ID:593773
 
Basically, I'm having 'Work Experience' from school. I was set to work in an IT shop near my house. I was surprised to see that them earthlings pay $100 to format their Desktops and install windows XP+Office. This is pathetic. I formatted my PC and got Windows 7 and it's crack for $0. Wat.
If were Earthlings, what are you?
My guess is overlord.
In response to King_LiOnZ (#1)
King_LiOnZ wrote:
If were Earthlings, what are you?

I've always wanted to be a pickle.
Lol yeah you can make a bunch of money charging people to do simple stuff. Same with mechanics - they charge you an arm and a leg for a job that takes like 10 minutes.
I don't see a huge issue with this, regarding fairly basic things, things we'd consider maintenance tasks. It's essentially the luxury tax for having not learned those basic maintenance things, or not performing your own regular maintenance.

I dunno how it is in the US, but in the UK, most insurers are fine with you doing that work yourself, as long as the car passes it's motoring test annually. Bigger work or more complex work obviously takes things out of your hands, as it's proper repair work then, not just some maintenance task.
Indeed; for evidence of this being - at least in the past - a much more common thing to do, the Haynes Manual is oft to be found in slightly older cars in the area where I live, where - at least in my opinion - people are more mechanically-minded than down where Stephen comes from.

The difference between a car and a PC, of course, is that there's a bit of a perception of a car as being made of pistons and valves, and if you sort of bang it a bit and then give it a twist with a spanner, it works.

A PC on the other hand is electrical, rather than mechanical, engineering, and it's all circuits and RAMs and mains-power, so most people probably don't want to have a bit of an amateur fumble around with the components.

The wonder of computers is that the user doesn't really need to care what goes on behind the scenes, or worry about "how it works;" it just does. And if it doesn't work how they think it should, or they want some work doing on it, they take the same approach as the trickier electronics in their cars; take it down to a Bloke in the Shop, who'll fix it.


They're paying $100 for peace of mind, (the bloke knows better than me, that's why I give him money, so I know my PC isn't going to break) and for not having to take time out of their day to worry about doing a task which to - to us, as computing enthusiasts - is intuitive. It's like a Travel Agent, or a mechanic.

Equally, if my lawnmower went wrong, or the engine in my car started grinding, I'd take it in to a mechanic, because I'm not a car enthusiast or a mechanical engineer.
Now I know that lawnmower statement isn't true. You'd have taken that thing apart and have it laid out over the lawn well before you send it off for repairs. I know I would. Incidentally, my lawnmower is wrong, at the moment.
Well, alright, in that specific case I may be lying, I'd have laid the damned thing out across the lawn and investigated the problem myself, but we're veering off topic at this point.
I'm talking about jobs that really aren't worth $100. There are mechanics where I live that charge like $100 and claim such and such job takes half an hour, but then I can take it to my hispanic buddy, and he's done with it in like 5 minutes and charges very little or a lot of times nothing at all.

People try to take advantage of people's ignorance and tell them their job is going to be difficult and a bunch of other crap when most of the time that's not the case. They just want to invent a bunch of reasons so that they can make a bigger profit off of you. I can lie and tell someone swapping out a processor is tedious and will take me about an hour to do it when in reality it only takes 2 or 3 minutes and should be a $5 or $10 job. Same with mechanics.

"It's gonna take me about 2 hours to change them windshield wipers. You're lookin' at somewhere around $300."
They just want to invent a bunch of reasons so that they can make a bigger profit off of you.

Sure. But that's essentially what you're giving them liberty to do if you don't want to learn basic maintenance tasks yourself, for whatever reason. The same as how a sandwich in a supermarket can cost £2.95 when it costs about £0.20 to make. Such is capitalism.

Is it ethical? That's debatable. I'd personally say no. But equally, doing menial tasks is nobody's idea of fun and I'd generally be okay with someone charging a sufficient amount of money that it's mentally "worth it" to take on people's menial, time-consuming but unstimulated maintenance tasks.
In response to EmpirezTeam (#9)
EmpirezTeam wrote:
There are mechanics where I live that charge like $100 and claim such and such job takes half an hour, but then I can take it to my hispanic buddy, and he's done with it in like 5 minutes and charges very little or a lot of times nothing at all.

That's actually all mechanics that work in a shop, pretty much anywhere. They generally have a book that states how many labor hours a job 'should take' and they calculate it based off of that instead of how many hours it actually does take. They get to be efficient enough to where they can cut the time a great deal and make a pretty big profit off of it. Another thing to consider, though, is that they also have to make sure they meet every single specification for the vehicle they're working on. The proper torque has to be applied to every single bolt and whatnot. Your buddy, however, isn't really obligated to do that. Does it make your buddy any less of a mechanic? Not at all. His work will still function fine even though it's not all up to manufacturer specifications (because usually, those are overkill), but you still have the peace of mind with the mechanic (usually) that everything's the way the manufacturer wanted it.
Just like everyone else said, it is all about peace of mind. These people don't spend their lives on computers like most of you. They probably don't even know what formatting a desktop even means, they just know they were told by their company to do so. I bet I know more about cars than you, and if you asked me to fix something that I would think as simple as hell to fix, and it would probably cost you $15 if you knew what you were doing, I would charge you $500.

