Re: Home service calls
"Lee Parsons" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
> Someone here was bemoaning home service calls -- the dusty dark corner
> where the computer sits, the kitchen chair, the crowded space, etc.
> I *love* home service calls and they're my bread-and-butter.
> A local ISP provides home calls, but the customer has to pay almost
> $50 for the trip out and then $95/hour.
> I charge no trip fee and less per hour, and I'm busy most of the time.
> But I enjoy the service. A lot of my clients in our rural mountain
> area are elderly folks who have one or two computers in their homes,
> have come to computing late in life and love the information and
> communication it gives them.
> But they aren't techs, and when there's a problem they need a
> little help. It's often something small, probably not worth the time
> of your big-shop folks. Yes, it's not always the best of conditions,
> but they have what they have and I refuse to talk down to them or
> ignore their need for service.
> If I need a better chair, I ask for it. If I need a drink of
> water, I ask for it (most of the time they offer). I also ask for the
> vacuum cleaner when approprate!
> A lot of them want to use the computer, but have no interest in
> learning the details of fixing it, and have come to rely on me for
> fixing those little gremlins that come up once in awhile. I also help
> them learn to use their machines and software. In return, I've gotten
> to know a lot of good folks in my region, made money without raping
> them, and enjoy a good reputation. Word of mouth has been phenominal.
> Business repairs may make you rich and be easier to work on, but don't
> ignore the satisfaction that can come from helping neighbors and doing
> a little teaching, too.
I agree with you Lee. I started up my own IT company a few months back.
Currently I strictly do on-site calls, although it's certainly not as easy
as having it on a bench. But I really enjoy call outs although it can be
frustrating when you have people moaning about downtime usually my corporate
clients who want instant fixes for cheap or free. I personally do charge a
$20 call out fee to cover transport and travel time. But my home user rates
are under $20/h, I usually work on fixed quotes/prices so the clients knows
what they're paying, or if I have to revise a quote they know why so they
know exactly up front what they're getting. Corporate clients I charge more
but still cheaper then most places would charge for on-site.
I've also found that's it's been a great way to get to know people and
businesses in the community. Nearly all the time people are thankful to get
problems resolved without shelling out the $75+/h rates most places charge
for call out. I can understand why a lot of tech's don't like on-site calls
as your limited to what you can carry etc. But personally I enjoy it. I've
been in the field since I was 10 years old 14 getting on 15 years now, and
the majority of it has been helping family, friends, neighbours.
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