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Helping “people stay safe and save money” in the age of computers

Unity Chamber of Commerce welcomes new business to the community, Defiant Computers.
Members of the Unity and District Chamber of Commerce, Helena Long and Kelsey Sperle, welcome Les and Zornitsa Alexander to the Unity business community.

UNITY — After some years working for a data recovery centre in the big city of Calgary, Alta., Les Alexander decided it was time to return home. He and his wife Zornitsa moved to Unity in 2022 and started their business, Defiant Computers.

The couple worked from home at first, and then opened up a storefront location at 181 2nd Ave. West in Unity, on Jan. 17 of this year.

Les is particularly passionate about helping people avoid being scammed. When the Unity and District Chamber of Commerce new business welcoming committee visited the shop May 24, he was quick to share his top scam prevention tip: “Don’t click on links in an email!”

For those who have had their computers compromised, he deletes all the software and then re-installs Windows to ensure there is nothing running in the background that shouldn’t be there. He can also work on phones (although he leaves the Apple products to Western Wireless Communications.)

If you need your existing computer worked on, you can bring it to the shop or he also makes house calls for an additional fee.

For someone in the market for a new computer, Les custom builds them to suit the customer’s needs. He is generous with his advice – if you don’t like the quote he gives you, he will still give you the specifications he recommends so you can shop around. And he never recommends anything he wouldn’t use himself.

The advantage to buying from Les – as is the case with most independent local businesses – is the services he can provide along with the sale. He will set up all the infrastructure you need, and support the machines afterwards.

Servicing existing machines, whether purchased from Defiant Computers or not, includes cleaning up viruses, recovering data including pictures, backing up hard drives and upgrading equipment. Les cautions sometimes a computer is not worth upgrading and a customer is better off to purchase new. If that’s the case, he will let you know.

Defiant Computers also helps prepare old computers for recycling, ensuring no data is left on hard drives for others to access.

Almost 40 percent of Defiant Computers’ business is helping people deal with scams, frauds and viruses. Les said in the one week alone before the chamber visit, he had three people call about the popup which tells people their computer has been locked up and warns them not to turn off the computer. The popup, sometimes with a voiceover, encourages people to call a remote tech support number.

Calling that number and following the scammers’ instructions ends up giving the scammers complete control over your computer and data. Don’t call – instead do turn off your computer and then restart it.

Along with fixing, maintaining and selling computers, Defiant Computers is an Access Communications dealer, selling Internet, security and home phone services.

Zornitsa, who moved to Canada from Bulgaria 16 years ago, has been helping Les for the past few years. Sometimes when installing small parts or attaching wiring inside components, Les particularly appreciates the dexterity his wife’s smaller fingers provide. Between them, Les and Zornitsa have 20 years of combined experience.

When the couple moved to Unity from Calgary, Zornitsa was pleased, but surprised, at the early support for the business from the small-town residents.

Les said their mission is “to help people stay safe and save money.”

Les, the son of Marie and Con Alexander, graduated from Unity Composite High School in 2002. He and Zornitsa have two sons.