Computers and Cowboys

I am sad.

I have spent the whole day looking after some customers’ systems, and not a single one of them was set up properly, not even remotely close.

I don’t mean that there was something wrong with them: EVERYTHING was WRONG on so many levels that I am now sad.

Sad to see that an extremely important, for some of you vital staple of your daily business is trumped by the sheer incompetence of some self-appointed “computer experts”.

These cowboys (you know who you are!) are unnecessarily putting your business to an extremely serious risk, because of their blatant approximation – if you’re lucky – or their dangerous dishonesty.

Between bad printer installations, shoddy network cabling, unsafe electrics, I have noticed an alarming growth of installations of resource hungry, badly set up and mismanaged antivirus applications foisted on unsuspecting, unwitting people.

It’s time to lift the lid.

Whenever one of these “experts” say that you need a different antivirus than the one you have, when you never had a problem with your PC, call their bluff asking them how much of the sale price goes straight in their pockets.

There is a plethora of badly written, inefficient and ineffective antivirus products that cannot sell a single copy, because no true expert would ever recommend it.

The companies that develop these applications have then recruited an army of self-taught, unqualified cowboys (You Know Who You Are!) to foist their abysmal quality software onto well meaning people, willing to take advice from these rogues.

What these charlatans will never tell you is that they get the lion share of the price you pay for that unnecessary new antivirus, charging you an extremely overpriced full Recommended Retail Price, while they pay about a fiver for a new licence for that application – and honestly, it isn’t even worth that.

Not only these cowboys (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!) are taking advantage of your good faith, they’re clogging your computer with badly written, shoddily engineered software that will cripple your perfectly good computer, slowing it to a crawl and stopping you getting anything done.

And – to add insult to injury – after causing such damage, loss of productivity, time and money, these cowboys (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!) take the trump card out of their pocket and say that you obviously need a new computer, as yours is now suddenly too old and slow.

Would you trust a car mechanic that installs huge, heavy, oversized bumpers on your car “for your protection”, and when you say that your car is now too slow and you can’t see in front of you they say that you obviously need a new car?

Why is it so self-evident that such “mechanic” should be taken out of business immediately, and when it comes to computers you don’t use some good common sense with the result of the work of those that you trust with your computers?

After they’ve been fiddling with them for a while, if you’re left worse off, with a slow computer, out of pocket, and dissatisfied, demand that these cowboys (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!) right the wrong and return your money, or – better – ask a qualified expert first.

Ask your friends to recommend somebody that has done a good job for them at a honest price. Don’t trust snake oil salesmen: computers are nothing else than machines. There is no black art or magic behind IT, everything is extremely straightforward. Use common sense, and if you think you don’t need something it means you don’t.

Stop_HandA message to these cowboys.

Stop. Now. Some of us qualified experts, members of respected professional bodies, can take action against those that put the trade into disrespect. You can face large fines, even jail terms. Stop. NOW.

I have seen so many wrongs today, that I’m now beyond mad. I’m sad.

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