September 27, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

HelloTech Expands Its In-Home Tech Trouble Support Beyond Los Angeles:

Tech support can be a complex and expensive process, with the most well known in-home service, Best Buy’s “Geek Squad,” sometimes requiring a wait of up to five days for help.

HelloTech, a recently launched startup founded by experienced investor and former Disney executive Richard Wolpert, is trying to make things easier, especially for middle-aged people in the Los Angeles area.

The service charges an hourly rate of $79 for a team to drive over and assist with tech problems ranging from internet speed to home theater installation.

The company has seen a lot of success since its May launch and recently expanded its service to cover parts of Orange County as well as most of L.A.

The company just raised an impressive Series A round of $12.5 million led by Madrona Ventures.

Techs are booked online, and are available to come within 24 hours of booking, if not on the same day. HelloTech employees also have ratings and transparency on their individual expertise, similar to the Uber service.

HelloTech initially only worked within a seven-mile radius around UCLA and Westwood, but recently announced their expansion into Los Angeles and the Westside.

According to HelloTech’s Vice President for Marketing Steve J. Hartmann, HelloTech was partly inspired by its founders being tired of being their relatives tech solution, or having to send said relatives’ simple tech problems to slow and expensive services.

The company is currently marketing via the internet, local media, and word-of-mouth towards residents in their 50s and 60s who may not know where to go.

“With the ‘Internet of Things’ more cool technology is available for the home than ever before,” Wolpert said. “This is both a very exciting and potentially very confusing time for homeowners. HelloTech will take the confusion out of the equation.” And while the primary goal of HelloTech is not to upsell people on technology, technicians will give their customers information on upgrades when appropriate.

HelloTech also presents itself as a unique employment opportunity, since all of its current techs are college students, and computer science departments at schools such as UCLA and ITT Tech are where the service goes to recruit new employees.

HelloTech has also found technicians through ads on websites such as Facebook and Craigslist. New technicians are interviewed and vetted before being put through a three-step training process and joining the HelloTech team.

Techs are well paid, receiving up to $30 an hour for work they are already experienced in.

“This age group lives and breathes this stuff already, they study it and have already been helping out their family,” Hartmann said. “Plus, it’s a cool, well-paying job that lets them use their skills, and gives customers the feeling of helping out students.”

When on a scheduled visit, the techs are ready to handle a multitude of issues, even if the customer is not sure what is wrong. “It would be great if people were always completely specific about their problem,” Hartmann said. “But that’s why we have our techs bring along cables, routers, and other equipment, so they don’t always have to leave and come back after they troubleshoot the issue.”

As HelloTech is fine-tuned and expands, technicians will also give customers pamphlets and recommendations on “smart home” technology like bluetooth speakers and thermostats and locks controlled through a customer’s smartphone.

HelloTech’s biggest issues right now are related to Wifi connectivity and slow devices, according to Hartmann.

The main challenge HelloTech faces right now is making people aware of its existence. But Hartmann believes that the company can become successful and well-known as a high-quality service that is cheaper and more flexible than larger corporate services like those at Best Buy or Apple.

HelloTech will match its growth with its employment strategy by seeking out students from other UC’s, as well as USC, CalTech, and some Cal State schools.

“Our goal is to really own LA and really be the first name in tech support in the LA Area,” he said. “Right now we are just making sure this early launch helps us fine-tune the service and spread it to Los Angeles and then eventually all of California.”

For more information, visit www.hellotech.com.

in News
Related Posts

Edify TV: Trident Center Redevelopment

September 25, 2020

September 25, 2020

The Westside’s Trident Center is getting a major overhaul and new name as part of a flurry of development in...

Miramar Project to go Before City Council Tuesday

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

Councilmember Gleam Davis asks City Attorney whether she should rescue self from vote  By Sam Catanzaro  Santa Monica lawmakers will...

SMa.r.t. Column: Needed, A Heart Transplant

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

We have written about adaptive reuse in previous columns and have postulated that with proper incentives, the existing one, two...

Edify TV: Boulders Blocking Westside Encampment

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

City officials recently removed boulders placed on sidewalks by some Westside residents to prevent the formation of a homeless encampment....

Should Council Member Davis Recuse Herself From Voting? Santa Monica Beat – September, 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Should Council Member Davis Recuse Herself From Voting? * Increases In...

SMC to Be Online for Winter and Spring 2021

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

College cites lack of available vaccine  By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica College (SMC) has announced it will be delivering classes...

Edify TV: Al Fresco Program Ending?

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

During a COVID-19 pandemic many restaurants have found aid through the City of Los Angeles’ Al Fresco dining program, but...

Local Breweries Say They Have Been Unfairly Shuttered as County Passes Grant Program

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

$10 million grant program approved by Board of Supervisors  By Sam Catanzaro Will a $10 million grant program be enough...

Santa Monica Loses Vegan Restaurant

September 23, 2020

September 23, 2020

Space housing Santa Monica vegan restaurant Viva Vegan up for lease By Sam Catanzaro A vegan restaurant in Santa Monica...

Risks Posed by Wildfire Smoke

September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020

UCLA pulmonologist on how people can tell if the wildfires are making them sick By Toi Creel Even if you...

Will Los Angeles County See Another Spike in COVID-19 Cases?

September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020

County health officials keeping close eye on data this week By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County health officials are monitoring...

Edify TV: Santa Monica Fire Department Fighting Blazes Across State

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

The Santa Monica Fire Department has been busy helping combat wildfires burning throughout the state. Learn more in this video...

Lawmakers and Residents Take Steps Towards Police Reform

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

Santa Monica residents will soon have more control of policing after local lawmakers took significant steps to reform the Santa...

2020 Census Due September 30th: Santa Monica Beat – September, 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * 2020 Census Due September 30th * Bobcat Fire Reaches Historical Size...

UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica Offers Free “Living With Diabetes” Zoom Patient Conference

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

By Staff Writer Although the novel coronavirus has dominated the health space this year, other diseases — like diabetes —...