Your computer – total cost of ownership

Prices of computers have gone down over the past 5-10 years. It’s common to see advertisements for $399.99 computers. However is it really this simple and inexpensive? What are you getting (or not getting) for $399.99? What are the hidden costs? And how has this affected people confronted with needing to repair their current computer or deciding to make a switch to a new computer?

This can throw many people for a loop when they have a computer that is in need of repair, has becomes infected with malware or has slowed to a crawl over the years and could use a serious ‘cleanup/speedup’ service call.

Why? What catches people off guard?

Well if you call for repair, speedup, disinfection of malware or even fresh reinstall of your Operating System — or even dealing with printer setup issues — you may find the bill for such services approaching (or even greater than) these advertised low cost cost computers. What’s going on here? Well a few things.

First, just because your computer was low cost (or maybe even free if someone bought it for you) doesn’t mean that the technician providing services adjusts his/her fees based on what you paid for it. Just like taking your car in for service. The cost for the technician’s time and effort is the same regardless of the cost of the car.

Also … extending the car analogy a bit more … if you take your car in for service on a regular basis your car is probably going to run better, last longer and you are probably going to enjoy it more. Putting off service may seem like your *saving* money … but when and if the day comes that you need really do have a problem – foregoing regular service may end up costing you much more in repairs. Damage may have occurred to parts that may have lasted longer if they had the benefit of regular maintenance.

If you have a computer (network, router, printer as well) then you should most

About David Ingalls

Chief computer guru at DavidIngallsOnline.com and Ingalls Computer Services (ingallscomputerservices.com).
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