Columbus Dispatch Writes on RESCUECOM's Computer Support Services
By Monique Curet ,THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH:
Computer repair companies can be there in a flash
David Sheffer represents Rescuecom, a computer-repair company that promises quick on-site service.
Gone are the days of unplugging a behemoth central-processing unit and hauling it to a repair shop when something has gone awry.
Help is on its way.
Several new computer-repair services offer novel approaches to fixing what ails your machine, from showing up on your doorstep (within the hour, if necessary), to working on your computer through remote control of the machine..
By offering these options, companies are trying to lure customers who want to save time and trouble.
David Sheffer opened Rescuecom of Columbus in February. The hallmarks of the business are its on-site service and its emergency one-hour response, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Rescuecom serves the Columbus metro area and surrounding counties and can repair home computers, supercomputers, software, hardware and networks. A technician often can be at a customer?s home or business on the same day, or customers can schedule a visit.
The company typically charges $98 an hour for a normal call; the onehour-response service is more costly. Customers can buy hours of service in advance in 10-hour blocks, which reduces the hourly price. Sheffer said that option is popular with small businesses, which use the service instead of having in-house tech departments.
But 60 percent of the calls he receives are from residential customers.
One of those was Frank Maras, a Dublin resident who spent 19 hours on the phone with companies such as Dell, Microsoft and Norton, trying to rid his laptop of a virus.
Finally, Maras turned to the Yellow Pages, where he randomly picked Rescuecom "and got lucky." He said Sheffer fixed his computer in 3 1 /2 hours, and it?s "as good as new."
Maras is a computer novice, and when he sought help over the phone he couldn?t understand how to follow most of the instructions. If another problem arises, Maras said, he?ll call Rescuecom first.
Another repair service is available from the comfort of your home and doesn?t involve a visit from a technician.
Robert Shoemaker, who founded HelpMeRemote.com, says that in less time than it would take a customer to unplug a computer and bring it to a repair shop, his technicians can be finished working on the machine.
Technicians for the site have the ability to remotely control a computer. That means they use an Internet connection to access the computer and its contents, taking control of the mouse and keyboard.
Once you?ve connected to their service, the HelpMeRemote.com employees can see everything that appears on your screen, and you can communicate with the technician by using a chat window.
The technicians can only access a machine if a customer initiates the action, and the customer can stop the interaction at any time, Shoemaker said.
HelpMeRemote.com, based in New York, began at the end of 2005. Costs range from $30 for 15 minutes to $79 for 60 minutes, if you set up an account that will be automatically charged at certain times. The company can help with anything from stopping pop-ups and removing adware or spyware to locating missing files.
For those who?d like to fix problems without the aid of a technician, Scanyourpc.com is an option.
The site bills itself as an "online service station that scans and repairs thousands of computer problems." Its free scan products include SpeedScan Pro, ScanAndSweep, Spyware Striker and ActiveSpeed, which address machine performance, clutter, spyware and adware and Internet speed, respectively.
If problems are found, customers can buy software, starting at $30, that will perform repairs.
Adam Schran, chief executive of the company that started Scanyourpc.com in March, said customers visiting his site might use one scan or all of them. He compared the process to taking your car to an auto-repair shop, where you might start with an oil change, and then add a wheel alignment.
Some people want to throw away a computer after just a few years because it?s not running as fast, but that?s akin to getting rid of a car because you haven?t had the oil changed, Schran said.
Doral Chenoweth III
Dispatch Photo Illustration
Headquartered in Syracuse, New York, RESCUECOM is the premiere franchisor in the computer services industry that delivers business and sales resources from the industry's "best of the best" computer technicians and consultants. RESCUECOM's main product, One-Hour On-site Response, delivers a certified technician to the customer within one hour of request and is available nationwide. As an Entrepreneur Magazine Franchise 500 company, RESCUECOM has been one of the fastest growing franchises in the past three years. For more information on either the business or franchising, please visit RESCUECOM's website at www.rescuecom.com.
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