Tag Archives: ethics

Tech Support Ethics Question


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This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of GoToAssist. All opinions are 100% mine.

It’s super simple to help someone with their computer issues remotely. What happens, though, if you’re in the middle of a tech support session using GoToAssist Express, and you can’t solve the problem they’re having? Do you charge for the time you have already put in?

Unless this issue was addressed in a written contract, then no – you shouldn’t charge the customer for that time. Why not, you ask? That user is going to trust you to fix their problems. Let’s say you believed you could fix their problem remotely. It’s a matter of good faith, trust and their belief in your ability to solve what ails their computer. Even if you’re an hour or two into the issue, and there’s seemingly no way out, it’s not something you should charge them for.

As a professional, it’s your job to have the answers. If you don’t, then you need to make your best effort to find them. If you’re an hour into a job and you’re stumped, step away and do some research, or call on a trusted colleague. It’s okay to admit you don’t know the solution. The person on the other end will respect you far more for admitting you don’t know everything than they would if you tried to flub your way through.

It’s okay for you to say the problem can’t be solved. But it’s not okay for you to bill the client for that time. It’s not fair, unless the client has agreed in writing ahead of time that this was acceptable. How would you feel if you took your car to a mechanic. The mechanic tells you that they have no idea what is wrong or what it will take to fix the car, but they give you a dollar amount to get the job done anyway? You would be furious!

Ethically speaking, unless you’ve defined how a procedure would go and how much time you would spend on it (in addition to the cost), it’s best to admit you don’t know. Either step away, admitting you cannot fix it, or suggest an alternative. Let them know you can give up, do additional research, or give them a referral to someone else. Don’t just try to get money from them and leave them hanging.

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Are There Computer, Technology and Internet Ethics?

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Are Ethics important… especially in relation to Technology. I had an email from Justin, asking questions about Ethics on the Internet.

  • How would you define the computer Ethics in today’s digital world? Honesty and Transparency. Those are likely the terms you’ll hear thrown about in relation to Ethics. You must be transparent and honest about the things you are doing. The tools to publish are easier to access, and more affordable these days. Ethics isn’t always inherent. It comes down to trusting the person who may be doing or saying something. If you’ve run across a blog post that’s a raving review of a new product… how do you know they have any credibility? How do you know it’s not a paid endorsement if it isn’t disclosed? That’s the point… it wasn’t disclosed. You just have to trust that the author is telling the truth. I tell people exactly what’s going on… I don’t hide anything, much to many people’s chagrin.
  • Is it important for Social Networking sites to enforce Ethical behavior on said sites? If you’re promoting anything that may be considered illegal, then yes. Sites like YouTube must take care of those issues. Also keep in mind that each website you sign up for has Terms of Use. If you violate those, then the sites can and will pull your content from public view. I’m under the belief that a community will raise more red flags than a website itself. Thankfully, the general population cries “FOUL” when seeing illegal and unethical content. When it comes down to personal attacks… that is unethical behavior. If you don’t like someone because of something they believe in, respond to them appropriately. Attack the opinion, never the person.
  • Is there a true code of Ethics regarding computer use and practices of it on the Web? You may have seen the movie “Office Space”. It was justified by the perpetrators of this white-collar crime that it’s “only pennies” that they were taking. However, it’s not Ethical behavior. They were stealing money that they weren’t entitled to have. The Code of Ethics that one might adhere to depends on the tool, the technology and the community in which they exist. If you’re going to try to enforce Ethics inside of a community who has none… you’re fighting a losing battle unfortunately. How do you feel when someone creates a piece of Malware? Does that person have Ethics? Maybe they have a different perspective. Where do you draw the line? Who are we to decide what someone else’s Code of Ethics should be?

This is one thing that keeps me live streaming.. it keeps me honest. The Blogosphere keeps everyone honest. If I do or say something wrong… believe me, I hear about it. I get upset more than you would believe when someone accuses me of something I didn’t do. I have a hard time getting past that hurdle. I admit when I’m wrong. I will eat Crow when I need to be. If I made a mistake on the Web, the mistake is there. It’s done. It can’t be removed.

I try my best to live my life by the Golden Rule. “Do unto others…” I give everyone that trust until it’s broken. It’s gotten me in trouble in the past. There are many people out there who can’t be trusted, unfortunately. But then again… there are so many who can be.

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Good Business Guidelines

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I’ve owned and operated my own business for many years now. For the most part, it’s gone very well for me. Yes, of course I’ve made mistakes. But… I’ve also made some excellent business decisions. I don’t see myself ever working for anyone other than myself again. I love working with vendors, helping people save money by passing along savings. I love the interaction from my community. This is just something that I truly love. I received the following email the other day, regarding business.

Recently, I saw the “Investment” video you posted, in which a 19 year old set up a business in Philippines. So i reckoned, now people know how to start up a business, why not teach them how to make it last. I’ve been looking into business since the age of 15. I have picked up tips and advice from businessman and women all over the world through different conferences. I have summed up ten values in which any organization should have in their organizational culture in order to last. I tried to do a top 5 list, but 5 just weren’t enough. Here are the 10 values:

  • Loyalty Always be loyal to your organization, employees and employers. This can help you in the long run with relationships with your colleagues, bosses and family!
  • Commitment This has always been one of the key values that drive a business. Recently, I’ve read your post on “How to Start (and KEEP) a Blog”. This also adds on to the facts on commitment to a certain task.
  • Respect Always have healthy respect for your bosses (positioned above you), your peers (beside you), and your subordinates (below you). This is achieved by having humility in everything you do. Humility is shown in the actions you do, the words you say and most importantly, your attitude. Always guard against sedition (elevating yourself to the position of whom you are working under).
  • Accountability Always be accountable! Whether to your bosses or colleagues. This is one of the things to watch out for in working in an organization. By being accountable, you are indirectly building up on your connectedness with others.
  • Family Never neglect your family members. Your relationships you have with them means more than your job post in the long run! Take time off from work to spend quality time, if not some time, with your family. Whatever happens at home can clearly be reflected in work performance.
  • Love Being a loving person is always beneficial to either yourself or others. Be forgiving, have mercy on the poor soul that just burst your blood vessels. It ain’t any good to yourself or the other party if there are any hatchets that aren’t buried yet. Having love in the organization results in better service in the case of service industries.
  • Faithfulness This can also include trustworthiness. If your clients don’t trust you, and your subordinates don’t trust your business plan, what is there left in your organization? Trust is essential in any business. Here are 3 things you have to be faithful in:
    • Little things (if you can’t be trusted with a small project, how can you ever expect to receive a huge project?)
    • Other people’s belongings (if you can’t even be responsible for your neighbor’s things, how can you be with your company’s?)
    • Finance
  • Hard work/Diligence Where will you get your profits if you don’t work hard? A start-up will always have it’s hiccups. But if you work hard enough, you’ll get guaranteed results.
  • Integrity Crucial! Always be truthful in your dealings and actions. No matter whatever losses you’ve made through truthful dealings, people will still trust you more.
  • Generosity Generosity begets generosity. If you are generous, even in small amounts, you’ll eventually receive the same treatment.

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