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Honesty pays – or at least gets a discount

I was sitting surfing away on my new laptop last week, when a thought struck me. I’d hired in a sysadmin for most of a day back in August to help me set up the system. I had also had a follow-up by telephone when the printer stopped working, and a diagnosis on Christopher’s old desktop machine which had stopped working – basically the machine was beyond economic repair, but the hard disk was still readable, so they returned that to me in case there were photos etc of sentimental value on there, and got rid of the rest of the hardware. So I had got plenty of useful work out of the company, but I couldn’t actually remember receiving a bill from them. I checked my cheque-book. Nope. No sign that I’d actually paid them.

I suppose I could have let it rest, as they had clearly forgotten all about billing me. But I’m too innately honest for that, and, now I’d remembered about it, it would have really bothered my conscience. It’s a small, family-run business, and cash-flow must be an issue. And now I’ve found them, it would really suit me if they stayed in business to keep sorting out my IT, unlike the first company I tried which appeared to have folded before I could get them to do any chargeable work!

So I phoned them up on Friday, explained who I was and what work they did for me four months ago, and suggested that they might like to think about getting round to invoicing me. They were very surprised to hear from me, and thanked me very much for getting back in touch. I said that I hoped the overall bill wouldn’t be too horrendous, as it would be nice to think that honesty paid off occasionally. The receptionist laughed, and said that an appropriate bill would be in the post.

It arrived today, and is significantly less than I was expecting – I’ve clearly been given a discount. They have only charged me for a half day of sysadmin support, when in fact the chap was here for substantially longer than that, as well as taking Christopher’s laptop away with him to work on back at base. So I’m happy that I’ve got a good deal, and my conscience is now clear!