Symantec launches remote tech-support services

Interesting to hear that Symantec has rolled out a couple of remote PC diagnostic and support services - PC Checkup at $29.99 and PC TuneUp at $69.99.

Both services are aimed at users of Windows XP and Vista, and, interestingly, punters don't have to have a Symantec/Norton product installed on their machine.

Until quite recently I was quite sceptical about the value-for-money aspect of remote technician services, but after watching what's been going on at PC World with its Geek Zone service, I've been quietly impressed.

The PC Checkup service at around 17 quid is being billed as similar to taking your car in for a service. A technician will perform a series of tests then inform the customer if additional services are necessary.

The second premium service, PC Tune Up, is more complex, with a remote technician running a diagnostic, then fine-tune the operating system for performance.

Both services seem to offer reasonable value for money and will save people carting their PCs into a local repair shop, although the price tag of the PC Tune Up service seems a little on the high side.

The services use an online facility I've been using for some time - Logmein.com - which is a really useful remote access system that allows me to access my office PCs when I'm out and about.

Symantec is using a specialised version of the client software called LogMeIn Rescue, a remote-access client that allows the Norton technician to manipulate the PC while you watch, as well as interact with the punter via the PC screen.

I wonder how long it will be before competing services are launched by other vendors/PC retail chains?...