The PC industry has often drawn inspiration from the car lot. Honed to perfection by the automotive industry, the concepts of financing, warranty agreements and servicing have all found successful application in IT.
So it was only a matter of time before a company began to offer roadside assistance. The idea is the brainchild Alex Hartman, who set up Mytek last year to offer help to PC users without the hassle and condescension of a helpdesk.
"It can be difficult to sell service at the point of sale, because it is not a box that you can hand to customers and say 'here's your service'," explained Hartman. "But this is complementary, rather than detracting from the warranty support of a product or the service packages of the manufacturers."
Mytek only sells service. For an annual membership fee, the company provides unlimited 24-hour telephone support to PC users. When customers buy a service membership they also buy a licence to MytekAssist software, which takes a snapshot of the system for reference in the event of a problem.
"The software sends a complete diagnostic profile of the system to our call centre, so if the customer calls for support we can take them through the process without having to ask a thousand questions to which they may not necessarily know the answer," Hartman said.
"Seventy seven per cent of problems are solved on the first call over the phone. It is something people have wished existed for a long time. Retailers can find it a hassle when people call them for technical support, and vendors can find it a problem when the fault doesn't lie with their brand of hardware. But we own the problem until it's fixed."
The company is currently in talks with a number of retailers and is also keen to partner with the wider channel. Packages start at $150 for 12 months.
"If [the service] is sold through a retailer or distributor, we can organise it so we answer the phone as their own store. That way we customise the service for the reseller," Hartman said.
Mytek offers the service across Australia, through both its own network and its affiliate program, with repair centres nationwide.www.mytek.com.au.