O’ oh.. PC started doing strange things?  Not booting up at all?  Files missing all of a sudden?  Programs crashing?  Strangely running low on disk space?

We’ve all become so dependant on technology whether we like it or not, it’s unavoidable.  Computers, whether they be PCs or Macs, are so useful to us when they work and yet so frustrating when they don’t.  We’re at their mercy when we need that file we’ve been working on for a week, and for some seemingly random reason nothing is going right!  Over the years computers have probably been one of the biggest contributing factors to stress, but help is at hand from a lot of people advertising their services for support.  Not all of them are good, some are very expensive and others are downright dodgy. The irony of this post is… while I started writing this one morning, in the evening that same day I saw this post which just strengthened my resolve to complete it sooner than later.

Why I am writing this?  Many people ask me IT related things and how much they cost (or more specifically… how much I want to do x y z for them!) Among the many people I support privately, I also assist Adam Alex at XSiGHT UK with all his IT and any technical questions.

So, after conducting a fair bit of research, which included high-street stores, on-line adverts from established companies and also personal ads, here is a guideline to some services and the typical prices I would follow:

  • Remote Assistance (phone & remote desktop access for all platforms) – £30/hr
  • On-site Computer / Laptop Diagnosis & Repair – £50 for first 2 hrs
  • Off-site Computer / Laptop Diagnosis & Repair – £50 for first 2 hrs
  • Virus/Spyware/Malware Removal from £50 – Off-site recommended
  • Hardware/Software installation and initial configuration – £50 for first 2 hrs
  • PC Data Recovery from non-hardware failures from £50 – Off-site recommended
  • PC/Mac Complete Health Check (includes clean-up) from £50
  • Old to New Data Transfer – from your old system to new – from £50
  • Network evaluation – which includes systems, cabling, wifi, routers, security, backups, media servers, remote access etc + report & recommendations – From £50 – Actions taken based on those recommendations would most likely break down into items from above and/or below.
  • 1 Day WordPress Setup and Training Course – £350
  • Tuition & Support for PCs, Macs, Linux, Websites, Networks – from £50
  • iPhone / iPad Tuition & Support from £30
  • Domain Management – this one is hard to tie down because it is a many splendoured thing, so it would generally require an initial consultation, usually beginning at £50 – and then managed web hosting would begin at £15/month.

Hourly rates after the initial fees above generally range between £30 and £50 depending on the level of skill being employed e.g. a health check which initially takes £50 for the first couple hours (hopefully it would be done by then!) would then revert to £30, whereas setting up an office system with DHCP, DNS, NAS, networking, and clients etc would be pushing up towards £50/hr.  On-site means at your own place, and off-site means the engineer takes it to their place for work.

So there you have it.  Some people may say that there are cheaper services out there, and indeed there are more expensive as well.  Sometimes you have to take your chances, otherwise generally it’s better to find someone who has good references/reviews/recommendations and who also understands how debilitating IT can be when it is not working properly.  At that point you know that you are getting genuine value for money.