- Tell her I am busy and will not be able to meet her (which could backfire if she asks me to send the money to her local bank account or give the money to one of her friends)
Lying is inherently devoid of interpersonal skills. It's not impossible to do so, but it's a bit out of scope for a question on IPS.
Furthermore, two wrongs don't make a right. If you lie to her, and your shared frieds get wind of this, they may see you as equally (or more) in the wrong.
Tell her I will pay her after she pays me for the tech support time I've spent with her (maybe this will make her realize how ridiculous her request is)
Ask her a series of questions to hopefully make her discover that her request is ridiculous (ie: "Was payment mentioned at the time?" etc.)
I would suggest a combination of both. Point out the discrepancy between having to pay for sharing her Netflix, yet not being paid for the tech support you offered.
Ideally, you'd want to use the Socratic method. This approach means that she is essentially destroying her own justification for needing compensation for Netflix, by having her explain why she feels that she doesn't need to pay for the tech support.
A simple example:
A - Hey, can you pay me half of the Netflix bill please?
B - I wasn't aware that we agreed on splitting the cost when you shared your account details with me.
A - It's only fair to split the cost.
B - Why?
At this point, she'll have to justify her claim that compensation is warranted. I'm not sure what she'll say, but in order to be a relevan justification, it will have to boil down to "things aren't free".
After she has established this herself, you can turn the tables on her by bringing up the tech support.
B - I had assumed that our friendship precluded the need for billing each other for favors. That's why I didn't ask for compensation when I helped you with [tech problems].
There are several possible responses for her.
- She gets offended at your insinuation that compensation is needed for tech support.
You can point back at her request for compensation for Netflix, and mention that you could be equally offended by her request.
- She argues that it's not the same; and maintains the point that you need to compensate her but she doesn't need to compensate you.
There's little you can do at this point. If she pushes her argument again while dismissing your (reasonable) mention that the offered tech support more than makes up for the cost of the Netflix subscription, then she is willing to risk the friendship over this dispute.
If you wish to keep this friendship at all costs, then you should yield and give her what she wants. This is not a good approach, but there may be external factors why you'd want to remain in her good graces.
However, I would at this point demote the conversation to nothing more than a business transaction. She is making a business argument, so you should respond in kind.
There are a few possible responses here, depending on how you want to approach this.
If you're unsure how to approach it, or how strongly she feels about this issue; ask her why she is suddenly bringing this up.
Her answer can reveal to you whether she genuinely thought you'd compensate her (which isn't malevolent) or if she's trying to make some easy money by "morally suing" you for not paying for a favor (which is not how a friend should behave).
This can help you decide between the other two listed options.
If you think she is knowingly trying to force your hand unfairly, you should flat out refuse her request, explain why, and end the conversation there.
As there was no agreement about splitting the cost of the subscription, she cannot argue that you promised to pay her. She has no legal recourse. She might try to use your shared friends against you, but you can easily disable that argument by (a) repeating the "tech support" justification to your friends and (b) pointing out that it was never agreed upon.
If your friend blindly takes her side, and doesn't even consider your side of the story, then they are not your friend. Pure and simple.
If you think this was not malevolent (e.g. she may be honestly underestimating the effort of the tech support provided); you can walk her through the effort it took you to do everything.
You can list many relevant things here:
- The time it took.
- The complexity of the issues.
- How long it has taken you to learn the needed skills to be able to help with the issue.
- What it would cost her if she went to an IT shop for the same support.
Try to come up with a reasonable low-balled estimate of what it would cost her, and then contrast that to the $10 for the Netflix subscription. For the rest of the answer, let's assume you low-ball a tech support compensation of $35, i.e. she owes you $25 after subtracting the Netflix subscription compensation.
Personally, if the conversation reaches this point, I would ask her for the $25, repeatedly. Using the same approach that she used. I would try to use phrases that mimic her initial request for compensation, trying to use her words against her.
This way, if anyone else gets involved in this dispute, you can easily point back at her initial statements. This quickly shows to your friend that you're merely treating her the same way she treated you, while also avoiding coming across as the unprovoked aggressor in this dispute.
However, a more IPS-focused approach would be to offer the option of neither of you owing money to each other; as this was the initial implicit deal and you'd prefer to avoid this dispute altogether. Something along the lines of:
Even though I could ask you for the $35 compensation for my help with [tech problems], I'd prefer it if we simply let this go. I wasn't expecting to split the cost of the Netflix subscription, just like I wasn't expecting to be compensated for my time and effort helping you. I considered both as a friendly favor, with no attached cost.
In the future, if and when you feel uncomfortable doing a favor for free, I would prefer it if we address the money issue beforehand.