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t_user
19-05-2005, 09:44 AM
Hi All

I've got a friend who is starting up a small business in Auckland and is going to need Windows PC/small network setup/support for a couple of users.
In the spirit of self protection (ie. avoiding becoming the ad-hoc support guy myself) I'd like to recommend a reliable/value for money service - anyone have good/bad stories I can pass on?

cheers

Speedy Gonzales
19-05-2005, 09:54 AM
I'll do it, and he could get me onto broadband lol, and pay the bill for it.

Since I'm doing sfa else at the mo. And I'm getting nowhere fast.

Broadband will most probably cost him less, than what I could help him with.

Depending on what kind of help they / he wants.

Only thing is, where in Auckland is he?? In town?? elsewhere?

Can't say anything about any support places. I dont deal with anyone myself.

To save money etc, I try and fix probs (if any) myself.

tweak'e
19-05-2005, 12:54 PM
sorry i can't recommend anyone at the mo. however one trap i see some people run into to is employing the elcheapo school kids or home pc techs as their IT dept. concidering that the success of the buisness is reliant on the use of pc's then i wouldn't risk anyone other than a pro to look after it. check out some of the IT companies that specialize in small buiness setups (been a few advertising latly).

also check out what responibilty they have and course of action should the techs lose all your valuable data.

on a side note....has any IT company been sued in NZ for damages?

quarry
19-05-2005, 01:02 PM
on a side note....has any IT company been sued in NZ for damages?[/QUOTE]

that's why i have public liability insurance :cool:

pctek
19-05-2005, 02:07 PM
sorry i can't recommend anyone at the mo. however one trap i see some people run into to is employing the elcheapo school kids or home pc techs as their IT dept. concidering that the success of the buisness is reliant on the use of pc's then i wouldn't risk anyone other than a pro to look after it.
Thats rather insulting. I am a "home PC tech", that is I run my Computer Services business from home. I am certainly not an amateur.

Having said that - I only do West Auckland area and I only do home users (cause no-one else wants to) and small businesses. Large networks in a business I leave to the big IT companies.

tweak'e
19-05-2005, 02:18 PM
lol i thought someone might bite ;)

when i say "home PC tech" i mean someone who only works on home pc's. i don't care if you work from home or some flash dodah office.
all that matters is busniness pc's are not treated like home pc's.

quarry
19-05-2005, 03:35 PM
[QUOTE=pctek]Thats rather insulting. I am a "home PC tech", that is I run my Computer Services business from home. I am certainly not an amateur.

i agree, there's nothing wrong working from home. a doctor or lawyer can work from home as well - doens't mean they're mickey mouse. i work from home, but at the same time things could have been different. i was offered a free franchise ($50k+) from People PC when they first started, but i didn't want a company telling me what to do (they were experts on pizzas).

however there are, like anything, some useless amateur techs. imagine formatting a HD just to get rid of a hijacked homepage.

i only do homes / small biz as well , nothing to do with lack of knowledge, but because i don't want to be on 24/7 standby & i share looking after my kid.

Murray P
19-05-2005, 03:58 PM
I didn't read that into tweak'es post at all. I thought he meant home as in rank amatures like me rather than people who have a home based business (like me but not in IT).

In small businesses (10 to 50M turnover) I have worked for, one or two man bands, working from home or some space at the local shops, have sufficed for IT needs. They tend to understand the needs of another small business much better.

pctek
19-05-2005, 10:00 PM
lol i thought someone might bite ;)

when i say "home PC tech" i mean someone who only works on home pc's. i don't care if you work from home or some flash dodah office.
all that matters is busniness pc's are not treated like home pc's.
Some people work on home PCs from choice not because they are stupid as that implies.
I have plenty of experience working in corporate networked environments including Akld Uni. I hated it, its boring.

t_user
20-05-2005, 10:23 AM
Thanks for the feedback guys.

I see the group of individual PC support operators as containing the best and worst of the breed - if you get a good one then they usually provide much better service than bigger organisations but you also can strike the sort of cowboy who tried to sort out my parents PC:

In the spirit of not bothering me every time she wanted something done to her PC my 70 year old mum managed to upgrade her version of Symantec Internet Security (or whatever it's called) over the web. Thumbs up to Ma but something went wrong with the install process. Not her fault but again not wanting to bother me she got a local PC guy out to help her.

After 3 hours of trying and buggering around downloading utilities and other bumf he got nowhere.

Ma eventually called me in, I went over, uninstall...reinstall...fixed.

So that's why personal recommendations from knowledgeable people like those who frequent this forum are so valuable. :D

cheers

Winston001
20-05-2005, 10:52 AM
that's why i have public liability insurance :cool:

I'm don't think that will do the job. You need professional indemnity insurance. The trouble is that it is expensive. I doubt that most IT people have it.

