Computer assistance

  DrScott 00:26 26 Apr 2006

I'm just wondering if anyone else has noticed how people who don't know too much about computers are really rather bad good at showing even a little gratitude when you fix their broken PC?

Recently I spent the whole of my afternoon off getting a neighbour's PC to go from being broken since January (and later well and truly bust by a relative trying to help fix it), followed by a couple more trips round to make sure it was running okay. Have they been round to say thank you? Non! Did I charge anything? Nope.

I've also just built a PC for a friend, and spent days getting all the data and software on, and charged nothing at all (except for parts). But instead of thanks, I get complaints about it being more complicated to get online (not that it has anything to do with the PC itself anyway).

Now I'm not actually complaining, but it's just something I've recently noticed. I'm quite happy helping out people. I just find it curious that when it comes to computers, people don't really appreciate the time and effort that goes into fixing issues. Possibly it's because people who don't know a lot about computers also don't really need them in the same way as they do a car, so aren't really too bothered whether they're fixed or not... I don't know.

Or maybe it's just me?! :o)

  picklsey 05:59 26 Apr 2006

you are not alone in this but with me what i do with the ungratefull ones is simple when they come back with more probs i let them know the amount of time and effort i put in the last time without so much as a (by your leave)and direct them to a repair shop.i will help anyone and all i look for is a thanks not a lot to ask for as you said sometimes you spend days trying to sort things out.done this twice before there loss not mine.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 08:23 26 Apr 2006

It is for this reason that I always charge. If you do not charge you will only attract the sort of people that are ungrateful, penny counters or who are tight as hell. They never want to pay for anything in life and have no concept of call-out charges, minimum charges, the cost of tools, cost of training, rates, taxes etc., but if you want to buy something off them they will charge top whack. They will naturally promise to return but only if you do not charge and if you do charge a reasonable fee they will moan until doomsday about how they have been ripped off and could have done the job for nothing. They usually have never been self employed and think that being such is a cash cow.

If you do not charge (money or a night on the razz) you will only attract the deadbeats and *ahem* money conscious who incessantly phone you because it is free and you will lose out in the end.

Harsh but true.


  rmcqua 08:54 26 Apr 2006

It's not just you, DrScott. I have had lots of such experiences. On the odd occasion when some element of appreciation is shown, it is so rewarding that it keeps me fired up again for ages! Interestingly, when I lived in the USA, I found this to be rare. People were almost always appreciative, grateful and I often had to turn down over-generous gifts for small PC jobs that I had undertaken.

  Starfox 08:59 26 Apr 2006

Before retirement I was a self employed joiner and some years ago I got involved with doing a few small jods for an old lass in our village.she was always saying how difficult life was on the pension and how she could hardly afford to keep warm in the winter etc,etc.

So silly sod here didn't charge her too much,did one or to little jobs for free and even gave her free firewood to help her out in the winter.

When she died a few years ago she left in her will over £2 million including £1 million to the rspca to make a bird sanctuary on the many acres of land she owned in the village.

Still,got to say I couldn't have been conned by a nicer *little old lady*. :o)

  rowdy 09:51 26 Apr 2006

Since my retirement I have built/upgraded/repaired/debugged a number of computers for friends and family and without exception I have always been properly thanked and on occasion had to refuse payment.

It is a hobby for me and I have enjoyed every moment. I do try a little education each time to try to get the owner to understand the problems and the scale of the work involved.

The main problems are with folks who use computers at work and are nannied by an IT Department. I insist that the safety and security of their home computer is their responsibility and unless they follow sensible practices I am not prepared to undertake any further work.

  dmc727 11:17 26 Apr 2006

And here is me thinking that doctors never had any spare time :- )

Civility and manners certainly help to grease the wheels of humanity – you warm more to someone who is open and shows their appreciation. We have a relative who never says thank you for anything – just a trait and was probably never taught how to do so as a child.

Keep up the good work – I personally believe there is something in the saying “It’s better to give than receive.”

  SG Atlantis® 13:01 26 Apr 2006

Well I deliberately broke someone's PC.

They constantly got virus infections and whatever else, constantly messed it up. I was always plagued to fix it (they took it for granted that I would, that opinion always came accross when I tried to explain things to them about dos and donts)and never once got a thanks. I spent hours in their home one day and wasn't even offered a cup of tea come dinner time!

So I deleted a few files and caused windows not to boot. Result was they paid a guy that I know of £50 to repair XP.

She deserved it.

  watchful 13:18 26 Apr 2006

No, it's not just you. Common civility is sadly lacking these days and, if I do something for someone, even though I don't accept payment, I do expect a thank you. If I don't get one then the next time they ask, I am busy. If only people realised what a difference a couple of words make.

  spuds 16:04 26 Apr 2006

Have you noticed how many times this subject is aired within the forum!.

People who raise a very urgent problem that need instant attention, or asks a question then doesn't bother to give a final outcome reply.The list goe's on, but I suppose "that's human nature!".

  DrScott 16:36 26 Apr 2006

European Working Time Directive - we get lots more spare time nowadays (though usually at funny times of day and midweek!)

It is common for many people not to say thank you - I always feel for A&E nurses and paramedics who will literally save a person's life yet all the thanks will go to the subsequent ward or ITU - it's just the way people work.

I've just noticed it more when it comes to computers. By not taking any payment, one might expect a greater degree of gratitude, but that just doesn't seem to happen. I assume it's because many people don't realise quite how much work is required in fixing a bust PC, mainly in diagnosing the problems.

Still giving is worthwhile, and for every PC I try to repair I learn a little bit more, and there's satisfaction in that alone.

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