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Capstone Works, Inc. has been serving the Cedar Park area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Is Your Business Still Dealing With Surprise IT Fees?

Is Your Business Still Dealing With Surprise IT Fees?

Nobody likes getting surprise charges. It feels… dirty. So many companies do it. You’ve got those surprise processing fees attached to your phone bill, the mechanic calling you to tell you that you’ve got a cracked turbo when you only went in for an oil change, or your computer guy sending you an invoice for additional support along with the monthly bill…

It feels like a lot of these other computer support companies make a living off of surprise fees and invoices. It’s NOT it normal, and we’re going to tell you a little secret about the IT industry so hopefully you don’t ever have to pay a surprise IT invoice ever again.

For Over Two Decades, IT Companies Have Been Able to Work Differently

This is going to be a bit of a history lesson. Once upon a time, computer repair shops and IT companies were pretty similar to a lot of other trades. We were like mechanics for your car, or plumbers for your drains. You would call when you have a problem, we would come onsite and fix the problem, and send you a bill for our time.

For some types of problems, that’s not a bad way of doing things. Take the plumber, for instance. You likely (and hopefully) don’t need to call your plumber very often. They come in, fix the issue, and that’s it. A plumber doesn’t make a living off of recurring visits; they service a wider client-base and often perform a broad series of services or work with contractors for new installations. If you had a problem with your pipes and needed to keep arranging house calls with the same guy, after a while you’d probably look up one of his competitors to get a second opinion.

Back in the day, computer support basically worked the same way. 

Similar to plumbers, most IT people didn’t really rely on recurring support calls to make a living—they sold hardware, built computers, did network installs, and other services that would pay the bills.

But modern technology has changed in a few ways over the last couple of decades.

First of all, computers and laptops tend to fail much less frequently. Modern hard drives and other components have come a long way over the years. That doesn’t mean there aren’t fewer issues, but the types of issues have changed. Cybersecurity and software problems have become the leading cause of most IT support calls. An “old school” computer repair person isn’t going to be able to make the same kind of profit since they aren’t replacing hardware as often, and aren’t always going onsite to reinstall Windows or some other task that will keep him billing you for hours at a time.

“Introducing” Managed IT Services

I put the word introducing in quotes because I know this isn’t a new concept for most of our readers. The early 2000s was the start of a whole new industry for IT companies. It grew out of a couple different ideas. 

First, it just wasn’t a viable business for a small company to try to sell hardware to businesses. No business should have to pay a huge markup on new computers and laptops when you can just as easily go to any store or online retailer and order what you need. 

Second, as mentioned before, computers just stopped falling apart as often as they used to. A computer repair person wasn’t going to be replacing hard drives and power supplies as often as they used to. 

Third, advances in remote management technology for massive enterprises paved the way for some IT companies to make investments in powerful IT support tools and utilize them in a way that smaller businesses could afford. This was huge. Suddenly, small and medium-sized businesses in an area could benefit from the kind of IT management infrastructure that, at the time, only fortune 500 companies could afford. The IT company could split up the huge investment of these tools and staff training between all of the smaller businesses that they support.

This was an enormous disruption to the IT industry, and one that everyone benefited from. Companies like our own were able to do more for our clients, and our clients could not only get incredibly fast and effective support, but advanced IT monitoring that would actually detect issues and prevent problems before they stirred up the bottom line.

Most IT companies today promise some level of this, and they tend to call it managed IT services.

What Does This Have to Do With Hidden Fees and Surprise Invoices?

It’s supposed to eliminate them altogether!

The managed IT service concept works like this:

The IT provider establishes all of the tools, training, best practices, and knowledge base that their staff needs to effectively support their clients. You figure in all of these costs, plus the costs of keeping the lights on, the costs associated with staffing and career development, and make sure there is always a budget for researching and understanding new technology trends and problems that come up. Then you split that cost up based on your clients and the number of users or workstations you take care of.

That’s sort of an over-simplification, but the idea is that a managed IT services provider should cost your business about the same or in some cases less than you were spending on traditional computer support each year. Obviously there are other things that might hit the IT budget, like new hardware, software, and growth (like adding new users), but generally there should be much more value for the small business that’s working with the IT provider.

For over 20 years, we’ve been able to run like that for our clients, and it has been an incredible experience for both us and the businesses we work with. Capstone Works wouldn’t be where we are today without this big industry-wide revolution that was happening when we opened our doors.

So Why Do Some Managed IT Providers that Lock My Business Into a Contract Still Charge Me Unexpected Fees?

We can’t generally answer for each and every situation, but we can be blunt; they just don’t have their act together.

Either they haven’t invested in the tools, training, and resources to provide true managed services, or their technicians aren’t quite honed in enough to make true flat-rate IT a viable offering. 

Either way, that leaves the small business with the bill, and a bad taste in the mouth.

You don’t deserve that. You shouldn’t be responsible for paying for the mistakes of another business.

Here’s the worst part—most of the time, those surprise invoices are for work on something that was preventing your users from doing their jobs. You were paying your employee to sit and twiddle their thumbs while your IT provider was fixing an issue that you pay an ongoing fee to prevent. Then, as if to kick you while you were already down, your IT provider sent you a bill!

It’s outrageous. I’m upset for you.

At Capstone Works, There’s No Nickels, No Dimes, and No Surprise Invoices

We’ve spent more than 20 years perfecting what we do, and we made sure that we can provide incredible IT services that help keep Texas businesses operational without needing to foot extra hidden bills over to you.

If we’re supporting your network, you’ll never get a surprise invoice from us for a support call that took longer than expected. We’ll never kick you when you are down.

If you are tired of unexpected fees and invoices, and feel like you are spending far too much on your IT without really getting much value out of it, give us a call at (512) 343-8891. I promise you’ll never feel that way again.

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Monday, August 15, 2022

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715 Discovery Blvd
Suite 101

Cedar Park, Texas 78613