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Should I support home users?

By briwlls ·
I'm reading the recent article/thread about, 'What support services do you use for your PC?' and it's got me thinking about my business.

I'm currently a one-person shop and about 70% of my business is small business and 30% home/end-users.

I once read a statement, that at the time was 4 years old, that said the home user market was not a viable market segment to base your business on. While that has stuck in my mind I see Apple offering this new AppleCare Pro product, Best Buy's Geek Squad is growing and Dell is now entering this market segment plus a number of other companies providing end user support.

I'm thinking of taking on a contractor to handle this home user side of my business...and just wondering if I should do this. What are other's doing to make this product segment work? Do you have a monthly maintenance contract i.e. $39.99 a month for one hour of support, or $279 for 5 incidents etc.? I just know the average home user is faced with a large number of bills and they just won't take a new bill just to support their computer.

Love to hear others thoughts, ideas and concerns.

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So...your point is the 1st Bigot get a free pass?

by Beoweolf In reply to Bigotry Enhanced

I am always amazed (and mildly amused) when some obvious deranged individual is reprimanded...Then some Uber reasonable guru points out that taking the idiot to task...using similar sewer language...is somehow wrong? Since when?

I figure it this way, If I am sitting in a cafe minding my own business, some nut case comes in an begins to speak ill of me and mine or even the stranger sitting in the seat next to me: he gets a free pass? No one can confront him, except in senatorial, Shakespearean tones...in rhyming couplet, if possible.

That?s exactly what encourages these misogynistic, narcissists and their random rants; many in this country try so hard to be accepting, that they forget that a social contract has limits as well as tolerance. I can pretend not to notice when a child has pooped his diaper, but that doesn't mean I should remain seated next to an adult that does the same thing. Random diatribes against minorities, women, new immigrants? might be tolerated in private, but never in public. Even in private, hopefully, a non reactive, dignified silence may allow the person to recover their common sense and decorum. The OP, in this case, just continued to spew?its good that someone had the sense to address him in his native tongue.

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[post deleted by admin]

by marketingtutor. In reply to [Post deleted by Admin]

[post deleted by admin]

[Edited by: admin on Mar 8, 2006 7:20 AM]

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...Again, it is US companies doing this...

by TracyF In reply to [post deleted by admin]

...with the full permission/assistance of the US gov't.

You all act as if these underpaid, slave-laborors are just up & demanding these jobs? It doesn't work like that.

You have elected officials allowing all of this because most have interests in these very company's profit margins. The top 2% of this coutry's company "heads" are raking in the dough at the expense of all of the rest of us.

If you need someone/place to vent & direct your anger towards, it's your elected officials & our own US companies- not a bunch of everyday, working joe's in some foreign land. They're not only being underpaid, their countries are also being polluted by these US companies who have to follow environmental laws, here, in the US.

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No doubt...!

by El Guapo In reply to You're joking, right?

I was thinking of the same thing!

Even if your mom offers you money to fix her pc, you should just kindly turn it down.

In my case, now that I'm making the money I never dreamed of making, I'm the one that gives my own mom gifts, instead of her giving me things during b-days, xmas, etc.

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This is one thing that really drives me nuts

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to No doubt...!

My mother insists on paying me every time that I do something to her PC and no matter how much I decline she just insists.

Her latest solution to me refusing to take her money was to directly deposit it into my Business Bank Account, sher got those details from a friend of hers who I supplied a computer to and is now making every use of it.

What's far worse is attempting to Balance the Books at the end of the month as I don't know that she is depositing money and worse the Tax Man sees this so it makes my life very difficult.

My solution though is to just pay for what she needs so I have supplied the Internet Account and pay the bills and everything else that she needs though it's now getting harder as she has a new Canon Photocopier that doubles as a Printer come scanner so the option of constantly buying Ink Refills no longer exists. No matter how much I beg her not to do it she continues to. Particularly after she realized that I was just depositing the money straight back into her bank account.

