Byte Me Article 223 – Tech advice can save you money

Tech Advice Can Save you Money

This week we saw a customer pay dearly for a new computer because he was in a hurry.  In this case he runs a business that can’t really function without 1 main PC and it had stopped working.  He thought the quickest alternative was to grab something off the shelf at one of the largest retailers here in Rocky and run with that.  Without hardly any names and normal finger pointing the results were interesting.

This customer stated from the start that it was for business use and was promptly directed to a Hewlett Packard Pavilion tower and a copy of Microsoft Office 2013 Home & Student for a total of $1800.  The customer was also directed towards a flexible renting option over the next 24 months.  So the sale proceeded and the customer then brought the new PC to us so that we could transfer all of the data from the old one and set everything up for ease of use.

Upon arriving at our shop we notified him that Office Home & Student was illegal for use in a business and it would need to be swapped over for the Home & Business version – normally about $100 more.  He took it back to the retailer and was told that it was ‘fine’ and that “if Kerr’s don’t want to install it then bring it back here and we will install it for you”.

2015-05-30 Byte Me Artilce 223 - Expensive IT

Knowing way more about his own trade and less about bloody computers the customer had to believe this and trudged back to us with the same software.  Creating both resentment and frustration in our customer only minutes later, a phone call from us to the retailer had it arranged so that they would drop the proper version off to our office themselves, to swap with the wrong one straight away and at no further expense – without a single quibble.

Next we delved into the Pavilion – which was touted as premium PC.  Designed by Hewlett Packard – one of the world’s largest computer manufacturers it had a 3TB hard drive & 16Gig of ram (these are really high end specs) however it was powered by an AMD Quad core CPU with a power rating around the same as an Intel i3 (an average CPU)?  Why put a car engine into truck?  This is an unbalanced system and you have to be in IT to realise that they are promoting the PC based on the ram & hard drive specs and hoping it will float as a premium system.

The AMD CPU will have cost HP less than an Intel i5 & way less than an Intel i7, which is the sort of CPU it should have had to match the ram and hard drive!  Next in line for a possible future problem is the fact that all of the HP Pavilions are consumer grade PC’s and laptops and as such there is no one in Central Queensland that can fix them under the original HP 12 month warranty.  If something goes wrong they have to be sent away to Eagle Farm in Brisbane for a minimum 2 week turn around which we have seen stretch into 2 months.  Did I mention that this business doesn’t function without this main PC?

Don’t think for even a second however that I don’t like HP products!  If you look at their server ranges and their commercial ranges of both desktops and laptops I doubt there is a better brand name of computers anywhere else in the world.  It is simply that their consumer ranges are no better than the other consumer junk sold by any other manufacturer & in this case they used clever specs to extract maximum profit.

By the time we removed all of the junk software, installed the required updates and installed all of the standard essential software like Acrobat Reader, Flash Player, Java etc. we had invested $240 of tech time before we had transferred a single customer file or installed their new Home & Business software.  The other expense will be the 2 year flexible renting option which will cost the customer just over $3000 for this $1800 PC – when interest rates are supposed to be at all-time lows!

If you take out the $240 of tech time that wouldn’t have been needed, we could have sold a Kerr PC with the same specs, local same day warranty and the proper Office Home & Business from the start at a total of $1250.  I hope my customer isn’t reading this! 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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