How to say 'NO' to ass****s with broke PC's?

Over the years I’ve been somewhat of a doormat for people that continueously mis-configure their computers and feel the need to contact me to fix them. I admit, it was mostly my fault for always fixing their problems. I’ve been paid many times over for the work done, and the people are generally pretty happy with the work. But…, they keep coming back. I do not want them to come back. Fixing PC’s will always be an ongoing thing in the day and age, and I want no part of it. I hate them, I wish I never got started with computers. Back in the day, I was all about PC’s - games all the way through fixing hardware and resolving software issues. Hell, I even enjoyed it. Now all I care about is ordering stuff online, MP3’s and message boards, I care for nothing else about PC’s. The only thing I consider fixing is my own stuff and my fathers stuff, THAT’S IT! Now I cringe everytime someone calls wanted something “resolved” and all I want to say is, “I’m just not into it anymore, please leave me alone.” Is that to much to ask? Or maybe I should tell them to open up a ticket? Dammit, how do I resolve this issue? Thanks in advance all.

How do I say NO to helping them with their problems?

Sorry for the useage of ass****s in my thread title. I only say that because when people ask me over and over to fix their PC’s, my body language and tone of voice kinda already tells them “look, I don’t want to do it.” But they just don’t get it. Again, I know it’s my fault. I just want to put an end to it without coming off as some jerk.

Do you know anybody else you can recommend them to go to?

“My consulting fees are very reasonable,” usually works.

They immediately go and look up some other psuedo-stranger who they think will do work for free.

There’s always the Broken Dish Theory. Which states that no one will ask you to wash dishes if you break them everytime you do them. So, if you break their computer, no more fixin’.
This is probably a very bad idea since computers cost more than dishes though…

One suggestion may be to ween yourself off of it by suggesting that they have to bring the computer to you to fix it. If it’s that important of a problem that’d they take the time to uproot it and bring it over, well, then help 'em. More likely than not they won’t and you don’t come off as much as the bad person.

I dunno what’ll work. It’s a sticky situation if you want to keep in the good graces of your friends and family and not come off looking bad.

That’s what I’m afraid of. I mean I don’t mind helping someone out every once in a while. But sometimes I just feel taken advantage of, and especially after I don’t really care for computers anymore other than to do my job and my own personal stuff. It’s more of a chore and is no longer self fulfilling, something like that.
Revtim, I’d let them know in a second, but I know no one personally that I could refer them to.

I’d just say “hey, you know that I’m glad to help, but I’m just feeling a little bit taken advantage of, here. Why don’t you bring it to a shop this time.”

Luckily, even though I help out family and friends with tech stuff that is my level, they haven’t taken advantage of me, and it’s something that I really enjoy. If I started to feel put-upon, though, this is what I’d e-mail to them.

I honestly think if you are straight with people, they’ll understand and respect your position. When you offer help, people sometimes assume you are doing so because you are really into it and looking for any opportunity to get involved.

I went through a bit of this as an undergrad. I was (and still am) far from an expert, but I was into upgrading and swapping out hardware. After I answered a few questions, suddenly I became tech support for the floor. Soon I pointed out that this was not my job and not even a fun hobby. I was matter-of-fact about it, not angry, and it was no big deal. This is their problem, not yours. If they turn it around to where you are somehow responsible, then they are assholes.

  • Open the computer…look inside…make a gesture or facial expression as if you suddenly figured out how to fix it…hit it as hard as you can with an 8lb sledge hammer.
    -“I’m not familiar with that particular brand and I don’t want to break it.”
    -“Have you boiled it? You have to boil it to kill any computer viruses. Try that first and then call me.”
    -Punch the person who asks you in the face and say “sure”. Do this every time you fix their PC. Eventually they will stop asking.

I try to give them pointers. Prod them in the right direction. give them suggestions, try to get them to fix it themselves.

Something that might work in your specific situation would be to simply say “You know, I’m not really into computers much anymore, and I wouldn’t have a clue where to start. Why don’t you try calling <local tech support shop>?”

Just keep putting it off. “Sorry, I’m real busy this weekend, but maybe soon.” They’ll get the idea sooner or later.

I’ve always enjoyed, “Sorry, I work with Macs, not Windows. My computer’s working just fine…” :wink:

-Have them bring it over. Sell it on Ebay. “…you say you asked me to do what with what now?”