Geeks rule!

Tech-support firm helps entrepreneurs focus on business

An attorney who billed clients at $300 an hour was spending an afternoon every few weeks crawling under his desk, mucking with wires, and taking the firm’s e-mail down with him. A fashion magazine’s internal tech support was spending $150 to $200 per incident for help with a legacy Mac program, when they could have been paying much less. A consumer needed a hard drive resurrected. Speakwithageek.com (www.speakwithageek.com) helped all three.

Businesses and consumers need a team of third-party experts in everything. That’s what San Diego-based Speakwithageek.com says it does for both, with 24/7 tech support, including live phone, e-mail, a Web form, remote access, and chat at an affordable price. Consumers pay $34.95 per month for help with an unlimited number of incidents and get a free five-day trial. Businesses can choose from a number of plans to aid and extend (or be) the company’s MIS department. Calls are not timed, and Speakwithageek.com’s employees are salaried, so they’re motivated to solve problems rather then get rid of callers.

Business customers get help with complex issues such as database administration (including SQL and Oracle), debugging, VPN setup and configuration, wireless networks, account administration, and intranet support, as well as 400 business applications. Instead of using tiers of subcontractors across the country to determine if a technician is necessary, all calls go directly to Microsoft-certified technicians in the San diego area.

BLACK ENTERPRISE tested the service and was pleased with the results. The Website says that consumers don’t get help with business applications, but we asked if consumers could get help with Word, Excel, and Photoshop. A tech support representative told us that consumers get help with those all the time; but if the questions went to complex Excel macros, for example, they would be asked to upgrade to a business plan. The support technician suggests that potential customers use the free trial to see which option would be appropriate. There’s also a plan comparison chart on the Website to further help you decide what level of support is right for you.

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