Competing Services Aim to Be the Uber of Tech Support
by Stephanie Faris on Monday, October 26 6:00
They call it the Uberization of America. An app acts as a go-between for service providers and the customers who need those services, allowing workers to run their own businesses doing what they do best. So far customers can order workers to put together furniture, buy their groceries, and bring restaurant food to their front doors.
A group of competing apps now bring tech support to homes and businesses, ordered the same way customers order rides to the airport. The latest addition to the gig economy is HelloTech, which recently landed $12.5 million in funding. The service launched in May of this year and already plans to expand from its current Los Angeles coverage area. HelloTech hand selects its technicians, who are all college students interested in making extra money. Currently HelloTech solely serves residential customers, but it s only a matter of time before the company joins its competitors in serving businesses, as well.
Perhaps noting the success of Best Buy s Geek Squad, Geekatoo is one company that goes after the lucrative business tech support market. With so many small businesses now covering the world, there are numerous opportunities to provide on-call tech support for a monthly fee. With plans starting at $39 per month, Geekatoo offers unlimited remote support, with onsite visits charged hourly. If a tech worker must show up on site, the business will pay $79-$85 per hour, depending on the monthly rate being paid. If a business needs someone to show up within 30 minutes, an additional $49 per hour will be charged.
A service out of Florida may give Geekatoo some competition, however. Nerd Alert has a network of certified nerds who will arrive at your home, office, or other location to provide services like smartphone training, virus and spyware removal, home network setup, and computer diagnosis. Services start at $40 per hour. Currently the service is limited to five areas of Florida, but co-founder Julius McGee hopes the app will eventually go international.
With all of these new services starting up, It s difficult to ignore the leader in the space, Best Buy s Geek Squad. Compared to these other services, the Geek Squad can be pricey, however. To chat with an online agent or drop your device off in a store for repair, you ll pay $149.99. Having a Geek Squad member come to your house will be even higher, running $249.99.
For businesses, though, it might be worthwhile to speak with the company to get a price quote. If your business doesn t have an ongoing need for tech support. The monthly rates charged by other services might end up being more expensive than if you simply relied on Best Buy when you needed help.
Businesses now have multiple options when it comes to tech support for their PCs and mobile devices. This is especially beneficial for smaller businesses, which wouldn t necessarily want to pay full-time salaried employees to handle computer support issues that arise throughout the day. As the gig economy becomes stronger, businesses and consumers will have more options than ever, possibly driving the service up and prices down.