Fixed some one computer- what was your reward?

  jack 20:37 11 Oct 2007

I am often asked to help out one of my pensioner friends with their computing problems.
When the deed is done I am inevitably asked -'How much' and most times if it s small work I will decline pay.
Sometimes after say a couple if visits I may find a bottle of my favourite 12 year malt in a plain wrapper coming my way- fair enough.
A similar thing happened only last week.
The good lady a very effusive and insistent type , asked 'How much do I owe you?' I demurred as usual and she being ever to insistent I said to Her 'I do like a good malt'
A few days latter she drove over to my home and handed over a plain wrapped object.
Having chatted a while and she having gone on her way feeling much better I am sure, I took a look at this strange parcel- it did not look much like a bottle of 12 year.
And it was not
Inside the plain wrapper was a Boots bag and in the boots bag was a large jar of Malt Extract.;-}
Still as I am nursing a cold, a nice hot Malt drink laced with 12 year old malt is doing its usual wonders

  dagbladet 20:51 11 Oct 2007

I once was asked to look at a friend's mum's PC. He said it had got to the stage where it took twenty minutes to start and then crawled along with all kinds off windows opening on their own. It had been on-line for about 3 years with no AV, firewall or anti spy/mal. It had never been de-fragged, msconfiged etc. I ressurected it with the usual spring clean type stuff, whereupon he told me that mum didn't 'trust it' anymore, had bought a £1000 laptop and I could keep the PC "as it was never any good anyway". It's upstairs hooked up to a steering wheel and pedals for the kids (and me) to play games on.

  youtruth 21:01 11 Oct 2007

£25 per hour is the reward.

Why saddle yourself with an old pc that takes for ever to sort out.
The pc expert's helping ego is a corrosive and failing thing.

  Strawballs 22:25 11 Oct 2007


  dagbladet 22:32 11 Oct 2007

I ddn't really saddle myself. My mate asked if I could get it going again, which I did in a few hours and when I went to give it back he told me to keep it. It was by now fully functioning and the kids can do what they like with it (non-internet) and I'm not bothered if it breaks.

  skeletal 22:59 11 Oct 2007

Many years ago I used to repair all manner of electrical equipment including TVs, radios etc. I rarely asked for payment (expect for spare parts), but sometimes was treated to chocolate (I’m anybodies for a bar of Cadburys!).

I started to get a bit peeved as I thought my “work load” was starting to get beyond a joke. It hit home to me one day, as I was sat at my desk in my office, when someone I hardly knew walked up and dumped a grotty vacuum cleaner on it. He said “I hear you mend things; can you sort this for me?” and walked off. I looked at my colleagues sat nearby...and they looked at me...and I decided enough was enough.

I very, very rarely do anything these days. In any case, it is not so easy now as you often need to change complete modules. To determine a problem to component level, which is invariably surface mount, is far too hard…even for a bar of chocolate!


  Stuartli 00:09 12 Oct 2007

I've never, ever sought any form of reward for helping people with their computer or other equipment - I wouldn't dream of it.

If people are grateful for what you have done they will find ways and means of expressing thanks.

  Mike D 07:35 12 Oct 2007

I have now resist looking at other peoples PCs lately as the only reward that I seem to get is an increasing presumption on my time and bad mouthing when I cannot help (particularly when I didn't offer in the first place, but was "volunteered").

  Chegs ®™ 07:44 12 Oct 2007

I sorted several PC's for free but then decided I was going to charge when having spent hours rectifying a virus infested machine,downloaded all its missing updates,added AVG free,a firewall,etc and returned it with an explanation that AVG would ask to download updated reference files he went home and started playing the games it had installed.When AVG asked to download its updates next day,he was midgame and decided that rather than cease playing for a few minutes he was going to uninstall AVG! He was back on my doorstep with PC asking me to "have a look please" soon after,and went red with embarrassment when I spotted the missing AVG and asked where it had gone.According to the hundreds of internet files he had also been on wares/cracking sites so I just turned it off and ordered him take it away unless he was prepared to pay for my time."I'll get you some chocolate biscuits next week if you fix it" to which my response is unprintable here.He then tried to get his mate to bring the bloody PC round for me to fix thinking I wouldn't recognise it as his.They have both been told in clear concise english that I dont fix PC's for muppets to undo my efforts in seconds unless they are prepared to pay the going rate (which according to our local PC fixit shop is £30 per hour) so I now rarely get asked to look at anyones PC which suits me just fine.

  jack 08:42 12 Oct 2007

To wind this one up- I take Chegs point on how folk ask for your time and knowledge- then ignore it do something else and then have the temerity to come back.
I have a particular mate who does this repeatedly, but as we have been mates for more than 40 years and during that time built many computers/Hifi's what have you between us- I guess he will be the only one I shall put up with?

  youtruth 09:39 12 Oct 2007

Chegs ®™ your story is sadly the reality.

What gets me is that most people would never expect a plumber, an electrician or builder friend to do any work for zero money. Especially when repairs to computers always take much longer than expected.

Therefore why is the pc expect regarded as a freebie?
Because the 'user' is just that!

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