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Say no to Free "IT Advice"

By freeozraelised ·
As an IT Adminstrator I get a lot of staff members asking for advice on their home computers.

What will be a nice way to say "No" to free advice.

At present it is involving some staff members and a partner.

Thanks

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evil, nasty idea..

by Jaqui In reply to Say no to Free "IT Advice ...

hand them the heaviest, thickest, most technically complex manual on computers you can lay your hands on.
then say, look it up youself.

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...then tell them...

by lwebb In reply to evil, nasty idea..

...then tell them you read it and that's why you charge $100/hour without guaranteeing squat...and GET IT.

P.S. You don't take checks or CC. CASH Only, half up front.

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Helping Hands

by tmcal In reply to ...then tell them...

I can not believe that you are still beating this dead horse. Sounds to me like IT feels they are above or better than everyone else. The next time you need help or assistance with something hopefully your co-workers will not want to charge you for their help or advice.

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Obviously you're not in IT.

by jmiguy In reply to Helping Hands

I get multiple co-workers stopping me in my tracks many times during a day to ask for free tech support. I get non-stop calls at home and at work from friends, family, aquaintances, and co-workers asking for free tech support.

I've spent thousands of dollars on schooling and I've spent many years of my life learning this trade.

For anyone to assume they should get free tech support just because they know me is extremely rude and un-thoughtful. These people need to be set straight right away, even if the same rude behavior has to be thrown right back at them.

IT workers are specialists and should be treated as such. If any of my co-workers can provide a valuable service or valuable advice, I'm more than happy to compensate them, and would never consider asking them for free help.

The next time you go to the doctor, why don't you try and ask for some free medical help! Ask your doctor if he or she thinks he or she is above everyone else.

Doctors shouldn't charge people either for giving medical advice in you world. Please get real!

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I'm IT, I have a Dr. for a friend. We both give 'free' advice (to a point)

by cswearingen In reply to Obviously you're not in I ...

I agree with tmcal. this is a DEAD horse. Just because we went to school for our degrees and certificates does not make us superior to others.

I get lots of people asking for advice on computers and I give it to them. It's ADVICE. Advice is NOT a service and should not be charged. My Dr. friend is also more than willing to give ADVICE to people around him.

When Dr. friend was asked to look at another friends arm after she fell of a swing set he advised that they go to the ER and have it x-rayed as he thought it might be a break. They went and he was right. Took less than 5 minutes of his time.

If people want service that's another story as service entails more of your time and skills than advice. Be up front with them. Point them to sites, books and/or other PC service shops that can help them. If they still want you to fix it come up with either a fee schedule or a quid-pro-quo arrangement (I'll fix your PC if you help paint my house, etc.).

Remember, there's a difference between advice and giving free tech support.


Christopher
-----------------------------------------
They say I have ADD but they just don't under.. HEY A CHICKEN!

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matter of frequency

by aglv01 In reply to I'm IT, I have a Dr. for ...

When you are asked to provide advice two or three times a day, it's OK, Matter of threshold. you don't feel it cumbersome to provide advice. When it's 10 to 15 or more times a day, when they invade your life, when they call at 9:30pm when you're trying to sleep the kids...

Think again, maybe the horse is not as dead as you think!

Avner

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Frequency of the requests is a very good point

by cswearingen In reply to matter of frequency

If you're getting harranged (sp?) to the point of not being able to get your work done then it's a problem. This point is very important.

But this horse is still dead. This topic has been brought up multiple times in past threads. The answers have always been the same "Do it if you're a decent human being" and "Don't do it if you're getting exploited".

Bottom line is that freeozraelised needs to figure out where his/her priorities lie and go from there.

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Agreed

by vltiii In reply to matter of frequency

I agree with you, but each of us as individuals establish boundaries based on our personalities and actions. If people feel that they can do this as often as suggested there must be a reason behind it. The fact that the poster felt the need to post the question here indicates to me that he can't or is afraid to establish his boundaries. The topic of this thread is not something that should require outside advice.

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by The Admiral In reply to matter of frequency

That is a matter of setting rules. Like with my company, if I get a call after working hours and I have to go in, I charge Holiday Rates because it is not a requirement for me to come in unless there is a mess. And If I have to think on my time about work or do work related things, then that is different.

As soon as we start talking shop or start brainstorming, I am on the clock and I charge accordingly.

If I have one of those people asking for one of those "gotta sec for a quickie question," and it winds up being a three hour conversation, then we have a problem. And I tell all of my techs that if it takes more than 15 minutes, table it.

THe note has gone out to call the tech or put a call in on their company computers, and not to bother them on personal stuff, but the fact of the matter is that I can't stop people from asking.

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by carrie.elsesser In reply to matter of frequency

I do not mind giving advice or suggestions as I have asked for it in the past. You just have to know when to draw the line based on situation.

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