Public liability insurance is for physical damage. Eg. something you did caused a fire. But if what you did simply meant that 3 years data was lost - and it was your fault, then you would be personally liable.

quarry
20-05-2005, 11:04 AM
yes that's true, but i have it customised into my package, so i am protected from stuff-ups. but it would be rare to happen, as i backup data before i even start to do anything.
i also have numerous data recovery programs, just in case - but only ever used it for myself .. lost photos

godfather
20-05-2005, 11:05 AM
I carry both public liability and professional indemnity cover, and as Winston states, professional indemnity is very expensive.

I could change my car every year for the premium cost, and then there is also a $10,000 excess on every claim. Public liability is cheap, around $200 for $1 million cover, but it is of limited use.

quarry
20-05-2005, 11:34 AM
it's expensive, but worth it, i can claim it back & u charge it to your customer - so it's not a problem for me & i can sleep at nites!
charge extra for your parking fees, travel, sales... like some techs charge $20 for a modem, i charge $30+
in any case it depends on what sort of work u do, i don't do work for multinational companies, banks etc.
now i better get back to work...

FoxyMX
20-05-2005, 01:05 PM
Some people work on home PCs from choice not because they are stupid as that implies.
I have plenty of experience working in corporate networked environments including Akld Uni. I hated it, its boring.
Apart from the fact that you appear to have misinterpreted tweak'e's post I can't understand why you feel offended by it because in my view fixing home computers, in some ways, is a lot more complicated and specialised than dealing with business PCs.

Cleaning out all the viruses, trojans, spyware, malware, etc and getting the machines back to speed without resorting to a reformat is not easy and requires quite a lot of specialised knowledge. Business PCs don't (or shouldn't) have those problems to the same degree.

Even though both business and home PCs suffer the same software and hardware problems I personally wouldn't want to touch any business PCs purely because of the risk of data loss. Having said that, however, the owner of the last computer I reformatted had tears of gratitude in her eyes when I told her that I found and backed up a pile of very precious "lost" photos prior to reformatting. I would not like to cause the loss of someone's personal files and data through any fault of my own any more than I would business documents, even if the stakes were a lot lower.

pctek
20-05-2005, 01:38 PM
Apart from the fact that you appear to have misinterpreted tweak'e's post I can't understand why you feel offended by it because in my view fixing home computers, in some ways, is a lot more complicated and specialised than dealing with business PCs.
I personally wouldn't want to touch any business PCs purely because of the risk of data loss.
Nah, takes a lot to offend me. ..
Thats my point actually. You tend to come across a wider variety of not just hardware but software and other arrangements in home PCs. Then theres home business PCs.
A business (you would think) would take more care with backing up their data. Home users on the other hand always panic about their data that usually hasn't been backed up anywhere. But short of the hard drive being stuffed, its usually easy enough to pull the data off and then put it back later.
And businesses, usually, all are about bog standard PCs, with boring hardware and a lot of software fixes, updates and network connectivity problems. Yawn.

Chilling_Silence
20-05-2005, 06:43 PM
I thought Tweak'e was advising against hiring some young teen kid who can talk a lot but not back up what is said.

Home PC's and Business PC's differ majorly in their requirements. Ideally find a small business, and ask to speak to some previous customers of theirs. I do on-going support for Prestige Services, and if you were investigating (for example me) and wanted a previous clients contact details so you could ask them of their experiences, I'd be happy to provide it because I know I pride myself in high-quality work, meeting deadlines, keeping my word, not overcharging, and conveying what is happening to the customer in a simple fashion without "dumbing it down" too much.

Basically, hunt about! Ask to talk to some of their previous clients. Ask the clients what they thought.

I helped a friend with her PC. She was running a small business from home doing CAD design work.
Some rip-off charged her $450 for 6 hours work to remove some viruses.
I told her the longest Virus removal should have taken is two hours, maybe three for a format/re-install. Even then, that price is ridiculous....
To top it off, the system wasnt patched, and no AV software setup for her.

So, ask about, dont hire a friends son (or daughter) unless you really trust and believe in their abilities!

Remember, this is your business, and you DO need a good solid IT foundation in this day and age.

Geez I write a lot when I should be working..... ;)

End-Note: Im not trying to promote myself, I seem to have enough on my plate ATM, but at least that'll give you a good idea of what to expect!

Jen
20-05-2005, 07:01 PM
Don't forget that with a more commercial PC Support company, they should be able to provide cover 24/7 if it is critical the small business has no down time. A lot of one-man bands will not be able to provide this extensive cover (they do take holidays or go out of town for the weekend etc).

tweak'e
20-05-2005, 09:57 PM
to expand it a bit further...

every town has heaps of "home pc" techs, which do a fine job. this dosn't mean they are good at buiness pc's. tho its not the lack of skill but the attitude and style of work they do.

i've seen a few buisnesses set ups that have had a total lack of sicurity, one even had the back door wide open.