You know that feeling you get when you’re in a hurry, you’re late for something, and your car won’t start? Did that ever happen to you before there were cell phones or before you’d signed up for roadside assistance? Most people don’t think about tech support until something goes wrong.  When something does go wrong, then what? If I’m at work, I call my company helpdesk.  If I’m at home, I call my spouse.  It used to be that if neither of those options were available, I’d be out of luck.

And if your luck is anything like mine, when things go wrong, it’s usually when you’re 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 it’s 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 – the same way roadside assistance mitigates the frustration and fear of having your car break down.

Remote technical support services serve as virtual helpdesks – doing for tech support what roadside assistance does for broken down cars.  Like with roadside assistance, having tech support means you’re no longer stuck. Since I come from the camp of “better to be safe than sorry” (given my less than stellar luck), I’m 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 I’ve been as guilty of this way of thinking as the next person) is that most people don’t 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 doesn’t make sense to pay for a service that never gets used.

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

  • software training,
  • PC health checks,
  • optimization (everyone’s 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, I’m not a technical person, so signing up for remote technical services has been well worth it. Now in case of a “technical emergency,” I know I have a technically savvy person (in addition to my spouse) I can call. I certainly don’t wish for anything to go wrong with my any of my tech gadgets, but if it does, I’ve got support. And if there are no problems, no pre-presentation meltdowns, I’m 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.