Use Apple’s website to reserve repairs at an Authorized Service Provider

If you’re having hardware issues with your Apple product and need to have it repaired, Apple’s website now makes it easier than ever.

For several years now users have been able to find the location of service providers, like ComputerCare, via the Apple website. Now, users are being given the option to see and reserve an appointment at a Genius Bar or an Authorized Service Provider directly through the website. This makes it much more convenient for users to find the help they need, when they need it, and at a nearby location.

Here are a few steps you’ll need to follow in order to take advantage of this new repair option.

  1. Click on “Start A Repair Request” in the support section of Apple’s website: https://getsupport.apple.com

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2. Select your device:

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3. Select the appropriate hardware issue to help identify the problem. For example, accidental damage.

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4.  You’ll be presented with several options, such as online chat and scheduling a call. If you’d prefer to have the device checked out in person, select “Bring it in for Repair.”

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5. Once you’ve made your choice, you’ll be asked to provide your Apple ID (unless you’re already signed in). If you’ve opted to bring your device in for repair, you’ll be asked for a preferred location. This will bring up a map that shows the availability of Apple Stores and Authorized Service Providers near you. In the screenshot here, you’ll see that ComputerCare has a slot at 9:40 am. If that slot works, reserve it!

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So what happens once you’re here? First, we’ll check your device in and verify warranty status. No matter what the issue may be, we strive to get your product up and running as quickly as possible, usually within just a couple of days.

And don’t forget, for less serious issues or questions, you can always reach out to Apple via the company’s dedicated Twitter account (@AppleSupport), where you’ll get product tips, tricks and customer support.

Georgia Rittenberg discusses the value of training in Network Computing

For some interesting insight into how a small company like ComputerCare tackles the chronic shortage for skilled workers, check out this article by our president, Georgia Rittenberg. The story, which focuses on the value of ongoing training in the workplace, was published recently in Network Computing.

Here’s an excerpt:

“With companies spending so much time and energy searching for the right talent, it’s imperative that they work hard to keep employees once they’re in the door. But offering a competitive salary and benefits is just a starting point. By establishing a robust training process that gives employees upward mobility and broadens their skill sets, companies can not only improve retention, but increase the quality and productivity of their staff…

… We’ve built a nimble team with transferrable skills, a quality that I often see mirrored in other successful small companies. Technicians can handle device repairs for every device across all of our OEMs, and customer service representatives are able to handle tasks like verification of device warranty status prior to the diagnostics phase with a technician. We’ve learned that teaching new skills to people is far easier than correcting bad habits picked up elsewhere. It may take more time, but it creates a higher quality employee who is engaged and worth his or her weight in gold.”

Enjoy!

Employee of the Month: Dave Tilney

We work with some amazingly talented and hard-working people here at ComputerCare, so we are proud to announce that we’re kicking off an Employee of the Month program to recognize the many ways we appreciate our staff. As a bonus, you’ll get to see a little bit about what goes on behind the scenes here at ComputerCare.

So, without further ado, here is our inaugural Employee of the Month post. This month, we highlight the work of Dave Tilney, a Lead Technician of one of ComputerCare’s onsite teams based in Mountain View. Dave has been the lead technician with multiple ComputerCare teams since joining the company back in 2014, and he has always shown exceptional leadership skills and a knack for working seamlessly with our clients and customers. As a plus, Dave always shown a genuine willingness to help answer questions and share his knowledge about hardware repairs. In fact, co-workers from his past teams often still reach out to Dave when they have tough questions or need advice.

davetilney_actionshot2-webWe know good work when we see it, so we really appreciate Dave’s commitment to quality with every task. He consistently goes above and beyond, and recently spent a week out in New York to help train one of our new technicians. Did we mention customer service? When he worked at our Santa Clara headquarters, Dave was in charge of working with walk-in customers, and he always took time to answer any of their questions or concerns. Dave is an all-round great guy and an absolute asset to our ComputerCare team!

When he’s not busy repairing laptops and other devices, Dave can often be found camping, mountain biking, snowboarding, playing baseball with his kids, or on weekend road trips. Some of his favorite foods include steak, pizza, BBQ, and taking his wife out for sushi on date night! Luckily, he doesn’t eat at his work station!

