View Full Version : How to estimate system tune-up/virus cleanup

01-20-2012, 02:31 AM
Hi everyone,

I am wrestling with how to estimate for a customer when they want their system cleaned up/tuned up and malware removed. My bench fee is $40 and my hourly rate is $60 per hour. How do you estimate this type of job when you don't know what is involved and how long it will take until you get into the system and start working on it.

How do others do this? Do you just quote a flat fee for this? It's not like estimating a screen install or a hard drive replacement where you know how much the parts cost and you know how much time you will have to spend on it.


01-20-2012, 03:27 AM
Do you have a shop or are you mobile only?

01-20-2012, 03:41 AM
Set price for me. Usually, I don't have to spend a huge amount of "actual" time on the machine. Ya, every once in a while I get a computer where the price should be higher, but I get enough volume that the "once in a while Virus job from hell" doesn't affect much.

That, and I have a fair amount of competition, and I am fairly well aligned with those prices..

If you do decide to have an hourly rate, I'm pretty sure most people set a cap on "specific jobs"... so maybe make it $200 maximum charge.. so that the customer has something to keep in mind.. and if it comes out a lower price, they will be even happier.

01-20-2012, 08:47 AM
I'm hourly onsite, fixed at base. Onsite has min. charge of 1.5 hours. Offsite I charge the equivalent of 1.5 hours so it's 1.5 hours either way usually.

01-20-2012, 09:43 AM
remote price is set differently 69.99 virus removal, or 80.00 hourly, 119.00 set fee for onsite pickup within a certain range, 80.00 hourly for on sight with a one hour min.

01-20-2012, 11:46 AM
If onsite...it's close to hourly. Which is many cases...cleaning up malware becomes prohibitively expensive...so if it's more than just a quickly cleaned malware infection...we try to take it back to our office. Otherwise it will end up being a 600 or 800 dollar bill..or more.

When at the office..we can allow lots of time to be spent on the computer..without being dedicated to it. We can clean many computers at once...and we can do many other things "at the office"..while this computer is going through scan...after scan..after scan..updates..reboots..etc. You don't have to stand in front of it the entire time. So you can more fairly keep a cap at 200 bucks.

01-20-2012, 12:39 PM
We started doing at our store a flat rate of "Fix it for Fifty" for virus removal and it hase been going great! Keeping it flat rate and makes it really simple for customers and we don't have bench fee. We charge the same if the virus has completely trashed windows and we have to realod it. It's not much per computer but the quantitiy is making up for it big time and keeping us very profitable. Some computers do take much much longer than others but my benches are fairly long with 8 way and 4 way KVM's and we are always working on a lot of them concurrently.

01-20-2012, 12:53 PM
Thanks for all the ideas guys. You have given me a lot to think about and some great ideas. To answer the first person's question, I work out of my home.

Thanks a lot!

01-20-2012, 01:59 PM
$75 flat fee, at our shop or remotely. If you want a home visit, it's $79 to get us to your house and get a remote session started and then $75 for the tune-up, then we flip it to a base tech and they finish. Some folks don't understand how to do remote support. So we help them out a bit with a home visit to get started. We almost never do full tune-ups at the homes.

01-20-2012, 03:41 PM
Gauge what your competition are charging

01-20-2012, 04:59 PM
I think quoting specific $$$ amounts is useless because the going rates are different depending on your little section of the world...

You should probably quote hourly equavalents. If the OP has a question on his hourly rate, I would recommend pricing yourself according to your competition's rates, I like to keep my rates about mid-mid high compared to my competition.

Now for malware removal:

When in-store, I personally charge a flat rate equivalent to 2 hours of my in-store labor rate.

When onsite, I charge my hourly onsite fee (which is naturally a bit higher than my in-store fee, by 40% in my case but that depends, most places are only 25% higher.) I always quote the customer 2 hours onsite with no guarantee it will take only 2 hours, (even though it sometimes takes only 10 minutes... I want to convince people to bring it to me I hate working onsite...) but during that appointment I always try to stretch the appointment to 1.5 hours or more, so it is on par with or more expensive than my in-store flat fee; I wouldn't want them to get away cheaper onsite than in-store!! I fill the extra time with performing usually much needed PC maintenance, preventative app setup (like explaining/creating an OpenDNS account, etc. depending on how far they want to go), and other methods of educating the client on best browsing habits to prevent future infections, general usage tutorials if needed, etc.