"With modern technology constantly changing, it can be difficult to keep up with. We're here to bridge the gap." - Mike Peterson
Our founder, Mike Peterson, started Computer Medics in 1999 as a sole proprietor out of his home office in Fort Myers, FL. He saw a growing need for onsite computer repair and training, especially among older adults who were just beginning to purchase computers. The business name was chosen patterned after the old time doctors who made house calls, which some of the older seniors could recall. Mike built the business through offering computer classes and technology seminars in different retirement communities, coupled with superior customer service and dedication to “going the extra mile.”
The first major milestone came in 2005 when Mike moved the business to Briarcliff, still operating out of his home, but on a much larger property among other service businesses. During the next few years, the business grew rapidly, but it never lost sight of superior customer service, such as answering phone calls, scheduling appointments quickly, and creating an environment where the customer's questions would be answered in plain English and not technical jargon.
In 2007, Computer Medics began to offer remote assistance support. We anticipated this change would become widely accepted and loved by our customers. This service was made available to local residents as well as those with Northern summer homes. Florida's businesses are dictated by the change in seasons and Computer Medics is no exception. This new remote support offering helped smooth out the seasonal nature of the business and made it stronger.
Over the next few years, Mike saw the growing need for customers who wanted to drop off their computers for repair and began to build the inshop business. However, in 2013 the large influx of customers at Mike’s home necessitated a move to a retail location. Metro Parkway provided Computer Medics with a new place to call home.
Later, Mike saw the growing need for business to business computer and networking support and decided to create a new business division dedicated to their special support needs. Additionally, he recognized the need to provide faster guaranteed turnaround times for inshop service and priority onsite service appointments. This proved to be a great success and added greater customer service.
Today, Computer Medics takes pride and pleasure in providing superior customer service by offering guaranteed, prompt, professional, and reliable computer and networking support for home and business clients via onsite, inshop, and remote service.
Here we post the latest tech information and tips. Don't forget to subscribe below!
Letter from Mike Peterson (Owner)
Welcome to another Computer Medics Monthly Newsletter full of useful computer news and information. Please call us if you have any questions. We are always ready and willing to help you with all your computer questions. If you are a winter resident, please call us before you head back up north. Or call us this summer and we will help you with our Remote Assistance Support.
People are always asking us, "How often should I have my computer cleaned and updated?" We always respond with, "How often do you use your computer?" This will dictate the interval of cleaning and updating. If you use the computer every day, then you should have it cleaned and updated every couple of months. If you use it occasionally, then every 6 months. No computer should go more than a year without cleaning and updating. That is why we give every customer who buys a computer from us a complimentary checkup 1 year later. After the cleaning we will ask them to call us at the end of the next year so that it becomes routine. This process can be done remotely and typically takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour. It can also be done on-site or in our workshop. The consequences of not having the system cleaned and updated can be slowness, popups, lockups, shut downs, virus infections, malware infections, loss of data, etc. Please call us if you have any questions about cleaning and updating. We also have Managed Service Plans where we take care of the cleaning and updating, giving you the ultimate piece of mind.
Those of you who are regular Computer Medics newsletter readers will recognize the dangers of computer scams and the pain and headaches they can bring. Unfortunately, we still receive 5-10 calls per day from people who claim they have been scammed or we recognize that they are about to be scammed. The most common scams are popup advertisements on websites. The websites themselves can be legitimate (i.e. Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Comcast, etc.) however, they generally do not regulate the source of the ad content. Just visiting the site can cause the message to appear if a certain ad loads. After this happens you will typically see a window with warnings such as "your computer is infected" or "you have visited a website with illegal content" or "we have detected many problems on your computer." You will then be invited to click on a "Scan Now" button or call a 1-800 number. If you do either of these things, additional malicious software may be installed and/or a scammer will attempt to gain access your computer. Next, your data may become encrypted (locked) or your computer will start acting erratically. The final step will be for the scammer to collect a credit card number to resolve the "issue" that they created.
If you stop and call us, we will confirm whether or not the message is a scam and help you remove the threat. If it caught early enough, simply rebooting the computer could be enough. Otherwise, we will help you remove the scam via remote, in-shop, or on-site service. And as a reminder, if you have one of our Managed Service Plans, remediation of any infection is included. Please call us if you have any questions.
