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Being ripped off isn’t fun, it’s frustrating, embarrassing, and can make you feel violated. We’ve all been there at some point or another. Getting suckered into buying a service or product that we don’t need or that’s too expensive (or both) can hurt, especially when it could cost you thousands of dollars and hurt your business’ well-being. Unfortunately, some IT service companies will never stop trying to manipulate you. But don’t feel embarrassed. The best thing you can do is follow our best practices to avoid getting ripped off from your next IT service provider.
If you’re reading this blog, you might be starting the process of finding an IT company to help with your support needs, or perhaps you’ve had a bad experience and are looking for a new provider. At Netsafe, we want to ensure that you have all the information necessary to make the most informed decision for your business. That’s why we created this article, to give you the top 4 tips to choose an IT company, to make you feel comfortable in making your decision and to help you avoid getting ripped off.
1. Figure Out What Services You Need
Every business’s infrastructure requires a different amount of support and there is no right answer when it comes to deciding between on-site or off-site IT support. It all depends on how your business is growing, what your IT needs are, and what you can afford. Make sure your IT service provider has a complete understanding of your business’s needs before they start suggesting services. At Netsafe, we start with a full diagnostic of your current technical setup and challenges.
In many cases, using outsourced support can lower your overall costs while raising the level of support. Make sure that you’ve done enough research to know what your problems and possible solutions are, so that you ask the right questions.
There are multiple support services that are generally ripoffs. For example:
- Contracts based on monthly recurring fees for remote support and an additional hourly charge to actually use the support.
- Buying internet or VoIP telephone services through the Support Company or branded as their own. These services are purchased on your behalf and resold to you at an inflated price.
- Additional Support fees to manage other communication vendors.
- Charging you for equipment return fees.
- Management support contracts predicated on paying a different hourly rate for projects based on perceived complexity.
2. Compare IT Service Providers
Not sure what to look for in a IT provider? You want to make sure that you get the right services for the best price. You should be clear about what services come with each package and pay attention to what’s missing or what services aren’t offered. For example, some businesses may have onsite services, but might not include remote support.
3. Always Check for the Provider’s Reputation
Make sure that you look at review sites – these typically will show reviews from current or past clients. How are the clients reacting to the service that this company provides? If you see a pattern of unhappy clients this is a red flag. Another way to understand their reputation and how they do business is to check the Better Business Bureau and see how the company has handled complaints. On the other side, if you find that they don’t talk about their clients, have case studies, or feature reviews on their website, are they hiding something?
4. Be Assertive in the Sales Process
We both know it can be difficult to be assertive when you’re dealing with a topic that you’re not an expert in. Is the company asking enough questions to understand your business and from that, telling you which services you need? If they start telling you the services you “have to have” without understanding your business, this is a red flag. Here are a couple of things you can do to avoid paying for services you don’t need, and not let the sales team take advantage of your vulnerability.
Be aware and don’t get emotionally attached.
This means keep your guard up as they try and sell to you. They want to establish a connection and then leverage it through their engagement with you. Let’s look at an example. When you’re buying a car, the car salesmen will typically try to win over your child, which makes it hard for you to say no. Professionals are generally experts at reading people. They will take advantage of the person they feel is the easiest to circumnavigate. This emotional connection is a common practice that is used to lower your guard and win over your team.
Don’t let them reframe your opinion.
If you find yourself in a discussion and the ground has shifted and your points are losing their weight, it may be because the argument was reframed. If nothing else, leave the situation and think about your options in a clear state of mind.
Choosing an IT provider can be overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. Ensure that you’re doing your research, asking the right questions, and being assertive to avoid getting ripped off and receive the highest quality staff for your IT needs.
If you’d like your company to be able to provide a high level of technical support you may well benefit from partnering with a first class Business IT Support provider. We here at Netsafe Solutions would be happy to help you explore how that kind of partnership can work for you. Contact us today!