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Mark Swarbrick, Online Computer Repair and Online Virus Removal  Specialist

"After 20 + years in the corporate computer world I left my cubicle to work from home. Low overhead means I can work CHEAP and SAVE YOU MONEY!"


 Swarbrick Software, Inc. BBB Business Review



Watch Out For These PC Repair Scams

After hearing countless horror stories from my customers about other online computer repair companies I did some further investigation into the unethical practices by some of these outfits. Here is what I have found that you should watch out for:
  1. USA Based  - Really? Most people don't want to talk to someone in India with an accent so heavy that you can't understand them. Thats why many websites will say, "USA Based." But are they really? I have found that many websites advertise they are in the U.S. but the person on the phone, who claims they are in the U.S. still sounds like someone from India. It is not wise to deal with someone who has just lied to you. Hint: Read the text of a website carefully. You will probably find one or two grammatical errors on sites that are not really U.S. based, and of course, you will know instantly when they answer the phone. Just say, "Sorry, wrong number."
  2. Super Low Price: There are companies out there claiming they will remove all your viruses, fix any and all problems, and do a tune-up on your PC, all for the low price of $39.99. As someone who has been doing this work full time for 24 years, I can tell you that it takes several hours to do all that and do it right. How can they do this for such a cut-rate price? There are three ways: 1. Hire a bunch of young geeks that are still learning and let them practice on your computer. 2. Be based in India or the Philippines or some foreign country where labor is cheap. 3. Do the very minimimum to just get buy without concern for conscientious quality work. Some places do all three. The old adage - "You get what you pay for." is always true. If you want good quality service you need to pay for it. Try to save a buck and you can end up with a destroyed computer and/or many hours of frustration as you call back over and over to try to get them to do what they promised. Good Advice: If you want good computer service, don't pick the cheapest bidder.
  3. Certified - Really? Does the website tell you who is going to be fixing your PC? Are the name, credentials and experience of the technician posted on the website? I have called some of these supposedly Microsoft certified websites and when I asked exactly which credential he held with Microsoft he could not give me an answer. (My exact credentials, in fact my entire work history resume, are both listed on this site.)
  4. Free Antivirus Software: They offer a free antivirus software after the repair. Be aware that they are only giving you something you can get for free yourself. Again, you get what you pay for. Free antivirus software might be better than nothing, but not by much. I repair computers every day that are protected by free antivirus products and they are very infected. Only the antivirus products that you purchase are adequate. Recommending free inferior products gives the customer a false sense of security that will lead to their PC eventually getting hit by a virus. A technician that is really looking out for your best interests will offer to sell you a quality product that works. 
  5. Free Scan Scam: Here's how it works. They say they will connect to your machine and tell you what is wrong for free, no obligation. Then you can decide what to do next. Free diagnosis! Sounds good, right? Lots of people fall for this. So they connect to your machine and they run a program (that they have created) that pretends to do a scan of your computer. In just 3 minutes this software reports hundreds of registry errors, dozens of problems in the event log, dozens of viruses, trojans and spyware. They tell you that you have got to get this fixed right away before all your files dissapear and your computer won't work at all. After the scare tactics, they give you a price. But the real fact is - there is not a piece of software in the world that can tell you whats wrong with a computer in a few minutes. I have over two decades of experience and I can tell you that It takes a couple hours of careful work to properly evaluate a computer. I have helped many customers who told me they had just experienced this scam. Fortunately they called me and in many cases their computer was not in nearly as bad a shape as they had been led to believe.
  6. One Year Service Contract Scam: Pay $300 per year and call for PC repair as often as you want. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I've talked to lots of people that have been burned by this. There is only one way a company can offer that and stay in business, and that is to not fulfill their promise. The service contract is long and in fine print and is not read by most customers. I have read them. The fine print says that if you bother them too much they can just cut you loose and not give you any refund. Their interest is going to be in getting new customers to pay the $300, not in providing service for you over and over. You also have to wonder if the company will even still be in business six months down the road. 
  7. Cold Call Scam: "Microsoft called me and said my PC is infected." I have heard this countless times from people that call me for advice. I tell them right off the bat: "I'll be happy to do a virus check on your PC for $59.99, but know this first, what you were told is not true and it was not Microsoft that called you. Microsoft doesn't call anyone and they would have no way of knowing if your PC is infected." This scam is very common. If you get this call do not be alarmed and don't be suckered into paying them to "fix" it. 
  8. The Big Company Scam: Many of my customers have told me that they went to a company website and got a number and then called and talked with HP, or Dell, or the list goes on: Microsoft, IBM, Norton, Toshiba, etc. and this company told them they had multitudes of problems and they could fix it for a certain price. What these people didn't realize is that they were not actually speaking with the actual company they thought they were. Many online PC repair companies unscrupulously advertize that they are Dell, or Microsoft or whoever. They put up websites and Google ads designed to trick you into thinking they are support for HP or whoever. Once they have you thinking they are the company that made your computer, or your software or your printer, then they have a better chance at selling you their next scam. Anytime you go to a website look at the URL and see where you are. If it says for example, www.fixHP.com or something like that and not, www.HP.com, then you are on a scam website.

Hi, I’m Mark Swarbrick, the business owner who would work on your PC. For the past 20 years I’ve been making my living full-time at computer service and repair. My resume is on this website for all to see. Give me a call and let’s talk about your PC. I can provide quality expertise for your PC. My goal is not a one-time quick-fix, but to make you a satisfied life-time customer.

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