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limegorilla

How much to charge for Tech Support?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

So here is the rundown. I do tech support for my community. Nothing much, the most advanced stuff I’ll be asked to do is hardware swap outs or restoring corrupted data - standard IT guy stuff. I’m not sure what to charge for all this. I’d prefer to charge by the hour. Currently I just sort of freeze when asked 😂

 

I dont want want to overcharge anyone - I know the value of money, but I do want to earn something for my work. I usually have to find my own transport (as someone who cannot drive a car yet legally this can be an issue) and this normally takes between one and a half hours to three. I end up providing all tools and everything (thank you iFixit) and have so far had a spotless record.


Bow down to me humans.

I can't help if you don't quote me. How am I supposed to know if you need my premium support? Now starting at £399.99 a year.

Also, be a sport and mark the correct answer as the correct answer. It will help pour souls in the future when they are stuck and need guidance.

"If it works, proceed to take it apart and 'make it work better.' Then cry for help when it breaks." - Me, about five minutes ago when my train of thought wandered.

Remember kids, A janky solution is still a solution.

RIG:

CPU: Intel Core i7 7740X

GPU: MSI Twin FORCE GTX 750 Ti

MOBO: ASUS X299 TUF Mark II

RAM: 16GB HyperX Fury

CASE: Corsair Carbide 500D

PSU: TooQ 750W 80+ Platinum

=== ===================================== ===

=== STORAGE:                              ===

=== 1x 250 GB SanDisk Plus SSD (OS)       ===

=== 1x 1TB Western Digital Black (GAME)   ===

=== 2x 500GB Western Digital Blue (MEDIA) ===

=== ===================================== ===

Peripherals:

MOUSE: Logitech MX Master (OG version)

KEYBOARD: Medion OEM

 

Rationale behind the i7 7740X;

Basically I had a friend who I had met online selling the aforementioned CPU, and I jumped. He did knock a heavy load off the price and to be fair I am quite happy. Along with the mobo, which I bought new, but on sale on PC Part Picker, I paid about £300 for the motherboard and CPU, which is about £100 off the asking price. Do I regret not going Ryzen? Yes. Am I annoyed that I went for it? Never. Coming from a Pentium, this was like gold.

 

Planned Upgrades:

GPU: Summer 2019 - Planned upgrade to GTX 1060 6GB / 1070

Storage: Christmas 2018 - Planned upgrade to Samsung 950 M.2 SSD for the boot drive, and a new WD Black 3TB drive to replace current setup.

Case, Displays & Keyboard: Summer 2019 - Planned. No replacement chosen.

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In the rare occasions I do work for family/friends, I tend to charge around £50 base rate and around £30-£50 an hour if it takes more than 1 hour. 

 

There are some exceptions where I'll do it for much less, but it really depends on the person. If I know something is going to be a one time job for a personal friend, I'll do it for cheap. 

 

From my experience, doing work for family or friends of family (or really, people that know you, even indirectly) is a massive pain, which is why I charge a fair bit when i do it. I've had very few times doing it where I haven't then got a load of follow up questions/requests for completely unrelated issues to what I fixed before and they insist that "ever since you did this" something has been broken, even if the change was months ago.

 

My point of view on it may be different from yours, but that's my own take on IT support for locals/friends/family and such.

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6 minutes ago, Oshino Shinobu said:

doing work for family or friends of family

Not worth it from personal experience...

 

I only bothered with it once when I wanted to replace my personal use PC (had a cheaper i7 6700 + H110M + 8gb VS 2133mhz system, along side case, PSU and what not) and my mother's church wanted a capable computer for them to edit videos of their ceremonies.

 

I offered that computer alongside a GTX 1050 for them at great pricing, obviously below brand new and this was before Coffee Lake released and we were on Ryzen 1st gen so the i7 6700 was still a perfectly relevant CPU.

 

To me it was a great deal as I'd be able to rebuild from scratch which I did and I gave them the computer all ready fully functional all goodie which fit what they could afford perfectly, like for what they could pay there was hardly a better machine to have, it was the classical win-win situation.

 

2 weeks later they reach me on whats app claiming "Oh the 'tech' 'brother' guy from church decided to install Win7 (I handed it with Win10) on it and now it blue screens all the time you have to come fix it".

