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Eek a customer ! What should I charge ?

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by Flamehearted, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. Flamehearted

    Flamehearted Nibble Poster

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    Hi all,

    After extensive advertising (on a budget of 20p) I have just had a call from my first customer for PC repair - yipee !

    I'm going to see him tomorrow. However I'm really unsure of what to charge for my services. Are there "going rates" ? I've said there is no call out charge and that I will look at the pc and give him a quote before starting work.

    Any advice about how to handle it ?

    Thanks in advance ,

    Flamehearted
     
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  2. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    I used to do this kind of thing - the no call out fee is a great catcher.

    Whenever I approached work like this, I had standardised fees. I had trade accounts set up, so I knew what I'd be charging for replacement parts.

    If I could repair on site, I'd charge them £15 an hour, with a static £15 for however long I was there within the first hour.

    If I couldn't repair it, I didn't charge. If I had to take it away, it was dependant on the problem - and I charged relative to how long the job would take me. eg - if I went to their house, took away the comp and had to format and reinstall an OS, realistically, I wouldn't be actually sat at the computer for more than an hour straight - charge £15, get on with something else.

    It sounds cheap, but it worked for me - most problems are easily located and fixed, and it was quite rare to be there for the hour. With the cheap charges and good completion comes word-of-mouth advertising, which is free, and the best form of advertising around.

    Good luck man :thumbleft
     
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  3. Flamehearted

    Flamehearted Nibble Poster

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    Thanks Arroryn that great. What a great name - is it your real name ?
     
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  4. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    Thank you :) Arroryn is one of the lead characters from an epic poem I'm working on. My real name is a lot less....interesting. lol.
     
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  5. Flamehearted

    Flamehearted Nibble Poster

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    I will now call my first child Arroryn in honour of your post. Since I'm gay don't hold your breath though. :eek:
     
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  6. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    Just buy a guinea pig with the proceeds of your first repair :blink
     
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  7. Flamehearted

    Flamehearted Nibble Poster

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    Mmm I've just spoken to my partner and he thinks £15 is too little to charge...but what does he know ? He's a lawyer and earns £75878934578934758734578394 per hour.

    So would you charge £15 + parts on top ?

    Arroryn the Gerbil

    Arise sir Arroryn of Gerbilius
     
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  8. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    Hey that's lady Arroryn. lol.

    £15 was what I decided to charge static. It's up to you how you want to bracket it. That was without parts - I used to take my parts list with me so that the customer could have some input in what they wanted and see the costs at the same time.

    You can get a pretty comprehensive listing on a PDF of about 6/7 pages, for a starter.
     
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  9. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    I generally charge with various models
    I have an hourly model and a 'job type' model

    Virus, 50 quid
    Spyware, 50 quid
    Virii and Spyware, 75 quid
    Dodgy Software, 40 quid
    Dodgy Hardware, 20 quid + replacement parts

    any work involving me taking the machine back is billed the intial job fee, plus a per hour rate dependent on the work required

    IE the virus has caused me to have to format your damn harddrive and re isntall ur OS, 80+ quid
     
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  10. Flamehearted

    Flamehearted Nibble Poster

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    Thanks phoenix

    So what type of mark up (if any) do you put on hardware ?

    Oh and should I add VAT to a final bill ?
     
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  11. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    I was going to mention earlier, but got side-tracked ...

    I seriously don't mean to p1ss on anyone's parade here, but what is the accepted stance on VAT with regards to this ? I'm no stranger to a few "homers" myself (no Simpsons gags please !), but potentially, if we are doing this "cash in hand" then there is liablitiy for declaring this. Any opinions or comments ?

    EDIT: @ Flamehearted - I do know that to declare yourself VAT-registered, the Government needs to know about this. IS this something you've looked into ?
     
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  12. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Personally I dont get into all that VAT charging debacle, all costs are final, i dont add anything on, dont knock anything off
     
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  13. Mitzs
    Honorary Member

    Mitzs Ducktape Goddess

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    Is vat the same thing as our taxes? If it is you will need to be carefull. Find out if people use their computer for work and will turn in your bill to right off some of the charges. If they do I would think you would have to atleast those. Or you may have the cops knocking at your door. But then I don't know how things are done in your country.
     
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  14. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    I was business registered, but missed out on VAT registration, thank god. You need to talk to a business bank advisor. If your turnover exceeds/looks damn likely to exceed £55k (as of 2003, may have changed) then you are obliged to VAT register and pay the 17.5% added tax. Then you can started passing the charge on to your suddenly miffed customers.

    Before that, there is no need. But if you're going to do this as a full time business, keep some form of invoices - you need to register as a business within 6 months of beginning to trade, and the tax man can find out about it.
     
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  15. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

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    I agree with Arroryn here. As far as I was aware you need to turn over a certain amount of money to have to register for VAT. You can register for VAT before that threshold but that is a minefield for a Financial Consultant and not the small buisiness person.

    As you are not VAT registered then you cannot charge VAT as a seperate item. So when you by a piece of hardware you will have to pay the VAT and then pass that onto the customer with your mark up.
    VAT stands for Value Added Tax. It is a tax that we pay on certain goods and is currently 17.5% in the UK. Other counties in Europe have different rates. In the UK we don't pay VAT on food, childrens clothes/shoes, newspapers and other stuff as well.
     
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  16. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

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    Of course you should charge them for parts, but as an incentive maybe only at the same cost as you can get them for.
     
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  17. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Welcome to being self-employed, Flamehearted. When I do free lance writing, the publisher doesn't take out taxes from my pay so I have to make sure I put a hefty amount aside every quarter so I don't end up getting absolutely punished by the Government come tax day.
     
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  18. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

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    Then again you could alway read Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams esp as it's now a film.

    "DON'T PANIC"
     
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  19. KeithNN

    KeithNN Byte Poster

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    True. I always prefered the books to the TV show... can't wait to see the film. One day I might even get around to reading the fifth book in the trilogy....
     
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  20. Gaz 45

    Gaz 45 Kilobyte Poster

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    Where can you get it (Fifth part of trilogy)? Been after that for years.

    From Taxes to Douglas Adams in one simple post, how strange!
    Oh, and now... :offtopic
     
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