Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long have you been in business?

    PC Alternatives was officially incorporated in 1997. We have been serving all of Hampton Roads for the last 20+ years.

  • Do you give FREE assessments?

    Yes. Any laptop or mobile device is quickly assessed (immediately during check-in).

    Note: Must be able to turn the device on in order to assess. At times, we will not know 100% during the check-in assessment, until the Technician can fully bench your computer or device. At that stage, there will be a service fee that will go towards fixing your issue plus the cost of any parts that may be needed .

  • Do you give FREE written estimates?

    Yes. We never charge for any regular or insurance estimates.

  • Should I fix my broken laptop or purchase a new one?

    Our average cost can range from $75 to $130 - depending upon exactly what is wrong with it, i.e. bad hard drive, virus, etc. it is always generally cheaper to FIX than replace. 

    Note:  This also compares what you actually paid for your laptop and/or the replacement value. In other words, if you spent $500 for a new laptop and it takes just $75 - $130 to fix (our average range) then its well worth the money. Not to mention the tax, software, file backup, etc. that you need to also invest again on a new laptop.

  • What are your normal business office hours?

    Our office location is 1092 Laskin Road, Suite 106 in Virginia Beach; we are open Monday - Friday 10am - 6pm, Saturdays 10am - 2:00pm. We are even available on Sundays by phone at 757-689-2889 or Live Chat from our website.  If we do happen to miss your call or chat, please still leave us your name, number and message, we will call or email you back as soon as we can - which is generally within the hour that you called.

  • Are you available after normal business hours?

    Yes. We are available after hours before 10am and after 6pm Monday - Friday as well as Saturdays before 10:00am and aftre 2pm and Sundays but by phone at 757-689-2889 or Live Chat. If we do miss your call or chat, please still leave us your name, number and message, we will call or email you back as soon as we can - which is generally within the hour that you called.

  • Do I have to pay up front?

    No.* For any diagnostics and labor on computers, we never require any payment up front. The only time we may ask for payment first, is if we have to order a major part like an LCD screen or Motherboard. *The only other exception is when we are diagnosing a Tablet. In this case, the bench fee of $25 must be paid in advance for this service.

  • Do you price match?

    Yes. We guarantee we will match or beat the labor price from another business. As long as the service is apples to apples and an estimate of some kind can also be shown.

    Price Match

  • Do you offer same day diagnostics and fix?

    We are generally able to diagnose and fix your laptop or desktop the same day you bring it in. As long as your computer is brought in around 10am when we open vs. closer to when we close at 6pm. The only other diagnostic delay would be how busy we are and if we even have the available open bench space at the time that your bring your computer into our office. A same day fix will also not apply if we have to order any parts to fix your device.

  • What forms of payments do you accept?

    We accept all forms of payments. We specifically accept Visa, Mastercard, Amex and Discover. We also accept cash and at times personal checks - with proper and current ID and validation.

    Payments

     

  • Do you have other outside reviews?

    Yes. We have other reviews outside of our website. You can see our 4.8 star rating and read our other 124+ reviews by clicking on the Google logo below. You can also read and give your own review by clicking on the Google, Yelp or Nextdoor logos below:

             

  • Can you come On-site to my home or business?

    Yes. We do offer On-site, In-office and Remote support. However, about 90% of the time, the customer brings their computer to our office.  Recently many issues have been virus related and our final 3-level clean up scans can take several hours to run. In that case, it is best for the customer to bring their computer into our office.

    Note: For immediate support, we do offer Remote Computer Services, as long as your computer has a good working Internet connection and the issue is not hardware related. For On-site support, there is a small travel fee which covers our Technicians mileage. We do service the entire Hampton Roads area.

  • Do you fix cracked screens on laptops, Macs, iPads and other mobile devices?

    Yes. We can not actually fix the crack in the screen, but we can replace the entire LCD on notebooks, Macs, iPads, iPhones and other mobile devices*. For laptop LCD's the turn around time to receive the new screen is generally 24 - 72 hours and for iPads and iPhones 1 day or even the *same day. The time frame is based on parts and availability. However, the same day we get the part, we will replace the screen.

    Note: *Same day service is based on the availability of parts. Call our office first. For more details and pictures of cracked screen examples and tips click here.

  • Do you sell new laptops?

    Yes.  We try to keep a few in stock. SEE THEM HERE. Although, we do not have a very large In-office computer or parts inventory, we can locally pickup or order any laptop and even desktop (next day) from many of our local or online vendors.

  • Do you sell recertified laptops, Macs, iPads and desktops?

    Yes. If cost affective, we try to fix, restore and recertify the computer back to it's factory state. We then resell at times for a 3/4 less than a brand new computer or other device. These recertified devices also have the industry standard 30-day warranty. SEE OUR LIST HERE.

  • Do you offer Remote Computer Support?

    Yes. We can securely remote into your laptop or desktop, as long as your computer has a good working Internet connection and your issue is not hardware related.

    Note: Click here to read how easy it is to have us connect to your computer as well as our fees. Our customers use this service a lot because it saves them both time - by not having to bring their computer to our office and money - because our remote rate is much lower than our on-site rate.