Talk about a No Win Situation!

Col ]:)

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Parents...just accept it.

by Beoweolf In reply to This is one thing that re ...

I was surprised by the negative comments of a few posters. Not all parents are destitue pensioners.

The unique thing about parents, is in their minds you will always be their child. If possible they will try to maintain their position as providing for their off-spring. To some parents, paying for computer support, yard work or driving them around to appointments, shopping is the same as the allowance they gave for work about the house when you were younger.

I say, accept the money - its part of them retaining their dignity as they are less able to fend for themself. Instead of making a big fuss of refusing the money...which to some is a suggestion that they are recieveing charity...just give it back in an occasional gift, dinner out other manner they can accept.

I would rather accept a dime or dollar, given freely, earnestly...than help someone who thinks they "deserve" or require help. I was raised to help those who help themselves. If my parents feel the need to "slip me a few dollars", I take it and bask in the thought that they are still independant and want the right to feel good about not being a burden. The money isn't even important when you think about it...

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But that's the Problem

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Parents...just accept it.

In the case of my mother who is on a fixed income she can not afford to pay me for what I'm only too willing to do anyway.

Besides it just doesn't feel right taking money from my mother when I'm in a much better financial position than she currently is.

At 76 years of age she still is independent and while she's slowing down a bit she still watches my sisters kids one is still below preschool age.

While I do take the money I try to find ways to give it back to her all the time. Many years ago she had Red Hair and I guess that that temper has remained.

What makes it even worse is that she asked me to go over there when a tech came out to fix the Photocopier that the Association that she does Volunteer work for required fixing just after it was delivered something else that I also arranged at a vastly reduced price and I landed a major contract from that one meeting as they had just got a new Oracle Network installed and it naturally wasn't working correctly as the installers had not set it up correctly so to help get things moving along I offered to have a look see to see if I could help them out. It was an easy fix and more importantly they could invoice out the required spare parts to fix the photocopier which was far more important to me.

The next thing that I know is a massive Check arrives from the company and then a phone call for a meeting. I didn't want or expect any money from that simple job but just the way that I attacked their problem must have impressed someone so I now have a contract with them at rates that I would never dream of putting on any business for the little work that I do there.

But it gets worse as every time I sell one of their Photocopiers to one of my clients I get a commission as if I'm a salesman for them and all I ever do is tell the client which model they require and offer them the opportunity of buying it themselves or having me arrange the invoicing and Service Contract that goes along with these new Digital units.

Unfortunately I tend to be on call 24/7 so I don't get much opportunity to take my mother out unless like recently I nearly managed to kill myself then my staff remove every car here and make sure I'm left alone, of course My wife has a hand in that lot but actually she is quite often the one who goes to my mothers place and drives her around and the like.

I've just got to find a new way of giving the money back to my mother so she has enough to live on and doesn't go short for something that she really needs.

Col

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yes, totally

by Falling Burrito Brother In reply to Parents...just accept it.

As a parent myself - I agree totally with Beowulf - I would\will do anything (that is, ANY THING) for my little Girl, including demanding to pay for anything that might see her out-of-pocket or whatnot (inconvenienecd would be a good word here, if only I could spell it properly) - if\when she does soemthing for me - because it's about me, in this instance. It makes me feel good, what do I care if she doesn't really want\need the money - it is my perogative as Dad to give. No doubt the same sentiment prevails for Mums too. Just let them do it, they need to, psychologically.

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Amen

by wjbolton In reply to Parents...just accept it.

Good advice it's just her way of saying "I love you and you're still my child" I say enjoy your visits for repairs and buy her flowers every now and then, Moms love flowers even if they are allergic..Just ask me mum :)

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Well said

by Willicueva In reply to Parents...just accept it.

Its all about dignity. No matter how much money they give you for the "service", your parents will always see it as an investment in you, their future. Go ahead and accept the money. Put it in a piggybank and buy her a better present for her birthday or christmas or whatever.

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