(StatePoint) If you’re like most people, you’ve spent more time than you’re willing to admit troubleshooting a technology issue with any one of the many devices in your connected home. Did you know that the average person owns at least 10 connected devices from Macs and PCs, smartphones, tablets and printers, to voice assistants, video doorbells and even home automation systems?
As homes get “smarter” with more connected devices, more complex problems arise, including issues with setup, troubleshooting and syncing devices. Calling the manufacturer or going to the store where you bought the device could help, if it’s still under warranty. Trying to diagnose and solve the problem yourself might work, if you have time, patience and some know-how.
But what many people really need is an IT expert on-call, ready to solve all their personal tech issues…but how realistic or affordable is that?
“Subscribing to a technical support plan is actually an increasingly popular option for consumers who want to keep their tech working 24/7. Many plans provide a professional, remote, ‘IT team’ available anytime you run into trouble. This can help keep costs low since the team resolves your tech issues by phone, chat or by virtually remoting into your device,” says Renée Soulliard, of Support.com.
Googling “tech support” brings up numerous options that promise to solve your various tech problems. With so many options, how do you know which ones are reliable?
Fraudulent tech support companies continue to get more sophisticated and difficult to detect, warns Soulliard. “To find a trusted tech support provider, choose one with a long history and highly trained, professional tech support agents,” she says.
Here are some potential questions to ask while evaluating tech support providers:
- How long has the company been in business?
- Are the company and its agents US-based?
- Is there a limit to how many devices are covered? Are there any restrictions on the types of devices, brands or problems covered?
- What operating systems are covered?
- Is the support provided unlimited? Is support available 24/7?
- Are there monthly plans available or just annual plans? Are there set-up fees?
- Are there any guarantees if my issue can’t be resolved? Can I cancel any time?
- Do I have access to support via phone and chat? Is online self-support available?
- Can I schedule a time to have a tech support agent contact me?
- What do other customers say about the service?
Look for an affordable monthly or annual subscription plan that offers unlimited tech support for any issue with your connected devices, regardless of the type of device, brand, or where you bought it. Plans can cost as low as $10 per month with no long-term commitment. Find tech support providers with US-based support agents that offer a range of support options, including phone, chat, or video-based “virtual house calls.” You could even try the free self-support tools from Support.com’s TechSolutions or, if you need more help, learn more about their tech support plans at www.support.com.
Having a tech support plan with a highly qualified tech support provider is an efficient and smart way to manage and maintain your technology, and can help you get the most out of all your home tech.