We don’t mean the Mafia, we mean working your own family. Doing any computer work for relative can be dangerous as it totally changes the rules of business. You want to help them out but you don’t want them to call you all the time as if you were their own personal tech support. In this article we’ll show you how to deal with relatives and business.
Imagine that your cousin/uncle/aunt called you up on the phone, said that they have a virus on their computer and asked if you could take a look at it. You say “sure” because chances are that all you will have to do is load a copy of AVG Antivirus on it and let it run. While you are onsite at a repair job they drop it off to your home and at the end of the day you fire it up to take a look at it.
Sure enough, it has a virus and you let AVG run its course. However, you soon find that many critical system files have been infected and the antivirus cannot remove the it, only quarantine them. In fact, so many of the systems critical files are effected the best course of action is a backup, format and reinstall. Your quick favor for your relative has just become a real pain in the ass.
So, What do you say to them? Do you tell them that its a big job and you’ll have to charge them? I doubt that will go down well because they most likely got you to do it because they know you’ll do it for free.
Do you tell them that you cant fix it? They’ll question your competency and have doubts about recommending you to others.
Do you tell them you wont fix it? You will most likely disappoint them.
This is a nasty trap to be in, but it can be worse. Heres another example:
Your cousin calls you up on the phone and you are always happy to have a chat to your good ol’ cousin. He has a small problem with his computer and asks what he should do. You suggest that he types in a few commands and voilÃ ! problem fixed. He thanks you and hangs up.
Two days later he has another problem and he calls you up at 10:30pm on a Saturday night while you are out with your friends. A little bit annoyed, you tell him a few commands and help him out and he hangs up. The next morning he calls you at 7:30am and wakes you up with another computer problem.
Guess what? You just became your relatives personal tech support and your not even getting paid for it.
So how do I stop all this from happening?
Always charge something. You can give discounts by waiving your callout fee. You can trade services “fix my car and I’ll fix your computer” or you can just charge a bottle of alcohol like JÃ¤germeister, Vodka, Tequila (the expensive stuff) or a 24 pack of the cheap stuff.
By always charging something you show them that you are not an unlimited supply of technical help and because of this, they will only call you when they really need you. If they really need you, they more than happy to give you a bottle of alcohol to help them out.
I am already in this trap! How do I get out of it?
This is a hard one to get out of, not without telling a a few white lies anyway. Tell them that you are far too busy to help them out at the moment. Play it up a little bit “you know how it is, work work work, gotta pay the bills etc..”. However, tell them that you can put them at the front of the queue but you’ll have to charge your usual rate of $xx per hour. If they really need you they’ll pay it, if they don’t they will leave you alone.
When you are getting paid for your work, you will give it 100% and a little more because they are a relative. Also, because you were so good they will be more likely to recommend you to their friends which turns into more paying work.
Doing a favor and working for free is just not worth it. I personally will help my mother, father, sister and girlfriend for free because I am very close to them and I know they help me out when I need it, but for any other relatives; they have to pay up.
Drop us a comment if you have been in this situation or have your own tips with dealing with family members