About Us/FAQ

Personnel:

We currently have one member (we are recruiting!): Al (email/twitter), who mainly deals with the admin side of the co-op. He is a creative writing graduate with a background in customer service.

We also have eight regular volunteers who you may bump into if you visit us: Danny, Adam, Nina, Alan, Ian, Steven, Wedas and Tristan.

What services do you provide?
How can I get my computer fixed?
Should I replace my computer?
How can I buy a computer?
How can I donate equipment?
What happens to my donated equipment?
What do you do for the community?
How are you funded?
Who are you?
What is your legal structure?
Our friends

What services do you provide?

We specialise in unbiased computer advice, upgrades and repairs, with an emphasis on fixing rather than replacing. We also take donations of unwanted computers and accessories, and refurbish them for use in community projects and for resale in our shop.

How can I get my computer fixed?

  • You can contact us to ask about it. During opening hours we try to respond straight away. Feel free to send emails, facebook messages, tweets, phone or leave a voicemail message at any time, although if we’re closed, it may not be answered until we’re back at work.
  • You can just bring it to us during our opening hours, and we’ll try and fix it asap! (We realise our opening hours aren’t very accommodating right now, and will be addressing this in the near future.)
  • Here is a price list for common repairs.
  • If your computer isn’t starting up, we charge a flat fee of £10 to diagnose the problem.
  • We will contact you with a full quote before starting any repair.
  • Your repair will be undertaken by our workers, Chris, Daron or Al, or by a volunteer under careful supervision if we deem it within their ability.

What if I want to fix my own computer?

That’s great! Unfortunately can’t let you do it here because our workshop space is currently too small to even accommodate our own staff and volunteers comfortably! Feel free to ask for advice though, we’re always keen to help people re-use stuff!

Can you fix my phone/tablet?

Short answer: probably. Most of them aren’t designed to be fixed, so it’s often a fiddly, time-intensive job and may not be economically sensible (ie. it might be cheaper to buy a new one.) Please contact us with the type of device you have, and the problem, and we’ll let you know.

Can you fix my printer

We’re no good at fixing printers. If it’s a cheap inkjet, it probably can’t be fixed anyway: they’re not built to last unfortunately!

Should I replace my computer?

We’re really good at answering this one (we do it a lot!) so why not bring it in, or get in touch with the specifications, and we’ll let you know. We like getting as much life as possible out of older machines, and can usually suggest a few options. If your computer isn’t that old, but has still slowed down, we can help you with that too!

How can I buy a computer?

Our computers are listed on the shop pages of our website. You can reserve one by paying online via Paypal or bank transfer (the latter is better for us, as Paypal charges a fee), or just come to the shop and pay by cash or card. We generally don’t deliver or mail items as it is time-consuming and not really worth the effort, but if you really want us to post you something, you can contact us to discuss it.

Why don’t you have (m)any laptops?

People don’t donate many to us, and when they do, they sell really quickly! If we don’t have what you need, you can ask us for advice about buying elsewhere (used or new.)

How can I donate equipment?

If you want to donate equipment, please just bring it to us. We take pretty much anything computer-related, although we ask you not to bring us CRT (cathode ray) monitors as nobody uses them anymore and we have to pay to get rid of them. Broken printers (laser or inkjet) are also not that useful to us as they are generally too expensive to repair. You can take these items to a Leeds Council tip for recycling if you have a free Resident Permit and a car.

Unfortunately we don’t have a vehicle at the moment so we can’t pick up equipment (unless it’s a laptop or smaller item.) We’re looking at ways to get back on the road again, sorry for any inconvenience caused.

What happens to my donated equipment?

About half of donated computers are used in community projects (usually internet café setups), and half are sold on at reasonable prices (starting at £20 for a full setup) – which helps us stay in business and local people get online in their homes.

To get a bit more techy: most computers can be securely wiped, cleaned, fixed and reused. The vast majority of this work is done by our volunteers. All Windows computers come with a licence key which means the specified version of Windows can be reinstalled on that computer in perpetuity (the key often takes the form of a barcode stuck to the case.) This means we can install a clean, genuine version of Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 10 on PCs that have those keys. However, because Microsoft has stopped supporting Windows XP, and because we like Open Source software, any computers with an XP key will be installed with Ubuntu MATE, a distribution of Linux that runs very well on older computers (if you’d like to try it – or any other Linux distro – on your own PC, it’s reasonably easy to do yourself. And we can do it for you for £20) For Macs we just do a clean install of MacOS.

We use industry standard software to securely wipe donated computers, and can provide certificates that prove your old hard disk(s) have been wiped on request.

What do you do for the community?

FixIT is a hub for honest IT advice and cheap, used computers and accessories. We also provide internet café setups free-of-charge to community organisations (in our last incarnation we had our own internet café but unfortunately, since moving premises, we no longer have room.) We also take on volunteers and train them in the marketable skills of computer refurbishment, maintenance and repair.

We tackle the problems of digital exclusion and electronic waste

How are you funded?

We run a mixed-receipts model, meaning we make money from selling products and services, but also apply for grant funding from various sources. Recently it has been much harder to secure grant-funding and so we rely increasingly on trade income. We also accept donations of money, and we encourage you to donate, especially if you feel we have given you good advice and/or saved you from buying unnecessary new stuff!

What is your legal structure?

We’re legally a not-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC), although we use a worker co-op management structure, meaning all staff have equal pay and responsibility.

Our friends

A big thanks to everyone who’s helped us over the years, especially Canopy Housing Project, The Real Junk Food Project and Cornerstone Housing Co-op – all great organisations without whose help we certainly wouldn’t exist today!

We’d also like to thank everyone who donated to our recent Relocation Crowdfunder: you helped us when our backs were against the wall and we won’t forget it!

FixIT Relocation Crowdfunder Wall of Fame:
JT Anderson
Footprint Workers Co-op
Stephen Berkowitz
Emil Jacobs
Steven Drinnan
Martin Wimpress
Luke Tilley
Kate Langwick
colberto1983
royalty4
russ

 

Recent Equipment Donators
Ove Arup Leeds
University of York
The Real Junk Food Project
Leeds Permaculture Network
Abbey Housing
Seagulls Re-use
Leeds GATE

Thank you all!

 

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