Sometimes a house call is needed. I charge a rate based on your distance from my office on top of my normal rate of $40 per hour. Maximum house call rate is $40 plus the labor after I arrive at your home. Another factor in this is whether the computer is a laptop or desktop. If it is a laptop or you have the ability to unhook your desktop and bring it by my office that is preferable. On a desktop computer you don’t need to bring the monitor, mouse and keyboard. I have those items so you just bring the computer “box” or tower, as we call it. It is cheaper for you to do that rather than have me make a house call. This $40 house call fee is for both ways. I pick it up and return it if needed.
There is a reason that I prefer to have people bring their computers to me to work on them. The beauty of computers now is that they are cheap. I bought my first laptop in 1995 and paid $3,500 for it. I can buy 100 times the machine now for 1/10 the price. Hard drives are dirt cheap compared to what they used to cost. They also have an incredible amount of storage space. That is the good part. The downside is that with the drives and software programs being so much larger it takes much more time to scan them when the computer is acting up and a virus infection or drive failure is suspected. It can take hours to scan a computer. If you bring the computer to me then I can set it up scanning and let it go. I just monitor the progress of the scan and give input if it is needed. I don’t charge to sit there and watch it scan if it is at my office. I only charge when I am working on it. If I am at your house watching it scan that is all I can do and you will have to pay me to sit there and watch it scan for hours. That is a waste of your time and mine.
Quite often I find problems that are a bit harder to diagnose or intermittent problems. In dealing with intermittent problems that can take time. In this case it is best to keep it at my office overnight so that I can run it for a while and do a number of starts and restarts to make sure it is fixed.
Overall it is just far cheaper if you can bring the computer to me. If you are unsure how unhook it I will be more than happy to come pick it up and take it back to you if needed. As I said, you only get charged one house call fee for pick up and return. When I do this I will mark up all the cables for you so that the next time you may just be able to unhook it up yourself and save the house call charge.