Here’s something for U.S. readers only: Find a computer repair guy online.
For individuals and companies that can’t afford IT support personnel, ComputerRepair.com offers access to more than 3,000 technicians in all 50 states, and counting. It’s a kind of eBay of tech support: Users are encouraged to post their feedback and rate those computer repair technicians they use.
Full roll-out of the site, their PR guy tells me, is planned to take place within the next couple weeks. “Once that happens, people can open an account…put some funds in that they think will cover their work…and then manage the entire process electronically in an online desk. And they only pay once the work is done to their satisfaction.” For more on how this may work, check out the FAQ question on it. The company has filed a patent on this system.
Intriguing. I’ve always felt this kind of market-place for services makes sense, and it’s good to see something like this done imaginatively. The PR says that a number of larger service providers, such as EDS, IBM and Siemens, “have been using the platform to find techs to meet their service level agreement requirements in remote areas….where it’s not worth them having people.”
I guess my worry is whether people are going to be willing to put the money in up front, even before a suitable technician is found. What happens if a customer decides they can’t find a suitable technician on the site? Do they get their money back (probably, but the customer may feel it’s a bit of a hassle paying in advance.)
Minor quibbles. It’ll be interesting to see how this site fares. The PR guy says that despite being in beta — i.e., not completely ready for launch — the site gets about 27,000 hits a day. He also says that further down the road the company is considering expanding globally (they’ve gotten interest from vendors in a number of countries from Africa to Asia to Europe).