If you know how to fix a broken computer, people with broken computers think you’re some kind of god. Your friends and family will flock to you with their computer problems. While you love them and will gladly help them, you should never do it for free. Here are five very important reasons why.
You’ll Be Expected to Do It Forever
If you fix a friend’s computer for free one time, you can bet that friend will come to you every time their computer breaks for the rest of your lives. They’ll come back to you, and they won’t expect to pay anything because they didn’t have to before. If you do it once, you’re expected to do it again. If you do try to charge in the future, your friend will whine about it. Even if they pay, they’ll feel like you cheated them somehow, as unfair as that is.
You’ll Be Expected to Do It for Everyone
When you fix one friend or family member’s computer for free, what standards do you have for charging everyone else? If you don’t make things even across the board, someone will get their feelings hurt. You’ll be showing favoritism by doing it for free for one friend and not the next. Even if you aren’t advertising your services, you can bet your friend will tell another that if they need their computer fixed, you’ll do it for free. Don’t start a trend.
Computers are important. People rely on them for just about everything, yet most people don’t know what to do if they break. The work you do to fix a friend’s computer is extremely important. What will they do if they don’t have their computer? Your service is extremely valuable. Don’t cheapen yourself or your skills by giving things away for free. In most cases, your friend will gladly pay whatever it takes just to be able to use their computer again. While that’s not an excuse to rip them off, it’s certainly means you shouldn’t let them rip you off, either.
You’ll Make People Lose Respect for Your Services
When people get things for free, they tend not to respect those things as much because they didn’t cost them anything. They’ll take anything free for granted. It cost nothing, so they’ll treat it that way. If you fix a computer for free, you risk losing the respect of the people you did it for. It’s ironic, but it’s true. They’ll think that because you’re not charging them anything, it’s not worth that much anyway.
You’re Ruining It for Everyone Else
While fixing one computer for free isn’t going to depress the entire market, it’s not something you should take so lightly. If all knowledgeable tech people starting offering their services for free or a very low cost, it will cheapen not only their work, but everyone’s. If you fix a friend’s computer for free, they might expect your other friend to do it for free the next time. They’ll think if you did it, they should, too. Once again, don’t start a trend.
Andreas Svensson is an IT specialist and computer geek who has a passion for writing.