The rise in home technology and high-speed broadband connections is apparently leading to problems when customers are left to their own devices (no pun intended). Sign up for broadband and, apart from an installation CD and some skimpy instructions, you’ll probably be left with the modem or router and expected to set it all up yourself.
Now, for many, that’s not a problem (in fact I’d rather do it myself to save the embarrassment of showing off my untidy working environment to a telecoms engineer) but to appeal to customers who have little time or expertise, and some cash to spare, many companies are setting up on-call engineers.
BT will charge you £50 if you want an engineer to come round and plug in the USB or Ethernet cable between your PC and modem. The Carphone Warehouse have set up a ‘Geek Squad’ and PC World have ‘TechGuys’.
You can be sure there’ll be some premium prices around, so if you’re the techie person in your family, you may start getting more calls from your technophobe relatives when they realise how much it’ll cost to hire a corporate geek for the day. They can use you instead – you only charge a beer or two, don’t you?
It’s a nice little moneyspinner for the companies, at least.