I’ve seen a lot over the years, and I’ve tried different pricing methods in the past myself. But the recurring theme is this: you can get it done cheap, or get it done right. This doesn’t mean everything is expensive, but of course, “expensive” is relative.
No, I’m not the cheapest, and no, I’m not going to lower my prices just to get business. I’ve been at this for many years, and my expertise comes with its own value. I’m the tech that finds ways to waste as little of your precious time as possible. I’m going to give you an action plan to solve the sum of your problems and provide tangible results. For example, if your computer is running slow, I can connect remotely and run preliminary scans and troubleshooting to determine if an onsite visit is necessary. The reason I don’t do this onsite is because malware scans and backups can take hours. If I can avoid running the clock for these tasks, and schedule your onsite service after these tedious tasks are completed, then the time you pay me for onsite work is kept to a minimum. Believe it or not, some companies live for milking the clock, because they want to lure you in with cheap rates only to bust you with long, extended billed hours. Or worse, the tech’s inexperience leads to longer troubleshooting sessions.
I just don’t like that kind of thinking. Gas is expensive, and our time is mutually valuable. So that’s going to be the first thing we do, if your computer boots and connects to the internet- that remote troubleshooting session. Once we’ve done that, then we take it to an onsite call if needed. Best of all, I may be connected for hours, but I’m only billing for the time I’m actually doing something. So that backup? A few clicks to start the transfer, then I walk away for a while. Your first hour with me is going to be virtual. As long as it’s prep work for onsite, I will very likely not bill you for beyond an hour virtual. Or you could call a cheaper tech that will sit in your house for a few hours, or start it and reschedule a visit to finish the job. We’re in the middle of a pandemic; do you really want the same stranger coming twice? Or would you rather keep it as short as possible?
You’ve also gotta watch out for techs from big box stores or other national companies. The techs they “hire” are often contractors who didn’t have to prove their skillset, or they’re lowly paid employees who are very green. Most of them never stay very long in one company, so even if you meet a tech you like, the company has no motivation to keep them. On the same vein, these companies have procedures in place to do things so backwards it’s literally designed to charge you the max. I like money too, but I’d rather be efficient. By taking out the more lengthy steps from the onsite portion (backups, malware scans, defrag) and moving them to remote, you’re looking at a single solitary billable hour versus paying 2-3 hours onsite before the computer is even ready to be fixed. Also, if it’s in need of a reload, I’ll determine that in the remote phase and prep everything as much as possible so when I do arrive onsite, your files are already backed up. I’m going to preach hard on backups- you can get a usb hard drive for around $60 that’s big enough for most people.
So after everything is fixed, I’ll check the health of the pc again and show you where improvements have been made. You’ll have all your data, and your computer will run better than ever. Last but not least, I’ll arm you with information to help you stay on top of things better. It’s a wonderful teaching opportunity so you can grow and be more confident online.
Furthermore, once I’ve left, I want to leave it open for you to ask me questions. I don’t want to corner you into more billable time, but if it’s a new issue then it’s a new work order. But if you’re just trying to get help with your newly-installed Linux Mint, or anything else I’ve already helped you with, then I want to make sure you’re comfortable with everything.
I’ve spent many years developing techniques, researching and investing in new tools, and expanding my skillset so I can do a lot more than you’d expect. It’s my approach that makes me popular. And I remain freelance so I have full control over what I bill and how I solve your problem. Remember, most companies design their policies and procedures to maximize the hours they bill; I do the opposite. Then there’s the other scenario: you call someone else cheaper, and they either make things worse or can’t solve it, and you have to pay someone like me anyway AND the failed tech’s invoice, completely voiding the goal you had in the first place. I really do focus on value over price. As the old adage goes, you get what you pay for.
What will you do?