducing and removing the stress that others get from using computers.  Our motto has always been, "We are friendly, professional, and patient.", and it is true...that is what we are known for.

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Credentials

Phoenix, AZ 85032
Email verified
Phone verified

7 Reviews

5.0

  • Lauren Simpson

    I don't bother posting reviews, but this is worth it because he was really nice. I am DONE hiring "cheap" techs. The last guy was awful. Foolish me thinking $55/hr would get me an expert. I called Shannon about a wireless problem or internet problem several days ago in the late afternoon. This guy is a god. I was behind on my work and my school papers for my online class, and it seemed like the internet was broken. Shannon came out early the next morning FULLY PREPARED! He had EVERYTHING! He got Cox on the phone line and he knew everything to say. I could hear the tech ask questions that were wasting time. Shannon took control of the situation and it was fun to hear him speak their language better than them and guided THEM through the whole problem. My house is quite long and the cable modem is on the other end of the house from my bedroom/office so wifi doesn't work well. Shannon explained that the best solution was to put in a network cable in the attic to connect the whole house. I felt bad having him in the attic! It has been over 110 degrees outside every day lately! But he did it! He even had everything with him and didn't have to come back which was great because of my busy schedule. He also ended up replacing my cable modem (which cox said needed to be done), installed a new professional router and wifi "access point" that he connected to the new attic cable. Cox said I was only getting 5 megabits download speed before it was fixed but paying for 150 megabits. Shannon fixed it and now I get 160 download speed!! Two other techs had suggested "wifi extenders" which did not work and wasted my time and money. I'm not stressed or p*ssed off at my computer anymore. Money well-spent. Everything is working perfectly, and I love having my own computer person on speed dial. : ) Thank you, Shannon.

  • Stacey Flinn

    I had a slow computer that I kept ignoring and then when I needed to use it of course my computer screen wouldn't turn on. I found Shannon who got me all fixed up. He got me a nice new screen, installed it, and he felt my pain with my slow booting computer! He told me about new fast hard drives so I had him install one. He did it right there and oh my gosh is my computer great again. Oh and I found out he's also a professional photographer, saw his great website and work, and then after hearing how the pros manage photos I will have him hopefully do that soon too.

  • Curtis Blakely

    Does Shannon have voicemail? I don’t know. I’ve never had to use it! He has answered his phone every time I have called him! I call him once or twice per month, and he helps me with my computer at home when I’m stuck. I'm retired and don't know as much about computers as I used to it seems. He is so nice and always willing to help.

  • Melissa Timson

    Oh my gosh I am so happy! I don't really care about my computer since it's old but Shannon did the best thing for me and got all of my files back. And more. Here is the part I can't believe. He had to take my computer with him and I was totally ok with that, but I was stressing because I had a bunch of online work to do today. This was the nicest thing ever, but he had an extra very nice laptop with him, and he let me borrow it until he got my computer back to me!! He is unlike any other IT person I have met. Fun to talk to and very knowledgeable. He fixed my computer by replacing the power supply, and he got my computer back to me this evening which is unbelievable. He probably had my computer up and working again within 6 hours of me talking to him. Everything is working great and it is so much faster. He called me while working on it and suggested that he put in a new solid hard drive to speed it up which I know it needed because it's so slow. I'm so glad I did. My computer works much faster now. I wish this review could show my happy face!


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FAQs


What is your typical process for working with a new customer?

The best way to quickly review a problem is for the customer to contact us directly over the telephone to discuss their situation in detail.  We have no complicated or frustrating phone system...if you call us, we answer the phone.  If you get our voice mail (which is very rare), please feel free to leave a message, call right back, or even text us.

 A unique element of our work is that we often are able to arrive on-site to solve your problem on the same day you call if you call early enough, we are willing to arrive in the evening as well as on weekends, and if we have to take a computer with us, we can often return it the same day or the next day.

To avoid problems related to fraud and scammings, we do not communicate much via texting with new clients....if you text us, we will ask you for a time when we can call you over the phone.


What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

Unlike most computer consultants and technicians, our consultant staff each have a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science which is much more difficult and time-consuming to obtain than an A+, or Microsoft, or Cisco certification.  With that said, our staff also have a variety of these certifications in addition to their college degrees.

Each consultant who works with our firm have at least 15 years of experience with extensive time working in corporate offices.  Our staff are not "kids" and they are not "dinosaurs".  Many computer "consultants" or technicians that you find will often be hobbyists who have either only been working as a computer technician for a handful of years, did not complete college, or who have not worked in a professional/corporate environment.

Our staff have extensive experience with PC's, Macs, mini-computers, mainframes, Windows, Linux, networks, network security, software programming, system design, database administration, Cisco devices, network cabling, WiFi networks, Firewalls, VPNs, Cell tower construction, ISP development and management, VOIP phones, etc .

If there is relevant and established technology, there is a very good chance that our staff has experience with it.


