Talk about tight

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by Gaz, Nov 2, 2003.

  1. Gaz

    Gaz Guest

    Just had a phone call from a well known bus company. There in a panic, there
    (one of two) PC has gone down, completely dead. They need it up an running
    They ask me if I can fix it, I diagnose the likely problem (dead psu) over
    the phone, and they ask if they can bring it round now.

    Within ten minutes they where round, they guy asked me if I could fix it
    while he waited.
    I opened it up in front of him, unplugged the dead psu, plugged a new one
    into the motherboard, it started up no problems.

    I told the customer it must be the PSU. He asked how much to replace it, I
    said £100 all in, including the PSU (the psu was a 450watt, reliable make).
    He phoned his boss and his boss, said not to bother he'll get there own IT
    people to do it when he can get through to them.

    Tight arsed or what.
    You try getting a plumber to charge you £100 for an emergency call on a
    Sunday morning, including materials and vat (none payable),, and fix the
    problem under 45minutes.

    Gaz, Nov 2, 2003
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  2. Gaz

    Rick Maninov Guest

    Customers eh! what can you do with em? legaly I mean.
    (They're their there never mind you'll get over it ;-)

    Rick Maninov, Nov 2, 2003
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  3. Gaz

    Albert Fish Guest

    £100 *was* too much tho, wasn't it ? for less than 45 mins you cauld have
    billed them £75 and made something instead of nothing and had a happy
    punter instead of one that thinks you are a rip off :-(

    You just played it wrong. you diagnosed it over the phone instead of getting
    'called out' for which you certainly could have charged sunday rates. And if
    you had pitched it at a more reasonable price the boss wouldn't have seen
    through your attempt to screw them for a fast one'er

    Never diagnose over the phone, whats to stop them saying 'thanks' and going
    to a local comp fair for a chap PSU? Always insist on travelling to them as you
    can bll 1 hr (or part thereof) from the moment you leave the door. Always carry
    a selection of cheap parts on your vehicle, the margins are better, they don't care
    if it's antec (overrated) or Q-tec (cheap as chips, just as long as it works.

    Never harp on about you losses, always look at where you went wrong and
    apply that to your next incomiong call :)

    Albert (would prefer £70 to nowt anydayoftheweek, even sundays)
    Albert Fish, Nov 2, 2003
  4. Gaz

    tHatDudeUK Guest

    I assume by reliable 450 watt PSU the PSU itself cost somewhere between £30
    to possibly £50
    Well they obviously know what PSU's to have in their own systems don't they
    when they rejected his £100 job for their own departments work "when they
    could be contacted". They probably use PSU's costing £5 or something as
    indicated by the failure experienced and employ unqualified spotty teenagers
    (like those often found in PC world). I'm guessing its a common problem they
    have hence the rejection of the repair because they think they can do it
    cheaper, hmmm but can they do it better?!

    Usually true but you are responsible for the resulting work and if the Qtec
    PSU failed! The Antec would never fail or destroy all the connected
    components or make large amounts of noise.
    tHatDudeUK, Nov 2, 2003
  5. Gaz

    Kenny Guest

    One way is to charge a fixed callout charge which is binding on them
    legally. This can be deducted from the final bill. I do some work on TV's,
    VCR's etc and this is normal practice.
    Kenny, Nov 2, 2003
  6. Gaz

    Kenny Guest

    A similar charge is levied for items brought to workshop for estimated
    repair cost or insurance claim estimate. This covers labour costs should
    the estimate be turned down.
    Kenny, Nov 2, 2003
  7. Gaz

    Albert Fish Guest

    you assume.
    department ? you're assuming a *lot* from this, aren't you ? spotty this and
    probably that ... and what's to know about swapping a PSU out ? how
    can one person swap out a PSU 'better' than another person ?

    *if* the replacement PSU retailed at c£70 and *if* the OP was savvy enough
    to go to the customer and *if* the company was a multi mission critical PC
    operation then *perhaps* billing £100 for 45mins work would be acceptable.

    but the fact is it's a 2 PC company that baulks at paying £100 for a replacement
    PSU on a sunday and obviously doesn't *need* the PC fixing today as bad as
    they initially thought !
    antecs never fail ? what ? ever ? really ?

    a 400w q-tec (for example) sells for c£20 and only puts out 27dba
    add £30 for call out + £20 to round things up :) bill them for £70

    the punters happy and you've got a clear £50 in your bin

    or try to sting a punter for £100 and end up with nothing...

    Albert Fish, Nov 2, 2003
  8. Gaz

    Gripper Guest

    So, Gaz, you diagnosed, took the customer's PC to bits, fitted a new part,
    tested - all before you'd talked money?

    You'll know next time.


    ps in my view your fee was very reasonable: the time taken is immaterial,
    your knowledge and skill is what the punter pays for.
    pps the bloke I saw buying a psu at the computer fair this afternoon was
    your customer....
    Gripper, Nov 2, 2003
  9. Gaz

    Gaz Guest

    Thanks for the followup...........

