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View Full Version : do you think taking hardware for tech support is right or wrong?



Dustin2128
October 11th, 2010, 04:45 AM
Title pretty much says it; do you think that taking, say, RAM sticks or GPUs in payment for fixing someone's computer is right or wrong? I think it's fine; most people don't need 5GB of RAM or a geforce 280, and they'll be happy not to pay a fee.

formaldehyde_spoon
October 11th, 2010, 04:52 AM
You mean with their knowledge, no? If they're happy and you're happy, there's no problem...

jrusso2
October 11th, 2010, 06:27 AM
As long as both sides are happy. Its called barter and was and still is used all over the world.

Legendary_Bibo
October 11th, 2010, 06:30 AM
Somehow I have a feeling that this is related to my thread. :lolflag:

NightwishFan
October 11th, 2010, 07:07 AM
Without their say-so is called stealing. :) Though I happen to agree that someones grandma does not need an i7 to check her email (and I am stuck with t4400 to run my virtualization, granted Ubuntu server kernel does an amazing job on that poor little cpu).

CharlesA
October 11th, 2010, 07:23 AM
Without getting their OK, it's stealing.

If they are giving it to you as payment, it would be fine.

julio_cortez
October 11th, 2010, 07:36 AM
Without getting their OK, it's stealing.
If they are giving it to you as payment, it would be fine.
This.
Anyway, the only time it happened, I asked before doing it, when I replaced a CD burner on my uncle's PC with a DVD burner. My old PC was missing a CD burner so I asked him if I could use his one (which he would have wasted otherwise) on my PC.

sendblink23
October 11th, 2010, 07:57 AM
Honestly I provide better tech support than any place :P - for free(actually for just a few beers & we're cool)

All my buddies always come to my house when they have issues with their pc's, laptops, netbooks & macs - even to build them, screen/hardware replacements or to make some random mod.

I've never contacted ever tech support, only RMA support example a faulty hardware lol

toupeiro
October 11th, 2010, 08:15 AM
Nothing wrong with a good old fashioned barter or trade. Making money is all well and good, however, when I once setup an auto shop mechanics home network for a set of ported and polished racing heads he machined himself, that was a priceless trade, worth more than the currency I would have normally charged for such a job.

I built my first computer ever at 14-15 doing summer jobs at my uncles computer shop. A brand new 486 DX-4 100... This is back when VLB was the stuff and I had a S3 GENDAC video card with 4MB of RAM. It was a screamer for its day, probably retailed at almost 2K.. How many teens in the early 90's could have got their hands on a system like this and called it all theirs? Bartering is great!

gintovan
October 11th, 2010, 09:33 AM
Well Of course, why wouldn't it be okay?
If it's as payment from a friend or something, I think it's more than fine. Great way to help each other, without involving money per say.
No different than getting a beer after having helped someone http://media.bigoo.ws/content/smile/party/party_7.gif

papangul
October 11th, 2010, 09:54 AM
Barter is ok, but in this particular case it is somewhat awkward. I won't take a piece of hardware even if the person agrees to give it to me because, maybe he/she a gullible person and I am just taking advantage of his/her gullibility.

CraigPaleo
October 11th, 2010, 12:24 PM
Taking anything for payment as long as it's legal (no sex or drugs) and both parties agree, is fine.

cascade9
October 11th, 2010, 12:49 PM
It would depend on what you took, for how much labour,a nd what the person who owns it needs. Example-

Swapping out a GTS250 for a GT220, for doing a full reinstall of windows (or a linux install)and the owner is a nno-gamer- fine.

Removing a GTS250 and leaving the owner with some poxy onbaord intel 'GPU' for a 5 minute program install/update, and the owner is a gamer- totally not fine.


Taking anything for payment as long as it's legal (no sex or drugs) and both parties agree, is fine.

Prostitution is legal in some places, and as for drugs...even the US with its insane laws hasnt stopped them.

t0p
October 11th, 2010, 12:56 PM
I certainly can't see any problem in being paid for fixing someone's computer. And if you'd rather get hardware than cash, so be it. The barter system predates the monetary system by thousands of years.

As for the idea of taking advantage of gullible customers: that can also happen if you ask for money. If a customer really has no idea of what they should pay you, and/or don't know the value of their un-needed hardware, the onus is on you to ask for a reasonable fee.

CraigPaleo
October 11th, 2010, 01:27 PM
Prostitution is legal in some places, and as for drugs...even the US with its insane laws hasnt stopped them.

Even in the US, prostitution is legal in Nevada and some states allow "medical" marijuana. Amsterdam, though... whoa! You could have a heart attack accepting payment over there! :P

juancarlospaco
October 11th, 2010, 04:07 PM
Its so common here, on computer shops (all windows based), that the expert(?)
say to the user that the Particle Accelerator of the PC is broken,
and buying a new motherboard(or something equal expensive) is needed,
the user didn't know what to do, and buy the expensive part,
then the computer shop make a "new" cheap PC made by stealed parts.

Also V.I.P.(?) prices are used too, or wait 2 weeks - 1 month

Khakilang
October 12th, 2010, 06:18 AM
If they agreed to give the hardware and it is equal to the amount for your service than it is ok. But I would prefer cash.

BenAshton24
October 12th, 2010, 07:52 AM
So long as you have a 30 day return policy so that your customers have time to see whether they are satisfied with the performance changes. If someone is calling tech support then the chances are that they have no idea what your saying when you ask if a gig of ram is acceptable payment.

MooPi
October 12th, 2010, 08:18 AM
I've been paid for my services in a multitude of ways. Once while scanning for virus I noticed a large Beatles collection and the owner gladly gave me the whole collection. Very Nice. I've been paid with cookies, hugs, free rounds of golf, and the very best a return visit because they didn't renew their AV subscription :(
People have given me entire computers that were old and of no use to them and I would Frankencumpute them back to health, Good times.

koleoptero
October 12th, 2010, 10:03 AM
Taking anything for payment as long as it's legal (no sex or drugs) and both parties agree, is fine.

Sex is illegal? My god how are we going to reproduce? :P

I can easily think of a couple of cases I'd do any amount of tech support for sex.

forrestcupp
October 12th, 2010, 12:38 PM
Somehow it sounds like you're talking about taking stuff you don't think they need without their knowing it, and they'll never know the difference.

I go along with a lot of people here. If they don't know you're doing it, it's stealing and that is wrong, even if you don't think they really need it.


Barter is ok, but in this particular case it is somewhat awkward. I won't take a piece of hardware even if the person agrees to give it to me because, maybe he/she a gullible person and I am just taking advantage of his/her gullibility.Excellent point.

Along that same line, sometimes we geeks think that just because a person is hardware ignorant and they don't have a clue about how things work, it means that they don't need all that extra hardware. A person doesn't have to know what 6GB of RAM is to need it and take advantage of it. And just because you think they don't need advanced hardware doesn't mean they won't need it in the future.

But if they completely understand what they're doing, I don't think it's wrong at all to accept hardware as payment for support as long as you're not a corporation trying to bypass the tax system.