With any industry, there are often phrases used in advertising and contracts that can be misinterpreted and create common misconceptions that customers need to decipher. We hope the following explanations help to provide answers to such phrases that are used by IT support providers.
No support is truly ‘unlimited’. There will always be limitations, with some being quite restrictive. One common limitation is that the unlimited support is only provided with existing equipment. Should you want to add to your systems in the future a separate charge would be levied. Sometimes this is acceptable and in such instances Vantage is pleased to provide its service in such a way, but we always make clear the benefits of both unlimited support and Vantage’s Complete IT Solution service.
With unlimited services, in any industry and not just IT, the supplier will obviously need to ensure its ‘unlimited’ offering will not result in it being left at a disadvantage, supplying a service for more than is included in the charge. This clearly results in someone losing out and chances are it won’t be the supplier. Whether every customer is left at a disadvantage, or some are and some not is something each supplier will do differently.
Other contracts include a number of hours that can be used each month, but there can be restrictions on how these may be used. For example, on first glance there may appear to be a generous number of hours included, but on closer inspection only a certain number of hours can be used for on-site support, while other hours can only be used for remote support. This can significantly restrict the actual support received and it is not long before additional hours are incurred and charged.
Contrast this with Vantage’s service, where you choose how you want to use the inclusive hours – whether it be for remote support, on-site support, existing systems, new systems etc etc. It’s always your choice.
Hourly and Daily Rate Comparisons
Comparing hourly or daily rates is not the correct comparison to make, since one company may charge less but take much longer to perform the work, thereby costing no less (or indeed more) than suppliers with apparently higher rates. When a problem exists the work needs to be completed as quickly and accurately as possible, since any downtime would be inconveniencing users and affecting the system’s productivity.
Vantage’s rates are very competitive and, while we never aim to be the cheapest around, we are the best. This is not a claim we make lightly, but after years of seeing the problems caused by other support companies we have encountered. We never cease to be surprised by what some companies consider to be an acceptable level of service.
Billing for Time
When Vantage IT carries out work for customers, we only charge for the time actually taken to complete the task, which seems fair. We know of companies who charge a minimum of one hour, even if the task takes only five minutes. This style of billing can quickly lead to huge invoices for small amounts of work.
If you contact Vantage IT on four occasions and each call lasts for five minutes, we would charge for a total of twenty minutes of work. With some companies, contacting them on four occasions with calls lasting five minutes will result in the customer receiving an invoice for four hours of time, even though they only worked for twenty minutes!