Friday, November 21, 2008

One stupid CMOS battery.

A while back I had a client call me for an onsite job.
She was sales staff for a busy newsagency whom Ive done a lot of work for over the years.
They are both in South West Rocks about 30 kms from my workshop so its a fair drive.
The computer had the usual issues.
No antivirus, lots of porn related spyware and running very slowly.
In about 2 hours I had it cleaned up and running smoothly.
On the last reboot of the system the BIOS indicated the CMOS battery had failed.
She said the message had been occuring randomly for a month or two.
I usually carry a spare CMOS battery in my kit, but had used the last one in a job a few days before.
Shit happens. Nothing I could do.
All the shops were shut so I couldnt purchase one in town (yes I was in overtime).
I finished what I could and gave her the bill.
 I only charged her one hour and waived the onsite fee as Id allready done a job for the News agency.
(I charge for travel depending on distance. Fuel costs make this necessary)
Cant be fairer than that.
She asked me how often I came out to The Rocks and I answered that on rare occasion I took the kids out to the beach.
She says to me "well you can just come out and replace it one weekend when your here and I wont have to pay your onsite fee".

I think to myself, you cunning old shit, Ive done you a favour already and you're getting ready to chisel me for the next job. I tell her "No, if you want me out here again you will have to make it a new job and a callout". If she organises with her boss I'll do two jobs and split the onsite fee. Im not prepared to use my weekend to fix computers, by the end of the week I dont want to even look at one.

Anyway I dont hear from her so I assume shes had it sorted by Arakoon Computers. He's just down the road from her so it's very convenient.

Six months later I get a call from the lady. She says that her computer is now failing to boot and its all my fault becasue I didnt come back to replace the CMOS battery. She gets quite heated.
I remind her of what I said to her prior to leaving but she wont listen to this.
She puts her husband on and hes starts with the heavy scenario.
Apparently because I didnt have the component to fix the system at the time its my problem and he wants it fixed for free.

Theres lots of components I dont carry on site with me, if I dont have one thats just tough shit.

They had plenty of time to call either myself of the local computer tech to remedy the issue.

I tell him in no uncertain terms that I wont be fixing a problem I didnt create.

He hangs up in my ear. Problem solved.

Thing is, I hear later that she's told her boss what a horrible person I am and hows its all my fault.

I dont get any more work from The Newsagency.
Bit of a shame both ways as I had a pretty good rapport with them and had always given prompt and effective service.

I saw them recently in the Rocks Mall and they hung their heads and walked away.

If people are prepared to accept hearsay, and not even discuss the issue with me its their loss.

PS: I wish now I wasnt so discreet in hiding the porn cookies as I removed them.
There were some very interesting titles among them.

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