Frequently Asked Questions
Do you guarantee your work?
We do. We guarantee for a period of 30 days against the recurrence of the same issue. This does not include re-creation of the issue by you. (Such as a malware infection.) This determination is made by us. (Technical proof is used, such as browser history or system logs - it is not an arbitrary decision.) In short, if we say we have fixed your issue and billed you, and we didn't (for whatever reason except hardware failure - see below) there are no extra charges to make sure the issue has been taken care of.
Hardware failure is NOT covered by Bamboo Partners; a manufacturers warranty should cover the failed hardware. (A hardware warranty is usually at minimum a 30 day period, often hardware is covered for at least one year.) Bamboo Partners will also not cover additional time required to replace failed hardware unless the time is reimbursable to Bamboo Partners from the manufacturer or vendor. (Sorry, but it usually isn't.)
Do you provide a flat rate fee for repairs?
For some types of services, such as operating system upgrades, we do. These are for in-house repairs only. For other repairs and on-site service we usually don't, but we can arrange flat rate repairs if needed. All flat rate fees must be negotiated in advance. Normally we will only accept and bill a flat rate fee for certain clients with specific types of repairs and our fee is still calculated based upon time - how long we expect to spend on the specified repair. Not all types of repairs qualify for a flat rate fee. Feel free to contact us with your repair needs to see if you qualify.
All flat rate fees are specific to the original quoted repair and we will complete that for our quoted price, including reasonable paperwork back to the client. Any additional work, time spent or additional expenses incurred by our consultant beyond the original repair quote will be billed at our existing rates in addition to our quoted price. This includes, but is not limited to, extra troubleshooting to correct a prior diagnosis not performed by us, excess telephone hold time to meet any client company requirements or extra travel / time due to incorrect / missing / DOA client provided parts. Engaging Bamboo Partners as your contractor for a flat rate fee indicates acceptance of these terms. If there are differing policies between a client and Bamboo Partners, Bamboo Partners' policies shall govern. Please contact us for a full listing of our policies regarding flat rate repairs. A late fee of 8% will be applied to payments not received within the agreed upon time frame for our services per N.C. Gen. Stat. § 24-1.
Do you do any bartering for services?
In our local area (Wilkes County, NC and Surry County, NC) we may be willing to barter some of our services. We usually will not barter for parts or equipment. Contact us with your needs and we may be able to work something out.
Can you help me with....
In short, yes. If it involves any kind of computer releated technology, if it beeps or blinks, we can help. If we can't, we can find someone who can!
You helped setup <account, device or service>, and I forgot my password. Can you help?
If we setup an account, device or service for you, as a courtesy to our clients, we document the credentials we initially setup for you into our encrypted database. As long as you have not changed it, we can provide it to you so you don't have to reset it and then potentially reset all the computers and / or devices that use those credentials. We may also document other account, device or service credentials and information that you provide to us over the course of our service to you. We are happy to provide you with a single set of your account, device or service credentials at no charge. (For multiple items, please see "Can I get a printed report of my information?" below.) However, our policy is that we will only provide account information / credentials either in person or over an encrypted connection, such as Signal messaging / calling. (We do not have nor use encrypted email for this purpose.) Signal messages and calls are always end-to-end encrypted between Signal users and painstakingly engineered to keep your communication(s) safe. Lacking an encrypted method of communication, we will have to make an onsite visit. (Minimum charges may apply.) We personally use and recommend Signal as a text messaging / calling client for a fast, simple, and secure communications experience, available in the Google Play Store or on ITunes. There is also a desktop client for Signal, downloadable from www.Signal.org (Please note that clients must be current and in good standing before we can provide any documented information regarding their account. Please contact your Bamboo Partners representative for any questions regarding this policy.)
Can I get a printed report of my information?
Absolutely! This will be chargeable as research and will be billed in advance. Only an authorized client representative can make this request and it must be in writing. Due to the sensitive nature of these reports, we will only deliver them by hand in a sealed envelope to your authorized representative. Just contact your Bamboo Partners representative to make this request. (Clients must be current and in good standing before we can provide any documented information regarding their account. Please contact your Bamboo Partners representative for any questions regarding this policy.)
My phone won't boot. Can you help?
Normally we do not work on phones and their operating systems. While we are glad to help with connectivity to your computer, suggesting apps to accomplish your tasks and backing up your data, if the phone itself has an issue we would usually recommend someone whose expertise would be more cost effective and quicker at a resolution than we can provide. We understand how important a smartphone can be in your day-to-day activities, so we will always suggest the best resolution for your issue, even if it means suggesting someone else to work on it for you.
What kind of Disaster Preparedness training can you provide?
Working with FEMA provided material, we can help either a group of individuals or a business plan for whatever contingencies that may arise. From simple multi-day power outages all the way to major hurricanes, we can customize our program to your needs. Contact us for a quote for your group or organization.
I think I have a virus / spyware / malware. Now what?
Go get MalwareBytes, there is a free version and a paid version - pick the one you'd like, download and install it. Make sure it is updated, then run a full scan and let it remove anything that it finds. If the problem still persists, or your malware has caused other issues (cannot open programs or drives in My Computer) we can help you with that. After the scan completes and removes whatever it found, go download Avast! Free Antivirus and install it. (Remove any other virus protection program(s) that you may be currently using - apparently, it isn't doing the job!)
