This is the question we get asked about 5 times a day. I think it depends on your level of competence, skill, and do you have the time.
Back when i was young and didn’t have any money, I had a car equal to my place in life. It probably was broken more then it ran. Every other paycheck went to getting that hunk of junk running so i didn’t have to catch the bus. I learned a lot about cars in those years. I would read-read-read. That way when the mechanic told me what was wrong i had a clue on what he was talking about. I could also tell if he was “cheating” me because i thought i knew something about cars…..
Quite a few times i “Attempted” to fix it on my own. Sometimes more successful that others. If i look back at all the money i saved fixing it myself, and compared it to the additional cost of having it towed and re-fixed when i wasn’t successful, i probably came out even. Cost wise that’s something to smile about. When i compare the time i wasted tinkering with that thing, i lost big time. Time i could have spent doing something else. After all, i wasn’t interested in learning how to fix cars, just interested in saving money. Instead i didn’t save any money and i spent lots of time.
While home computers for most people don’t have anything to do with work, we still need them to function properly. With the current boom of telecommuting and work from home individuals, they do use the computer for work. I didn’t use my car FOR work, but i did use it to get me TO work and when it wasn’t working i was either late or missed time taking the bus. I actually lost money sitting on the bus and not working. If you work from home, how many sales / contracts / orders do you miss each day with your computer broken?
I will be the first to say fixing computers isn’t very hard. The actual fixing part is easy. The finding out whats wrong part is hard.
At Custom-PC fixing is more than “re-installing windows”. It may save the customer money, but it doesn’t save them time or headache . The less tech-savy the customer, the more time you just cost them. It takes the average customer weeks to re-install all their programs, if they can find them. Got all you cd’s? Have all your license keys? Have all your downladed programs? You dont? You’ll probably have to buy it again. How much did you just save? How much do you make an hour? Doctor, lawyer, engineer, administrative assistant, landscaper? Multiply that by the amout of hours you spend getting your computer back to the way it was. Cha-ching.
Usually if you have to ask “can I fix it myself”, you probably cant. I know some of our best customers who can fix it themselves, but they continue to come to us because it saves them time and headache. Time they could be spending enjoying life and not stuck under their desk fixing their computer.