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Old 12-05-2010, 03:27 AM
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Default how much would you charge for this?

A long standing domestic customer of mine referred me to his son who owns a car import/export company.

They had an existing IT guy, but were having problems with the computer, culminating in a smashed keyboard and a phone call to me.

I went to the site and had a look at their pc, which is a dual core with 2gb ram running x86 XP

The OS was diabolically slow, and after all the usual tricks (defrag, chkdsk, autoruns, check services, SFC, malware check, page file settings, disk space/useage, registry check, etc etc) and 2 hours on the job there was no real improvement, so I opted to go back and do a fresh install.

They were using a gungy old external 80gb 2.5" hdd for manual backups (didnt even have the capacity to back up all their data which is well over 80 gb). The last backup was run 6 months ago (!) because they had changed admin staff and the new person hadnt thought to do it.

No offsite backup at all

No surge protection or power failure protection

... and a number of other things needing attention

I went there yesterday (saturday) and spent an hour setting up a backup of the machine. When the ETA on Laplink got to 7.5 hours I arranged with the Owner to leave the machine running and come back today.

Today I installed fresh copy of XP, set up a UPS, set up a 1tb ext hdd with an automated backup schedule, set up offsite cloud backup system, carried over all their old programs, and got under the desk and tidied up all their cables, which were a real mess!

While doing that, I identified two phone chargers with bare wires hanging out of them (fire risk!!!!)

I also did some checking of their website which there are multiple problems with - whoever is handling it for them hasnt registered it properly and the only keyword searches it comes up under are for the company name itself

SOO

Sorry this is a long post - trying to keep it short but I think the details are relevant

3 visits. One 2 hours with no real result, BUT was able to discern what problems they were facing and proposed what I think is a good way forward for them

One one hour. And today, about 7 hours.

Normally I charge $80 per hour on site, but cap that at 2 hours labour because most jobs that would take longer than that I would take away with me. Nuke and pave I charge $160 or $210 if I have to carry all the programs across.

This job had to be done on the weekend, and finished by monday. Im working onsite on sunday which is usually my day off.

No idea what to charge, but I can see that I have provided a significant contribution to this company, and want commensurate reimbursement. At the same time I dont want to overcharge because this guy now wants me to do all his IT stuff including 4 maintenance visits a year.

If you were working from $80 ph or $160-$200 for most offsite jobs, what would you charge for this?
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Last edited by 16k_zx81; 12-05-2010 at 03:38 AM.
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Old 12-05-2010, 03:48 AM
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Don't mean to sound sarcastic but I would charge my usual hourly rate. Just because the last tech (or lack there of) slacked off and didn't do his/her job does not mean you need to discount your services because of that fact.

This company has some serious problems and you need to be upfront and honest about that with the owner/decision maker. Let them know your findings and the costs associated with fixing the mess left behind.

In my experience it is better to be brutally honest. 90% of the time you will be respected for it.

I hope this helps and good luck! Once you win the trust of this customer everything else will be a piece of cake!
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Old 12-05-2010, 03:54 AM
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I agree with krash2k.
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:21 AM
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Why wasn't a price or rate agreed on before you started all that work?
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeutronTech View Post
Why wasn't a price or rate agreed on before you started all that work?
Spot on. You wouldn't have been in this situation. Charge your hourly rate at least.
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:31 AM
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Why wasn't a price or rate agreed on before you started all that work?
No. The customer didnt ask for a quote. He just wanted the work done.
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:31 AM
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Spot on. You wouldn't have been in this situation. Charge your hourly rate at least.
That would be $800. Dont you think thats too much?
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Old 12-05-2010, 09:14 AM
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That would be $800. Dont you think thats too much?
Charge them what you think you should bearing mind you want future business from them. We've all done it not making it clear from the outset so I suppose you have to bite the bullet and learn from it. My rates aren't your rates so it's your decision. I charge 30 an hour and would definitely charge that rate per hour. It's a business so also can be claimed back, they will be happy you have done what you've done.
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Old 12-05-2010, 09:19 AM
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Default Computer != System

$800 seems like a huge amount of money in the consumer market, you could just get a new computer and pay for a file transfer for less than that. In the business market, however, your expertise is what you are being paid for. I find that if you write up a nice document detailing the problems they had, how you solved them, and how they can benefit from using your system in the future, they will be appreciative of the professionalism displayed in the services you provided, and be happy to pay your advertised rate.

It is, however, especially important for you to discuss rates up front and have a forward thinking discussion with the client with regard to your course of action. I'm very surprised at how many customers opt for the N&P when they are presented with it as a hard time-line service with nearly guaranteed results.
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Old 12-05-2010, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 16k_zx81 View Post
No. The customer didnt ask for a quote. He just wanted the work done.
Here's the mistake. You need to put a number out there every single time. Now all you can really do is bill what you think is fair and wait for the shoe to fall.
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