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View Full Version : do you use the "no fix, no fee" policy.


nudone
03-15-2009, 01:54 PM
i'm just wondering who states and uses a "no fix, no fee" policy when solving pc problems.

if you don't mind, i'd like to know:


how often you use it, i.e. you don't charge for your time.

do you have strict conditions for it, e.g. doesn't include broadband setup.

do you use it to to your advantage, i.e. to run away from problems that look like a nightmare.

do you have customers taking advantage of it, i.e. you fix the problem but then they argue that you haven't fixed the 'entire' problem.


there's probably more related questions i could ask but i can't think of them right now.

as for myself, i don't have a written no fix no fee policy. i've just (stubbornly) stuck with some problems until they were fixed - not really making a profit in the process but, at least, keeping the customer happy - and hopefully a good repuation intact. but i'm beginning to wonder if that is actually good business sense - maybe it's better to just drop those kinds of jobs.

NYJimbo
03-15-2009, 02:18 PM
If am almost 100% sure i can fix it and the customer is not really sure if they want to spend the time and money I will offer the "no fix, no fee". It gets them to go for it almost every time. So far I have been right each time. Sooner or later I will be wrong, but I have had more people go for the fix when I make them the offer.

Simmy
03-15-2009, 02:38 PM
I offer a no-fix/diagnosis-no-fee as sometimes the problem is out of my control. For example if their internet doesn't work and it tuns out to be a problem at the phone companies end. I haven't fixed it, but I have successfully diagnosed it and my diagnosis should result in the internet working again once the phone company sorts the problem.

I've had to give up on a few jobs, all of which were data recovery jobs which involved replacing the internals which I can't do.

Menaice
03-15-2009, 03:39 PM
i do the no fix no fee policy. More often then not its NOT because i can't fix it sometimes is because its not worth fixing. Sometimes i will get a really old PC in the shop and say the power supply is bad and the hard drive is failing. I will tell the customer what needs to be done to fix the issue but then i would recommend not fixing it due to the age of the computer. I find that situation brings me more repeat business. I always do a full backup of every computer using Acronis true image to my NSS6000 unit. I offer them the option for me to burn the files from the Old pc to a disc for about 15 dollars OR if they have another computer i will transfer the old files for 70.00 (1 hour charge). But "If I BELIEVE" the computer is worth fixing and the customer just don't want to do it then i charge for 30 minutes $35.00.

nudone
03-15-2009, 04:27 PM
right, i see. no one (so far) is using the "no fix no fee" as a selling point then, like, stating it on your ads and/or website?

i was wondering (also) if it was something that brought customers in - but i see that it can also be a statement of lack of confidence, i.e. you're advertising that you don't believe you can fix 'everything'.

the thing is, i see this 'no fix' deal advertised by other people in my area and it's hard to know how to compete. some will just state the policy without any conditions attached - others will state it in such a way that they are obviously going to twist the situation to say they've successfully diagnosed and therefore 'resolved' the problem (which is a bit of a con).

i've discussed this with another self-employed tech person and they hadn't even heard the 'no fix no fee' expression. they thought the whole idea insane and made it clear they expected paying for their time regardless of the outcome. which seemed like bad practice to me.

bagellad
03-15-2009, 04:54 PM
I don't use it, or include it in my advertising. I feel it brings a bad kind of customer and bad situations.

nudone
03-15-2009, 05:10 PM
I don't use it, or include it in my advertising. I feel it brings a bad kind of customer and bad situations.

that's interesting, bagellad.

do you charge by the hour or have fixed rates - i'm just wondering how you tackle those long winded nightmare jobs (if you have any).

gunslinger
03-15-2009, 05:21 PM
I do use the "no fix no fee" as a selling point in my advertising. I have noticed I get a lot of customers who have been burned badly by the bigger shops here. When they bring in their computer that they paid the other shop $230 to fix and the problem is still there, and I actually fix it for $40 I have a customer for life and one who will tell all their friends and family about me.

The "no fix, no fee" policy has only come back to bite me once or twice in many years. I think the amount of business it brings in is worth it.

