We are all aware of those people who encounter technical issues with their devices and just want them fixed. They’re not really interested in learning the tricks and trades to help themselves, and you can’t possibly be there for them every time they would get an error message. Some computer users are eager to learn enough to help them once you show them how. But, there’s always that friend or relative who still doesn’t know anything else but to give you a call every time they run into a problem. They only want to get the problem fixed, and would rather ask someone to fix it for them. The good news is, there are practically ways you can do to get them the help that they need — that is, of course, not you. Here are some options you can hand them off to, in case you don’t have the time or energy to become their full-time tech support.

Make a List of Support Services That They Can Call

If you have a relative or friend who makes it a habit to turn to you for technical support, one helpful solution is to build them a list of people or company that he/she can call aside from you. If they’re having issues with their phone, give them their carrier’s support number. If they are experiencing issues with their Dell computer, jot down Dell’s customer support hotline. Give them a master list, but you may also consider adding easy-to-find labels or notes with those contact numbers. So the next time they encounter a problem with their computer, the number for the support hotline will be right there on the side.

Similarly, it will be difficult if they think it’s easier to call you instead of calling an 800 line. Here’s the fix — just miss a couple of their calls or texts for a while, and then ask them if they called for support. It may be a bit underhanded, but pretending to be ignorant and suggesting them to call for proper support can go a long way. New phones, computers, TVs, and other devices all come with warranties and free support, and sometimes even the tech-y among us spend more time trying to fix the problem instead of taking the advantage of the free support, repairs, or replacements available to us.

Consider Extended Warranties and Support

Speaking of warranties, if you are currently struggling with an aging device, it is best to avail (or suggest that they purchase) an extended warranty or service plan. A good example of this is Apple’s AppleCare program, though almost every manufacturer offers one. Prices may vary, but they almost always stretch their support for several years beyond the included warranty. For devices like smartphones or tablets that are upgraded every few years generally don’t need this treatment. Steer your relative or friend to the horizon and their next upgrade — and the service plan or warranty that’ll come with it instead of dropping cash on an extended warranty or support plan.

Pawn Them Off on Their Office IT

You can also suggest that they ask their office IT what the issues they’re experiencing with their devices may be. Just make sure to make the proper approach since issues with non-work devices are always tricky for office IT workers to solve, and any protection afforded to them doesn’t extend to personal devices. Keep in mind though that if you’re going to suggest that they ask for help from their office IT, do them a favor and remind them as well that their office IT worker will be doing them a huge favor, and may not be able to help at all.

It would also be better if you suggest that they ask their office IT worker (or team) if they’re interested in freelance side work. It can be inconvenient and messy doing off-hours support for someone they also support during the day (or may even be forbidden outright). However, there are plenty of techs who had lucrative sidelines with co-workers who needed help with their personal devices and gadgets like laptops, smartphones, tablets, or home entertainment systems. Just make sure to remind them to make a nice approach and avoid hounding their poor helpdesk tech every time they get an error message on their Snapchat app.

Consider Premium Support Services

If your friend or relative is willing enough to shell out cash just to get all-out tech support, there are several options for premium support anytime they need it. It often doesn’t come with desk-side support, but having someone to contact can often mean the difference between them getting an instant answer to their concerns versus them calling you. Here are some of those options:

  • Microsoft Answer Desk Answer Desk is a Microsoft support service for Windows computers. Aside from basic operating system support, they also support specific applications, perform PC tune ups, handle virus and malware removal, and more. All they need is for you to subscribe to their one year premium support. If you have a Microsoft Store near your place, they provide in-person services, too.
  • Yelp Although the company isn’t going to fix your relative or friend’s busted smartphone, but it will direct them to reputable local tech support services and independent contractors that reside in your community and are willing to assist. Odds are there are lots of small businesses or individual technicians in your community that are willing to offer walk-in, phone, or at-home support for a reasonable fee anytime your friend or relative needs them. Another thing is, the benefit of them being local is that they can probably help you out sooner, and you can check their references. Keep in mind to treat tech support companies like any other contractor, and research more about them before hiring them.
  • Geek Squad They do offer a wide variety of services, including in-home consultations and repairs on various devices, ranging from personal computers to smartphones to home entertainment systems. Their service fee may vary depending on whether you’re paying a one-time incident fee or opt for a subscription.

Similarly, a number of office supply stores such as Staples and Office Depot, have their own support services that you can suggest. Just be careful that they normally don’t see an error message and will just suggest your friend to buy a new laptop — although that may be a better option, both price-wise and convenience-wise.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 8:24:33 PM and is filed under Mixellaneous.

One Response

  1. Anne Conley says:

    Nice and Informative Stuff!
    I wonder, You provided all points in detail. After reading this I am able to know which factors should be consider when need to recommend a reliable tech support.

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