You know that feeling you get when youíre in a hurry, youíre late for something, and your car wonít start? Did that ever happen to you before there were cell phones or before youíd signed up for roadside assistance? Most people donít think about tech support until something goes wrong.† When something does go wrong, then what? If Iím at work, I call my company helpdesk.† If Iím at home, I call my spouse.† It used to be that if neither of those options were available, Iíd be out of luck.

And if your luck is anything like mine, when things go wrong, itís usually when youíre in a rush to get something done for something important, like a big presentation. If you own a business, any computer down time is critical. And while itís not the same as having nothing go wrong in the first place, for those times when they do, remote technical support services can take the frustration out of the situation Ė the same way roadside assistance mitigates the frustration and fear of having your car break down.

Remote technical support services serve as virtual helpdesks Ė doing for tech support what roadside assistance does for broken down cars.† Like with roadside assistance, having tech support means youíre no longer stuck. Since I come from the camp of ďbetter to be safe than sorryĒ (given my less than stellar luck), Iím a big believer in services like roadside assistance. But I admit it took me a while to come around to that way of thinking in terms of tech.

The problem (and Iíve been as guilty of this way of thinking as the next person) is that most people donít think their computers or tech devices will act up, so they have no contingency plan. They figure the risk of something bad happening is so small it doesnít make sense to pay for a service that never gets used.

However, some technical support services offer pro-active technical support Ė help with tech support in general, not only with tech problems Ė such as:

  • software training,
  • PC health checks,
  • optimization (everyoneís computer runs slow from time to time),
  • data backup, and
  • virus removal.

A number of companies, AT&T among them, offer these types of support services on a 24/7 basis for a reasonable monthly price.† While I work for a technology company, Iím not a technical person, so signing up for remote technical services has been well worth it. Now in case of a ďtechnical emergency,Ē I know I have a technically savvy person (in addition to my spouse) I can call. I certainly donít wish for anything to go wrong with my any of my tech gadgets, but if it does, Iíve got support. And if there are no problems, no pre-presentation meltdowns, Iím still able to use the service to check the health of my PC. It may be that one of those non-emergency services will keep me from ever having to use tech support as a result of a computer catastrophe.