I also only offer this if you bring the system to me. If I come out I will still charge a call out fee to cover the cost of gas.

nudone
03-15-2009, 05:29 PM
right, that sounds like good marketing then, gunslinger. if it brings in business then that's got to be a good thing.

though, it has to be said, you aren't entirely free if you are charging the call out fee. this is one of those clauses i see in the terms and conditions pages on the websites i mentioned.

would you mind saying what the call out fee is that you charge? thanks.

seedubya
03-15-2009, 05:30 PM
I don't advertise it but I do use it when negotiating with very reluctant first time customers. I normally only have to use it the first time and am clear that it's a one-off.

Andyuk2007
03-15-2009, 06:17 PM
I use it in my advertising I've never had to use it though as all problems I've had have been reasonably easy to fix.

Fireddog
03-15-2009, 09:29 PM
WE offer a Free computer check-up. Its not designed to replace a diagnostic. But it allows us the face time with potential clients and 99.99% of the time nets us a sale. We run a spyware/viri checkup. Verify if their security software is up to date and working and note the amount of ram they have , what type of ram it is and how much they can upgrade to. Then we sit down with them and offer options on improving the machine. Now if the machine is a 98 era or Windows Me/2000 machine or an xp machine that has rambus ram..Then we offer them a new custome built machine as a replacement.

Folks appreciate the honesty and it does lead to some amazing bundle deals for us and them.

Fixedathome.com
03-15-2009, 10:14 PM
WE offer a Free computer check-up. Its not designed to replace a diagnostic. But it allows us the face time with potential clients and 99.99% of the time nets us a sale. We run a spyware/viri checkup. Verify if their security software is up to date and working and note the amount of ram they have , what type of ram it is and how much they can upgrade to. Then we sit down with them and offer options on improving the machine. Now if the machine is a 98 era or Windows Me/2000 machine or an xp machine that has rambus ram..Then we offer them a new custome built machine as a replacement.

Folks appreciate the honesty and it does lead to some amazing bundle deals for us and them.

Do you actually remove any threats or just tell them if they are infected?

Fireddog
03-16-2009, 01:13 AM
I print out a log file with lets say MAlwarebytes for example. and note how many infections they have. I do not remove them. If the potential client says yes.. then we redo the scans and go ahead and do the full malware removal.

Its worked wonders.

Comtech Solutions
03-16-2009, 02:16 AM
Advertising no fix, no fee attracts a certain clientele.

If you took your car to a mechanic to get the brake rotors replaced, would you pay if the car was returned with your original rotors?

If you went to a dentist to have a cavity repaired, would the dentist charge you if he didn't do a good job and the filling fell out?

You get my point - be confident in your ability and do a good job. Your heart and your ethics will make sure that you don't ever take advantage of a customer....



my 2 cents.

iptech
03-16-2009, 10:16 AM
I don't advertise a no fix - no fee policy as it sends out a message to the potential customer that you do not have the total confidence in your ability to fix their system. No matter how serious the problem everything can be fixed, it's just a question as to whether it's economically viable from the customer's perspective.

I don't see any other techincal/skills based trades offering a no fix - no fee policy.

gunslinger
03-16-2009, 01:31 PM
I don't advertise a no fix - no fee policy as it sends out a message to the potential customer that you do not have the total confidence in your ability to fix their system. No matter how serious the problem everything can be fixed, it's just a question as to whether it's economically viable from the customer's perspective.

I don't see any other techincal/skills based trades offering a no fix - no fee policy.


Actually I think it sends the message to the potential customer that they wont get ripped off, and the problem will be fixed when you are done.

My mechanic does the same thing. If he can't fix it or at least tell you what the problem is, you don't pay a dime. Thats why I keep going back to him for any car problems I may have. Too many times in the past I have paid $500 or more for a "fix" only to have the same problem when it was done. A large portion of my customers have had this same problem with their computer. With my "no fix, no fee" policy they know when they get the computer back it will be fixed.

purple_minion
03-16-2009, 04:54 PM
How about the doctor analogy everyone on here loves. You have cancer, but they try there damnedest and can't "fix" you. Do you still pay for their time/experience?

How about you get shot in the head, in a coma or brain dead, they can't fix you. Again you're gonna pay for even the attempt.

You travel to Africa, weeks later you develop some strange issues/disease. Go to a doctor who tried, but failed to make even a diagnosis. Perhaps even refers you to someone else. Does he get paid for trying?

gunslinger
03-16-2009, 05:25 PM
How about the doctor analogy everyone on here loves. You have cancer, but they try there damnedest and can't "fix" you. Do you still pay for their time/experience?

