A question on ethics.

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On 12/12/2013 11:55 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You are /absolutely/ not bound to give the customer /any/ of it.
You are the de facto vendor in this situation. You were the one who made the purchase and your are the owner until you resell it. For you to have gone through the work of selecting the item you are entitled to payment for your expertise. At any rate, a reseller is certainly entitled to a profit.
Once you purchased the item and resell it...you are only bound to sell it for what you quoted the customer.
Let your conscience be your guide and simply charge a /fair price/ for the job as a whole.
What people really care about is that the appliance works reliably and was installed properly. If you did that, then you did your job.
If you are bound by conscience on the one hand to do the right thing...and on the other by being a human being and wanting to keep the rebate...here is what you can do:
After you present the bill... tell the customer,
" By the way, I got a small rebate on the item, would you prefer me to deduct the amount from your invoice or shall I simply apply it to an extended warranty on the installation ?"
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On Friday, December 13, 2013 10:58:25 AM UTC-5, philo  wrote:

He's not a reseller. The client asked him to pick out, pay for and install an appliance. We don't know the exact verbal contract that was struck, but it sure sounds like the expectation was that the client was expecting to get the same price that client would get if they went to the store and bought it themselves. I would expect that he presented the client with a receipt showing what he paid. In my world, that's not a reseller, it's a person providing a service and getting paid an agreed on amount for the service that has nothing to do with the cost of the appliance. Would he have been able to pick out an appliance for $300 and then charge the customer $350? I doubt the customer was agreeing to that. IMO, the customer is entitled to the rebated. And I would have just given the customer the necessary receipt/paperwork so they could file the rebate themselves.

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On 12/13/2013 10:19 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I specifically said "de facto". The OP made the purchase and he resold it. He is only legally bound to the terms he made with the end user.
That said: I agree there is a difference between what is legal and what is moral. OTOH: A contractor needs to be fair to himself as well as his customer.
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On Friday, December 13, 2013 11:41:08 AM UTC-5, philo  wrote:

And do you think from the description of the situation it's likely that the client said "Go buy an appliance and charge me whatever you like for it." Or do you think they said "Go buy me an appliance and I'll reimburse you for what it costs and pay you $100 for getting it and installing it?" Sure sounds like the latter to me.

I seriously doubt that the contract struck was one where he can charge whatever he wants for the appliance. Perhaps the OP can supply the missing details, but I'm betting the arrangement was one where he was to be reimbursed for the cost of the appliance. In which case, I would hope you would agree, the customer is entitled to the rebated.
And I would have provided the customer with the rebate form and whatever is necessary to claim it, because sometimes the rebate never shows up and I would not want it to be my problem.
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On 12/13/2013 11:21 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

No one here but the OP would know what the agreement was.
Whatever it was however, is what the OP is bound to do.
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On 12/13/2013 12:21 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

to be upset when s/he learns of a later rebate. They will say "it's not fair".
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On 12/13/2013 10:19 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

When I do service work, I charge a higher price than what I pay for any item I provide because I'm using my resources to pay for it. I'm not a wholesale supplier and I don't sell material to make money. I sell my time and will add the price of my time for obtaining any large item. I keep supplies in stock and I don't bill a customer the same price I paid for anything, I'm going to make a profit. Years ago, I had a friend who worked for NCR and they charged a minimum of $1.50 for any small item like a screw or tiny resistor that may have cost 5 cents. That is what a business does and it's not stealing and it's completely ethical. If a customer supplies a large item and not the hardware to install the item, I will charge for what I supply and it's not going to be 10 cents. ^_^
TDD
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On 12/13/2013 11:32 AM, The Daring Dufas wrote:

That's right, your expertise deserves to be paid.
Here is something I did:
I have a friend who is a professional photographer and I do all of his computer repair work and I generally do not charge him for my time.
Even though I warned him many times about backing up all his data...on two occasions I've done major data recovery jobs for him that took me countless hours...and never charged him a cent.
I told him I was never going to to anything for him again unless he got a back up drive...so he asked me how much that would cost.
I saw a drive at NewEgg for $100 and told him it would be $100
When I went to order it...I then saw there was a $20 rebate.
I never mentioned it to him but I took it.
The only thing I feel guilty about is not charging him for the data recovery jobs. A lab would have charged at least $600 per job.
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On 12/13/2013 12:20 PM, philo wrote:

I've found that many people who complain about what I charge based on what they think an item costs at a wholesale house, are often the same people who pay a lawyer $150.00 for a few sheets of paper with some writing on it. They can't seem to understand that I'm selling the same thing as their lawyer, "My time" and I find it very insulting when someone thinks my time isn't worth anything and they can just take it up without paying for my product which is my time. When someone takes up my time then complains about the bill, I ask them if they would like to pay my cost? If they say yes, I hand them a bill for $400,000.00 which freaks them out. I explain that's what my cost over 40 years is to reach this point. ^_^
TDD
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On 12/13/2013 12:47 PM, The Daring Dufas wrote:

