Business and Residential IT Services
Why Should You Choose Friendly?
The very first reason you should choose us is we are Friendly. We make the customer’s problem our problem. Unlike many of our competitors, we do not simply reload computers with infections. We remove the infections. If you take your computer to The Geek Squad, there is an excellent chance that your infected computer will be reloaded and probably without your consent. You delivered the computer to them to be fixed so they “fix it” then tell you how much you owe and finally – if you pin them down -they will admit that your programs are gone. There is an excellent reason for taking that approach. It is easy and fast costing them the minimum amount resulting in an increased profitability. Many times 6 or 8 hours are required for removing infections from a computer and our customer is charged for a couple of hours.
We have been in business over 10 years and have a “real” location. Yes, we are more than a phone number and internet address and we are located in Webster, Texas not someplace strange New York or California. If you want to see me, I am at our office and while you can use phone or email if you want to talk to me in person you know where to find me. I have found that obtaining information from a service provider that is located as indicated as an alternative is usually not very successful. We try very hard to never have an unhappy customer and the most productive way to resolving a “problem” is to sit down and talk about it together.
We can and do provide Managed Services. With this approach, all work is accomplished through a remote connection to the customer’s computer and in many cases the user of the computer isn’t even aware that work is proceeding. While some of our customers prefer this approach because interruption to their business caused by a work station out of service can be very expensive most of our customers prefer seeing a real person at their location working on their computer.
Another very important reason for selecting Friendly for your small business or residential computer repair needs is our Technicians know what they are doing. When we need to replace or add a Technician, we typically look at over 125 resumes, talk to 20 on the phone, interview 5 in person and maybe hire one. Why do we take that exhaustive approach when we could simply hire a person fresh out of ITT Tech who possesses a bunch of certifications without much effort? The answer is simple. We want Technicians that are able to handle any problem encountered whether it is virus removal or installation of a Sonic Wall or Cisco equipment or working on a Server. Yes, they can do all of that. We don’t hire Technicians who have restrictions. That makes them expensive for us and significantly cuts into the profit margin but I have always insisted on people who can do any job and do it right the first time.
Yes, our Technicians are very talented people but they can speak your language. If you are a person who knows little about computers and only want to be proficient at using them as the tools they are or you are a “teckie type” who likes to communicate using a lot of acronyms and terms most people don’t understand, they can talk to you in a way you will understand. Our Technicians are told to initiate conversation with a customer by pretending they are talking to their Grandmother. If the customer is obviously well versed, then “ratchet up” until a mutually comfortable level is found.
We partner with all of the major brands and vendors including: , Microsoft, Gillware, AVG, Carbonite, HP, Intel, and others.
All repairs are performed by our Technicians in our shop and computers are not sent to some location a thousand miles away like some of our competitors. Perhaps our biggest competitor doesn’t perform any repairs at their facility. Actually, that isn’t 100% true. They do connect to a Technician in a central location who runs diagnostics or performs removal of infections remotely with the local facility only doing things like connecting replacement hardware. Maybe I should have said that no one at the facility is capable of performing repairs.
Our Bench Technician and Shop Manager has been with us over 3 years. There is literally nothing he hasn’t seen before. Whether simple infections are involved or ransom software that encrypts the users documents, he has encountered it before, recognizes it quickly and reduces the amount the customer is charged for the repair. His abilities do not stop with the software side but also covers hardware problems. When a hard drive is failing or a video card is causing problems elsewhere, he has seen it before. I think that is much better for the customer than their having someone who has never seen situations like the one that necessitated your delivering your machine to us working on their computer. He is well versed on Servers, Networks and various hardware configurations such as RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10.
We believe in using the same approaches that we promote for customers so our Virtual Servers uses RAID 10 making it necessary for our Technicians to “live with” the configurations we promote for our customers.
If you own a small business and have a full time Technician who is costing you $60,000 per year, your can allow Friendly to become your “help desk” and tell him to go hunt a job elsewhere. Like using the various configurations we promote for customers, we know that the proposed path works because we have experienced numerous business doing precisely as suggested. Through use of our Monthly Maintenance Agreement, customers can be assured of same day service and if an emergency situation exist we will be there within a couple of hours. By “emergency” situation, I mean something that has shut your business down and not a simple inconvenience. We use Managed Services tools and offer that approach when customers prefer to never see a Technician. Many times we can resolve the “emergency” situation through use of a remote connection. Of course, internet services are required for this approach so if someone resets your router eliminating all setting the problem can only be resolved with a Technician going to your location.
