New business set to be your PC’s best friend!

Newport man Jeff Thomas is all set to be your computer’s new best friend as he launches a unique and specialist computer repair, installation and troubleshooting business, PC PAL, to fix badly behaved computers in the area.

Jeff, who lives in Rogerstone with his wife and two children, was previously an aircraft engineer at RAF St Athans for six years, where he worked after returning to Wales after 12 years in the Middle East working for BA Systems as a Technician Trainer. Unfortunately, Jeff was made redundant from the RAF in March this year, but he says he took this as an opportunity to explore a new direction for his career:

“I’ve always been interested in computers, especially in fixing any problems friends and family had with their home PC’s. I researched the potential for launching a franchise PC troubleshooting business in Wales and when I met with PC PAL’s team at its Midlands’ base, it was clear they had the edge when it came to focus and enthusiasm for rolling out their business across the country and particularly in Wales.”

With a host of professional qualifications and accreditations, including Microsoft Certified Professional, CompTia, Network Plus Certified Engineer and A-Plus Certified Professional IT Technician, Jeff certainly has the technical know-how to give homeowners and small businesses an on-site diagnostic and fix service for their PC’s. He explains:

“Being based in Newport City, I will be able to respond to calls for help with PC problems from homeowners across the city and valley. The PC PAL service is all about convenience, so people can call our 7-day helpline, and I will respond with a two-hour home-call time slot that is suitable for them. Once on-site, I will carry out a diagnosis of the problem with the PC and fix it as quickly as possible.”

PC PAL does not charge a call-out-fee but operates by the hour with an initial minimum one hour charge, costing just £49. Any additional time to fix the problem is then charged in part-hourly chunks with the majority of PC problems cured in one or two hours in total.

“Most PC problems come from something connected with a SPAM email, loss of internet connection, or even the PC running slow,” says Jeff. “I carry a comprehensive range of spare parts and diagnostic tools that will help me sort the PC’s problem quickly.”

PC PAL originally launched in 2004, and is the brainchild of Jat and Julia Mann who formed the business after an encounter with a rogue trader, as Julia, Franchise Director, explains:

“We were overcharged for a routine repair job on our home computer and decided to do something about it. Jat quit his job as an accountant and trained as a qualified computer repair engineer. We created PC PAL to offer a professional, quick and competitively-priced computer repair, installation and troubleshooting service for computer users at home and in small businesses. All our engineers are experienced, qualified and insured. The business has gone from strength to strength and currently has more than 1000 customers in our local area alone.

“The time is right to roll out the PC PAL business model across the country, and it’s great to have someone like Jeff, who has excellent IT skills as well as a real passion for the business and his new career, to launch PC PAL in Wales.”

She adds: “The majority of homes in the UK have at least one PC, with a staggering 24.5 million computers and laptops having broadband connection, but as household bills rise and the credit crunch pinches ever tighter, homeowners are increasingly turning their backs on the throwaway culture if the computer develops a problem. It is likely to be far more cost effective to treat a PC to a makeover to ramp up its speed by upgrading the memory or tweaking the operating system, instead of being seduced by a sleeker new model, which has a big price tag attached. PC PAL specialises in makeovers like these, and ethically this approach is vastly more environmentally, as well as budget, friendly.”

Training is a big part of the PC PAL franchise package for anyone interested in launching their own business like Jeff., as Julia explains: “We provide Microsoft Certified Professional and CompTIA A+ qualifications as part of our franchise package, which engineers must pass before they can become a franchisee, so budding computer repair engineers don’t have to be qualified before they join us.”

PC PAL has also developed its own unique PC Repair System: “This has been developed by engineers after 1000s of hours of on-the-job experience,” says Julia. “It’s much more than just a piece of paper – it’s the real life part of how to fix PC’s in the field and is unique to us. It has our own online resources to back it all up and is a powerful tool for all our franchised engineers in executing their day-to-day job for customers.”

If you need help with your PC, call Jeff Thomas on his 7-day customer helpline T: 01633 894 442 or take a look at the website at

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