Congratulations, Dave. You truly deserve to be our first ever Employee of the Month!

If you’re interested in joining the ComputerCare team, connect with us via email: hr@ComputerCare.net.

Try this before you send your device to a professional for repairs

Have you ever thought that your phone or laptop was broken, but later discovered that the ‘fix’ was pretty simple? Electronic devices are expensive, and repair costs can quickly mount up. So, we thought we’d share a few really simple tips that you can try before bringing the device in for a second opinion.

Obviously, if you have a battery issue, a cracked screen or other similar physical damage, it’s best to get it checked by a professional so that you don’t void your warranty or cause more harm. The one thing we strongly recommend is that you back up your most critical documents, photos, music library, etc., on a regular basis so that you don’t lose precious data to a hardware failure. It doesn’t matter whether you use a cloud service or an external hard drive, just do it often!

Try these things if your device is acting a little odd…

  1. Empty the cache. There are many reasons why a device might be unresponsive or running slowly. One of the most common causes of this is having too much data cached in the device’s memory. If you’ve tried other solutions like rebooting, deleting unused applications, or turning off background applications, try clearing the cache. It may give you quite a boost.
  2. Software Update. This is another common problem. As software bugs or security vulnerabilities are discovered, most companies issue security patches, software or firmware updates. Without these updates your device may slow down because of buggy software or even be at risk of a hack. So, make sure you install any recent updates to see if that makes a difference.
  3. Hard reset. This isn’t the same as restoring a device back to factory settings, so you shouldn’t lose any of your data (but make sure to back up everything just in case). Let’s use Apple laptops as an example. If your Mac is acting odd, with things like drives not appearing, screens not adjusting correctly, Bluetooth problems, AirPort connection issues, etc., then it may be time to reset your PRAM and/or SMC (System Management Control). Here’s what you do:

Mac PRAM reset

PRAM stores certain system and device settings in a location that OS X can access quickly. Exactly which settings are stored in the computer’s PRAM varies depending on the type of computer as well as the types of devices and drives connected. To reset PRAM:

  • Shut down your machine
  • Press the power button and then press command-option-p-r. Make sure you get all those keys pressed before the gray screen comes on or it won’t work
  • Keep holding those keys down until after you hear the startup chime as your Mac reboots
  • Release the keys and allow your Mac to continue the reboot normally

Mac SMC reset

The System Management Controller (SMC) is a chip on a Mac’s logic board that controls all power functions. If the computer is experiencing any power issue, such as not starting up, not displaying video, sleep issues, or fan noise issues, resetting SMC may resolve it.

Mac laptops with non-removable batteries – MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, etc.

  • Shut down the Mac.
  • Plug in the MagSafe or USB-C power adapter to a power source and to your Mac.
  • Using the built-in keyboard, press Shift-Control-Option on the left side of the keyboard, then press the power button at the same time.
  • Release all keys, then press the power button again to turn on your Mac

Mac laptops with removable batteries.

  • Shut down the Mac.
  • Disconnect the MagSafe power adapter from the Mac.
  • Remove the battery.
  • Press and hold the power button for 5 seconds.
  • Reconnect the battery and MagSafe power adapter.
  • Press the power button to turn on the Mac.
  •  The LED on MagSafe power adapters might change states or temporarily turn off when you reset the SMC.

Mac desktops – iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro, and Xserve.

  • Shut down the Mac.
  • Unplug the power cord.
  • Wait 15 seconds.
  • Plug the power cord back in.
  • Wait 5 seconds, then press the power button to turn on the Mac.

For iPhone users:

If iPhone issues are getting you down, it might be time to try a full factory reset. You can do this pretty easily yourself using iTunes, which will help you restore setting and apps on the device, too. There are a lot of sites with great step-by-step instructions, like this one. It’s not a difficult process, but the one thing these sites often forget to tell you is that Apple recommends you turn off “Find My iPhone” before you do the reset.

