I thought I would follow up my post about not using Geek Squad with a short list of some of the things I would look for in tech support when I can’t fix a computer problem myself. If you notice that your computer is running slow and you might suspect a virus or spyware, you should scan your computer yourself first, using some of the software listed on my Resources page.

A lot of people don’t know when to run anti virus / anti spyware software and how often it should be run is different for every computer user. If you suspect something is wrong, run an anti virus / anti spyware scan and see what comes up. If you scan your computer and don’t find anything wrong, it might be time to take it out for repair at a computer repair shop.

Before you go to have it looked at by a big name like Geek Squad, consider going to a smaller more local repair shop with technicians that are actually certified in computer repair. Below are some things you should consider when looking at places to bring your computer in for repair.

  • Make sure the company is certified in computer repair. CompTIA A+ certifications are the first thing you want to look for in a computer shop. Most companies will display this certification even if only one of their workers is qualified, so be careful.
  • Make sure the price seems fair. Do some research and see what the going rate is at multiple locations before you commit to giving your computer in for repair
  • Look at the repair area. Some companies repair the computers out in plain view of the customer, and some companies repair it behind a wall. Make sure the area looks organized and uncluttered. Also be sure that there aren’t any suspicious looking objects around.
  • Use the Internet. The internet is a great resource for doing research about computer problems. See if someone has a similar problem to you and make sure you take note of what they did to repair it. Even if you don’t know everything they are talking about, it will give you an idea of what to listen for when the repair shop tells you what they need to do.

And that’s pretty much it. The number one rule when bringing your computer in for repair is to use your head. If it sounds like the computer repair technician is making things up, call them out on it, or ask for a simpler explanation and see if it makes sense.

Feel free to share your horror stories or songs of praise for any local repair shops in the comments area.