September 8th, 2004 05:18 AM
I'll keep that in mind Tedob, thanks for the input.
September 9th, 2004 04:49 PM
Ok, this should be the last update --
Unfortunately, we're gonna have to wipe the drive. Personally, I liked Tedob's point and would have loved to have followed that advice, but the problem we have is he doesn't have a Windows cd anymore, and in order for me to do any repairs at all, I would have to have it. Without it I have no means of fixing our missing .dll file (I've tried downloading shell.dll and re-registering it myself, but no-can-do, it's gonna take a full repair installation to restore). So, he's purchasing XP Home while I in the meantime back up his files, then I'll do a fresh installation once it comes in.
So guys, how much would you charge him in my shoes? I told him on the front end that simply cleaning up his computer would usually cost him $50-75 going by advice you guys have given me previously. It became a lot more than a simple cleanup though, as you've seen. I've tried several techniques to no avail, and now I'll be performing a backup of files and fresh OS install for him, and he's already dishing out about $100 on the new OS.
So, what do you guys recommend?
September 9th, 2004 05:35 PM
*Typing from my brand new Laptop FINALLY !!!! **
OK, I'd say charge him maybe ten extra dollars for the back up. If you try charging to much, he's going to get pissed off, and leave. Try not to charge too much, you and I and everyone here all know backing up is not a hard task, so don't make it seem that way with the bill. Like you said, he's already going for XP.
Personally if I did this stuff, I wouldn't give a price untill I was sure of what needed to be done, but anyway, say about $100.00 total for him, and make him buy XP. Also, you may want to tell him to try and store that in a secure place because this will happen again. Users never learn.
September 9th, 2004 05:39 PM
$100 is what I was thinking too, thanks gore. I may even go a little lower than that. I definately want to charge something that meets the work but is still an attractive price tag for him. I think since he's already dishing out money on XP, that my charging him even more than that probably wouldn't bode well. $200 for cleanup, backup, and a brand new OS doesn't sound all that bad.
And indeed, he's already made it clear to me that he hates keeping up with cds, so this is definately a concept I'll have to drill in his head.
September 9th, 2004 05:46 PM
Drills always are a good LART. Before he leaves, make sure to make a copy of the XP CD, and his registration number.
When he comes back again you won't have to search for the CD. As long as you don't use it it should be legal.
September 9th, 2004 10:12 PM
Did he know beforehand when you were in negotiations that he would be charged any extra money for unforseen difficultites that may crop up? I know it's obvious that this should be a consideration, but if you try to jack the price on him, maybe even by a few dollars it will cause some issues if no mention of extra charges was ever made prior to you beginning work on the PC. You must also consider that this is your first real client, so you may want to eat some of the extra dollars you think the job should be worth this time around and leave him satisfied - hopefully word will spread about your services. If he didn't know beforehand of all possible issues that might arise, by knowing I mean that it was discussed by the both of you, then you don't really have a lot of ground to stand on with extra charges. I'm saying eat the $20-$25 extra and use this first time as a learning experience of how to handle these situations in the future...
It should be obvious that extra work should be reflected with extra dollars, but in the business world, considerations like these need to be worked out up front...
Just my thoughts..
September 9th, 2004 10:17 PM
Good point, and no we indeed did not discuss that. That's pretty much my priority right now -- getting my rep off on the right foot, so I certainly don't mind shaving off the dollars in order to get it established.
September 9th, 2004 10:49 PM
I agree with Mavrick on this - Establishing goodwill is always best - brings return business and referrals. When I had my own and was still starting out I used to charge $50/hr with a 2 hr minimum +parts/software, then I'd tailor that 'minimum' if the job was an easy one (modem changes, turning the 'o-f-f' switch to the 'o-n' position, etc). I always told the client 'best and worst case scenario' over the phone on the initial call, and was up front with what I charged. Kept customers happy, and they knew up front that if major work was involved they'd be paying me at least a benjamin. If it only took me a minute or two to solve their prob, I'd tailor fees further still - 20 bucks for the drive out there. The only prob I ran into was when one of my 'low tailored' customers referred someone who wanted me to do major work on their machine for that same 20 bucks - but you get that as part of dealing with the masses I suppose.
Rotsa ruck with the reinstall.
Even a broken watch is correct twice a day.
Which coder said that nobody could outcode Microsoft in their own OS? Write a bit and make a fortune!
September 9th, 2004 10:59 PM
Indeed, that's one thing I'm learning quickly, is to establish price ranges clearly before doing a thing. I just set up a wireless home network for my boss today, and all I got paid for it was two free lunches. Ah well, at least I'm getting off to a good start!
September 27th, 2004 04:49 PM
Just wanted to update you guys on this to conclude the thread --
Mission accomplished! He finally got his XP Home cd shipped to him, and I finished the job last night.
I managed to clean most of the system too. Even though I was about to wipe the HD clean, I still wanted to clean the viruses out before backing up necessary files, so they wouldn't get backed up with them. Well, remember that I said I couldn't install AV on that box because of the missing shell.dll? I figured out a workaround. Since I started this thread, I bought a router and set up a LAN in my room. I added his computer to my LAN, set his entire C drive to shared with full access, cracked his password, and scanned his machine remotely from the AV installed on my main machine that I keep all my security tools on.
That scan discovered over ONE THOUSAND virus infected files! It managed to clean out all but a handful of them. After that, I backed his files up and stored them on my machine, then reformatted his HD and installed XP Home. Moved the backed up files back over to his machine (after scanning them all one more time for safety's sake), installed AVG, Spybot S&D, Adaware, and SP2, and now it's a nice running, moderately secure little machine. After all this work I put into it, this is very, very satisfying to have done finally!
Charged him $80, and that's the end of that. So I've completed my first ever freelance job for a client! Rock on!