When should I bring my computer into the shop vs. having an onsite technician come out?

Posted by Super User

Many common computer repairs require a lot of machine time, but not a lot of intervention from a technician. One example would be a virus/malware cleanup- where various scans are started and monitored by the technician and may take hours to complete, but not much of the technician's time actively participating until the final stages, where manual removals may be required. Another example would be a windows installation, where large amounts of time are consumed by windows loading and later doing a tonne of updates. In scenarios like these, having the work done in shop is going to be more cost effective than onsite as we can bill you just for the time the technician is actively participating in repairing that PC. Since we have multiple machines being worked on at the same time, they can divide their time effectively between several ongoing tasks. Because of this increased efficiency, we can also charge a lower hourly rate.  In an onsite scenario, you pay a higher hourly rate by the hour for all the time the technician is on location, so you may be paying for a lot of time being spent waiting for processes to complete.

On the flip side, onsite service really makes sense when you have local devices that are hard to move, a number of machine that need work, networking setup, or server management that needs to be done. Companies with high levels of security may also require an onsite solution, as their security parameters may preclude any data leaving the premises.