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Taking on (paid) side work from end users...

By minnicles ·
I work on the support desk for a company with about 120 employees in the office.

I have been getting more and more requests from end users at my company for me to do paid work on their home PC's for them. I'd be very interested in hearing how others have handled these requests and how the work has turned out. For discussions sake, I'll leave out any questions about the corporate policy on "second jobs" as I don't care that much about that aspect of it.

I imagine this could be a sort of "slippery slope" and maybe leading to some awkward moments with things such as software licensing issues and such...i.e. ("Could you please install Windows XP on my home PC???...well do you own a license for that?)

Also how does anyone decide how much to charge for their services? By the hour? By Project?

Any info would be much appreciated.

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I do it

by microtechcomputer In reply to Taking on (paid) side wor ...

I do work like that all of the time. I let them know however if them or their family downloads a bunch of crap from the internet I am not responsible for it messing up the work I did and it works out ok. Sometimes I charge my going rate of $90.00 per hour and sometimes less or nothing. It depends on the person.

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Be careful

by Jorgy1 In reply to Taking on (paid) side wor ...

It says something for the quality of work you do if people you work with want you to fix their personal computers, but just be careful. Make it a point to tell them that when you're at work, you're at work but you'll gladly get back to them when your shift ends. Also, the way I usually do it is tell them to make sure they have all of their original discs together before I get there so it'll save them time. I make it a policy NEVER to put non-licenced software on their machine. I worked too hard for my certs! If they don't have the discs...too bad, it doesn't get loaded. Once you make it known that you won't put software on without the discs, you shouldn't get asked too much anymore.

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Its tempting but . . .

by AV . In reply to Taking on (paid) side wor ...

A definite slippery slope! Home PCs are not like business PCs. People have bootleg software, no backups, misplaced disks, kids that load games, viruses, AOL and so many other variables that you never know what you are walking into. AND, they may expect that you can give them free software.

No matter what you charge you are going to work 10 times as hard for the money. They will come to you with every problem they ever have in the future, but don't expect to be paid for that.

Don't forget, you have to work with these people everyday. If their PC doesn't work after you touch it, they'll be looking for you first thing tomorrow.

I hate to be a cynic, but having been there, I now choose to refer them to someone else.

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I'm with AmericanVoter

by WV_Bound In reply to Its tempting but . . .

"Slippery Slope" isn't the half of it. I've been in this business since 1986 and I'd hate to tell you the problems that i've brought upon myself because I offered to help a co-worker with their home PC problems. I've adopted this policy, "I don't do any outside work at all".

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Be Prepared

by rbrooks In reply to Taking on (paid) side wor ...

Choose your clients carefully. You could wind up doing a lot more because of statements like "Since you worked on my machine ____ is not working" or "It did not do this until you worked on it"

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