RIP-OFFS: Online Computer Repair and Remote Virus Removal

I have been doing remote computer repair for people across the United States and around the world for nearly a decade, giving PC help to people with malware removal, virus removal, pop ups, or a slow computer. Online computer repair or online virus removal is definitely a time saver and a money saver. Remote virus removal can certainly save a person hundreds of dollars over the cost of taking the PC to a local computer repair shop.

Although using a remote online computer technician is definitely the way to go for PC help, nevertheless there are some pitfalls. I constantly hear horror stories from customers that had previously used an online computer repair service for their computer problems with less than desirable results. Consequently I have put together this list of computer scams to watch out for when contracting with someone to provide remote computer help.

1. USA Based – Really? Most people don’t want to talk to someone in India with an accent so heavy that you can’t understand them. That’s why many websites will say, “USA Based.” But are they really? I have found that many websites advertise they are in the U.S. but the person on the phone, who claims they are in the U.S. still sounds like someone from India. It is not wise to deal with someone who has just lied to you. Hint: Read the text of a website carefully. You will probably find one or two grammatical errors on sites that they are not really U.S. based, and of course, you will know instantly when they answer the phone. Just say, “Sorry, wrong number.”

2. Super Low Price: There are companies out there claiming they can remove viruses, plus fix any and all problems, and do a PC tune-up, all for the low price of $39.99. As someone who has been doing computer service full time for 24 years, I can tell you that it takes several hours for a PC tech to do all that and do it right. How can they do this for such a cut-rate price? There are three ways: 1. Hire a bunch of young geeks that are still learning and let them practice on your computer. 2. Be based in India or the Philippines or some foreign country where labor is cheap. 3. Do the very minimum to just get by without concern for conscientious quality work. Some places do all three. The old adage – “You get what you pay for.” Applicable to online computer repair. If you want good quality remote computer repair you need to pay for it. Try to save a buck and you can end up with a destroyed computer and/or many hours of frustration as you call back over and over to try to get the online computer help you were promised. Good Advice: If you want a good PC tech, don’t pick the cheapest bidder.

3. Certified – Really? Does the website tell you who is going to be fixing your PC? Are the name, credentials and experience of the computer technician posted on the website? I have called some of these supposedly Microsoft certified websites and when I asked exactly which credential was held with Microsoft and the computer service company could not give me an answer.

4. Free Antivirus Software: The online computer service company offers a free antivirus software after the repair. Be aware that they are only giving you something you can get for free yourself. Again, you get what you pay for. Free antivirus software might be better than nothing, but not by much. I remove malware every day from computers that are protected by free antivirus products and they are very infected. Only the antivirus products that you purchase are adequate. When a remote computer repair company gives free inferior products to customers it gives them a false sense of security that will lead to their PC eventually getting hit by a virus. A PC technician that is really looking out for your best interests will offer to sell you a quality product that works.

5. Free Scan Scam: Here’s how it works. You call a remote computer repair service because your printer doesn’t work. The online computer service says they will connect to your machine and tell you what is wrong for free, no obligation. Then you can decide what to do next. Free diagnosis! Sounds good, right? Lots of people fall for this. So the PC technician connects to your machine and runs a program (that they have created) that pretends to do a scan of your computer. In just 3 minutes this software reports hundreds of registry errors, dozens of problems in the event log, dozens of viruses, trojans and spyware. They tell you that you have got to get this fixed right away before all your files disappear and your computer won’t work at all. After the scare tactics, they give you an outrageous price of $300.00. After paying that and they supposedly fix all these errors, chances are your printer still will not work. But the real fact is – there is not a piece of software in the world that can tell you what’s wrong with a computer in a few minutes. I have over two decades of experience and I can tell you that it takes a couple hours of careful work to properly evaluate a computer. I have helped many customers who told me they had just experienced this scam. Fortunately they called me and in many cases their computer was not in nearly as bad a shape as they had been led to believe.

6. One Year Service Contract Scam: Pay $300 per year and call for remote PC repair as often as you want. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I’ve talked to lots of people that have been burned by this. There is only one way an online computer repair company can offer that and stay in business, and that is to not fulfill their promise. The service contract is long and in fine print and is not read by most customers. I have read them. The fine print says that if you bother them too much they can just cut you loose, provide no further computer help, and not give you any refund. Their interest is going to be in getting new customers to pay the $300, not in providing computer help for you over and over. You also have to wonder if such a computer service company will even still be in business six months down the road.

