Third-Party Tech Support Tested: How Does Geek Squad Compare to iYogi and Support.com?

Third-Party Tech Support Tested: How Does Geek Squad Compare to iYogi and Support.com?

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:

  • Geek Squad (geeksquad.com), a subsidiary of Best Buy, provides tech support via in-store locations, house calls, phone sessions, or Internet (via remote access). Costs start at $29.99. The company claims all technicians are native English speakers with either Best Buy certification, four years of computer diagnosis and repair training, or A+ computer certification.
  • iYogi (iyogi.net) offers 24/7 tech support that comes bundled free with any PC purchased from Amazon.com or Wal-Mart.com. The support can also be purchased for any PC for $139 per year, which grants access to unlimited help. Each iYogi agent is a Microsoft Gold-certified technician.
  • Support.com (support.com) also offers phone and remote repair services and it says that its agents are Gold-certified technicians as well. Support service subscriptions start at $19.99 (monthly) and $199 (annually) per computer. It also offers one-time repairs starting at $49.99. Support.com only assist users with computers running Windows 7, Vista, or XP; there is no Linux, Mac OS X, or Unix at this time.

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

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  1. Amanda Says:

    I use http://www.supportnerds.com, they have always been good and fast, they are affordable and 100% American which I like.

  2. Thomas Frkovich Says:

    I get plenty of business compared to any of these guys. Seems like Mom and Pop shops are a preference for many and I don’t see that in this article. I hear complaints left and right about companies such as Geek Squad that lead clients my way. I am not complaining but hey that’s more business for me. Decisions on price negotiation are done right on the spot so if there’s a costly repair and a client only has so much money I can work with their budget knowing what my profit would be and about 90% of the time I’m happy with profit from services over profit over sales on hardware. Something that Geek Squad agents cannot do as they have fixed prices on just services and a lack of resources to get the replacement part or pricing or eta immediately. So for all the people who done business with geek squad: did you notice that one thing led to another? Your motherboard failed but current boards on the market required memory that you had that was not compatible resulting in multiple purchases of both memory and board? Also elders seem to be more comfortable with a self employed individual period. Nothing like dealing directly with the owner of a business who takes pride in their reputation. Do you think a geek squad agent would ever be a company man? They’ll only be dedicated should the agent be some peeping tom (LOL). They should include smaller outfits, compare from there, and re-write this article. I’m sure the results will be surprising.

  3. Eini Drara Says:

    Sounds like this review has been sponsored by the Geek Squad.

  4. George Lazarro Says:

    I have had several computers put into the geek squad and they have done a fantastic job with all of them very proffesional and very helpful! my brother had taken his dell to a “mom and pop” store and they try to charge him for a new harddrive, and a operating system install almost 300 dollars in repairs. i told him to use the geek squad and they found the real prob which was neither the harddrive or the OS the mom and pop stores are crooks looking out for there own pockets!!!

  5. Tim Says:

    everyone has their own version of a bad experience…..i have to say i had the reverse of george’s experience….i brought in my pc to geeksquad and they held on to it for 6 days and still didnt remove the virus that i asked them to remove, they charged me $214….i had no intention of bringing it back there so i just did a search on google and found this place http://www.boxaid.com and they fixed it over the internet…..i didnt even know that was possible…..you just have find someone you can trust.

  6. Sean Says:

    Why did Support.com get two B grades compared to Geek Squads’s two A’s? Support.com solved the same problems with the same solution in less overall time. Seems bias in my opinion.

  7. Misty's Friend Says:

    Geek squad is an insult to geeks. A friend of mine bought a pc at Best Buy in Nov. 2009. She had some major problems right away & was told to call the squad. That’s when she found out just how messed up a pc can get from bad advice. Among other things, the idiot she talked to installed multiple anti-virus softwares & totally messed up her computer.

    It took a total of 4 visits to the store before she got the friggin’ thing working. Her experience was enough to turn me off Best Buy for life!

  8. George is fake Says:

    So what was the problem (refer to quote by Mr. Lazarro)

    RE: George Lazarro Says:
    April 8th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    I have had several computers put into the geek squad and they have done a fantastic job with all of them very proffesional and very helpful! my brother had taken his dell to a “mom and pop” store and they try to charge him for a new harddrive, and a operating system install almost 300 dollars in repairs. i told him to use the geek squad and they found the real prob which was neither the harddrive or the OS the mom and pop stores are crooks looking out for there own pockets!!!

  9. John Anderson Says:

    Computer support companies can be great, but many of them have their limitations. However, there’re some that offer comparable services with pocket-friendly prices as those mentioned above. One of such PC support companies I have been using since October 14, 2007 is http://www.adachicomputech.com Their technical support reps are simply great! The service offers onsite visitation, remote assistance, and over the phone support on a 24 hour basis.

  10. Computer Geek Kim Says:

    NO, I had a friend go to geek squad and they charged them over 300.00 to clean up a computer! I would say support.com is better. Trust me i have been doing this for 15 years. I here some horror stories that would floor you guys. about geek squad. If you want to play it super safe get your computer fixed at http://www.computergeeksonline.net/ they have been around for 10 years! its a small but super awesome family support center . good luck guys, Kim

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