I have Windows XP. Now that it is no longer supported by Microsoft, can I still use it or do I need an upgrade and / or a new computer?
While Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows XP, that doesn't mean you can't still use it on your computer. While an upgrade and / or a new computer would be nice, (and a good idea) you don't have to upgrade or purchase a new computer if you don't want to. However, automatic updates that help protect your PC are no longer available. Microsoft has also stopped providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP. (We suggest replacing Microsoft Security Essentials with another free, top rated virus protection package, such as Avast! Free Antivirus.)
If you continue to use Windows XP now that support has ended, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Internet Explorer 8 is also no longer supported, so if your Windows XP PC is connected to the Internet and you use Internet Explorer 8 to surf the web, you might be exposing your PC to additional threats. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter more apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP.
Can I upgrade my computer to Windows 10?
If your computer is running Windows 7 or Windows 8, Windows 10 is available as a free upgrade from Microsoft. (After July 29, 2015) This does NOT mean you should upgrade your computer with its current configuration - you may need more memory, a faster processor or faster / larger hard drive. We can help in determining if any of these items need to be done to your computer before you upgrade. If your computer meets all the requirements for Windows 10, we do suggest you upgrade.
My computer is running slow. What can I do about it?
There are many things that can make a computer slow down. The first is age. As time goes by, more and more software is added to your machine and more and more items run at startup. You may not be aware of all the programs that your machine is running in the background, but it could potentially be a lot. Check your Add/Remove Programs in your Control Panel and get rid of anything old that you no longer use. Next, do a drive cleanup of C:, then try a defrag of the C: drive. You should be able to gain back at least a little speed. Your computer may also lack enough memory to operate at its full potential and in addition a Solid State Hard Drive could also provide you with not only more storage space but it will speed up your computer as well. Let us know if you would like us to do any these things for you, or just check your computer out and provide recommendations for any improvement. Also, if your machine is approaching the 5 to 7 year mark, start considering a replacement. We will be glad to quote you a proper replacement from any of the major manufacturers, or for the budget conscious, we can suggest a refurbished computer seller where you can get that new (to you) computer without the new computer cost!
Can you remotely access my computer anytime you want?
No. Our remote support service is a one-shot deal. Each time you need us to connect, you have to provide us with a new password from the remote support client. This password is only valid for that session. Once we disconnect, that's it. The software that we have you download on your end can also be uninstalled when we are done if you wish. If you want us to be able to remote into your computer anytime we need to, see "What if I need you to remotely manage my machine when I am not available?"
What if I need you to remotely manage my machine when I am not available?
Yes, we can do that. BUT you have to be present for the initial setup of this feature, AND give us permission on your end to do so. You can also revoke this permission at any time from your end.
Once this is setup, we will be able to remotely connect to your machine as needed. (IE: updates and maintenance after hours, server maintenance, etc.)
Do you provide web or email hosting?
We do, to a point. We mostly provide hosting services (both web and email) for individual home office setups. For small to medium size companies, we suggest a server located in-house, or a hosted solution. We can help you set up either of these.
I want to have a website. Now what?
Well, you are in the right place! We can help you create your personalized web presence very easily. From the initial selection and purchase of your domain name all the way through to your site going live on the web, we can help you. We will guide you as to website best practices so you'll have a professional looking internet presence. From design to functionality, we will get you there!
Some basic Do's and Don'ts for using the Internet
Use a GOOD antivirus program. Even if you have an Apple MAC. (Sophos for MAC is good, and free.)
Avast! Antivirus is free, and consistently rated a top pick. If for some reason Avast! isn't working right for you, then use AVG. AVG might also be better for a beginner user. Some like Trend Micro, though we find it a bit resource heavy. (It slows your machine down a bit more than normal.)
Find yourself a good software firewall. Especially if you are using Vista or older systems. We recommend Comodo. (some people still like Zone Alarm).
Get a GOOD anti-spyware program. MalwareBytes is our preferred recommendation. Spybot Search & Destroy used to be decent but seems to have gone downhill. As has Ad-Aware. We used to recommend those.
For your web browser we highly recommend Firefox. Be sure to get the adblock plus plug-in. Other good alternatives are Opera, Chrome and Comodo Dragon. Dragon is based off of Chrome but is a little more secure.
Be very careful when installing free software. They often come pre-packaged with other programs that you may not want to have installed. You should be able to opt-out of these extra programs, but that option is usually only included in the "Custom" installation option.
Don't use Internet Explorer.
Don't rely on the built in Windows Firewall.
Don't waste money on anti-virus software such as Norton and McAfee. In this case, free IS better.
Don't use any P2P's (peer-to-peer software such as Utorrent) unless you really know what you are doing. Lots of people got viruses from Limewire when it was around because they didn't know what they were doing.
Don't go to any porn sites unless you really know what you are doing and have really good virus and spyware protection. Even then you still have to be careful.
Don't click on banner ads.
Don't use MySpace.
Don't install browser toolbars, "shopping helpers" or coupon add-ons.
Don't click on random links.
Don't download screensavers from the internet unless you really know what you are doing. So many of them come with lots of spyware.
Don't open any suspicious emails or emails that sound somewhat sexual. Even if it IS from someone you know...