Billing Clients & The IT Scene

This is a topic that’s kinda sore now, but it keeps coming up. I’m gonna use some images once I get PC or laptop access to illustrate the points, but I do want to get feedback on this.

Something that was noticed - well, a few things - include how clients haggle. While everyone wants a good deal, it’s not always acceptable to haggle.

Persons that see a man on the road, or a single tech, or a small company, seem to trend towards asking for discounts. These same persons walk into KFC, Super Plus, Shoppers Fair and other stores and pay whatever they get on the bill. Many don’t shop around or haggle or ask for discounts, but they’re ready to ask you as an individual or small company for a discount. I should mention that the price also doesn’t matter.

Here’s an example for you. Now me personally, I’m certified in various IT areas, but I’m not Apple certified. I do have tools and I do work on Apple devices, but pricing is always based on USA third party company costs. Usually I’ll even charge half or less than what USA companies would, because it’s hard on people to stick out for what international costing would be.

I did repairs to a 2017 iMac. Told the client what it needed. Sent them the links to get the specific kits I’d rather, since those would or should come with all relevant parts. Did the part replacement. Identified improper work done previously. Corrected issues. Cleaned the system. Reinstalled the OS and did basic data recovery off the old (failing) drive. My cost? About half of what it would cost online. Client didn’t want to pay.

Now the above example was a bit on the higher side for some clients - networking and administration is even more - so let’s do something smaller.

Just so you know, at the time of this post the average cost for diagnostics - no work - just checking - is JMD$2,500. That’s still way less than the usual USD$50 (or more) for checks in most stores in the USA. Diagnostic costs are included in repair costs, or waived and added to repair costs in most cases.

Back when I was charging $1,500 for diagnostics, I handed back the system to the client since they needed it. This was May of 2023. I’ve still not been paid for that. Another owes me for work done which was $3,500 in November of 2022. But you probably see where this is going.

Every little bit adds up. The cost isn’t the issue here - it’s the mindset.

If I spend 5 minutes to fix your problem, it’s because I have the experience in the field to do so. Whether or not I have the certification, I have the experience and expertise to get the job done. I’ve had clients that say they’ve taken their system to 3 or more stores and the issue wasn’t resolved, then when I resolve it they don’t want to pay.

What was the statement again? If I do a job in 30 minutes it’s because I spent 10 years learning how to do it in 30 minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes.

What was the other? Oh right! LoL!

We offer 3 kinds of service.

  • Good
  • Fast
  • Cheap

You can pick any 2. Good and cheap won’t be fast. Fast and good won’t be cheap. Cheap and fast won’t be good.

I love statements like that, but there’s another side to the IT sphere coin. The fact that everyone is doing it. Technicians are a dime a dozen. Everyone gets into it because installing Windows is easy. Formatting a system is easy. Looking over the shoulder of an experienced person - asking questions or not - qualifies you to get the job done. Purchasing a tool suddenly makes you an expert.

I try to not be “mean” with the knowledge. I mean, I’ve even posted info about techniques and tools freely online. The issue is - much like YouTube - information is out there. Having the knowledge of HOW to use it is another thing.

Lemme leave it at that and leave the discussion open.