This new tech support subscription service may save your sanity at Christmas

If you're like me, you're probably the designated 'IT person' in your family, especially when it comes to Christmas. 

Giving the gift of tablets, smartwatches, phones, TVs all sounds great until you're having to show mum how to connect to Apple TV for the third week running. 

It turns out being the family 'tech support person' - those of us who are asked to fix every rogue bleep or blank screen - is influencing Christmas present selection for many Kiwis. 

A new survey from Noel Leeming shows more than half of Kiwis identify themselves as the main technological helper, and a third of them (31 percent) are asked for technology-related help from their friends and family on a weekly basis or more. 

Being the constant go-to tech support often has such an effect that many of them say they are put off buying their loved ones a tech gift. 

One of the survey participants, Auckland woman Claudia Selwood, says she knows the situation all too well. 

"I'm an only child, so my parents see me as the only source for tech help within our family. I get phone calls a few times a week from my mum or my dad wanting to ask a 'quick' tech question - it's never a quick question," she says. 

"My parents recently upgraded their TV because the previous one didn't have a designated Netflix button on the remote, instead it had an 'apps' button. They couldn't get their head around it, so they ended up buying an entirely new TV. 

Noel Leeming head of services David Cooper says the research highlights some interesting family dynamics when it comes to festive gifting.

"I can absolutely understand why people are put off buying family tech gifts!

"We can see that it can be frustrating for the family tech go-to… [with] a whopping 74 percent of those surveyed have admitted there's one special person they turn to when they can't figure out a device."

This means Noel Leeming is now offering a 'tech support' subscription service along with gifts, similar to calling an IT person at work because your computer isn't turning on. 

"You can now access tech support at home - either remotely or in person - so you can literally get your mum or dad to call us instead of you about setting up a new Kindle," says Cooper.

You can buy your friends or family a the services of a tech expert to help with either a one-off device set-up or a 12-month remote support subscription.

Noel Leeming Tech Solutions services include TV, computer and tablet set up and installation, streaming device setup and even in-home consultations (in Auckland).

They're not the only technology supplier to offer at-home services. Popular retailer Harvey Norman has a 'tech team' you can pay for ongoing help. According to their site, their $149 service includes answering any "how do I?" and "what does that mean?" questions, as well as transferring data from old devices to new ones. 

Vodafone also has tech "ninjas" available to live chat 24/7. 

Great news for both the gift giver and mum and dad, who might actually get a new TV this year instead of a set of towels. 


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