7. Cold Call Scam: “Microsoft called me and said my PC is infected.” I have heard this countless times from people that call me for advice. I tell them right off the bat: “I’ll be happy to do a virus check and perform malware removal on your PC for $59.99, but know this first, what you were told is not true and it was not Microsoft that called you. Microsoft doesn’t call anyone and they would have no way of knowing if your PC is infected.” This scam is very common. If you get this call do not be alarmed and don’t be suckered into paying them to “fix” it.

8. The Big Company Scam: Many of my customers have told me that they went to a company website for their computer problems and got a number and then called and talked with HP, or Dell, or the list goes on: Microsoft, IBM, Norton, Toshiba, etc. and this company told them they had multitudes of problems, they needed malware removal and other repairs to take care of pop ups, a slow computer, or other issues and they could fix all this for a certain price. What these people didn’t realize is that they were not actually speaking with the actual company they thought they were. Many online computer service companies unscrupulously advertise that they are Dell, or Microsoft or whoever. They put up websites and Google ads designed to trick you into thinking they are support for HP or whoever. Once they have you thinking they are the company that made your computer, or your software or your printer, then they have a better chance at selling you their next scam. Anytime you go to a website look at the URL and see where you are. If it says for example, FixMyHP.com or something like that and not, HP.com, then you are possibly on a scam website.

Summary: Online Remote Computer Repair is the easiest and most economical way to get your computer repaired. By being aware of the above scams you can select a reputable computer service and save time and money.

Do it Yourself Computer Repair Hassles

Do it yourself computer repair allows you to do perform immediate repairs for your usual computer problems. However, this task requires you to have a thorough understanding of the details of your computer hardware and software. If your confidence at doing this task lies on a few pages of how-to and repair manuals, there is a good chance that you might do more harm than good in correcting the problem. Although performing do it yourself repair gives you the power to make the final decision in your every move, it may not be the best decision to make.

The Do-It-Yourself Type of Computer Owners

It is understandable for self-reliant people to perform a do it yourself repair. While it dictates the speed as well as the efficiency at which the adjustments, updates and all necessary troubleshooting tasks will be done, it also helps yield huge savings in doing simple to complicated computer repair jobs. However, just like any form of repair, you need to first understand all the nitty-gritty stuff about your computer. You need to be knowledgeable about computers.

Simple Computer Repairs Made Easy

Simple computer problems like virus and worm attacks and slow operations can be remedied with routine maintenance tasks. To restore smooth and quick responding computing operations, you need to maintain regular schedules of defragmenting your hard drive, running disk cleanup, installing or updating anti-virus software and data backup and recovery applications. These maintenance measures are helpful in preventing your computer from crashing. They are also crucial in keeping all your files and programs protected against the usual attacks of annoying spyware, malware and computer worms and viruses.

How to handle more complicated Computer Troubleshooting

You need to have the correct tools to do computer repairs. In addition to hand tools like screw drivers, solder irons and others, software like anti-virus and registry mechanic programs are also considered computer repair tools. These tools can be used to perform minor repairs to simple and common computer problems like installing updates and upgrades to existing programs, correcting registry problems, installation of hardware and software accessories and more. However, when it comes to dealing with more complicated problems, which mostly involve software and file problems like system recovery, corrupted files, automatic shut down and more, you really need to consult with an experienced computer repair technician to avoid further damage or loss of data.

Once your computer crashes, you need to have an idea of what could have happened before you perform a do it yourself repair. Never attempt to fix and correct any problem that you know nothing about. Try studying, reading and understanding various repair manuals. But if you want to confidently restore your computer to its smooth humming condition, consider finding an on-site computer repair technician.

Why Professional Computer Repair Services

Having well-trained professional computer technicians fix your computer eliminates the guess work on computer repairs and instantly restores your personal productivity. Instead of becoming a slave to the ever changing study of basic computer repairs, online computer repair services provide you with an affordable and practical option to troubleshooting your computer problems regardless of the extent of its difficulty.

Professional Repair Services for your Convenience

It is nice to have the right skill and knowledge to perform a do it yourself computer repair. However, you need to consider that allowing a pro to do these repairs can help you save time and money as they are fully trained in handling all types of computer problems. More importantly, it will save you from the confusion and frustration of possibly doing improper or unnecessary repairs. Thus, you get all these solutions at affordable costs.