Tech repair firm keeping workers connected
There’s nothing worse than having your mobile phone or computer die in the middle of a global crisis, especially if you are trying to work from home.
But tech repair firm Prime Consultants Ltd are still open for business. In fact, founder and manager, Sean Whiting, thinks his might be the only company of its kind, open to the public right now.
“We are a comprehensive technology services platform,” he said. “We provide computer services, mobile phone repair services, in office consultation for IT technology services. We do anything in the tech services space.”
Normally he and senior technician Sam Roberts pride themselves on their customer service. When they visit a client they like to chat with the client to find out their needs, but operating during a pandemic has changed that side of things.
“That is a little disappointing, particularly for Sam,” Mr Whiting said. “That was his bread and butter, but with Covid-19 it is pick up and go.”
They have waved the normal $100 consultancy fee, and now just charge for the repairs themselves.
If a mobile phone screen needs fixing, for example, the process now is to collect the item in a ziplock bag.
“We wear gloves while handling the item,” Mr Whiting said. “We bring it back to the office where we run further sanitation processes.”
The item is them fixed and returned to the customer. Prime Consulting offers kerbside delivery, but as much as possible, they are encouraging people to use the pick-up and delivery service.
They are seeing the same issues that they see any other day — broken phone screens, phones needing new batteries, dead hard drives, but the fact that a lot of people are now working from home has added a new dimension to things.
“When people create set ups in their home office they will sometimes have computer problems because the machines have not been turned on for awhile,” he said. “When that occurs and there are no other open businesses, they give us a call.”
Prime have been in operation for two years. Previously Mr Whiting worked for iRepair. When the Covid-19 crisis first began he took a what will be, will be, approach and focused on just keeping the business running. As it turns out his work was declared an essential service, and the phones have been ringing off the hook with people needing IT support.
On a normal day he might deal with ten or 12 clients, but right now, he’s talking to 15 to 30 customers a day.
He said earlier this week, customers were a little panicked, fearing he would have to close and be stuck with their computers.
“It has been a bit of a blur for me,” he said. “I am learning to take business a bit more seriously. When you are faced with the possibility of business just dropping off the side of a cliff you are very motivated to continue working if you can. Nothing is guaranteed, not even your business being opened.”
He still goes to his office on Chancery Lane in Hamilton every day, but is not encouraging foot traffic at the moment.
“I try to make 9am and clear out of the office around 5.30pm,” he said. “It is force of habit. It keeps me on my schedule. The possibility of me going home and sitting around and collecting dust is not really me.”
Now Prime Consulting is working to provide remote service solutions.
“We will be doing some cloud computing solutions,” Mr Whiting said. “Sam will also do web design and administration, really anything to enable people to work from home.”
There is no pick up and delivery charge to have items repaired.
“We didn’t want to penalise because the customers couldn’t leave their homes,” Mr Whiting said.
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