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Consulting client issues?

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Labrat636

As a "consultant" it may be ok to charge by the hour. But as a service tech, I would charge by the complexity of the problems solved, along with a basic charge for on site repair(x3 in your case). It took you 3 hours to get the printer working, however, a lot of this time was used up installing and re-installing software. Also, and I'm not degrading your troubleshooting skills, as none of us are perfect, but maybe the problem was originally mis-diagnosed. As you had trouble installing the new printer and found the coruption - perhaps that was the actual cause of the original problem. Troubleshooting is an art as well as a science, and as such, can not be stringently defined. It may take longer to solve some problems than others. Agree to the price up front for fixing the problem, and try to sell added services on top of that. They can't argue that you made 3 trips out there. And, if you solved the problem, they can't argue about that. They can argue about how many hours it took for you to solve the problem though. I have been bitten by an elusive solution more than once, only to finally realize I was "overthinking" the problem or just not "seeing" it correctly. A problem that could have taken 1 hour ended up taking 4 or 5 hours. This is not the customers fault.
Determne what the "solution" is worth, not the time it takes to find it.