My Fast PC is a technical support company mostly for senior citizens who rely on regular help with their personal digital devices and online experience. We take pride in the aid that we give to our customers. Unfortunately, our industry is riddled with scammers and it’s difficult to keep up with the latest plots and strategies of those who take advantage of vulnerable demographics.
This article is to help set the record straight on who and what is a legitimate technical support company (one hint: a legitimate company has a comprehensive membership program). Additionally, how does one identify the scammers, and why are authentic and capable tech support companies necessary to those with limited tech capabilities and essential for senior citizens that want to use technology to assist them with aging in place,
What is Online Technical Support for Consumers?
Online Technical Support for consumers is technical support services for individuals while at home and is typically connected to the company with remote access software. Remote access software for technical issues is used widely, examples being ISPs (internet service providers) troubleshooting network latency issues from the customer’s computer, IT departments at businesses to troubleshoot issues for employees, and also by technical support companies that provide services to consumers that would rather have an expert examine their computer while in the comfort of their home. Some devices (smartphones and tablets) have the ability to connect with this software, but the technician cannot assume control and can only view what’s on the screen. Regardless, a real tech support company would offer to their customers phone or chat support for troubleshooting these devices. This also applies for hardware issues with printers, scanners, smart devices, etc.
A legitimate technical support company for the at-home consumer will offer a complete package including: 24/7 technical support via telephone or chat, regular data backup, assure that legitimate antivirus software is functioning as intended on the devices, identity theft protection and restoration services, a way to educate the customers ( YouTube channel, helpful emails, a blog with helpful articles), and more.
Unfortunately there are downsides to both the technical support industry for consumers and the abuse of remote access software. If you allow access to malicious parties in the guise of legitimate technical support then they have access to your device and any personal information on that device.
If a senior citizen, or an individual with no desire to acquire basic technical skills, or really anyone that wishes to have easy go-to help for all technical issues then this is the type of service that they need. But how does someone know the fake from the real? It’s good to know the current and latest scams, but that can be difficult to follow as scammers are always ahead of the curve as they define the curve when it comes to scams and fraud. There are some red flags that signal a scam and checklist items to help ensure you what’s real that will be covered later in this article. As someone investigating this service for yourself or for a friend and loved one, it’s critical to be critical.
Why Have a Personal Technical Support Company?
Friends and family are not as readily available as is ideal for their parents, grandparents, and older friends. Sometimes relatives do more harm than help
Without a doubt, the developments in digital technology and the internet in the past 25 years has changed the world. On many levels it has caused paradigm shifts, ex. a change in how we communicate with one another. Keeping up with these changes is difficult for any layman, much less those that did not grow up with or experience these technologies at younger ages. Who is there for these people in this sometimes precarious environment?
As much as a child or grandchild, a good neighbor or friend, would like to be there for those in their life that aren’t tech savvy they simply cannot always offer them timely assistance. Who is to say that you, not an expert or trained technician, is properly removing malware from their computer when they inevitably click or download something they should not have? While it is great to be there and help them, why not have experts available for them 24/7?
This need won’t go away as new generations get older, there will more than likely always be a rapidly evolving technological curve and most senior citizens will not have the desire or time to keep with the curve, they would rather have go-to experts for help. That’s why our services are so important.
Give your parents of grandparents real experts to go to when they have questions and concerns when victims or potential victims of scams
If you don’t know how then don’t diagnose someone else’s technical issues. Our company, due to the deservedly poor reputation of the industry, has been assumed to be a scam and this adversely impacts our business and those customers that we serve. Well meaning, but misinformed, child and grandchildren of our customers have left reviews or told their loved ones things that are factually incorrect, they themselves assuming they know what is legitimate and illegitimate technical support. Why not have an expert for those that you care about who they can turn to and inquire at any time if a system alert, pop-up message, download, service that they find online, etc. is a scam or not? Many times we have saved customers from spending money on a scam or clicking a pop-up or download that would have put their information and computer at risk.
A comprehensive approach to computer and internet safety
A legitimate and always available technical support company doesn’t just offer advice and fixes for a customer’s computer problems but also a comprehensive package that protects their device and also their online behavior. This means identity theft protection (internet monitoring) and restoration services, as well as, learning materials for the customers that keep them aware, at the elementary level, of how to protect their personal and financial information. Additionally, a legitimate company should offer data backup in case of system crashes and readily having the data to sync across to a customer’s new computer.
