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Not everyone is a computer whiz it always easy to get your computer repaired. It often involves driving somewhere, shipping your desktop or laptop off to some factory, or paying hundreds of dollars to have a repairperson stop by your home or office. PlumChoice offers assistance via secure Internet connection and is upgrading their level of service.

PlumChoice was founded by Ted Werth in 2001 for consumers and small businesses that needed tech support but couldn’t find one person to help them without having to drive over. Services range from digital camera installation to training users how to use Windows Vista. PlumChoice also offers IT service to small businesses (usually in the 1 to 20 employee-sized range) for companies that can’t afford to keep someone around full-time. After seven years, the company has expanded to assisting larger organizations as well, including a program and partnership with Circuit City, firedog services. However, the core of the business is helping individuals without hassles or frustration.

Next week, the Massachusetts-based venture, will be releasing Alert Me, a proactive desktop agent which alerts customers of problems with their computers and if they want assistance. "Consumers have been asking somewhat for this, but it’s a more advanced feature," says Fred King, vice president of sales and marketing at PlumChoice. "We don’t want anyone to feel like there’s a big brother feature. But we think that customers get so frustrated and don’t know where to help, and this is just the next step."

The secure online support system uses underlying software from third-parties with a 128-bit AES SLL encryption to ensure security and privacy when accessing computers. Once the technicians are done, they can never log on to a consumer’s computer again without reapproval. All work, including video of mouse movements and phone conversations, is recorded so the customer is completely protected. King says, "We ultimately want to help consumers integrate every piece of technology in the home."