There are options beyond operating a university-owned computer repair center. Outside repair companies operating on campuses can save universities money in technician salaries and center administration costs.
Best Buy’s Geek Squad, for example, has run centers on campuses. And the regional tech repair company that operates Harvard’s campus repair center is Micros Northeast.
Another option is The Computer Fixer, a new campus-specific model that currently serves the UPenn and Drexel University in Philadelphia. The company earns revenue through repair to student and faculty machines.
“All we need from the university is a physical building in which to operate our service center,” says Chris Gordon, president.
Students, faculty and staff at UPenn and Drexel can request repairs online or by phone, or drop machines off. Diagnostics are made for $45 and any possible warranty coverage is determined. If there is no warranty, customers are quoted a repair price before any work is done.
Computer Fixer technicians will help owners decided what to do with their damaged machines.
“If the repair price is more than 50 percent of the replacement cost and a machine is more than three years old, we advise the customer to buy a new machine,” says Gordon.
If the customer decides on replacement, The Computer Fixer can extract data from old, undamaged hard drives, says Gordon.
“We will transfer data from the old computer, install applications like Microsoft Office and ensure Wi-Fi connectivity on the new machine.”
The Computer Fixer’s On Campus Repair retail-model could be adopted by any institution.