General discussion


work procedures

By gurus_hame ·
i have not long started up in business for my self and have come up against a number of problems.

namely if i do a hareware install or system repair i return to the customers premises and end up having to do further work and when i charge for it the customer complains that they were not informed that they had to pay.

thing is where can i source a working policy for my customers so i dont get caught in this trap again.
the hours im spending doing this unpaid are going to end up bankrupting me!!

i think it needs to be something i have the customers read before doing the work and they have to agree to. it also needs to be legal!

would i have to go t a lawyer or is there somewhere else i can try?

many thanks

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Don't think you need a lawyer

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to work procedures

At the moment you are dropping an extra bill on them as a nasty surprise from their point of view. You understood that there might be a bit more work they didn't.

That's what you need to clear up.

You could factor something into your original cost, but I'd recommend splitting it out into a a sort of parts and labour approach.

Give them an hourly rate and an estimate of the number of hours for labour (fitting on site). You might lose on a few estimates to keep business until you get a sense of what takes what, but you'll get a very good reaction when you come in under the estimate.

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SignOff Up Front

by Dan Powers In reply to work procedures

One of the things I do when working on PCs, is I give an estimation cost for parts and labor. I provide this to the customer to review before any work is preformed. After reviewing I ask them to sign it and provide it back to me for my records. This way we all know up front what the estimated cost is. If later it looks like this cost may very heavily, I preform a followup call be for the work is done.

Good Luck!

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Clarify the situation at the start

by Deadly Ernest In reply to work procedures

I provide a quote that sets out the work to be done, the parts needed with their cost, and an estimate of the time needed and a fixed labour cost for the work quoted. When the job is finished, I prove the system works, and get them to sign off on it.

If extra problems are found during the work, I mention it and do and adjusted quote - or ignore the work if they don't want it done.

If they call me back because of a later problem, I check the system. If the work i did is faulty, or the parts are faulty - they come under warranty. If the system needs work because of the sites they've been to, I prove my work is not faulty and give them a quote for the new work and note why it's not my fault.

Most are happy with the process, the only one who wasn't and tried to rip me off I no longer take calls from.

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Scope of work

by sfessey In reply to Clarify the situation at ...

Very much as the others have said here. You MUST understand and agree what it is you are going to work on. Further to that the client MUST understand it also.

Additional work is usually due to the client not understanding the scope of what you have quoted or, often they start asking for this and that to be done because it comes into their head as you are there, simply because you are there and they will ask you questions...usually starting with 'how do I..' or 'Can you just..."

This can be easily countered with a fairly standard 'Yes I can but it is outside of the scope of this job, would you like me to book it in / look at it after I have finished this job?'

Another classic that I have come across with my techs is the rework that in actual fact has nothing to do with the original job. remember you work with computers and are therefore guilty by association if something goes wrong.

Example - tech goes to site to resolve printing issue. Clears print error and printing now works. Leaves site and 2 hours later call from client again - internet down, your guy must have done something and we want him back to fix it (and we do not want to pay is what they mean).

I drilled into my guys that no matter what people will want to do the following:

create / open Office documents.

At the end of each visit spend 5 minutes talking to the clients - ask them to go through a typical day and open an email - maybe send an email to themselves - open a web page, write a word doc and print it.

2 things happen - the client feels you care about them

You have a get out clause to the rework issue as you have proven it all works prior to leaving site and they know that because you got THEM to actually do it. Never do it yourself, let the client feel it working.

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further work

by gurus_hame In reply to work procedures

so in actual fact i advise to the customer that on returning the system that to setup printers, email , internet etc is an extra fee and basically show them a list of things that would be included in this extra work?

what is the best way to prove to a customer that it wasnt your fault that say internet failed?

this seems to be a huge problem with customers trying to get something for nothing!!
again many thanks

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fixed prices

by tec In reply to further work

i do have fixed prices for returning pc's to the customers after a repair in the shop. Also most of the common repairs, we try to estimate the average time and have a fixed price for it (internet connections, printer issues, replace spare parts..) For the other repairs, i agree with the others, it's very important to estimate the time needed to have the job done.

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