Can You Accurately Give Repair Estimates Over The Phone?

Being a computer repair company, we get all kinds of computers in our shop. Some customers wonder why we often need to get their computer in the shop before we can give a free estimate – and there are two main reasons!
We need to be sure of the problem at hand

If we give someone a quote over the phone for an OS reinstall, that’s a software-only procedure and thus has no part-cost tied to it. If we get to look at it later and unfortunately something ELSE is a problem (need to replace a hard drive, for example) the estimate is useless because now we need to do more work on the computer, AND we need to account for the cost of the part.
Thus, a customer can get upset and feel like they were lied to on the phone with the first estimate. We try to avoid this situation completely and take a look at the computer before we give an estimate, or we make sure that the customer knows we will need to inspect the computer before we do anything to verify that the estimate we gave is still accurate.
Some computers are more “repairable” than others

Most PC desktop computers are pretty simple and easy to get into. Replacing a part is straightforward and usually doesn’t have any unseen complications. Getting into some laptops and iMacs can be a real hassle sometimes though! In fact, some newer Chromebooks are almost impossible to open up for hardware replacements without severely damaging the computer.
There are so many different types of PC laptops out there now that it’s hard for the customer to give a full-detailed description of the computer they’re bringing in. We might be expecting one type of laptop and when it gets in the shop and we realize we under-estimated how long it will take to open up the computer and replace a part (and therefore we need to increase the labor cost). In rare cases, we might get surprised with the laptop and have to tell a customer that we can’t safely perform hardware repairs on their model!
Both of those scenarios can be avoided if we avoid giving an estimate until we get the computer in front of us. That being said, many customers want to hear something over the phone, so we try to assess the situation as best we can and give a tentative estimate.

Category: Computer Repair

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