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Discussion Starter #1
How to you view this? Expected? Yeah or nay.

Kind of like expecting a deals from people you care about (family and friends). I think that's bogus. I think that they should pay the going rate and EXPECT exceptional rendering and experience.

asking for a discount is like taking food from your buddy's fridge.

Learned that one from a friend in Spain.
 

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Expected, no. I have never paid for my taxes though as my Aunt owns an accounting business and does them free for all our family.

Expecting things leads to disappointment when that expectation is not met.
 

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There was a similar thread a few months ago with lots of testimonies of the pro's and cons.

Myself, I don't do discounted work for family, and I don't help friends move! In fact, I often refer other tradespeople instead so I don't have to deal with headaches and animosity from potential complaints as everyone has their own standards, especially when they expect the work to be free.
 

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I avoid business with friends and family at all costs. Too many slippery slopes to go down and I've seen it go bad way too many times.

If absolutely necessary, I would insist on paying full price and I would expect no better or worse treatment than any other customer.

But again, best to be safe and just avoid it altogether.
 

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Expecting things leads to disappointment when that expectation is not met.
That's the Buddhist way

"Business and friends don't mix"
That's why I don't have any friends... :(
 

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Immostly bitter. I find if you do favors or give discounts there is no reciprocation of any sorts, hence never help friends move. A one day two trip move turns into a two trip nightmare. Then when you need something on a specific day, they flake out over text message like most people these days. With family, we agreed to a price for two of us go try and fix their problem. It took over two hours with driving and trouble shooting only to find out they needed to replace something. I didn't hear from them until the next Christmas. When I asked how their problem was doing, he just said he was repairing it weekly as he was too cheap to replace the unit, never clueing in that he didn't pay me and I already paid my co-worker out of pocket. This coming from a cheap millionaire inlaw. No thanks.
 

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On the flip side, I usually give friends and family discounts, but only if they don't ask for it or if they don't feel entitled to it. I give them on my own free will. Not a lot of things make my heart go cold like someone demanding I do them a favour. I have this one Facebook friend who asks occasionally about my high end gear (Taylor acoustics) and badgers me about a good price (i.e. church friend discount). Problem is, I am not extremely close with him, and yes, I quote him full price every single time. He can go eat a dick for using the word "discount" every third sentence when he messages me.
 

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My neighbour runs a pizza joint and gives us a free bottle of soda once in a while which is nice. I don't expect it though, but it keeps me coming back. He probably does that for other customers too so I'm not sure it really fits the OP's sentiments. If he gave me free pizza, I'd have to decline.


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It's funny, there is an electrician where I work. He loves his Harleys. So he custom designed one, and most of us Toolmakers helped him build it. He bought the frame and the motor, but most everything else was custom, including me rewelding a damaged gas tank, rewelding some aluminum accent pieces, machining foot pegs etc...Didn't charge him a dime. Bike is worth something in the 30k range and probably cost him 5k. All the materials were supplied by work. At the time I didn't care, kept me busy and it was an interesting project. About 18 months later I need an electrician to replace my breaker panel as it was too small and not enough breakers. I still got charged full price when he did the work. I was kind of pissed. I didn't say anything, I just refuse to help him now when he asks me to machine something.
 
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
It's funny, there is an electrician where I work. He loves his Harleys. So he custom designed one, and most of us Toolmakers helped him build it. He bought the frame and the motor, but most everything else was custom, including me rewelding a damaged gas tank, rewelding some aluminum accent pieces, machining foot pegs etc...Didn't charge him a dime. Bike is worth something in the 30k range and probably cost him 5k. All the materials were supplied by work. At the time I didn't care, kept me busy and it was an interesting project. About 18 months later I need an electrician to replace my breaker panel as it was too small and not enough breakers. I still got charged full price when he did the work. I was kind of pissed. I didn't say anything, I just refuse to help him now when he asks me to machine something.
You'd Be in your right mind to give him a penny for your thoughts. He obviously doesn't know what reciprocity is.


It's like the word I teach my children early on. Emancipation.
 

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I probably should have, but with his personality it wouldn't have phased him. I'm sure for him it's "well you did get paid while doing it", which is true, but I could have made the same amount of money sitting on my ass and doing nothing. (maintenance guys mostly sit around waiting for a machine to break down, so in between calls you can get away with doing nothing)
 

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I have a better story than that one. I was probably 16 or 17, i made really good money during the summers doing odd jobs for the landlord of the townhouse complex we lived in. I'd give me 200 bucks for mowing lawns all day. This is 40 years ago! Anyway, the parents my brother and I all go away for vacation in Maine. We get back home 2 or 3 weeks later and Dad asks me if I can lend him some money so they can buy groceries as we went a bit overboard on the trip. Ok, no problem, he'll pay me back. 2 months later I'm looking at buying my second SLR camera and I'm a bit short so I remind him about the loan, he gets pissed and says fine, 35 bucks a week room and board from now on. You gave me x dollars so the first x weeks are free.

