the Mac Doctor - Purpose, Values, Terms & Conditions

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River at Snape

0. Purpose

The purpose of my work as "the Mac Doctor" is to support my clients in the use of Apple Macintosh computers, to evangelise the superior nature of the Apple Macintosh computing platform, and to make a decent income from carrying out that work.

1. Values

I will work to the best of my ability to provide solutions, answers, fixes etc to the problems brought to me.

This ability is based on the following:

  1. I have used Apple Macintosh computers since 1985 (22 years at the time of writing). I have used computers, in one capacity or another, since 1970.
  2. I bring to bear on the problems brought to me: intelligence, knowledge, and persistence. I will use my best efforts on your behalf.
  3. However, I don't know everything, and some things cannot be fixed.
  4. Some problems are simple, some are expensive to resolve. I will keep you informed of progress on longer/more complex jobs, but until you, the client, stop me, I expect to be paid for my time and effort - even if the outcome is failure.

2. Terms

  1. I will charge for my time spent on your issue at the rate agreed between us.
  2. I will keep a record of all the time I spend on your issue, any expenses incurred, and what work has been done.
  3. Payment is due at the completion of the work. For larger projects, intermediate payment will be requested.
  4. An invoice will be issued if requested, and if not already settled, payment is required within 14 days. If you need longer to pay, please call me before the 14 days have passed.

Bills unpaid after 14 days without arrangement will not go unnoticed and you should expect my service to you to suffer comparatively, and my future bills to be higher to compensate.

3. Conditions

  1. Data integrity: I will make a back-up when I think it necessary before undertaking work that may result in data loss. All data critical to your business/affairs must be identified to me for back-up. If you tell me that the data is backed up I will believe you, and treat it as your responsibility.
  2. Program integrity: There may be programs (applications) on your machine for which you do not have the original distribution medium (download or disk). This is your responsibility.
  3. The world isn't perfect: you must accept responsibility for the level and degree of back-up performed by agreement with you.
  4. When I buy larger items (eg computers and other items over about GBP 50) I do so as your agent. That is, if the part goes wrong I will not replace it from my (non-existent) stock, but will go back to the supplier and ask them for a replacement or repair on your behalf. Smaller (ie cheaper) items I will replace, if possible, at my expense.
  5. When I buy second hand items on your behalf I will endeavour to buy good quality items, and to replace them if they go wrong in the first month. After a month of operation I will endeavour to fix them. Prices for second hand items will reflect the difficulty of finding them, the likely support costs, and the used nature of the item.
  6. The older your machine, the more it is likely to cost to fix, measured in my time. Already getting new things to work with System 9.x is becoming very difficult, with little or no support offered by manufacturers of those devices and software. Owners of machines running operating Systems older than 9.1 should not be surprised to have to pay (relatively) larger support costs. OS X operating systems earlier than 10.2.8 are also (relatively) expensive to support.

4. Prices

I will work at an hourly rate agreed between us at the time of engagement, or as modified thereafter.

For any given job, I will charge at least one hour's worth of time. After the first hour I will charge in quarter-hour increments. Typically I will round down in your favour. For long running contracts I will charge by the quarter-hour. Small jobs carried out at my convenience (eg I am passing your premises and can fit the work in) will typically be charged at the actual time taken.

I do not charge you for short telephone calls for small items of help. I do charge for longer periods spent on the telephone which are in lieu of a visit.

I do not charge extra for evenings or weekend work, but will only do it at my convenience.

I will try to provide an estimate of how long a job will take, based on my 35+ years' experience.

The longer the job, the more likely I am to round down my time, and your costs, in your favour.

I will charge you for parts that I buy on your behalf - this price will be more than I paid for that part. The increase will be reasonable, but will reflect such things as - the time it takes me to find and buy the part; the likely support costs, especially of a second-hand part; and postage, packing, credit charges, etc. If you wish to buy the part yourself then all the responsibility for any problems with that part will remain with you.

When I buy you a computer I will charge you an hour and a quarter of time as my fee for specifying, buying, taking delivery, checking, updating, and basic setting up of the machine. Further set-up, transfer of files, loading of programs, testing at your premises will be charged as above (Time).

Remote Desktop:
The following prices apply:

GBP 50 joining fee (this makes a contribution for the software at my end, and the setting up access).

GBP 25 per year thereafter as a maintenance levy.

Support time will be charged in quarter hour units, at a rate of one-quarter your current hourly fee rate, with a one unit minimum charge. And I'll supply my own cups of tea!

Note that at present, to take advantage of Remote Desktop, you will need to be running OS X 10.2.8 as a minimum, preferably OS X 10.3 and above; and have a broadband (cable, ADSL, wireless, satellite) internet connection.

Within 10 miles of my office - no charge.

Over 20 miles round trip from my office, I will charge 30p per excess mile.

In addition, I may charge for my time spent travelling, as follows:

Less than 30 mins travelling time each way - no time charge.

Between 30 and 90 mins total travelling time I will charge GBP 25.

Over 50 miles, and/or over an hour travelling time - we need to discuss it!

5. Confidentiality

I will treat all your data and information with care, and will not reveal the contents of your files, or your affairs, to any other party, except as required by law.

6. Indemnity

I do not accept any responsibility for any consequential losses caused to you by my activities.

If I damage a machine, or data, I will do my best to rectify the situation, limited to the value of the machine, and to a reasonable amount of time to recover data.

7. Agreement

If I ask you to read this page, I will assume that you have understood it and agreed to its contents, unless I explicitly hear otherwise within 2 days.


working as "the Mac Doctor"

08 january 2007

The Mac Doctor - serving clients in Suffolk, London, the UK, and abroad.