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Taking your computer for repair

How do you go about finding a reliable computer repair technician?

Computer keyboard keys

1. Get a recommendation

Most computer technicians work in a local area, so ask neighbours, friends and family for the details of one they've had a good experience with. Check the reviews on Which? Local too.

To avoid a last minute panic, ideally try to note down details of a recommended repairer before computer disaster strikes.

2. Ask questions

Once you have a shortlist of traders, call them and check the following:

  • Do they charge a diagnosis fee?
  • Do they charge by the hour or by the job?
  • What will happen to your data? If they are wiping your operating system for instance, will they back up your data first? Or do they expect you to have done it?
  • What if the problem persists? Before you hand over your computer ask if they will charge if the problem reoccurs once you get home.


Get at least three quotes for labour and parts before work begins.

Computer repairs: how much should it cost?

In July 2012, we sent a survey to all Which? Local traders in the Computer shops, repairs and consultants category with a rating of three stars or more and an email address.

135 traders responded to the survey. Using their experience and expertise, they answered questions about the cost of popular jobs, and how long they should take to complete.

View typical computer repair prices and completion times

3. Payment

Never pay upfront. Wait until you are satisfied that the job has been completed.

Also, tell the computer repair technician that they must ask your permission if the cost of the work will go over a certain price.

4. Replacement hardware or software

Ask the computer repair technician to call you before replacing any software or hardware – you may need to check if you risk losing data.