Here is where my perceptions changed:
I called a plumber to replace the inlet valve to my house.
Of course he had all the necessary tools and parts with him and I watched him cut and thread a custom length pipe. He did the whole thing in 90 minutes and charged me about $450.
Wow, I said, that's a lot of money.
He told me he was charging me "by the book" and that particular job was a $450 job. I was paying for his expertise not his time.
When I realized I would have taken all day and countless trips to hardware store...and it would have leaked all over hell when ...I realized the $450 was actually pretty reasonable.
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On 12/13/2013 02:16 PM, philo wrote:

Your plumber is no doubt successful - in part because he does know what he's doing, and in part because he was able to make you understand exactly why you were paying a high price for his services and not feel ripped off or offended. The latter is a skill that is no less important than the technical skill.
nate
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Context is everything. If the customer asked you to get the best price, that is one thing. A bait and switch is another. Charging more than you paid for something is to be expected, yet does not have to happen if you are not putting yourself in a financial hole to accomplish this.
People will treat regulars differently than an out of thin air customer. A repeat customer will get better deals. A new customer, unless work is grim, will get the standard quote with expected mark up. I worked for a man that high-balled all new installations. He did not care. He did not want the work. He made his money off of fixing other people's mistakes. He would tell his customers to put the job out to bid and that he would come in later and make the system work.
In the end, the customer paid around the same price, but my previous employer did not have to mess with the hassle of a new installation, change-orders, time- lines, and the usual cost overruns associated with getting a facility up and running, either as a gen or sub-contractor. I care not to explain the entire process, but he had a niche market for himself, and that was beneficial to me at the time.
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On 12/13/2013 03:30 PM, Irreverent Maximus wrote:

Well, most of the people I repair computers for have very little money so if I charge at all, it's typically just $25.
Only once did I get a job for a very wealthy business man but since it went over 5 hours, I gave them a 20% discount.
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Nothing wrong with that. I suspect that you have a love of what you are doing, too. I had a love of what I did, but my body did not. Well, with the exception of the last year and a half with one employer. That was all TS&R. Once my employer wanted me to wear multiple hats again (be a one man work crew), I went elsewhere. My body no longer liked digging trench, laying out/lifting heavy things, pretty much entire projects, all by myself.
It felt good to wake up in the morning and not feel like I had been rolled down a hill in a barrel full of rocks. I do, however, have an urge to further my PLC skills and work in a pure motor control environment. Nothing like toting a laptop instead of all the other crap. That, and my wallet might stop bitching at me. :-)
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On 12/13/2013 04:09 PM, Irreverent Maximus wrote:

I was in the industrial battery business for 38 years...the large ones found in fork lift trucks. Two years ago my knees went and had to get them replaced. I am glad to be retired now.
Although even after the knees were replaced they are not as good as new...my back sure feels a lot better now.
I have been sort of forced to learn how to repair laptops now...as towers and desktops are not as prevalent as they once were.
I look at laptops more as watch repair though.
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On 12/13/2013 4:15 PM, philo wrote:

I fix computers all the time and replace screens in laptops. I picked up three broken laptops from a pawn shop for $100 and was able to get two of them working right away because they had software problems and dead batteries. Another thing I do is get batteries and chargers for folks who have dead laptops. Of the three laptops I bought one is a 17" Toshiba with a full sized keyboard having the numeral keys on the right side. I got it so I could watch movies and surf the web while I was in my hospital bed. The Toshiba has Win Vista and the smaller HP has Win 7 the third laptop has some sort of BIOS problem which prevents it from accessing the internal hard drive, It runs fine off a live Linux CD. I've got quite a collection of different laptops and desktops now and have a lot of fun with computers. ^_^
TDD
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The Daring Dufas wrote:

Any of them has HDMI port?
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On 12/13/2013 11:52 PM, Tony Hwang wrote:

Yea, the HP Win7 laptop has an HDMI port that I've thought of hooking up to our 55" LCD TV. I have a remote control that plugs into a USB port on a computer and was thinking of using it for the big screen. My roommate has an HP Win7 laptop too that has an HDMI port and we've hooked it up to the big screen to watch some movies I downloaded for him. I rarely watch the big screen or TV in general because I have vision problems and it's easier for me to watch everything on one of the desktops we have around here that have 23" LCD monitors. I do have a ton of desktops that I could use for the big screen but I have no urgent need to do it. ^_^
TDD
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On 12/13/2013 4:09 PM, Irreverent Maximus wrote:

I worked one day last month with JH and Stinky, installing a computer and VoIP network. I was installing jacks on the Cat5 cable and testing the cable to verify proper operation. The Cat5 cable tested almost as good as Cat6 so I knew we did a good job. I had been getting up and down to install jacks and test the network so I put a lot of stress on my joints. It took me two weeks to recover from that job. I spent part of two days this month helping install a wireless IP camera system for a guy and I remarked to JH that I couldn't understand why I was in so much pain while we were driving home. I finally realized that while I wasn't climbing a ladder or running the power cable, I had gotten under the desk a number of times to get the computer, the DVR and KVM switch working. The house also had a flight of stairs going out back that I had negotiated several times while testing the system. I tend to concentrate on what I'm doing and before I became very ill and was working on big installations, I would look down and see that I was bleeding wondering where in the hell the blood came from and when did I get cut. I only hurt when I stop working and the pain gets my attention. o_O
TDD
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On Friday, December 13, 2013 11:30:14 PM UTC-6, The Daring Dufas wrote: I tend to concentrate

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