    I see the error of my ways, first of all I talked down the repair, (I havent
    learnt the plumber/mechanic technique of sucking in air while shaking the
    head, then announcing "it's gonna cost ya"), maybe overcharged slightly for
    the repair, £80 might have been more realistic (the guy got me out of bed on
    a sunday morning, wanting repaired within twenty minutes).

    Well it's a lesson. I still doubt he would get the same level of service for
    the price within a fifty mile area, other then anyone with a long term

    Never mind......

    Gaz, Nov 2, 2003
  10. Gaz

    Kenny Guest

    One person I know was charged £80 for replacing a floppy drive, he had taken
    it himself to a shop, not a callout. FDD £5.35 from Scan! Another girl
    who's PC wouldn't work called the support line since it was under warranty.
    She was told she had a virus in it and was charged £75 for the callout and
    virus removal, warranties don't cover this.
    Kenny, Nov 2, 2003
  11. Gaz

    mrlipring Guest

    i don't think a ton is all that bad. i'd not pay it though :p

    sunday's double time. it was an emergency repair too, or at least it seems
    that way, with them wanting it fixed within 30 minutes or so. say you're
    asking £25ph or part thereof, which isn't unreasonable, that's £50 for
    labour @ double time, £30-£40 for parts, and a little extra for the
    timescale in which they expected a repair. i'd still have billed them for
    the consultancy AT LEAST though, especially seeing as how you'd already
    fixed the problem. cheeky sods.
    mrlipring, Nov 2, 2003
  12. Gaz

    Ghost Guest

    I trust you charged him for at least an hour service call...
    Ghost, Nov 2, 2003
  13. Gaz

    mike Guest

    Not in a position to comment on what you should/should not charge for
    this sort of thing, but it does remind me of a conversation I had a
    couple years back with a friend of a friend who worked for Mastercare
    in one of those DSG stores. He told me that people sometimes came in
    with PCs where they had turned them on and got a small bang/pop, a
    whiff of burning and nothing else. The cause was usually that someone,
    probably the owner's young child, had flicked the voltage switch on
    the PSU to 115.
    I don't remember the exact price he told me they charged for replacing
    the PSU, but I do remember that it was the best part of a hundred
    quid. And no one was being made to get out of bed on a sunday morning
    especially to fix it.

    mike, Nov 2, 2003
  14. Gaz

    Bret Guest

    You should have screwed the PSU in and put the cover on.
    Job done -- pay me.
    Bret, Nov 2, 2003
  15. Gaz

    Gaz Guest

    Well he did bring it to me, so I charged him £20 (should have been £40 in
    retrospect) for the fifteen - twenty minutes it took to take off case cover
    test PSU, test new PSU and confirm it was working..

    Gaz, Nov 3, 2003
  16. Boy I really wish I spoke English so I would know all the slang here :p.

    As I only speak 2 lanugages, American and Bad American. :))

    C. Philip Cutler II, Nov 3, 2003
  17. Gaz

    MM Guest

    you're in the wrong trade.....
    I rented my house whilst working abroad, the central heating top up
    tank started to overflow due to the bad workmanship by the original
    plumbers (overflow pipe flowed wrong way) causing an emergency leak
    situation (tenants were too stupid to shut of the water feed to the
    tank using obvious valve(heating will survive months before needing
    top up), anyway the plumber who attended charged £80 to replace the
    perished plastic ball float that can cost as little as .99 pence and
    quite literally a 5 minute job with easy access to tank in lit airing
    If anyone here has to do PC work for a plumber, give it the big un!
    MM, Nov 3, 2003
  18. That's why you never let them watch...

    Tom MacIntyre, Nov 4, 2003
  19. Gaz

    Gaz Guest

    Got a phone call this morning, from the well known bus company, local depot.
    They had contacted their IT dept (in Manchester), who said it would cost
    them more then £100 to get the part together and send someone up to fix it,
    so could they come and get the job done anyway.......

    So, I still charged them the higher Sunday rate, that they had refused

    Gaz, Nov 4, 2003
  20. Gaz

    techshare Guest

    Not sure what the dollar conversion is ... but that sounds LOW. I'm up to
    charging $129.00 minimum for diagnoses of anything I consider dead
    (basically any machine that does not boot or "turn-on" at all). I am
    thinking there is a better way to sell that ... but so far "dead" machines
    have been the biggest pains. Naturally, the repairs cost more from the cost
    of parts alone. Then you have all the *sshole customers making insurance
    claims and "surge protector warranty" claims (who does this?! honestly!).
    They have some silly idea in their head that I'll give them a free
    "estimate" ... like this is a siding business or something! These people
    border on "customers" of the non-paying type ... which are exactly what you
    don't want.

    Another point about hardware problems ... even with loads of experience and
    the right equipment ... aren't we all a little wary replacing parts on some
    notebook that was dropped 15 feet on pavement?! I get these kinds of calls
    .... and I'm thinking ... this is just not worth it. This guy needs to bring
    his problems to one of my competitors :)
    techshare, Nov 4, 2003
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