If none of these tips works for you, your device may need some professional TLC. The best thing to do next is visit the manufacturer’s website and look for the licensed repair specialist or warranty service provider nearest you. They can often run diagnostics on the device to pinpoint the problem, allowing you to decide whether or not to go ahead with the repair.

And did we mention that you should back up your device?!?

NOTE: This information is intended as simple troubleshooting advice only. ComputerCare takes no responsibility for broken or damaged devices. If you believe that your device may need professional repairs, don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

ComputerCare Expands Relationship with Lenovo

We are delighted to announce that starting immediately, ComputerCare is now a Lenovo Premier Authorized Service Provider for the full range of Lenovo consumer products sold in the U.S. As a result, ComputerCare can provide warranty repair services for ThinkPad™ laptops and tablets, Miix Windows® tablets, Chromebook laptops and all IdeaPad™, ThinkStation and WorkStation series computers. This means that whether you are a business client or an individual, we can instantly provide you with information about your device’s warranty status, and perform repairs to get you up and running again.

Keith Gedrose, Senior Manager of ASP/Retail Partner Management had this to say about the news: “Lenovo is the fastest-growing PC brand in North America this year, driven by our unmatched quality and reliability. But when a computer does need repair, we want to help our customers find a nearby Authorized Service Provider to fix problems quickly and with complete satisfaction. For that reason, we are thrilled to recognize ComputerCare’s long-standing relationship with us by elevating them to a Premier partner in our ASP program.”

This recognition from Lenovo highlights ComputerCare’s dedication to fast, quality repairs and exceptional customer service.

For more details about this news, read the entire announcement here.
To open a service ticket, or to find out how ComputerCare can repair your device, read more about our local services here.

ComputerCare welcomes new President, Georgia Rittenberg

Our Board of Directors has appointed Georgia to the position, effective immediately. Alan Rittenberg, the former President, will take on the role of Executive Chairman of the company.

“Having worked closely with our customers and employees since 2013, Georgia understands the market, has a top-to-bottom understanding of our business and a vision for our long-term future,” said Alan Rittenberg.

Most recently, Georgia has been Vice President of Operations, in charge of all aspects of Sales, Marketing, Human Resources and Technical Support. She also hired and built out the company’s customer service team, and helped ComputerCare secure Apple’s prestigious Premium Service Provider title.

“Alan started ComputerCare in 2004, and has built it into a thriving business that provides managed IT and repair services to many fortune 100 companies in the Bay Area and beyond,” said Georgia. “I’m proud to take on the reins of the company and usher its continued growth in the years to come.”

For more information, check out the full press release.

New Honors from Apple

We’re happy to announce that ComputerCare has been certified as an Apple Premium Service Provider, a designation that’s only given to a handful of Apple Authorized Service Providers in recognition of their extraordinary commitment to technical excellence and customer service.

Premium Service Providers must show that they consistently deliver exceptional repair support and customer experience meeting Apple’s exacting standard for high-quality repair and prompt service. ComputerCare adheres to the strictest levels of warranty and non-warranty support and repair for a host of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs, iPads and more. We also recently launched a same-day iPhone screen repair service in the Bay Area, and plan to expand this service to other locations in the near future.

Whether you’re at home or at work, most of us can’t live without our computers and mobile devices by our side. When they break, we need them fixed as soon as possible. Our goal is to deliver the absolute best level of customer service and finish repairs quickly and conveniently. Our Apple certified technicians and staff are a vital part of that success.

For more information, check out the press release.

Now Offering Same-Day iPhone Display Repair

ComputerCare’s already fast turnaround is now even faster! We can now facilitate same-day display repairs for Apple iPhones for our Bay Area clients. Just stop by our office at 3350 Scott Blvd #51, Santa Clara, during our iPhone repair hours (Monday-Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm) for a free diagnosis while you wait. Items received before 1 p.m. are turned around that same day. If you drop by after 1 p.m., repairs are available for pick-up the following day.

No waiting at the Genius Bar. No appointment necessary! How great is that!?

Don’t forget, we are an Apple Authorized Service Provider for warranty or non-warranty repairs on your iPhone too, so nothing we do will void any warranty and we can handle all the correct paperwork on your behalf, just like going directly to Apple.