Congratulations on your editorial "Bitching about the Bitching" (ARN, March 7). It was absolutely spot on. I have been in this business for 10 years and can't actually say I have met a dishonest reseller. I have heard many stories from clients and leads, but on reflection, I believe that the vast majority of those complaints have been the result of unrealistic expectations and poor communications.
When clients expect to shop around and buy the cheapest products, with top quality service, inevitably they will be disappointed.
Furthermore, they often expect one company to put a bunch of products together after they have sourced them from a range of suppliers.
Their expectation is that it will all work perfectly well every time and in the first instance of a general protection fault or similar, they blame the last person who worked on the system. When I buy a car, I also buy the wheels, stereo, air conditioner and all other extras from the same dealership and expect them to take care of me.
I would never dream of shopping around for these items and then demand the dealership make sure it all works perfectly well, without them making a reasonable profit.
It has taken me (unfortunately) a long time to realise that it is best to just not take on extra business, especially if the client has been complaining about the last support person/ company. Perhaps it was the actual client that was too difficult to deal with.
I understand that there are many ways to look at these issues, but overall, in my association with a number of other resellers, I certainly believe that the level of service, dedication and hard work is exceptional. We are very lucky and happy to have a large number of good clients, but it has taken many years to get to that point and we still have unpleasant surprises from time to time.
I often wish there was a crystal ball (or Web site) that would allow all resellers to lodge issues or problems about difficult and/or non-paying customers, without infringing on libel laws, so that all honest resellers can be warned in advance and can then take steps to educate the customer about the realities of IT, or simply walk away. We would save a lot of time, which could be ploughed back in to the good customers.
Anyhow, well done with your magazine and editorials.