Do you have a standard pricing system for your services? If so, please share the details here.

Remember that you get what you pay for.  It is very true.

It's important to understand that while anyone can notice that they have a computer problem, not many people can properly diagnose the problem, and if they can, it doesn't mean they will know how long it will take to fix.  For instance, if you think you have a "virus" problem, the viruses can take 15 minutes to remove, or even 5 hours or 10 hours or more.  One solution is to back up your data, reinstall Windows, and to put your programs and data back.  However, depending on the computer and customer, this could take 1 hour or 5 hours or 10 hours or more...it completely depends on how many email addresses the client has,  what type of email system, how many files and documents and photos, how mixed-up and cluttered the computer is, how much software is installed, etc. 

As a result, if a technician quotes you a flat fee of $165, but it turns out that you have large amounts of data that is scattered about, that you have non-standard software, and perhaps failing computer memory that causes Windows to not install properly, etc, the technician (in order to not lose money) will likely rush through the job, take extensive shortcuts, and possibly lose some of your data in the process simply because they have locked themselves (and you) into a situation with no good outcome...they have lost time and money, and you end up with a computer that is not finished, and no one is happy.  The moral is to NOT convince yourself that something as complicated as a computer/network problem (with so many variables and moving parts) can be solved with a simple fixed-price quote.

 

Many service directories are full of "professionals" who charge flat fees or very low prices without knowing anything about your problem or system which is quite ridiculous.  It's the same reason that most doctors do not give a "fixed price" on diagnosing and solving a medical condition...it's simply not possibly to do so accurately or fairly to both parties, and the last thing you would want is for a doctor to rush through because of limited funding (oops...this does happen, and we don't like it).

There is no way to offer flat-rate or low-rate pricing to do work while maintaining high-quality results (especially without knowing if a repair or service call will take 1 hour or 4 hours).  We charge hourly for our work and we are very good at what we do, but most importantly, we are very careful while working with client equipment and we do not take shortcuts.

 

Many consultants advertise "bargain" pricing to get their foot in the door, to get access to your computer (and hopefully take it off site) so that you are somewhat "stuck" or almost "held hostage" without your computer or not feeling good about what you got yourself into.

 

I have worked with a very large number of clients who have fallen victim to the "flat rate service fee" approach or problem....the client mistakingly shops on price or goes for a low flat fee and ends up regretting their choice after being overcharged, ripped off, or misled and I have heard many stories of low-cost technicians taking equipment and not returning it, losing client data, losing client email, and losing precious client photos.

 

When a service professional is being paid a flat rate, they are more likely to rush the work and take shorcuts...that is common sense.  Without question, many technicians *will* stay true to their fixed-price, but the problem is not the *price*...it is that the quality of work greatly suffers, and most stories that I have heard regarding unhappy clients (regarding other technicians) is a result of sloppy work done with a fixed-price model or a technician who charges budget pricing.

 

On 8/2/19, I was told by a HomeGuide client that her prior technican charged the "appealing" low-price of $35/hr.  He ended up charging her $140 for a copy of Windows 10 that she did not need (and he did so in a way that likely violates the Microsoft licensing agreement which opened he and the client to legal exposure), and he charged her another $300 to simply install Windows (almost 9 hours???).  She said that on a prior occasion, another computer technician charged $45/hr, took her laptop, fixed a problem, and returned her laptop with over 25 years of photos lost permanently.  Clearly, neither of these people were "professionals"...they were merely "hobbyists".

I encourage all clients to use common sense.  Do you really want the lowest-cost "professional" coming into your home, working with your valuable equipment, and having access to your private and personal data?  I hope not.

There are very likely no qualified, very experienced, college-educated computer consultants or technicans with 10+ years of experience as well as corporate/professional experience who are going to charge less than $85/hr.  Almost no one is going to charge less than they are worth in any industry.  If someone charges $45/hr, it's because they believe they are not worth as much as the person charging twice that.  Standard hourly rates for a professional computer consultant in the Phoenix area is anywhere from $95/hr to $135/hr depending on the skills and qualifications of the consultant/technician.

 

Although, there are many firms who charge much more, but they often send out a technician with little experience and who might get paid only $15-$25/hr.  The result, is you end up with an inexperienced technician working on your problem.

The similar problem happens at Best Buy/Geek Squad...they sometimes offer "subscription pricing", fixed pricing, and low pricing, but these prices are offered because (according to Glassdoor.com), the hourly wages of GeekSquad technicians ranges anywhere from $11/hr to $17/hr because they have very little experience.  Basically, even though you can pay a $95/hr rate (which is normal), the person doing the work is only doing $15/hr worth of work.

For the same reason you don't want to fly on a cheap airplane, or hire a cheap attorney, or go to a cheap and dirty medical clinic, it is not advisable to hire a "cheap" computer consultant/technician.

