How are the service calls scheduled?
We schedule the service appointments as requested by our customers. You, our customer, call us at 301-590-2555, and request an on-site visit. We will then schedule the appointment as it fits in with our current obligations. Advance scheduling for the following week or later can be accommodated.
Emergency scheduling can also be done for an additional fee. We will need to arrange our current scheduled appointments to accommodate this, but we can usually do so without problems.
We usually do not schedule service appointments when the computer is brought in to MBS. We can accommodate the occasional request for an appointment, but we cannot guarantee the exact time that will be needed except in a few specific cases.
- RAM upgrades
- Wireless card installations
- Quick functional testing to verify if your computer is operating properly
Most in-house service is done on a “first in, first out”basis except for Emergency Service requests. Most normal service is accomplished in 1 to 2 business days except where necessary parts are not immediately available. There is a price difference between normal and emergency service (please see costs below). If you are willing to ship your computer to us, please see "Can I ship my computer/equipment via USPS/UPS/FEDEX?"
What should I know before calling for On-Site Service?
Before we come to you we will need to get some information so that we can bring items we might need if there are hardware concerns. So please be prepared to answer specific questions about your problem.
These would include:
- Type of device - computer, printer, network issue.
- Serial number if a potential hardware problem.
- The problem you are having.
- Are you a new or current customer? If new we will need to get information to set up a customer information package.
Please be prepared to provide this information.
Can I ship my computer via USPS/UPS/FEDEX?
Yes, you can ship your computer through any shipper.
If you decide to do so, please fill out the Online Service Order Form, which will help you to:
- Verify if your equipment is covered by AppleCare (have your Apple serial number handy).
- Choose the Kind of Service you want us to perform.
- Fill out all the required contact fields (Name, Cell Phone, etc)
- Enter a valid Apple serial number.
- Tell us what the problem is.
- PRINT AN MBS WORK ORDER FORM.
Please sign one copy and attach it to the equipment being shipped.
Please note, we will call you when repairs are completed, or if we need more information or are providing hardware repair estimates.
Most in-house service is done on a “first in, first out”basis except for Emergency Service requests. Most normal service is accomplished in 1 to 2 business days except where necessary parts are not immediately available. There is a price difference between normal and emergency service (please see "How much will Non-Warranty repairs cost?").
Do you perform repairs under Apple Warranty?
Yes, MBS is an Apple Authorized Service Center and we accept the Apple Limited One Year Warranty as well as the AppleCare Extended Warranty.
We also will work with other third party “policies”if they accept our fees and terms.
Apple warranty work requires a valid serial number for the computer or device, and the problem cannot be from accidental damages, i.e. dropping a PowerBook or poking a pen into an LCD display screen.
- Warranty work does not cover software problems (see the OS repairs section below).
- Warranty work is free of charge to the owner unless it is declared as an emergency.
In-house Warranty work
Most Apple computers or devices under warranty can be repaired in-house at MBS, Inc. We rarely have to send the units out except in a few cases like LCD monitors, certain laptops or iPods.
On-site Warranty work
Only a few Macintosh computers, such as servers and some towers, are eligible for on-site warranty work. We do honor such warranty work for those that are eligible. This requires an AppleCare extended warranty.
How much will Non-Warranty repairs cost?
Computers and devices no longer covered by Apple’s warranty or AppleCare program can still be repaired at MBS, Inc. Our Apple Certified technicians can diagnose your device’s problems and provide an estimate including parts and labor to fix the problem.
- Diagnostic fee $40.00 (must be paid unless work is done)
- Normal rate $100.00/hour
- Emergency rate $150.00/hour
Most work is done within an hour, but there are situations that take longer to complete. After the first billed hour we bill in 30 minute increments.
There will be occasions where purchasing a new Mac will be preferable over fixing the older computer. We have a top sales group that can provide you with pricing for new systems custom configured to your needs.
This simply means that we will examine your device and let you know what we think the problem is and the cost to fix it. However, this estimate can be subject to modification as other parts may be involved that were unable to be evaluated initially. Should this occur you will be called for a new authorization before any additional work is done.
Normal work means that you bring your computer in and we look at it in turn, contact you if needed for new parts approvals, then correct the problems, test and release. If it is only a software problem then we assume you want it corrected and we do so, test it and release the computer. These are usually completed within the first hour of work. Most cases involving normal repairs has the computer here for 1 to 3 business days, depending on the problem(s).
When you declare that you want us to look at your computer immediately, you are asking for emergency work. This means that your computer will be moved to the head of the incoming line and will be the next computer seen by service.
There is a minimum 2 hour charge for service outside our immediate area (Rockville, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Potomac, Derwood, Darnestown).
- Normally scheduled work is at $150.00/hour
- Emergency request work is at $175.00/hour
Are we charged for travel time?
We do not typically charge for travel to on-site work. There are some exceptions when the site is more than 2 hours away.
How do we pay for the service?
Warranty work has no charge, but we do provide you with information on what it would cost if it was not covered under warranty.
We accept most major credit cards (VISA, Master Card, Discovery and American Express), cash, checks (with proper ID) and in cases where previous credit approval has been done, Purchase Orders.
Can we cancel scheduled appointments?
Yes, you can. We would prefer cancellations be done at least 24 hours in advance.
Currently we do not charge for canceled appointments, but we reserve the right to alter that policy.
How will we know what it will cost for the service?
Devices under warranty have no charge for parts and labor. If the problem is software you will be charged the appropriate hourly rate for either in-house or on-site work as specified above. Again, there is no warranty for sofware problems. Because of the nature of software repair work, it can be difficult to give an exact cost until we have completed the work.
Hardware problems are usually easier to define. The cost of the part or parts plus the labor charge is set. When we determine the problem is hardware we will call you with an estimate for non warranty work for your authorization for the repair. The only other addition to the cost will be MD sales tax on hardware.
Can you fix other devices besides the “sick” Mac?
Our service staff is pretty flexible, within reason.
We can work on printers (cleaning, aligning and replacing parts when and where available).
We are not an authorized service center for any brand of printer. Many service parts are not available to us for ordering.
Generally, for printers (or other devices) under the manufacturer’s warranty we highly suggest contacting the manufacturer of the printer or device directly.
There are many other devices used in conjunction with computers, like external hard drive, CD ROM drives, monitors, PDAs, cell phones, scanners, ethernet hubs, routers and so forth. We typically do not repair these devices. Repairs, if they can be done, would be handled by the manufacturer under a return policy based on their warranties. What we can do in many cases is to test your device to see if it appears to be operating properly or not.
How soon can you have someone come out / How soon will my computer be ready?
While these two questions may not seem related, they are.
We can come on-site as soon as possible, depending whether you declare it an emergency request or normal. There are times when we will have someone in your area and can, without disruption, have them stop by. If we need to disrupt the scheduled stops, then we will need to schedule for another time or you must declare it as an emergency.
Computers and other devices brought into MBS, Inc. for in-house service are worked on in a similar manner. Should you declare it an emergency your device will be the next one to be taken in by service. Otherwise, it will be worked on in the order it was received. We do work on several devices at once during in-house service. Typically we can get in-house service work done in 1 to 2 days.
Can we schedule one or two weeks in advance?
Yes, that's possible.
Do you offer discounted rates?
Yes, it is negotiated on an individual case-by-case situation.
Some refer to this as buying “bulk”time slots, others to setting up an annual agreement specifying per hour costs and response times. We also offer discounts for senior citizens for on-site service.