 

I said I never offered "tech support" I gave the machine fully functional the rest is on them and didn't get involved any further, I know better than get on this endless pit.

 

So yeah issues will always rise because people don't take proper care of their devices and it can become really annoying really fast.


Workstation Rig:
CPU:  Intel Core i9 9900K @5.0ghz  |~| Cooling: beQuiet! Dark Rock 4 |~|  MOBO: Asus Z390M ROG Maximus XI GENE |~| RAM: 32gb 3333mhz CL15 G.Skill Trident Z RGB |~| GPU: nVidia TITAN V  |~| PSU: beQuiet! Dark Power Pro 11 80Plus Platinum  |~| Boot: Intel 660p 2TB NVMe |~| Storage: 2X4TB HDD 7200rpm Seagate Iron Wolf + 2X2TB SSD SanDisk Ultra |~| Case: Cooler Master Case Pro 3 |~| Display: Acer Predator X34 3440x1440p100hz |~| OS: Windows 10 Pro.
 
Personal Use Rig:
CPU: Intel Core i9 9900 @4.75ghz |~| Cooling: beQuiet! Shadow Rock Slim |~| MOBO: Gigabyte Z390M Gaming mATX|~| RAM: 16gb DDR4 3400mhzCL15 Viper Steel |~| GPU: nVidia Founders Edition RTX 2080 Ti |~| PSU: beQuiet! Straight Power 11 80Plus Gold  |~|  Boot:  Intel 660p 2TB NVMe |~| Storage: 2x2TB SanDisk SSD Ultra 3D |~| Case: Cooler Master Case Pro 3 |~| Display: Viotek GN34CB 3440x1440p100hz |~| OS: Windows 10 Pro.


HTPC / "Console of the house":

CPU: Intel Core i7 8700 @4.45ghz |~| Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212X |~| MOBO: Gigabyte Z370M D3H mATX|~| RAM: 16gb DDR4 3333mhzCL16 G.Skill Trident Z |~| GPU: nVidia Founders Edition GTX 1080 Ti |~| PSU: Corsair TX650M 80Plus Gold |~| Boot:  SSD WD Green M.2 2280 240GB |~| Storage: 1x3TB HDD 7200rpm Seagate Barracuda + SanDisk Ultra 3D 1TB |~| Case: Fractal Design Meshify C Mini |~| Display: Toshiba UL7A 4K/60hz |~| OS: Windows 10 Pro.
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Just now, Princess Luna said:

Not worth it from personal experience...

 

I only bothered with it once when I wanted to replace my personal use PC (had a cheaper i7 6700 + H110M + 8gb VS 2133mhz system, along side case, PSU and what not) and my mother's church wanted a capable computer for them to edit videos of their ceremonies.

 

I offered that computer alongside a GTX 1050 for them at great pricing, obviously below brand new and this was before Coffee Lake released and we were on Ryzen 1st gen so the i7 6700 was still a perfectly relevant CPU.

 

To me it was a great deal as I'd be able to rebuild from scratch which I did and I gave them the computer all ready fully functional all goodie which fit what they could afford perfectly, like for what they could pay there was hardly a better machine to have, it was the classical win-win situation.

 

2 weeks later they reach me on whats app claiming "Oh the 'tech' 'brother' guy from church decided to install Win7 (I handed it with Win10) on it and now it blue screens all the time you have to come fix it".

 

I said I never offered "tech support" I gave the machine fully functional the rest is on them and didn't get involved any further, I know better than get on this endless pit.

 

So yeah issues will always rise because people don't take proper care of their devices and it can become really annoying really fast.

Friends of family are the worst from my experience. 

 

Now days, I'll only do it for a few people. Mostly the ones that haven't come to me for followups or are already going based on the assumption that a followup will also need to be paid for. 

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4 minutes ago, Princess Luna said:

people don't take proper care of their devices and it can become really annoying really fast.

That goes double of the majority of brazillians and i'd add recklessness to it as well.


