In the six years that Rekall has been in business we have heard some pretty horrible stories regarding IT vendors. We’ve heard of unfathomable support issues, unethical billing practices, and a general lack of client ethics which many law firms have started to accept as the norm. Utilize the following article as a guideline and see if you notice similarities between common crooked IT vendor practices and your IT vendor.
Understand Your Bills | Bottom line, there should never be anything you don’t understand on your bill. If you pay by the hour, then many IT vendors view this as open season for billing. Make sure everything on your bill is justified, also make sure you bills show descriptive billing descriptions. All descriptions must be in layman’s terms and if they are not, question the billing line item. Make sure that when you discuss the bill you listen with your BS detector ready and working. IT vendors have the advantage here and may use confusing technological terms during a billing dispute discussion. If your IT vendor cannot breakdown a charge without the use of tech jargon, demand that they explain the issue better.
Don’t Be Intimidated | It amazes me how many high powered law firms are actually scared of their IT vendors. They feel that they have total power over their data and are scared to question anything from bills to support in fear of retaliation. This is absolutely not normal and it’s an abusive relationship. A service vendor that you pay should be trying win you over, not the other way around. If your in this situation, any good IT company can work through the strangle hold of your corrupt IT company and do this without any data loss or downtime if it’s done in an organized manner with a good plan.
Support Availability Limitations | Often times we see IT people who are only available after 4pm or not available by phone until after normal business hours. These IT people have full time jobs and are dabbling with the idea of starting a business while putting your firm at support risk. Medium to larger sized law firms generally do not accept this as they prefer to work with real IT companies, companies with employees, insurance, an office, and real client references. Working with a solo IT person with an inconsistent support schedule almost always ends up with the firm having to race around to find an IT vendor at the last minute during a crisis. Making such a heavy decision like an IT vendor this quickly is never good.
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