When you’re in Tokyo and your gadgets break down, it can be difficult to get by when you don’t know any Japanese. The necessary technical terms and explanations can already be incomprehensible in English, let alone in Japanese. Moreover, repair and replacement costs can be very expensive—sometimes, you’re better off just buying a new PC or laptop, but then that can be troublesome as well. Luckily, there’s a repair service that can help you out of your pinch: LoreaTec.
I found LoreaTec when looking for an English-speaking PC repair service after my laptop sustained some damage, and I found myself unable to understand Japanese tech jargon, or to afford other shops’ quote and parts replacement fees. Run by a Spanish entrepreneur, Lantz, from an apartment unit, it’s a small business that’s been up since late 2010, but keeping a small, unassuming office and not providing phone support are precisely what keep costs low. Lantz replies promptly to inquiries, which is a reassuring sign. His office is typically open from 8:00 am-9:00 pm, but if you ever need something urgently repaired and it’s way past his business hours, he also offers a late-night service, which is why the LoreaTec website says that they’re open 24/7, and 365 days a year (you’ll still have to contact Lantz in advance to set an appointment as he might be out or fully booked, though, so that statement doesn’t sound very accurate). As for the location, although LoreaTec is based in Nishi-Kawaguchi, Saitama, it’s not far from Tokyo: it’s just about 19-20 minutes from Ikebukuro and Ueno.
So what kind of services does LoreaTec provide?
Lantz does various kinds of PC repairs and upgrades, and replaces parts as well. He cleaned my laptop (a Mac) for me, and offered to replace my hard drive and transfer old files for 24,800 yen, a lot more affordable than I would’ve gotten elsewhere (as another shop gave me a quote that cost nearly as much as a new Mac). I’ve availed of LoreaTec’s services twice now, and haven’t been disappointed so far. Computer repairs aside, Lantz also rents out PCs and laptops, which are especially helpful for those who need a computer while getting theirs fixed, and he repairs smartphones and tablets for a flat rate of 7,900 yen. And lastly, Lantz provides programming and IT outsourcing services for businesses.
For disclosure’s sake, I must mention that LoreaTec currently has a cashback agreement which involves getting 1,000 yen off repair costs if you review or do a write-up and show Lantz the link. You also get a further 100 yen off for liking their Facebook page or adding them on Google+. However, I wrote this because I do think that LoreaTec provides affordable, reliable PC and smartphone repair services in English.
Other PC Repair Services
And if you’re looking for other PC repair shops that are affordable and are likely to have English-speaking staff, Quick Garage is one reliable chain. While prices are not as low as LoreaTec’s, affordability varies based on what and how much need to be repaired. The chain is an authorized service provider of Apple, which says a lot about their legitimacy. Just take note, though, that while many branches have English-speaking employees, there are still branches that don’t, so there’s a chance that you might not be as lucky.
Moreover, as their name implies, Tokyo Foreigner Support provides English-language IT support for homes and businesses. It’s been around since 2006, and is still up and running just fine. While its costs do not come that cheap, the fact that they provide tech support in English is a huge boon to foreigners.
Also, check out JapanAid PC Rescue 99 by Planetworks KK, which has phone support and also provides delivery services. You can call them 24/7, 365 days a year, and assistance is bilingual as well. They have a pretty detailed list of their services—from software installation to spyware cleaning—and prices here. You can find them at Mifune Building 406, Jinnan 1-5-14, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, near Shibuya Station, and give them a call at 03-5728-3576.
Lastly, Akihabara being a paradise for all sorts of geeks, nerds, and techies, there are sure to be a few inexpensive PC repair shops over there, although shops providing bilingual assistance may be harder to come by.
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