Getting Help When Technology Acts Up. Lots Of Options – Free and Fee based

helpbutton.jpgWhen technology doesn’t quite work the way you want it to and you just can’t go any further, you have several options for getting help.

For those of you who have a local consultant, this is your first and best line of defense against technology failure. They will help you over the phone or come to the office. They know your office IT setup and they know you and your staff. Often times these consultants outsource their phone support, so you might end up speaking to one of the companies below in any case.
Option 1 – Call the vendor of the product you have. If your Dell computer or HP printer breaks down, giving these vendors a call, assuming your product is in warranty, is probably you best, no cost option.
Option 2 – If your software or hardware is not in warranty and does not come with free support options from the vendor you could go to the vendor’s web site and try their online support forums. You’ll get help from other users and often times the vendors or tech gurus participate in the forums as well.
Option 3 – There are dozens of companies who provide professional support services. These companies include PlumChoice, GeekSquad, Iyogi.
CrossLoop has put together a marketplace of experts who can help you with technology. You can look at their individual profiles and see which one is best for you.

Keep in mind that PC vendors such as Dell, HP and Lenovo Experts Live offer fee based support options for software and hardware problems as well.
Option 4 – I’ve found that Microsoft’s own support site and Google (in general) are great places for finding solutions to technical problems. The trick is ti input the problem into the search engine correctly.
Dave Taylor has a pretty neat site, AskDaveTaylor that’s a treasure trove of support.

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