The “No-Fix No-Fee” Myth

Several computer repair companies offer something called a “No-Fix No-Fee” service. This is supposed to mean that if they cannot fix it then you won’t be charged. This is generally true but it really depends on how you define the word “Fix”.

Professional computer repair companies will generally charge an “inspection fee” and this will be detailed in their booking procedure and usually deducted from the final job cost. There are many different problems that can occur with a laptop or P.C. These can be caused by a multitude of different things. Most people would expect to pay for diagnosis and / orĀ  repair.

If you have had your computer for some time, the chances are you will have it looking and running exactly the way you want it. To the customer the word “Fix” means that they want their computer exactly as it was previously. They want their emails and documents in the right place and they want all their installed software working.

To a lot of PC engineers the word “Fix” means ‘Can this computer boot Windows and does the customer still have their data ?’ This does not necessarily resolve the problem that caused the error initially. The error will therefore most likely happen again at some random point in the future.

A good competent PC engineer will do a couple of simple checks to try and eliminate this possibility. First they will check the date stamp on the hard drive. If it is more than about 5 years old then it is probably time for it to be replaced as hard drives being mechanical do wear out with age. They should advise the customer of this and also advise on whether repair is economically viable.

If the problem is motherboard related then these can sometimes be repaired, although it can be expensive. This is particularly the case with laptops. This sort of repair will never usually be carried out on site, as the machine will require specialist attention.

So no-fix no-fee is really dependent on how you define the word “fix” and can the suggested repair be proven for long enough to call it a “fix”.

In short be careful with “No-Fix No Fee” as your definition of a fix may be wildly different from the service you actually receive.