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Old 07-31-2010, 04:18 AM
Hooked Hooked is offline
 
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Default Charging Less for Philanthropy

Sorry about the ambiguous title, I'm eloquent until I have to explain things in minimal wording. Then I am undecipherable. Note: I'm not trying to recruit anyone. I realize my low post count makes this seem like a sales pitch, but this is a sincere gesture on my part.

Basically, I am a part of the World Community Grid, which is one of the largest grid/distributed computing platforms in the world. It's goals include curing various diseases (specifically cancers and viral diseases, such as AIDS), optimizing food growth and creating cleaner energy. Most would view it as a fairly noble project. It's personal to me, as prostate cancer is one of those generational family scares and I'm worried my time is coming.

The program, for those who are unfamiliar with grid computing, is just a 10mb download that uses spare CPU cycles (so its best used when not under load, which is often for casual users who don't turn their computers off) and your network connection to receive, compute, and send data related to the various projects WCG is associated with.

What I would like to do is start charging clients less if they do philanthropic or otherwise noble things like that. For instance, my plan so far is to go to an on-site job, do my thing whilst explaining what WCG is. When I'm done, if the client was responsive or supportive of WCG, I will offer to waive the diagnostics fee (but not my hourly fee) if they would allow me to install the software which I would of course have on hand. I'd make it clear I wouldn't "check up" on them to see if they are using it, nor would I try to get them to join a team.

My generous nature does not stop at grid computing, but it's one of those things where you can literally do nothing and still help out. Easier than recycling. I am, however, trying to make money off of the business, so I wonder if doing this might make clients think I'm prone to offering discounts on a whim quite often, which I am not.

Any thoughts? Suggestions?
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Old 07-31-2010, 01:11 PM
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Personally, I would be angry if I heard your "philanthropic sales-pitch" after you had done work on my computer. Many would worry that you had already compromised their privacy and security and installed some sort of software already.

Proselytizing has no place in business, whether it be for Jehovah's Witnesses, Christians or the World Wildlife Federation. No matter how passionate you are. Discounting based on someones beliefs is onerous: "discounts to all Jews", "if you are have German Heritage. . . 10% off" .

I have my personal causes and beliefs and I keep them personal and separate from my business.

There was a thread recently about getting into religious and political conversation with clients and the consensus is to avoid it and/or let the client believe that you agree with their views (as long as they are not too extreme).
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Last edited by atlanticjim; 07-31-2010 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 07-31-2010, 01:58 PM
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I don't have a problem giving out bible tracts - I don't work for anyone and do what I want, frankly. However, a discount for a software install? Whatever it's truly for, sounds shady, and I think others would agree, ie - your customers. May bite you in the butt later. Hello, yes my computer is not working, I think it's from that software you installed!
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:20 PM
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yeah it would tick me off. Keep your proselytizing for your private life. I dont see anything wrong with mentioning it in conversation, but trading it for a discount rate is I bit preachy IMO

Last edited by 0ldfart; 07-31-2010 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:38 PM
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I wouldn't try to "sell" the customer on anything other than my services.

I do a little F@H myself for Stanford University. I was folding on my cpu and both gpu's last night while surfing the forums. Stanford has been doing this for about 10 years now.

This is something geared more for the individual than for a business. Having said that, I still wouldn't mention it to a residential customer.

Put a little flyer on your counter: "Join my F@H team" or "You've heard of folding at home, learn about it here". Put a little information on there about the effort of what IBM and Harvard are trying to accomplish. mention you are building a team and if they would like to join...blah, blah, blah...
Get them to ask you about it.


happy folding....

...goss
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by layoric View Post
I don't have a problem giving out bible tracts - I don't work for anyone and do what I want, frankly. However, a discount for a software install? Whatever it's truly for, sounds shady, and I think others would agree, ie - your customers. May bite you in the butt later. Hello, yes my computer is not working, I think it's from that software you installed!
If I had you do work for me and you gave me a bible tract, you would never get my business again. You are there to repair my computer, not to convert me to your brand of Christianity. You are overstepping your bounds by doing this.
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:56 PM
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This just in...

soon after making the post above, Daifne shoots letter to local congressman demanding seperation of church and business.
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loaner View Post
This just in...

soon after making the post above, Daifne shoots letter to local congressman demanding seperation of church and business.
Grow up, Loaner. I said nothing about any government intervention. I only stated what I would do and implied that this is a very bad business decision. Who knows how much business he's losing by doing this. My religion, my faith is my own personal choice and I resent anyone trying to convert me. There are many people out there that feel the same. Who's to say that I, or they, are not Christians already? But even if not, it's not the business of the computer repair person to presume to convert.
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:48 PM
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meh...relax...it was a JOKE
thought it was pretty funny myself..it was a nice play on words, had good timing, and I even put a big grin at the end of it.

If he wants to put flyers about it on his counter, I don't see a problem with it. If I belonged to a remote controlled airplane club and we flew our planes every saturday at the airport, what's wrong with having flyers on the counter that inform people and blah, blah.

this is really more of a hobby and should be presented as such, no more or less than fishing, computer gaming, gardening, lalalala.

...goss

ps sorry if i offended you Daifne
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Last edited by loaner; 07-31-2010 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:55 PM
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Flyers on a counter is one thing. That's not shoving them at people. If he's handing them to customers, as it sounded like, then it's pushy and inappropriate.

Sorry, it did not come off as a joke, but a as a slam.
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