  • Do you work on any laptop, Mac or desktop?

    Yes. We work on any make and model laptop, Mac, desktop or tablet. We can fix or service anything from the logic board, LCD screen, DC power jack, to data backup, reloading operating systems, etc. We also can fix iPads, iPhones and other mobile device screens in about 1 day - based on available parts

  • Do I need to make an appointment to get my computer fixed?

    No. You can bring your laptop, desktop, Mac or iPad\iPhone into our office anytime Monday - Friday 10am - 6pm. Saturday - Winter and Spring hours 10am - 2pm and Sunday we are available by phone only. We welcome walk-ins during these regular business hours. The only time an appointment will be necessary is if come to your home or business.

  • Do you have a warranty on your labor?

    We always warranty our work.  Not only do we go above and beyond to solve your problems, we will be there if you have issues after service has been completed.  We have a 30-day minimum warranty on all of our labor services.  If you are not completely satisfied we will do whatever we can to fix the problem and we’ll do it as fast as possible.

    Customer Satisfaction

  • Why is my computer running so slow?

    There can be several reasons why your computer is running slow: (1) Your computer could be infected with a virus. (2) Your laptop or desktop is very outdated. (3) It needs to be tuned-up or optimized. (4) Your computer does not have enough memory. (5) Your Hard Drive is failing. (6) Other miscellaneous reasons - bring in so we can do a FREE check-in assessment.

  • Will you send my laptop or device out to be fixed?

    No. Unlike those other big box stores, we never ship out or use any other 3rd party to fix your laptop or device. All of the work is done in our Virginia Beach office.

  • Do you buy used or broken laptops?

    Yes. We do get weekly calls about buying old or broken laptops. 

    Note: Bring in your used or broken Windows Vista, 7, 8, or 10 laptop and we may pay you up to $75 cash on the spot - after our Technician does a quick FREE assessment. Broken laptops must still have Battery, Power Adapter, Hard Drive, RAM, CPU, Legible MS Product Key Sticker - On Bottom, etc. and be intact i.e. not all in parts. We will also securely erase for FREE all of the information (per DOD standards) off of laptop your hard drive before it is recycled, resold, etc. This process can take several hours.

     

  • What should I do with my old laptop?

    We are a green company. Therefore, if you bring in your laptop or even desktop to our office, we will recycle it for FREE.  We will also securely erase all of the information (per DOD standards) off of your hard drive before it is recycled.  This process can take several hours. We only charge a flat fee if you want your data files backed up first.

    Note: We do have customers call us about selling their old or broken Windows 7 laptops to us. Bring in your used or broken laptop and we may pay you up to $50 cash on the spot - after our Technician does a quick FREE assessment. Broken laptops must still have Battery, Power Adapter, Hard Drive, RAM, CPU, Legible MS Product Key, etc. and be intact i.e. not in parts.

    If it's cost effective for us to replace and resell, we may occassionally purchase. This is also once the customer actually brings their laptop into our office so we can make our full free cost assessment first.

     

  • What is the best way to protect my computer from viruses?

    First, make sure you have one of the leading virus subscription type of programs such as Kaspersky© or Norton© security. Not only do these programs need to be installed, they must also have Auto Protect enabled.  This will ensure the program catches viruses the moment your computer comes in contact with one of them.  You must also make sure that you download the most current Microsoft©, Adobe©, Java©, etc. updates. These are the files that companies put out, to protect your computer from various viruses, worms, malware, adware, etc.


    Note: We carry both of the brands mentioned above and generally for less than the big box stores.

  • Do we carry computer parts?

    Yes. However, we have a very small In-office inventory. See link for an idea of what we do always have in stock. We can, of course, also locally pick up or order anything from one of our many on-line vendors.

  • Do you fix printers?

    No. By the time the customer brings their printer to our office or we go On-Site, the customer spends money for us to diagnose, pays for any parts, tax, shipping, etc. it is more cost effective* to simply purchase a new printer. Currently, an all-in-one fax, copier, printers are under $100.

    *The only exception would be if your printer issue is a more specifc problem like a paper jam, software or driver issue. Any other mechanical issues such as moving parts, accessories, ink-heads, etc. are generally not cost effective to fix.

  • Do you have any payment plans?

    Yes and No. The only time we will offer a specific payment plan, is when a customer purchases a brand new laptop or desktop from us for over or at least $500. We also require at least 50% down and the remaining balance within 30-days. We will need to make a copy of your Credit Card (Debit, Money, Gift Cards, etc. will not be accepted).


    Note: Your Credit Card will only be charged if you do not pay the remaing balance within the agreed 30-day time frame. A flat $25 late fee will also be charged to your Credit Card. 

  • Do you have any payment terms?

    Yes. However we only offer this to our Commercial clients with net 30 days to pay their full amount.

    Other Residential or Walk-In Customers will need to pay once services have been rendered. We accept all forms of payment accept Discover.

  • Do you offer any monthly or annual support plans?

    We are working on a limited monthly plan at $19.99 or annual plan at $100 - $40 savings and 2-months free.

  • I don't see MY question?

    We could not list all of our customers possible questions. Therefore, please call us anytime at 689-2889 and lets get your question answered.