A $10 Computer Guy—Sound Like a Deal? NOT! — You Get What You Pay For!

By Stuart_R_Crawford
In MSP Coaching
July 10, 2013

Stuart R. Crawford / Stuart Crawford

The phrase “You get what you pay for,” has been used throughout the ages to describe inferior products and services:

Just look what our cameras caught in Colorado Springs today.


“Whose vulture thought doth pitch the price so high, That she will draw his lips’ rich treasure dry: And having felt the sweetness of the spoil,”

~Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

~Benjamin Franklin

“In this world, you get what you pay for.”

~ Kurt Vonnegut (Cat’s Cradle)

“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”

~Warren Buffet

No matter how you say it, it always rings true; and so it goes with IT Services. For example hiring the $10 Computer Repair Guy is probably not the right solution for your business if you want long-term, reliable and reputable service.

When purchasing “inexpensive” IT Service you can anticipate being charged and recharged for hourly services.  These can really add up, especially when a vendor makes their money on repeat service.

The technician has all the control over the number of hours it takes to fix your IT system. Some IT solutions companies will even charge you a “new/increased” fee depending upon the type of work they do.  You have no control over what they’re doing because you don’t understand it yourself.  In this case, this is a license to steal and you’re being stolen from.

These companies may look appealing at first because they offer you a “Pay-Me-Later” Plan by offering deeply discounted products and services upfront.  When the “Later” arrives you’re faced with a huge bill for an expansion of services. This is a very common practice and something you need to watch out for.

When an IT company offers you an incredible discount it’s probably too good to be true, and is likely designed to hook you for a costly expenses later.   What to do:  Ask for a long-term price commitment upfront in writing.  When you do this they’ll likely push back saying they can’t guarantee pricing over the next year. At this point you should tell them you want the contract to say that expansion pricing will be no more than 10% of what they’re charging today. By doing this, you put the burden on them to make their offering more realistic; it removes their incentive to undersell you upfront and charge you more later. Perhaps you’re thinking that you don’t want to pay more upfront.  But remember, this can mean you’ll save a great deal more in a year or two and prevent expansion sticker shock.

Here’s another trap business buyers fall into: They decide to purchase the IT solution that was their second choice because it came at a lower price. But when they get hit with the “Pay-Me-Later” cost expansion, they end up paying more in the long run to get the products and services that they liked the least.

Always think long term when selecting your IT vendor so you don’t get stuck in a “Pay-Me-Later” situation.  And remember—You WILL get what you pay for!

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