Virtual Servers have become very popular with Server 2012 R2 because the Operation System makes use of the approach much easier than in the past. There are situations where use of a Virtual Server makes sense and many where it is only an added complication. When speed of response is something that is extremely important to a user, depending on the Server hardware, most of the time they do not need a Virtual Server. In situations where the customer wants to be able to pick up their entire IT System and take it with them during periods like hurricane evacuations with the ability to restart their business easily in a different location quickly, Virtual Servers are the way to go. In our office, we run 2 Virtual Servers using the Hyper-V component of Server 2012 R2. One server is used for QuickBooks and the other handles everything else. Motivation for segregation of QuickBooks is produced by Intuit Data Protect requiring that a user be logged on when the software runs. That need is very easy to fulfill using the Virtual Server where it would be a challenge with a conventional Server.
We also use precisely the same approach to backup that we promote to our customers. We have “Cloud” backup and local hard backup along with using a RAID Array. Using a system like Carbonite makes good sense because it is cheap and can become invaluable when a couple of files or documents are needed quickly. Completely restoring a Server from these kind of systems is time prohibitive. You could say that we are recommend a “belt and suspender” approach but we have good reason. When a customer decides to use something like RAID 5 to increase data security, we applauded the philosophy but that doesn’t change or recommendation for backup. When a RAID 5 is used on a Server using 3 or more hard drives, one of the drives can fail without loss of any data. The philosophy is that failure of more than 1 hard drive is highly unlikely. In two business customer situations we experienced failure of a hard drive in a RAID 5 and failure of a second drive before the Array could be rebuilt resulting in total data loss which convinced us that a better approach exists. We recommend use of RAID 1 along with local hard backup and cloud backup. With a RAID 1, when data is written to the primary hard drive the same operation takes place simultaneously on the second drive providing data security.
We know that your data is important to you so we make it important to us. We have never lost a customer’s data because before performing any repairs that could result in damage to an existing operating system we image the drive to our server using our Gigabit network. After creating an image, if something goes wrong during the repair process, we can restore the system. Many of our competitors do not take indicated approach and when a customer’s data is lost “oh well things happen” is the end result.
When we started this business over 10 years ago, I thought I was a Technician then I hired a real Technician and realized that I had been wrong. I just knew a little more about computers than most people but I was not a Technician. I retired from 30 years in the oil and gas industry before starting this business with my wife Marlene. When it comes to agreements, I am an old fashioned guy who believes that a man’s word is his bond. A verbal agreement with me is as “good” as a 10 page contract. I also believe in being truthful. When a Technician is hired he is told there are only two things that can result in immediate termination. The first is stealing and the second is lying. Lying to me, Marlene each other or a customer. When we make a mistake, and we do occasionally, we tell the whole ugly truth, we clean up the mess, I eat the cost, we learn from the experience and move on.
My word is my bond but verbal communications is not an effective tool especial when compared to a written description. For that reason, we always provide a Scope of Work when significant activity is planned. By providing a clear and concise description of what is included in a proposal we avoid confusion and unhappy customers.
Summarizing, some of the reasons for using Friendly include we make your problems our problems, our Technicians are capable of solving any problem you might encounter, fast turnaround and same day service is provided for Monthly Maintenance Agreement Customers, we use all configurations recommended to customers, infections are removed rather than reloading your machine and your data is as important to us as it is to you. Yes, you can probably find service providers who cost less but do they really. If all your data is lost, how do you put a value on the experience. If you want “cheap” go try someone else but if you want to know that it will be done right the first time call Friendly Computers for your residential or business needs.
Our Dispatchers are not Technicians but they can discuss your problems intelligently. When problems escalate to the point of my being involved, I too can discuss your problem intelligently and we can find a resolution to the problem that will make you happy. Marlene has a degree in Management Information Systems so she can talk with you from a conceptual or very technical perspective. Try us once and you might go elsewhere after your first experience with Friendly but ultimately you will come back. We have seen it happen many times. Once a customer receives service by Friendly, they will be with us for a very long time.
It might sound like an oxymoron but we operate an honest IT Services companies. They are scarce as hen’s teeth as you probably already know.
We service the Southeast Houston, Houston Metro, Downtown, Houston, Midtown, Pasadena, Deer Park, La Porte, Galveston, Texas City, and Clear Lake Area including Friendswood, Alvin, Pearland, Kemah, Webster, Seabrook, League City, and surrounding areas. In special situations for Business Customers, we perform work well outside indicated area.
Try us and you will like us. You have my word on that.
Owner, Friendly Computers #178