Sooo ,Ya, don't lend money to family.....
 

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I have a better story than that one. I was probably 16 or 17, i made really good money during the summers doing odd jobs for the landlord of the townhouse complex we lived in. I'd give me 200 bucks for mowing lawns all day. This is 40 years ago! Anyway, the parents my brother and I all go away for vacation in Maine. We get back home 2 or 3 weeks later and Dad asks me if I can lend him some money so they can buy groceries as we went a bit overboard on the trip. Ok, no problem, he'll pay me back. 2 months later I'm looking at buying my second SLR camera and I'm a bit short so I remind him about the loan, he gets pissed and says fine, 35 bucks a week room and board from now on. You gave me x dollars so the first x weeks are free.

Sooo ,Ya, don't lend money to family.....
sorry, I think you were the dick in this example.
 

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For me, it depends. I do work for the friends and family who are struggling to get by. Those who are more well off, or well to do can afford to spread the wealth a bit so they get charged rate....which is still inexpensive by most standards. I do work on guitars for the local school for no labour charge as I think it is worthwhile to put instruments in the hands of young people.
 

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It's funny, there is an electrician where I work. He loves his Harleys. So he custom designed one, and most of us Toolmakers helped him build it. He bought the frame and the motor, but most everything else was custom, including me rewelding a damaged gas tank, rewelding some aluminum accent pieces, machining foot pegs etc...Didn't charge him a dime. Bike is worth something in the 30k range and probably cost him 5k. All the materials were supplied by work. At the time I didn't care, kept me busy and it was an interesting project. About 18 months later I need an electrician to replace my breaker panel as it was too small and not enough breakers. I still got charged full price when he did the work. I was kind of pissed. I didn't say anything, I just refuse to help him now when he asks me to machine something.

I agree with that. Its kind of like if a friend was throwing together an album and asked for you to learn and put down a track. Why not? If its a hobby or something your interested in, its a little different than grunt labor, being used for your truck or giving professional service on call and expected to discount your work or provide it for free.

Edit: I somehow skipped that last part. What a dick!
 

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For me, it depends. I do work for the friends and family who are struggling to get by. Those who are more well off, or well to do can afford to spread the wealth a bit so they get charged rate....which is still inexpensive by most standards. I do work on guitars for the local school for no labour charge as I think it is worthwhile to put instruments in the hands of young people.
i used to go to a Dr that did something similar. Before writing out your prescription, he d ask you if you had Insurance. If you said yes, he'd write it for the brand version of the drug (more expensive, but let's be honest, someone has to support the guys that actually develop the drugs) , if you didnt have insurance, he'd prescribe cheaper generic equivalents.
 
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When I go back to the prairies, I'm inevitable hit with a few little 'projects'. Usually electronics that isn't working as it used to or is broken but they aren't sure. I do this without even thinking about it, because while it is insurmountable to some of them, I can do it without breaking a sweat. And there's usually a beer or 9 involved.

But there was a time when I was fresh out of post-secondary that a cousin (one I wasn't very fond of) bought an early 80's Cadillac real cheap because all that was wrong with it was 'the computer broke'. So he hands me this 7" X 9" steel cage with a potted circuit board loaded with unidentifiable chips and wants me to fix it for free, so his good deal is still a good deal. He tells me a replacement computer would be about $1500 dollars, so that would kill his 'good deal'.

I tell him we can start with a retainer of $1000 and then, when that's used up, I will charge him $30/hour until it's fixed. Trouble-shooting a board like that without the factory jigs would be similar to reverse engineering a D*mble X 1000. Suddenly, his 'great deal' wasn't looking so great anymore. I couldn't have cared less, because there was never anything he could do to reciprocate - he was basically a waste of skin.
 

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As I get older, my credo (or at least one of them) has become "Never let yourself get to a point where you come to resent someone or something that you love".

That means taking evasive action early on. Asking for, or giving, a discount can quickly lead to feeling like one is being taken advantage of, or that an eventual refusal from the granter will be perceived as a rude or hostile response. That doesn't mean one should flat out refuse right from the get go. BUt one would need to manage the asking or granting, so that it never has to come between you.

I took a similar stance when I used to teach. I'd be "friendly but not familiar" with my students, because I knew that at some point I would have to pull rank on them for something, be it exam credit or a submission deadline or something. And there are few feelings worse than feeling betrayed. Best to avoid it where you can.
 
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