Not every client is a fit for us, but we are happy to speak with anyone who has a computer problem and who is willing to pay proper, fair, and reasonable prices for professional and reliable help.

 

Our rates are very "normal" and very "average" for true professionals, we answer our phones every day of the week including weekends, and even late into the evening.  Our clients keep coming back to us because we are polite, professional, knowledgeable, prompt, and fair.


How did you get started in this business?

As the owner, I started using computers when I was 11, and I started getting paid to do "computer consulting" when I was 16.  I started college when I was 18, I gradated with a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science when I was 20, I got hired into Ross Perot's company when I was still in college, I spent 10 years in the corporate world as a software programmer, an analyst, a network administrator, a communications engineer, a network cabling installer and manager all while doing freelance consulting the entire time.

I have owned this business for over 20 years and continue to offer exceptional services with my team to residential and business clients.


What types of customers have you worked with?

I have personally worked with thousands of clients.  Residential clients and business clients.  Moms, dads, their kids, senior citizens, college students, small businesses, large businesses, very large businesses.  Hundreds of types of businesses...finance, credit unions, banks, insurance companies, stock brokers, restaurants, mechanics, health professionals, doctors, hospitals, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental-health professionals, schools, entrepreneurs, etc, etc.

I am known to be very reliable and very trustworthy by clients who have extremely valuable data and data that is very private and personal.  The primary reason I have repeat clients is because my staff and I are very responsive and very knowledgeable.


Describe a recent event you are fond of.

Yesterday was a great example of my work.  I was the third consultant to work with the client regarding her problem, and after they were unable to solve the problem, had lost data, and provided the client with inadequate solutions (at "very low prices"), I solved the problem swiftly which made the client very happy.  I met with the client, took her computer with me, repaired it, and returned it within a matter of hours.  She was very pleased.


What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a pro in your area of expertise?

Do NOT shop on price.  Use common sense.  Shopping on price for *professional services* is never a good idea.  Do not allow someone in your home, to work on your expensive equipment, and to have access to your private and personal data, if they are not a very experienced and polished professional....and you will not find such an individual if they are charging less than $75 or $85/hr.  Professionals with exceptional talent do not charge "cheap prices".


What questions should customers think through before talking to pros about their needs?

If your main question is, "Can you fix my computer problem?", you might regret it when you see the results...read more below to understand why.

You should ask:  What is the background of the "pro"? 

Did they have enough work ethic, focus, and dedication to complete a 4-year degree directly related to the computer industry?

When the average hourly rate for a professional computer consultant in the Phoenix area is $95 to $135/hr, does it make you wonder why someone is only able to charge $45/hr?  If they say they are offering low rates to "build their business", do you realize that if a consultant is talented and capable enough, they can build their business with standard rates.

Have you ever had a $7 steak?  Have you ever had a $60 steak?  There is big difference.

It's very important that if you are paying $105/hr for a service that there is no middle man or management that is making $80/hr from your service.  $105/hr can be a fair price, but only if the person actually doing your work has 15 years of professional experience, and not two.

Ask how much experience the person *doing the work* has.  Any professional will be able to easily prove their experience.

How long have they been in business?

Are they a full-time computer consultant?  Or are they only "moonlighting"?  Are they only part-time?  Are they available during the day (or will they be unavailable at a day job?)  Are they available when you are having a problem late at night or on the weekend? 

Are they fully-committed to computer consulting as a full-time career?  Or are they a hobbyist that relies on another source of income such as a spouse or other part-time job?  A professional simply cannot stay current and capable in this industry unless it is their full-time career.

Are they a hobbyist that is not as experienced?

What do they charge?  Do they charge $45/hr?  Do you realize that the standard/normal rate for a seasoned IT professional is usually $95/hr and up?  Do you really want someone "practicing" on your computer?

How old are they?  Are they 26 years-old and count their teenage years as "professional experience"? 

Are you calling a *company* or an "individual*?  If it's a company, what are their rates?  $85/hr perhaps?  $125/hr?  What do they pay the technician who would work on your computer?  $15/hr?  $20/hr?  Do you really want a person working on your computer when their salary indicates a reduced level of experience?  

Do they have a website?  Does it look cheap?  Does it look like they probably created it themselves instead of properly hiring a web professional?

- Have they ever held a corporate/professional-level computer/IT position?  If so, when?  Where?  For how long?

- Do they have references?


- Are they a 60 year-old consultant?  Are they outdated?  Has technology passed them by?  Do they understand modern technology?  Have they remained current?

- Do they speak well on the phone?  Do they sound educated?  Do they sound pleasant?  Do they sound trustworthy?  Do you think you would trust this person with your computer?  With your data?  While speaking with them, do you think you'd want them in your home?

Think about all of these questions...if your main question is, "Can you fix my computer?" you are likely starting down a road that will not get you to a good place.


Services offered

Computer Repair Services TV Mounting Services Phone Installation Services