You can buy windshield wipers for $7 and it will take you not even two seconds to snap on and off. So $7 and two seconds of you time to do. If you go to GoodYear they will charge you $70. It's just business.
The thing is: Computers, Automotive Mechanics, Electrical Systems in your home, HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) are all trades. It takes years to master these skills. Of course, you can be a Jack of all trades, so to speak, and be able to perform BASIC MAINTENANCE on all of these areas, however, it takes some serious know-how to be able to work the big jobs. That is what makes it worth what can be charged. It's these guys/gals life work to be able to completely jerk a motor/transmission apart and fix whatever may be wrong with it. Some of them even did a year or two of Trade School for it.

It is almost impossible for someone to be proficient as a professional in every possible trade. An Auto Mechanic probably isn't too knowledgeable about the electrical system found in your home, but he can work the electrical system in your car.
Yeah thats my point - people charge hundreds for small and big jobs and not just big jobs. The question is not if I can charge $100 to spend 2 minutes and swap a processor - of course I can lie, claim it's a hard job and over charge someone. The question is SHOULD I.
'Should' you by what system of reasoning?

By the principles of Utility? Probably not.
If you really want money? Yeah, probably should.

I suspect the customer will always think no, and the trades(wo)man will tend to think yes, because they don't want to do your boring, brainless maintenance task for chump change - it's not worth their time to work that way, as they'd just never make enough money for the job to be worth it.
There's a difference between chump change, a reasonable price, and then a ripoff. Not saying people should work for free or for next to nothing, but they shouldn't be charging hundreds of dollars and telling their customers they need this and that when they really don't.

I remember back in the day the Circuit City in my area was taking people's computers and giving them this long list of "repairs" needed when it was only something simple like a virus and all you had to do was maybe run a scan or do a system restore ( both of which take no more than 10 minutes ). Yet they would keep your computer for days to make it seem like they were doing so much work, and you'd get like a $200 bill because they're charging you for everything they did to your computer - even if you didn't need it. For example, they would've probably formatted your computer, but like I said, a scan or system restore usually does the trick, but they don't care, they're going to perform a bunch of tasks on your computer so the list of fees gets higher and higher.

You don't have to scam people in order to make a profit. There are businesses ( i.e. my mechanic ) who won't tell you you need 5 repairs done to your vehicle when you only need one. He was working alone when I first met him - now he has 6 workers and a security guard and so many cars at his shop there's barely enough room to walk around. I think I'll stick with someone trustworthy as opposed to some greedy con who will say and do whatever it takes to get every last dime out of me.

Also I'm confused as to why you said it wouldn't be worth their time. $10 to swap a processor? Hell, I'd do that all day every day. Like I said, it's a 2-3 minute job. Why couldn't I stop what I'm doing, make $10 and earn a potential future customer, then go back to whatever else it was I was doing? Exact same thing my mechanic does. If I show up with some maintenance task, he goes under the hood, and in a minute or two, he's done, he's paid, and I'm back off his lot. Instead of "hurr durr this will be extremely difficult, give me all the money in your wallet."
$10 to swap a processor? Hell, I'd do that all day every day. Like I said, it's a 2-3 minute job.

If you can (unbox new processor, open up the case, unplug obstructive wires, apply thermal paste, put (new)heatsink back on,) swap out (and then store) a processor without damaging either piece of hardware in 2 minutes, I will eat the hat I am wearing.

It's more like 20-30, depending on how awkwardly wired the thing is, whether you'll need to mess around with thermal paste and new fans/heatsinks, etc.

As Stephen said, it's 'essentially the luxury tax for having not learned those basic maintenance things' - you should get charged $40-60 and not $10 because it's fiddly, boring, potentially damaging work.

If you got constant demands to perform a trivial task people could be doing themselves - swapping out people's components, you'd put the prices up too.
I put my AMD Phenom II on my motherboard, heatsink and reapplied thermal paste in no more than 5 minutes. 20-30 minutes? It probably took 20-30 minutes my very first time doing it because I had no idea what I was doing, but once you figure it out, this is nowhere near a half hour task. It doesn't take much to take a chip out of a box, pop the fan on, and plug it into the motherboard. And apparently Intel processors are just as easy:



My prices would never be to the point where I know I'm robbing the crap out of people. Charging someone $100-$200 for 5 minutes of my time is ridiculous unless that person absolutely insists on paying me that much.
I say again my last, go get yourself swamped with potentially awkward people asking you to do something they could learn to do themselves, and then come back and say you don't feel like overcharging them.

It's the customer's job to make sure s/he isn't being ripped off. If they want to be lazy or obnoxious and don't want to do any research into what is or isn't a good deal, it's their own fault that they get ripped off.
The world turns around money, and having it makes you a damn sight better off than not having it.

If people are paying $100 for simple repairs, why would a business looking to make cash NOT charge them $100?
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