There are myriad problems that can befall your laptop, ranging from the show-stopping to the productivity draining to the downright annoying. Many notebooks come standard with a period of toll-free tech support straight from the manufacturer, but what if you’re past the support period or your problem falls outside the scope of what the vendor will solve?
Third party phone and Web services are there for you, but how helpful are they, and which is the best one? To find out, we tested the quality of three large services:
We conducted our test by feigning two problems with a Gateway NV7915u notebook. On our first call to each service, we disabled the laptop’s webcam in the Windows Device Manager. When we contacted each service, we claimed we could no longer video chat in Skype. On our second call, we presented ourselves as Windows 7 novices who had seen Microsoft’s commercials and wanted to learn how to stream music from one Windows 7 notebook to another. We placed one call in the morning, and another in the evening.
Third Party Tech Support Services Tested