Q: If my situation requires hardware and software along with TCS services, do I supply them or do you?
A: Any way will work. If you have already purchased items, TCS can simply install and train. Otherwise, TCS can suggest options and you can shop for best price, or we can do the shopping for you.
Q: Can I watch, ask questions, and learn while TCS does its work?
A: Yes. This may slightly extend the length of the service call and the consequent bill, but you are welcome to learn.
Q: What are the real costs—including the hardware and software that may be needed, as well as the labor charges-for your different solutions?
A: This is the toughest question, and unanswerable because each situation is so different. But here’s what we do. Before starting any job, we will give you, by phone, a good-faith estimate of probable charges and some insight on the range of possibilities. For ordinary tasks, the estimate is usually very close. We cannot be bound to this estimate, however, due to the complexities of computer tasks caused by the bewildering variety of hardware, software, versions, corrupted disks, bugs both known and unknown, viruses and worms, and so on.
All this having been said, here are some examples of costs for certain tasks:
Wireless network-Router, $90; Card, $40; Labor, 1hr @ $100-$125; Total, $230.00 – $255.00
Install virus protection: Software, $35-$50; Installation and Training, 1.5 hours @ $150-$187.50; Total $185.00 – $237.50.
Install new power supply and additional memory-Power supply, $70; Memory (4GB), $55; Labor, 1 hour @ $100-$125 Total, $225.00 – $250.00.
Music System with CD Burner: Burner, $50; Music service, $30 (plus $1 per downloaded song); Memory (4GB), $55; Labor and training, 3 hours @ $300-$375; Total, $435.00 – $510.00.
Virus eradication and damage fix: Labor, 2-4 hours @ $200-$500; Total, $200.00 – $500.00.
Relocate computer and re-cable: Cable, $20; Labor, 4 hours @ $400-$500; Total, $420.00 – $520.00.
Please note again that these are just recent examples of actual jobs and costs, and that we cannot guarantee that the next similar job will have similar costs—each situation is highly variable.
Q: Can I use your services for just phone advice?
A: Yes. If the session is short, we do this at no charge for our Customers. Otherwise, we charge at our standard published rates.
Q: Do you provide recurring, scheduled business services if I have neither the desire nor the staff to do them myself?
A: In most cases, yes. Examples would include different levels of back-up procedures to protect critical data, Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM), quarterly scheduled maintenance and pre scheduled sweeps of your system to protect and eradicate viruses.
Q: Do your “protection” services really provide full protection?
A: Generally no. Typically we can protect at a high level—perhaps 85 or 90%, although it can’t really be quantified – for a while, with degradation occurring over time. This is because computing is highly dynamic, with the Forces of Evil constantly trying to work around any protection scheme, and so on. There are certain events we can protect you from but not all of them. For example, we cannot protect against pop-ups created by your Internet vendor, like AOL or Yahoo, although we can do a great job against other forms of annoying pop-ups. What we can generally do is provide as much protection as is possible at any point in time, and keep that protection as current as is warranted by your needs. If you are on our RMM program then the protection is much higher, at about 95% and because we looking at your machines on a consistence basis we will be able to catch it much sooner making eradication that much easier.
Q: What do I need to download music through my computer?
A: You need a computer with a good-size hard drive (500 gigabytes is recommended); an internet connection; media player software that interprets a downloaded music file so that it can play on your computer’s speakers or go to a CD burner; an optional CD burner wired into your computer if you want to create your own CD’s instead of just listening to your music on the computer; and an Internet music service provider that typically will charge a one-time (modest) fee plus a download fee per song ($1?). For music lovers, this can be a great investment, yielding both a lower cost and increased quality of the music experience by having CD’s which only have the music you really want, without the fillers.
Q: You make a big issue about liability regarding your work. Why?
A: If we had liability concerns hanging over our heads, we simply could not be in business, unless we raised rates dramatically—which would kill the business anyway. The core issue is the incredible complexity of computing systems and the number of components, often from different companies, that all have to work together. When you mix together hardware boards, communications devices, power supplies (including fluctuations in the power grid, lightening strikes, etc.), cables, operating system software, applications software, partial or faulty installations, different versions and sub-versions of all these components, software and hardware bugs, viruses and worms, including new ones unreported, bad information from the user (“I’m pretty sure its version 8”), bad computer practices, faulty documentation, occasionally incompetent Help Desks from component venders… hopefully, you get the picture. The good news is that most jobs turn out as planned, and the tough situations can usually be fixed. We have had no computer catastrophes, but we cannot guarantee that, as a business practice. Bottom line, if you cannot sign the release of liability form, we cannot do business with you.