Current, New System

 

Mobo: MSI MEG Z390 Godlike // CPU: i9-9900K // GPU: Galax Hall of Fame RTX 2080 Ti // RAM: 32GB Vengeance LPX // Cooling: D15S with 3 Noctua Fans // Storage: 1TB SSD Samsung 860 EVO, 6TB Seagate Barracuda PRO // PSU: RMi 850w 80+ Gold // Case: TT View 37 RGB Edition

 

Old System (Now Retired)

 

Mobo: Asus B85M-E // CPU: i7-4770K // GPU: Gigabyte G1 1070 // RAM: 16GB Single Channel // Cooling: Stock Intel // Storage: 167 GB SDD OCZ Agility3, 2 TB Seagate Barracuda // PSU: AeroCool Strike X 800w 80+ Silver // Case: Corsair SPEC-03 Blue LED Mid-Tower

 

Peripherals And Others

 

Mouse: Razer Mamba Tournament Edition // Keyboard: Razer Blackwidow X Chroma Mercury White // Headphone: Razer Man'O War 7.1 // Display: LG 2560x1080 25' 60Hz Ultrawide // UPS: Pure Sine Wave, Online Topology 3000VA (2100w) (this shit is heavy as fuck)

 

- Previously ReggieGRS

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48 minutes ago, limegorilla said:

So here is the rundown. I do tech support for my community. Nothing much, the most advanced stuff I’ll be asked to do is hardware swap outs or restoring corrupted data - standard IT guy stuff. I’m not sure what to charge for all this. I’d prefer to charge by the hour. Currently I just sort of freeze when asked 😂

 

I dont want want to overcharge anyone - I know the value of money, but I do want to earn something for my work. I usually have to find my own transport (as someone who cannot drive a car yet legally this can be an issue) and this normally takes between one and a half hours to three. I end up providing all tools and everything (thank you iFixit) and have so far had a spotless record.

I personally do it for free most of the time to help out people around here... not really in the need for cash and I like to help out my local community as I can.

 

Now that being said the hourly rate can be anywhere from 25-100/hr. It really just depends on how well known you are or if you have a little self run business for it. I have taken little 1-2 night gigs from a few people I know in the field to just help them get caught up and normally the rate is close to the upper range on 1099. I rarely do this anymore though as I have twin boys I am raising. 

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If its "under the table" 25-35 euro/hour + transport costs

If its legit 50-70 euro/hour + transport costs

 

Cause fuck EU taxes


Let's agree to disagree

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Friends and family I charge food and drinks.

 

My  parents bought me a "double the capacity" SSD when I fixed their laptop as I gave them mY used one and prices had come down in the meantime when it came to buying equal cost new!

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I charge $50 per hour for my mobile service with no trip charge unless its over a 20 minute drive.  For smaller businesses and solo operations, that seems to be the going rate in the midwest US where I live.  Big box stores charge a considerable amount more, especially when coming to your home or business.

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corporate costs range from $30-$100/hour based on the level of support. 


Rig

 

Spoiler

 

CPU: 4770k @ 4.2GHz 1.15v | Mobo: ASUS z87 Sabertooth | Cooler: Corsair H110 | RAM: Vengeance 32GB DDR3 @ 1600MHz | GPU: GIGABYTE G1 GTX 1070 | Storage: Samsung 840 series 250GB SSD, Seagate 2TB SSHD, Seagate 4.25TB HDD | PSU: Corsair AX850 80+ gold modu | Case: Corsair 650d | Keyboard: Corsair K65 RGB Cherry MX Reds & a Leopold 210TP Numberpad Cherry MX Blues | Mouse: Logitech G502, DECHANIC desk mat | Monitor: 2x Dell IPS 23" S2340m & ASUS 144hz 24" VG248QE | Speakers: CA-3602a | Headset: Steelseries Syberia v2 Frost Blue OS: Win 10 Pro 

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I would say it depends. If its something small like cleaning physically or running some diagnostics, I probably wouldn't take anything. Maybe if I would need to travel significantly I could ask something which is still under the rates local shops asks for things (here its €30 for basic diagnostics, €60 for OS install, parts change and anything bigger). Family is always free. I'm doing tech as hobby so asking money of it isn't my thing.


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Friends and Family tend to take advantage very quickly, If selling them a computer that i put together for cheap i normally charge a little on top to cover the guaranteed "Öh this stopped working" and always the typical i didnt touch it

 

$30-40 an hour AUD is a cheap rate here in AUS

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