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How much to charge for tech support?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by silkstone, May 3, 2014.

  1. silkstone

    silkstone

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    I've recently fixed up a few laptops for some mates and acquaintances who were quite happy with the results. One of them has asked me to come into his small office and take a look at the 5 computers there.

    When I fixed the laptops, I got about $50 ea (for varying amounts of work) and only charged as they insisted. I'm wondering what I should charge for fixing up the office PCs.

    My plan is to go in to take a look at the situation and write down all the work that needs to be done and give a time estimate. The client told me to charge 'whatever I like' for the service as it can be written off as a corporate expense, but I am sure it must be within reason :)

    I was thinking of something along the lines of $30 p/h + software/hardware costs. Does this seem too little or too much?

    A little bit of context as to why he is asking me to go in: I'm in Vietnam, and it is often a struggle to get 'tech people' over here to understand what you want or need, and then there is no guarantee that the work will be done properly. He's already had the in-house 'technician' up to have a look, but the problems haven't been fixed.

    I know that I'll need to go in and take a look at the size of the project, list the services that I will provide in a quote and get a signature before even agreeing to take on the job, I'm just worried about what the going rate would be for something like this.
     
  2. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    if you want to make friends, go with $20 an hour + parts.


    if you want to make money, go for $30-$35. you can always drop your labour charges down if you arent happy with your work.
     
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  3. silkstone

    silkstone

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    He's basically going to be passing on the cost to his parent corporation, so won't be out of pocket for the work done in house.

    If it were for a small company owned by a friend, I wouldn't charge much at all. I know I can set his computers up to do what he wants with them and keep them running so he shouldn't need to call anyone out for more support.

    I'm 99% sure the issue is that the office staff will all be on administrator accounts and installing all kinds of games and junk, I will just need to clean them up and set up user accounts for the staff.
     
  4. fullinfusion

    fullinfusion 1.21 Gigawatts

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    Id charge a firm 35-40 $ph tbh.... heck a shop charges $80 just to bench it where I live and Aussi man down under is low balling ya imo.
     
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  5. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    i've always had trouble charging for my time. i work for friends and family, and usually dont have to do much.

    installing windows takes no effort with an automated USB stick, vs a store doing it from DVD every time.
     
  6. Lopez0101

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    Well, keep in mind the cost of living in Vietnam is pretty much nil compared to Australia. I have a friend in Ho Chi Mihn city and a 10 minute cab ride is like $2USD.

    I was in Sydney on vacation a couple months ago and I couldn't hardly get breakfast for anything less than $15AUD.
     
  7. johnspack

    johnspack

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    I'm a university techie, I understand, I like to cater to lower income people to help them with tech shit. For simple problems I usually do 20 bucks, in fact for a lot of issues I'll settle for that.
    If it gets more difficult, put it on a sliding scale, depending on if you need to get parts. Decide how much time you want to donate. It usually turns out to be that simple. And at least try to get
    cost back heheh.....
     
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  8. silkstone

    silkstone

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    That would be my first choice, I'd like to keep the time down to a minimum on it. I have to see what is on the computers already before starting and figure out if it'd be faster to backup all the essential stuff and do a wipe or fix the individual issues.

    My only concern is that as they are office PCs they may contain important files that the nitwits in the office could have stored in obscure places. If that's the case, I'll have to do a full system image before starting on them.
    I'm hoping that they have some sort of antivirus protection on there already and I'll just need to clean up PUPs and maybe some malware rather than full-blown rootkits.

    With locals here, security is not really a concern at all. My students give me USB sticks all the time to plug in to my laptop and more often than not Kaspersky goes crazy on them, prompting me to shut down immediately and do full scans. It could be forgiven for student's not knowing about security, but more often than not, they are using their fathers work PC to do assignments and homework on! I won't even touch a PC at school (outside of the small network I set up) as they are full of awful stuff, there are a couple of them which wipe data from anything plugged into them leading to quite a few frustrations.
     

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