The Most Important Thing

The most important thing is to know how much they charge for their services ahead of time. Do they charge a flat-rate, or is it hourly. If it’s hourly, when does the clock start? These small details are important considerations in making sure you don’t pay too much.

Inflated Bills

Most technicians like to charge hourly fees, while most people like to pay flat-rates. That’s not a big deal, except that it lets the technician sneak in an extra hour if you’re not careful. If the bill seems high, QUESTION IT!!! The Tech may have a legitimate reason for the high fees, but more than likely they do not.

Overpriced Parts

Don’t pay for overpriced parts. I’ve seen some of my competitors bills, and my jaw dropped open when I did. The Tech had charged a 300% markup on parts, and exorbitant rates for his time. And what was really bad was that those parts SHOULD HAVE BEEN UNDER WARRANTY! You have the right to question your bill. Use it if the bill seems too high. Below I’ve provided some information you should find useful to help you ascertain if a bill is exorbitant.

Check the prices of any parts quoted at If the tech obtains and installs the parts, expect to pay twice the prices you see there which should include the tech’s labor fees.

Common Repair Jobs & Typical Time Frames

  • Viruses/Trojans/Spyware Removal: This can take 2 or 3 hours. Don’t pay for more than that. Only an incompetent tech would take longer. Our rate: $
  • Hard Drive Installation/Upgrade: This only takes 1 hour to install and transfer all the data. Our rate: $ plus the Hard Drive, often $60 to $150 depending upon size.
  • Motherboard Repair/Replacement: Most techs will charge an arm and a leg to do this, but it’s usually easy if you know what you’re doing. Billable time is 1 hour in many cases. Sometimes you can expect 2 hours, but no more than that. As for the cost of the motherboard, expect to be charged $80 to $150 for a PC a few years old. Our rate: $ plus the motherboard, often $80.
  • CD / DVD drive replacement: The drive will be no more than $40. It takes less than an hour. Our rate: $ plus the $30 to $40 drive.
  • Boot Failure Errors: This depends upon the reason of the boot failure. The most common is a hard drive having some sectors that have gone bad, and will only take 1 hr to fix. Our rate: $.
  • Data Recovery: If you lost data due to some accidental event, or a Hard Drive failure, the recovery can either be easy or very difficult. If it was due to an accidental deletion and was very recent, the recovery could take 1 to 2 hours. If it was due to a Hard Drive failure, it depends upon the extent of the failure. If the failure due to some sectors going bad, then expect 1 to 2 hours. If it was due to the drive’s internal moving components physically failing, or a head collision with the platters, the data may not be recoverable by any tech. To give it a try could take an hour. Our rate: $.
  • Data Backup System: Most people only need an external drive and some software properly setup to make this work reliably. Our rate: $ plus the external drive.
  • Re-installation of Windows: Windows takes about 1 hour to install it and all the drivers. The tech should ask if you want security software or other tools or software installed as well. Our rate: $ for Windows and $ for our standard suite of software which takes over an hour of additional time to install.

We hope this helps you avoid getting ripped off in the future by unscrupulous people and PC technicians. There’s no reason owning a PC has to be expensive. With the right tools and the right technician, your PC will run smoothly and quickly. I appreciate the time you took to read this. If you have any other questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to call or use the contact us form.

Thank you,
Excessive Computing