I just realized why you should never help people with tech problems, at least for free.

I went to grab the rent from a family that lives in my grandma's childhood home.

The father asks me if I could have a look at their new internet connection because it doesn't open any pages on the browser.

After fiddling for about an hour and a half trying every trick in the book and gently explaining to his children how everything is supposed to work (kids need to learn how these machines work imho) I ask him to give me his service provider number and confirmed that indeed the problem was that the connection wasn't activated on their side. Installed chrome, set the date,/time because it wouldn't sync and told them twice how to get past the certificate problem should some page not open. Smiles all around, all is well.

Fast forward next to next morning and I get a call from the guy telling me his internet doesn't work because he pulled out the power cable for whatever reason. I instruct him to restart the router just to be sure and then ask him what's on the screen. Turns out it was the certificate problem. I try as best I can explaining and reminding him how to get past but he doesn't understand. He goes on asking me to "come over for 5minutes and have a look at it". I politely tell him that just the trip is half an hour and that I am currently in the middle of exams to finish university. His tone becomes increasingly passive aggressive as I tell him again that it's isn't possible for me to make the time for a one hour round trip at the moment. Hangs up with a grim "right right whatever you say."

First time I was genuinely angry at a person being both so ungrateful after helping them and not even trying to fix something after I took the time to explain it to them.

  • 16
    Similar things happen to everyone. Actually, as a rule of thumb - when you help somebody (esp. for free) once with some computer related problem, all future problems become your responsibility. And, of course, as people are as they are, their problems take priority over everything else.

    P.S. Been there for many years, done that too many times, finally decided to stop - better be considered as rude than to work for free for ungrateful people. As Joker ;) said: "If you're good at something, never do it for free."
  • 0
    @firusvg Hear, hear. I never had to deal with that because my friend was the goody two shoes kind that everybody ran to. Sadly he moved away so now I get friends/acquaintances ringing me up for the umpteenth time when their Facebook doesn't work :P
  • 2
    I usually just give some basic advice and then the number to a local PC repair outfit. It's then up to them if they want to pay to have it fixed. I never get bothered with it after that and it keeps the local guy in business. Everyone's happy.
  • 2
    Just say you charge $2 per minute.
  • 1
    Personally I just help family and close friends. Other people can fuck off.
  • 1
    Lesson learned. Sounds ungrateful.
  • 3
    I just tell people I don't know anything about computers. It confuses the hell out of them.
  • 2
    when people expect me to help them with their computer problems for free I like to turn it around and ask them come mow my yard for free.
  • 1
    Man I've learned to pass certain people off to professionals who won't bat an eye to charge them a fee and, in the end, free up my time.

    User: Hey, can you take a look at this error on my phone?
    Me: Sure. Hmm... looks like you need to reinstall Android. Here's a number for a place that does it for you....
  • 0
    god damn it makes reading "for 5 minutes" me angry af. they sure as hell take everything as granted
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