How about you get shot in the head, in a coma or brain dead, they can't fix you. Again you're gonna pay for even the attempt.

You travel to Africa, weeks later you develop some strange issues/disease. Go to a doctor who tried, but failed to make even a diagnosis. Perhaps even refers you to someone else. Does he get paid for trying?


You take your car to the mechanic because the transmission is going out. You come back for your car and he says its fixed and charges you $2,000 so you write him a check. On the ride home the transmission goes completely out because he really did not fix anything. Do you cancel the check or pay him for his time?

You cannot use the doctor analogy here because there are too many variables in the human body to make any guarantees. With a computer there are only so many parts and so many things that can go wrong. Everything about a computer is fixable.

14049752
03-16-2009, 05:37 PM
I agree that the doctor analogy doesn't work.

I personally don't like or use the "no fix" thing and only think it's more trouble than it's worth. Unofficially, if I can't fix someone's computer (the ONLY reason I wouldn't be able to fix it is if I can't find parts.) I will give them a refund...but that's an exception.

To use an analogy, if you take your car to a mechanic and they say "sorry, can't fix it" but don't charge me.....I'm going to remember that they're not worth a damn and never go to them again. I'd probably mention to other people "Don't take it to Bob's Garage. They're not a real mechanic shop, they couldn't fix such and such problem." (I would make an obvious exception if they do a referral...like "Well, you can replace or rebuild your transmission. If you want to rebuild it, we can take it to Joe's Transmission Shop")

vontreigo
03-16-2009, 05:56 PM
I charge a diag fee that if waived if I actually do the repair work.
If not they owe me for my time and effort. If I diag the problem and the customer down't want the repair I charge for the diag. If I can't diag the problem and it is still there I don't charge. Sometimes I even don't charge if the fix is so darn easy.

Just this morning I had a guy bring in a usb cellphone card (aircard) he couldn't connect and at&t was not helping him (they said nothing was wrong with the card and must be the laptop). I looked it over while he waited (over my shoulder). I noticed in the IE connection settings an option was checked to dial up the cell phone service. I unchecked it and was able to connect with a g3 signal. Three minute fix.

This fix was so easy I didn't charge him. He insisted so he tipped my a $20US bill.

So to say "no fix no charge" i'm my mind is wrong because it I make a diag. and the customer doesn't want the fix that is not my fault. I did my job.

I wouldn't lock myself into a AD "no fix no charge" and take every job on a case by case basis.

nonchalant
03-17-2009, 12:01 AM
Ive never used it and never will.

The way I see it ALL PC problems are fixable (even if it means replacing the PC). Times money & moneys time. I know my washing machine mechanic wouldnt come out & diagnose a problem with my washing machine for free so Im the same with PC repair/callouts.

cesar
03-17-2009, 01:27 AM
Any of you have dealt with software problems? like outlook inbox file corruption? or eudora with his tipical "mbx" problems?

purple_minion
03-17-2009, 03:25 AM
Ive never used it and never will.

The way I see it ALL PC problems are fixable (even if it means replacing the PC). Times money & moneys time. I know my washing machine mechanic wouldnt come out & diagnose a problem with my washing machine for free so Im the same with PC repair/callouts.

What if it's an ancient server with proprietary code, bad hard drive and has everything completely held in ram that controls all the nuclear missiles? Oh and with a built in self destruct if the planets align just right?:confused:

14049752
03-17-2009, 03:52 AM
What if it's an ancient server with proprietary code, bad hard drive and has everything completely held in ram that controls all the nuclear missiles? Oh and with a built in self destruct if the planets align just right?


I know this was a joke, but I don't think any of us work on the WOPR.

purple_minion
03-17-2009, 04:05 AM
I know this was a joke, but I don't think any of us work on the WOPR.

You're right, you're too old. Now maybe a kid in his basement with a dial up handset modem... nah...

(Speaking of which I remember back before internet tubes and having to dial into a local BBS system and playing TEXT based games. Remember trying to download updates and software through a 2400 baud modem?! Those were the days)

iptech
03-17-2009, 10:05 AM
What if it's an ancient server with proprietary code, bad hard drive and has everything completely held in ram that controls all the nuclear missiles? Oh and with a built in self destruct if the planets align just right?:confused:
If it was built and working in the first place it's still fixable! It might not make practical or economic sense but why should you take the hit? You're there to give professional advice, not take on the customers' losses.