Through experience I've learned that it's often too expensive & time consuming for a small business to employ others to tend to various technical requirements. Whether it's building & maintaining a website, setting up your own data network or servicing your own computer systems - these days you've got to be able to do a lot of it yourself.
Anyway, after a recent experience with a well known mobile Geek service outfit I'm going back to doing everything myself.
When one of our twin-screen PC's starting having some intermittent problems I came to a preliminary diagnosis of a problem with the machine's internal video card. I did all the easy things first - updated the necessary drivers, used the machine's own self-diagnose & self-repair mechanisms, tried reverting to a single screen and connecting the affected monitors to different PC's. Everything seemed to point to a faulty video card.
I even checked online to find replacement multi-screen cards and found plenty of tutorials on how to remove the old card and install the new. Didn't seem too difficult.
However, I decided to contact the mobile Geek guys, who said they could get someone there within 48 hours, or today if wanted to pay an extra premium. What the hell, let's get him here now.
So the guy turns up around 4 hours later and I proceeded to give him a summary of the issue and all of the remedial measures I had tried so far. The meter was running for him at around $180/hr (plus his call-out fee) so I didn't want him there any longer than necessary.
Despite my summary, he began to check online for hardware driver updates and proceeded to download/install the ones I had already found. He then went through the same routine of trying a single monitor, then connecting the monitors to other machines to see if the monitor/s themselves were faulty. I told him several times that I had already tried these things but he persevered, saying that sometimes the driver update process would not be successful, or that that an intermittent problem may self-rectify after several uninstall + reinstalls of the hardware components. Sounded like BS.
Anyway, 90 minutes later he comes to the momentous conclusion that it was a faulty video card. Duh! I said "OK, install a new one", to which he replied "Oh, we don't carry any replacement parts - there's too many variations". He could tell I was pissed off and said he would return to install it for free if I purchased a suitable card.
He then produced an invoice which had to be paid immediately, and which came to $340.00. Jesus Christ! $340 just to confirm what I already knew!
Anyway, I bought a replacement dual-screen card from eBay for $65 including express postage and Installed it myself in 20 minutes including driver update etc. Problem solved. The plug & play self-installing hardware we have access to these days is great!
So... lesson learned. DYI for everything that I possibly can from now on!