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Optimistic and Pessimistic
Estimate for Computer Repair

What estimate should be given to a customer, the worst or the best, the optimistic or pessimistic? This is a very good question having many different answers. The worst estimate can be the first and, at the same time, the last one for this particular customer. He will simply leave you switching to a cheaper (as he thinks) service. So for marketing it seems to be a very bad idea to give a realistic estimate in the very beginning. But let's think together how bad or good both ways are.

In many cases our company starts considering every new task with the worst case scenario. If a proper work was never done to a computer we can’t expect any mystery. A $10 work is not counted, sorry. :) But if we see in the process that this particular computer is new, in a good condition, and it doesn’t require the steps like cleaning, resealing, putting a new paste, lubricating, etc., that only means, that the work will be cheaper for you since we don’t need to do that. But once we start working on a computer we prefer to fix all dangerous points in it to guarantee that nothing will happen in the nearest future for these particular reasons. It doesn't mean that this computer is very bad or in a bad condition, it just means that a required work should be done to extend this computer life to keep it for a customer and finally save money, nothing else. So here is the worst estimate is coming from. Yes, we can skip all these very important steps and say that it will be much cheaper for the customer. We can reinstall the operating system over the customer data files deleting everything that should be preserved, forgetting to install antivirus software, etc. many companies do that telling the customers that it was impossible to save their files. Finally the customer after he paid the money will have to fix his computers again and again just to get it working. If we didn't care of the customers we could do that but we cannot, because we are responsible for the work we did. As a result, our customers initially get the worst pessimistic estimate with a comment that the price usually goes down and never up.

Is it really unusual in the business world? Yes, it is. Usually the final amount can be significantly decreased and this is normal for us. But the customers usually cannot easily understand why they had to pay much less that they agreed in the very beginning. We realize how bad that is for us and for the ads. But we don’t want to trap a potential customer with some unreal amount like $10-$30 for a whole day work, and then release the price, getting it much higher after the papers are signed and the work is started. We know that many companies usually give a very low estimate only to attract the customers. We know about one very funny guy (as he writes about himself, expert with a 30 year experience) in Phoenix promising to fix your computer for just $10, but additionally charging for all parts, etc. Does he pay you from his own pocket for a pleasure to fix your computer? The work, doing by an expert, who spent his entire life, polishing his skills to do that better than others, should not be cheap by default, or there is something wrong in this world.

We don’t think so. We are sure that he simply skips all required steps to make your computer better, faster, safer, more reliable, etc. It's physically impossible to do everything for a computer in just a few minutes and get good results. First of all, the computer speed is not enough to save the user data to prevent any file loss, to install the whole operating system, then antivirus software, all service packs and updates, utilities, etc. Second, many tweaks and tunings require a very detailed work with the computer to make it usable for a customer, and skipping just a few steps can lead to a great disaster in the future. In some cases it's possible to configure just one computer and then clone the whole hard drive in 20-30 minutes to get a full digital office of absolutely similar 10-20 machines, but these cases are unique and the tricks like this can be used only in some rare cases. So why do people use a cheap $10 trick, just to attract more customers? For sure, what else? This $10 trap is just a reason to start talking with you, to stop you, to let you open the door, come in and close this door right behind you back to keep you inside. It’s just some kind of show to make you believe that this particular company is the cheapest and the greatest in the area. In many cases like this the price starts growing up as soon as the door is closed until the customer is ready to completely reject it, but it’s often too late since the work is already started. Is it a good practice? Only for people believing that all their computer problems can be resolved for just $10. Compare all that to a plumber charging $70 per hour or to AC guys charging from $325 to $600-$700 to replace your $45 Fan Motor in 20 minutes. Maybe you will understand something.

Our company always gives a maximum expectation from the very beginning but always decrease the price accordingly after everything is done. If we were unable to predict something before we started working with you it is our problem. We will never skip the items that we promised to fix, just because it took a little longer than we expected. But is it a right way to go? Or we're just losing our potential customers scaring them with the real prices for the service so that they are leaving us switching to the guys promising everything for just $10? We have many customers recommending us to their friends or colleagues and we are sure that our way is the best way to go. But maybe we are wrong and we’d better provide the incorrect info to our customers only to keep them. Which way is better? Let's discuss that. Any good ideas will be greatly apreciated.

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