To Charge Family Or Not To Charge....
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Thread: To Charge Family Or Not To Charge....

  1. #1
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    Question To Charge Family Or Not To Charge....

    Hey All,

    I'm writing this in hopes to see others view on the subject.

    I have just finished fixing an uncle's computer for the 5th time in 4 months without charging a cent!

    Now, I hate to see people go to places like Futureshop and get screwed worse then a 2$ hooker, but my generosity can only go so far....

    Counting the amount of time I have put into fixing their computer totals 30+ without a charge (considering most places charge 75$/hour - they saved over 2200$!)

    So what should I do? (since my warnings of watch what you install, watch how you uninstall something (ie: delete directory through explorer) and so on....)

    Should I start charging them for the services I provide at a lesser price then clients or should I continue giving this service for free since they're "family"?

    What do you guys think/do?

    Would/Do you charge family members for computer services?

    Thanks for the input...

    (The reason I ask this is because it's becoming a little cumbersome)

  2. #2
    Purveyor of Lather Syini666's Avatar
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    I would have to say you shoudl be compensated somewhat, especially if the last few times youve fixed the machine for free. Charity is all well and good, but sometimes you do need money, and you can't always do everything for free, even where friends and family are concerned. I copy cds for friends, but I require a dollar or two, or just have them provide the cdrs, so you might be able to work out some kind of barter system instead of monetary compensation
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  3. #3
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    tyger_claw,

    Well, it happend the exact thing to me. At first it's nice going to help someone of your family without earning a cent. But then... (hehe) thay start to call you very often because they know you are a good boy, like computers and you don't care about helping your family members for free, but know what?... you are from the family too!!! , if they deserve help, you too. So, if after a loooot of days and times helping (and teaching) them for free, they should realized you deserve a prize too, and then, if they don't realize which the prize is, well, i think is time to charge them a little then.

    Family is family, friends are friends... business are business don't matter where.

    That's my opinion.

    Bye.

    DKRR

  4. #4
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    I agree, completely, tyger_claw. Yes, you're doing them a huge favor and yes, they may never 'listen and learn'. However, painful as it is, families are supposed to help each other out.

    Have you ever tried just mentioning something (while smiling....almost jokingly) like: ".....and just think...at $75 an hour I've saved you nearly $2,300! I'll take a six pack of Heineken with my pizza, please."

    Just a pleasant way to give them a hint!

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  5. #5
    Senior Member Spyrus's Avatar
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    I ran into the same dilemma with my family and friends and the load just seemed to keep adding up and getting worse to the point where I felt like a full time technician, so I made everyone aware that the next time something went wrong I was going to charge them a deducted rate from my contract rate (80-130 an hour) i just told them that depending on the problem (software/hardware) would determine how much I would charge them. software costing more of course. So I personally just charge them 10-20 dollars and hour and everyone seems to be happy. Now the way this comes back to get you is if someone in your family regularly does anything for you. For instance I dont charge my aunt because she provides me with legal counsel on different matters and I dont charge my good buddy because his mom provides me free travel agency help. But you get the point. This is just my 2 cents
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  6. #6
    I'd rather be fishing DjM's Avatar
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    Originally posted here by mathgirl32
    I agree, completely, tyger_claw. Yes, you're doing them a huge favor and yes, they may never 'listen and learn'. However, painful as it is, families are supposed to help each other out.

    Have you ever tried just mentioning something (while smiling....almost jokingly) like: ".....and just think...at $75 an hour I've saved you nearly $2,300! I'll take a six pack of Heineken with my pizza, please."

    Just a pleasant way to give them a hint!
    Totally agree mathgirl32. Remember Tyger, the are forms of compensation other than just cold hard cash. A few subtle suggestion from you and may be you can get something for your time. A dinner out, nice bottle of goof or maybe there is something your uncle can do for you. Look at some of the other possibilities before you stick your hand out. I believe, in time, your uncle will come to understand your time is worth something.

    Cheers:
    DjM

  7. #7
    AO Decepticon CXGJarrod's Avatar
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    Tha same thing happened to me. I started fixing my parents computers, then other family members started calling and I did feel like it was a full time job. They would email me at work all the time and pester me so I finally gave them a list of sites where they could find information on hoaxes and viruses and charged them a small fee ($25 an hour) for other computer work. You gotta think, if they are taking up a lot of your time (as my family was) that you cant do all of this for free.
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  8. #8
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    I like how DarkRaider said it:

    Family is family, friends are friends... (but) business are business...
    It's all true what you guys said, that instead of cash, a feast or other services are welcomed.
    And I totally agree. It's nice to get some form of "gift" back for the "gift" I gave.

    I'm glad to see that everyone is basically in accordance with my feelings. And I feel for those who are in the same predicament as myself, feeling as a full-time or even on-call tech help.

    I figure I'll jokinly bring it up (like MathGirl32 said) and if that doesn't get through, well I'll just have to get more and more serious about it....

    /me tells Bruno to go bust some knee caps

  9. #9
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    well what is ur uncle's line of work? surely he could offer u some help in whatever service he does. or if ur in a fix and ur uncle "knows a guy". So if u let him know how big of a favor ur doing for him he'll also know that he owes u big time. or maybe he wont. some ppl just dont appreciate things.

  10. #10
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    mathgirl did say it. family should help each other. next time you have to move something heavy like a tv home from the store...call them up and ask them for help like its nothing. hey you help them. If your stuck for a ride or a baby sitter...call them up. if they dont want to return the favor they wont be so fast to call you for help next time but it really isn't fun to be alone in the world so don't be to hard on them.

    but im almost willing to bet that you practically begged them to let you work on their computers at first.
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