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Rates and Fees

Exceptional Service at Affordable Rates

Each year we discover increasingly cost effective ways to run our operations. So, we pass the savings on to you and generally charge less today than what we’ve charged in the past. Our current rate structure is as follows.

Personal Services – $100 per Hour

  • Phone, remote or on-site support are billed in 6 minute increments.
  • For phone support of 6 minutes or greater has $16 minimum fee.
  • For on-site support there is a minimum fee of $40 per visit.
  • Time billed includes round-trip travel time and 50 cents per mile. This fee may be waived at our discretion.
  • Emergency, short-notice, or after hours support may include an additional fee of $20 per hour.

Business Services – $120 per Hour

  • Our home business, small business, and non-profit fees are at the personal services rates listed above.
  • Phone, remote or on-site support are billed in 6 minute increments.
  • For phone support of 6 minutes or greater has $20 minimum fee.
  • For on-site support there is a minimum fee of $50 per visit.
  • Time billed includes round-trip travel time and 50 cents per mile. This fee may be waived at our discretion.
  • Emergency, short-notice, or after hours support may include an additional fee of $50 per hour.

Travel Time and Expense

We make every effort to minimize travel time and expenses to keep your costs down. Yet, here’s why we charge for round trip travel time and mileage:

  • Much of the support and training we provide is done using remote support software, and through phone or email communications. Often people will bring their computers to us. So, there’s much work to be done, charging our normal rates, that doesn’t involve any travel time. Travel is an additional expense that needs to be covered.
  • Increasingly we’ve found that many of the on-site support calls we make are for minor repairs that take only a few minutes, yet the cost and time of travel still need to be recuperated.
  • Some service providers charge a minimum fee for trips. Because we have some clients within walking distance (a few minutes), and others a 30 minute drive away, we feel it’s better to charge for round-trip travel time and vehicle mileage (if applicable) instead. In this way, services delivered to distant locations are recuperated during those service calls.

Why Our Business Rates Are Higher

We’re sometimes asked why our business rates are higher than our rates for personal services. It would seem that fixing a computer or providing support should cost the same regardless of who is being supported. Here are some reasons why it costs us more to provide services to businesses.

  • Billing. Typically businesses need more detailed billing and invoices. For projects that extend over several days or weeks, time accounting and project tracking can be required. These things are difficult to track for billing purposes so it’s easier just to build this into the hourly rate.
  • Certification. Time and money invested in special certifications may be required for some work. Additional training in areas like networking or HIPAA compliance may be required.
  • Downtime. Businesses generally need to avoid having any downtime. This means projects need to be followed through to completion as quickly as possible. There can be a higher level of risk and stress in such circumstances.
  • Proposals. Preparing estimates and proposals can take lot of time. When we get a job that we bid on, then we recuperate some of that cost. Yet sometimes bids or proposals get turned down. So, the loss of these unfruitful meetings with businesses needs to be recuperated somehow in the aggregate to offset time spent on research and meetings that doesn’t produce any income. This typically doesn’t happen in the home consumer environment.
  • Ongoing and Small Requests. Businesses are a greater beneficiary of the ongoing support we provide with small requests. There’s a cost to providing this kind of rapid response to quick questions. So, understandably, businesses are higher maintenance. With home users, a typical service call takes a few hours, and then months may go by before our services may be needed again.
  • Tools. Business equipment is typically more sophisticated and complicated which requires a greater level of expertise and training as well as additional tools for repair.
  • Workplace Environment. The pace of work for home users is much more layback.

Rate Comparison

Our $100 per hour rate is about what we were charging in 1990. At that time, we were told we weren’t charging enough.  To get an idea of how our rates compare to others in the industry, we monitor the support rates of our competitors. An example would be Cam Commerce with support rates as of August 2012 at $150 per call and then an additional $50 for every 15 minutes. So, the first hour would be $350 and then $200 an hour thereafter. Another local tech provider charges $150 per hour. So, we feel our rates are comparable to others in the industry.

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* Rate increases were made on 4 January 2015, 11 January 2014, and on 1 January 2012. Back in 1998 we were charing $80 per hour. In 1999 the rate was $90 per hour. So, today’s fees haven’t gone up much since then.