One must also consider that technical support for purchased devices is either poor or nonexistent. There is no need to highlight the difficulties that we all have when trying to get qualified and effective support from our internet service providers. A tech support company specializes in being available to assist their customers. We are where our customers turn first and we fix their issues or help connect them with an expert that can.
We know how to speak with our customers and educate
We work hard to educate our customers through our YouTube channel, our blog, and our weekly emails. Rather than explain, here are some great examples:
Tech Tips on YouTube:
Aging in Place, technology can help and we help with technology
Aging in Place is becoming an ever increasingly popular topic among those preparing for or just entering retirement. It is a normal human desire to spend the sunset of life comfortable in familiar surroundings. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level”. Aging in place includes being able to plan for your home, health care, finances, travel, and entertainment. While making a plan for aging in place one has to consider how technology can assist with this process. How can a smart home be beneficial for those that want to age in place? What role does smart home security and all devices connected to your internet play? How is personal tech support part of aging in place with all the modern and ever changing devices?
The IoT ( Internet of Things) is and will be a rapid evolution in smart devices but also poses many security risks. It also assists with aging in place but tech support isn’t readily available or easily accessible for the many connected devices. So having a go-to tech support company to either help or fix issues, or we can reach out to the direct troubleshooting support and experts for the device, or educate the customer on how to contact appropriate support (for example, a smart tv with hardware problems). Either way, we’ll either fix the issue or get them connected with the right party quicker and easier than they could.
Additionally, all the services, in our membership package alleviate the pressures and potential issues of our customers while online. A tech support company for those aging in place can only help a senior citizen stay comfortable at home and safe when on the internet.
How to Decipher if it’s the Real Deal
Eventually there will be established names in this industry that almost anyone will recognize as legitimate and valuable services. My Fast PC hopes to further build its name and reputation in this aspect. Until then, we need consumers to be critical and to screen companies to find the legitimate companies worthy of your membership. Below are some checklists to help you with this process.
Checklist to make sure it’s a real tech support company:
- USA based phone number, verified on company’s website, social media, and other business profiles (BBB, Trustpilot)
- The business is PCI compliant, meaning they follow payment card industry standards
- My Fast PC is PCI compliant and we can run all major credit cards
- If the company is asking for check, money order, gift cards, etc. as payment then do not proceed
- American English speakers on the phone
- Investigate their company on Trustpilot, Google Reviews, Facebook Reviews (on their Facebook page — they should have one), and Better Business Bureau
- Youtube help channel
- Blog help articles
- Advertise only through legitimate mediums, ex. Google (who screens and controls advertisements from online tech support companies)
- The company should not advertise through invasive pop-ups, the only pop-ups should be IF you are on their website
- Make sure to read the full website or ad, if it’s declared as a third party tech support company then it’s more likely to be legitimate
Examples from our advertisements: (My Fast PC has these three messages on all advertisements)
Red flags of a scam:
The following is our checklist of red flags that help you know if it’s a scam:
- Microsoft or Apple will never call you, hang up if they say they are representatives from this company
- Operating system (Microsoft or Mac) alerts will never ask you to call a phone number
- The representative asks you to download and pay for a antivirus software on the call
- The call comes from an offshore representative whom you have not contacted (a cold call)
- The person on the phone says that they need to issue you a refund, but need your credit card info
- One example: they say they are with your current tech support company, want to refund you, need your credit card (they will actually charge it)
- To verify that it’s your company, have them verify the email and billing address that they have on record
There is peace of mind for the consumer, or someone representing the consumer, with a membership to a technical support company. Not only are you in the hands of technical experts but are also protected via identity theft protection and restoration services. It is also an opportunity to receive learning materials from a company that is specifically focused on what their customers need to learn. We receive calls and emails at all hours listening to and reading through their issues which helps assess what technical tips to create next in order to help keep them educated and safe online.
Help clean this industry up by properly screening technical support services. Call the number they provide and speak with their customer service. It shouldn’t take long to know if it’s the real deal like My Fast PC. Get the help you or your loved ones deserve from those that work hard to provide it.