An interim version of Prussia.Net’s new IT Support rates starts today.

I say “interim” because, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m selecting a business to handle this stuff long-term — a company rather than an individual because one person simply can’t be available 24/7.

I haven’t finished that yet, so I can’t give you full details. However, the hourly rate will be cheaper if the work is done as part of a pre-paid plan, rather than responding as tasks pop up randomly.

Meanwhile, from today I’ll be charging new rates for work I do personally. It’s the first change in two years.

So what are the rates?

The full rate card is on the website (82kB PDF). The key changes:

  • The base “standard rate” rises from $140 to $150 per hour, in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase since 1 September 2006.

  • Call-out fees rise by $5, again in line with CPI.

  • There is no longer a discounted “SOHO Rate”. When we first introduced this discount for very small businesses, I envisaged being able to use junior staff to deal with “simple” set-ups. However these days even very small businesses have more sophisticated IT needs, and I discovered the hard way that “cheap” staff don’t have the professionalism and range of skills which our clients are used to. A tiny business with only basic IT knowledge actually needs more knowledgeable support because their computer users often can’t describe a problem accurately.

  • Discounts for pre-payment only. At this stage, the only discounts offered off the list rate will be for pre-paid work. I will contact you individually if this applies.

  • There is no “emergency call-out fee”. This concept assumed, in effect, that we’d drop another client’s work if you paid us more money. That strikes me as unfair. Instead, we’ll work through our jobs like a nurse does triage on emergency patients: critical tasks first, then in the order they came in.

The rate card is also simpler to understand:

  • The base rate is $150 per hour, unless we have to hire a specialist.

  • There’s a call-out fee if we come to you, which varies according to distance.

  • If we come to you, it’s a 30-minute minimum, then we charge in 15-minute blocks.

  • Otherwise it’s a 10-minute minimum, then we charge in 5-minute blocks.

The new rates apply to all IT Support job tickets opened after 0800 Sydney time today, and our General Terms of Trade apply. Unless arranged in advance, all work is done on 7-day terms, and late fees apply.

What about existing work?

Any work on existing projects, or on job tickets opened before 0800, will still be charged at the rate you’d been quoted, or the usual rate you’ve been paying until now.

What about Web Development and Internet Hosting?

These rates apply only to IT Support — that is, work done on your computer systems, or for web hosting support beyond the email- and web-based support provided as part of your monthly or quarterly fee.

If you use our Web Development services, I’ll be talking to you about new (and much simpler to understand!) rates shortly. I’m also reviewing Internet Hosting charges as part of a regular server upgrade at the end of September.

And what about that questionnaire?

Well, yes. August was very busy, and there have been personal disruptions as well, mostly health-related. However I do want to get a “spring clean-up” campaign under way for regular clients, and I’ll be in touch about that as soon as I can.