FRANKLIN, NJ — While the stereotypical definition of a “Nerd” has its own set of connotations — Merriam Webster still defines the term as someone who is “unstylish, unattractive or socially inept” — the definition that resonates the most with the employees at NerdsToGo is “an expert in a particular field.”
In fact, the certified Nerds — yes, that’s their official job titles — at the Franklin, NJ computer service store take pride in their jobs, being that they have the technology knowledge and experience to earn them.
Bud Gay, of Wantage, studied business management in college before he ran an insurance business for a dozen years, worked in account management for another 16 years, and after moving to Sussex County from South Jersey, even dabbled in the car-selling business.
However, Gay admits he’s a self-professed “closet nerd” and has always embraced technology. After graduating college, he worked in the car stereo business.
“I loved working with high-tech gizmos and gadgets,” he said.
Wanting to be his own boss again minus the long commute down to South Jersey, Gay looked at many franchise opportunities but nothing really “excited” him until he came upon NerdsToGo, a Connecticut-based computer service company with 22 franchisees located nationwide.
“It hit me that this is a huge need that people have and it’s something I can get excited about every morning when I get up,” Gay said inside his store during a recent visit.
What separates the business from the “other” guys — think the Geek Squad services offered at Best Buy — is its focus on customer service, a skill that Gay has essentially perfected over the years.
“We are a very customer-service oriented industry,” he said of NerdsToGo. “We still believe in on-site service, still believe in customers being happy.”
In fact, NerdsToGo had a “100 percent happiness guarantee,” meaning if a customer isn’t happy, they are urged to call Gay and he will do “everything I can to make you happy with our services.”
After finding the ideal location inside a vacant shop in the Sterling Plaza, Gay signed the lease for the franchise in November 2018 and Gay and the company went to work designing and constructing the “Nerd Lab,” complete with vibrant shades of yellow and orange.
The store officially opened its doors Jan. 21 and offers walk-in service, services for businesses and also on-site residential services.
For small businesses, Gay said NerdsToGo offers service contracts complete with on-site assistance for local businesses, network design, training and risk analysis, among other services.
For residents in Sussex County as well as Kinnelon, Butler, Dover and Rockaway, NerdsToGo offers multiple services including, but not limited to, virus and spyware removal, hardware and software upgrades, computer repair, wireless network setup, and even email setup and configuration.
Since many people find themselves lost when it comes to technology, Gay said he often gets calls from people stating a very vague, “My computer is broken.”
Before opening the computer up, Gay said a certified Nerd will go through a “fact-finding” session with the person, avoiding any sort of “tech talk,” he said to try and understand what the issue may be.
Once there is a diagnosis, Gay said the computer owner is often given options: the cost of the computer repair itself, the cost of purchasing a new computer or the cost of a refurbished computer.
Repairs are often done on the spot, but Gay said if a repair or upgrade to the system will be time-consuming, the certified Nerd and the computer come back to the store where the upgrades are completed.
For those concerned about a computer that goes “on the fritz” at 2 a.m., NerdsToGo offers a “1-800” number where the concerned computer owner can schedule an appointment with a certified Nerd for the next day.
Tucked inside the computer store in Franklin, NJ location was Phil Dressner, a certified Nerd who has an impressive 20 years worth of knowledge in the field of technology and even taught classes to others.
Dressner, who was preparing to head out on the road in one of two NerdsToGo yellow vans, said an important aspect of computer repair is educating clients and not admonishing them.
NerdsToGo services Apple and PC computers and also repairs iPhones and Androids as well.
NerdsToGo is located at 190 Munsonhurst Road, Franklin, NJ. For more information about the services offered, visit the NerdsToGo Franklin, NJ website.
To contact the 24/7 NerdsToGo hotline, call (800) 420-6039.