Removing detrimental and unneeded programs
One of the things we do during a typical computer cleaning is to remove unwanted programs from the computer. The average person is unware of all the software that is pre-installed with a new computer or software that accumulates over the years. That is where our 20+ years of experience can be used to spot the detrimental and unneeded programs and remove them. This will result in the computer booting and operating much faster, with less popups and error messages. Please call us if you have any questions about whether a program should be removed. There is no charge for this kind of question over the phone. However, if you want us to connect to the computer and go through your list of programs, normal remote rates will apply. This is a short list of programs we have removed over the last month from our customer's computers. Of course, there are hundreds of other detrimental and unneeded programs out there.
Detrimental and unneeded programs
1. Ask.com or Ask Jeeves (Search tools)
2. Bonzi Buddy and Coupons.com (Applications)
3. ISP webmail applications (Comcast/Centurylink/ATT/Hughesnet, etc.)
4. Antiquated email providers and their applications (Juno, Earthlink, Rocketmail, NetZero, Netscape, ATT/SBCGlobal, etc.)
5. AOL (Dial up service and desktop applications)
6. Discontinued applications (Picasa, Windows Live Mail, MS Money, MS Works, etc.)
7. Microsoft Outlook with webmail providers (Gmail, Comcast, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.)
8. Outdated versions of Microsoft Office (Anything older than Office 2010)
9. Outdated versions of Flash, Java, and Silverlight.
10. Outdated web browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, AOL, etc.)
Letter from Mike Peterson
Before I begin this newsletter, I would like to explain a little about the changes to the newsletter format that I have been thinking about for quite a while. First, I have decided to increase the frequency of the newsletters from quarterly to monthly. The problem with a quarterly interval is the computer field changes more frequently than every 90 days. Sometimes changes and new developments occur on a daily basis. This leads to outdated quarterly newsletter content. Second, as a result of the social media world we live in (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) we have come to expect “bite-sized” articles and less in-depth analysis. The social media platforms have really changed how frequently ideas and news are created and consumed. Hopefully, shorter monthly newsletters will result in more efficient and effective information dissemination.
Announcing Computer Medics' New Website
Summer time is traditionally a slow season for Southwest Florida businesses and this summer is no different. However, we have not been sitting idle. We have been busy working behind the scenes upgrading our website and it is now “live.” We would love to have you check it out and offer any feedback you might have. You can simply reply to this email or click on the Contact Us section. While you are exploring the website, you might notice that we have added some new service plans that you might enjoy seeing.
Computer Medics' Service Plans
The "Cyber Security Service Plan" is meant for our customers who want a comprehensive solution to viruses and malware as well as periodic cleaning. This plan includes Malwarebytes Cloud and CCleaner Cloud. Malwarebytes Cloud will keep you protected from online threats. If you happen to get a virus or malware, which is highly unlikely, you will not pay any labor for virus or malware cleaning. If your computer needs a complete Windows reinstall due to a virus or malware, we will discount the labor time required to reinstall the Windows operating system. (Note: Data backup and restoration, program reinstallation, printer configurations, etc. are not covered.) The CCleaner Cloud feature of this plan is designed to automatically keep your computer running in top condition. Note: This service plan is not meant to replace your backup plan, such as Carbonite Online Backup or an USB external hard drive. Computer Medics is not responsible for lost or damaged data due to viruses, malware, or hardware failures.
The "Maintenance Service Plan" is meant for our customers who need and expect high levels of support and do not want to be bothered with frequent small remote assistance bills and surprise repair bills. This plan includes all of the benefits of the "Cyber Security Service Plan." First, we will first try to diagnose and repair your issue through our remote assistance service. If we are unable to diagnose the issue over the phone we will schedule a no-cost onsite service call to take care of your issue. This service plan includes Internet Connectivity Troubleshooting, which is one of our most frequent service calls. This means we will test your modem and work with your internet service providers, typically Comcast or CenturyLink, to restore your service. If the problem is with your router, networking, or computer, we will work on that too. Note: If your issue requires a new part, you will need to pay for the part, but not the labor.