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Caller becomes frustrated with computer and calls my number for help. We talk and if I can answer the question or solve the problem quickly I will (for free).
If I need to connect then we discuss my rates and I have the caller open their web browser to www.ComputeThisOnline.com and run a tiny app called Quick Support by Teamviewer. The connection process usually takes less then 5 minutes and from there it's just like I'm sitting at the callers keyboard and able to see whatever issue the caller is dealing with.
I first started working with computers in 1979 with my high school's Digital PDP-10 and have had continuous daily exposure to computers and IT since then.
In 1997 I passed the NRI Schools Master Course in Microcomputers & Microprocessors with highest honors.
From 2000 to 2007 I worked for GE Healthcare providing remote support for the MUSE cardiology system which had me diagnosing and troubleshooting networking and workstation problems remotely in hospitals all over the world on a daily basis.
Along with various GE certificates I'm also certified by Microsoft (MCP) and also a Certified identity Theft Risk Management Specialist (CITRMS) through the Institute of Fraud Risk Management.
I have 3 ways that I bill, the first is $104 per hour in 1/2 hour increments, the second method is annually, I charge $324 per year to maintain and support a machine on a monthly basis and for large jobs I have retainers available.
I have worked with everything from very large enterprise systems (Hospitals) down to individual computers owned by regular everyday people and everyone in between.
My enjoy working with older retired folks far more than working with business or enterprise systems.
Had a caller who needed to print boarding passes. 3 other techs (from her internet provider) told her she needed either a new printer or new computer. I connected and was able to get her printing in less than 10 minutes!
Be careful! There are so many scammers out there claiming to be from Microsoft or Yahoo that it can be hard to determine who is legitimate. If a tech support calls you and tells you he's from Microsoft and your machine is generating errors - hang up, he's trying to scam you! If you get a message on your computer urging you to call an 800 # don't do it! Real error messages don't urge you to call a phone number - the guy on the other end of the line is a scam artist and will try to take you for as much as he can.
Be very careful that the people you talk to regarding computer repair are who they say they are and have the qualifications they say they do.
Ask them who they work for and what their qualifications are. Be wary of tech's that claim to "work for" Microsoft, Google, HP, Yahoo etc. - they can be certified by them but it's unlikely the tech actually "works for" the company.
Once you find a technician you can trust, stick with him and build a relationship.