I dont normally like publically stating things like this, but I'm so fed up of this company constantly making work more stressful that it needs to be.
The school has used them for a number of years, of which Ive been there about 2 1/2.
I'll run through why I wouldn't recommend them at all
Now we havent bougtht any from them in nearly a year so I cannot comment on their current range.
But some examples of their old equipment:
- PC's being specced as standard with 256MB RAM well into 2005. Some of these had boards with only 2 RAM slots, fitted with 2x128MB sticks, which made them instantly obselete and requiring the existing memory to be removed
- PC's supplied with older boards than others bought 8 months earlier
- Cheap 'all-in-one' case design and shoddy laptop chassis that always feel like they are going to fall apart.
- All desktops supplied with poor Intel boards
- Cheap memory used at times, also brands seemed to change to whatever they had at the time.
Now all that isnt the end of the world, but
Machines take up to a month to be returned, sometimes in a worse state than they were sent. Casing almost falling off, missing screws, missing blanking plates, damaged cases, etc.
Not much testing seems to be done, so infrequent problems are not noticed and simply returned in the state they are sent
But for the worst, it has to be the cabling. We stopped using them for a year or so after a project last sumemr took till nearly October because of various things that were not completed well or at all.
Had to use them recently (no choice) and if anything its got worse.
- No 'give' on the cables at all, so patch panels cannot be moved one inch.
- Points numbered completely randomly - in one area we had 85 + 6 in one double socket, and similar all round the room.
- Others were numbered like 12/11 - ie they obviously terminated the wrong cable first and didnt bother reterminating so that they run in order
- Floor mounted points numbered like 31/31a when no such (a) exists on the patch panels
- No test results whatsoever, for neither fibre nor copper. In fact when an engineer was asked how he tested the fibre, we were told 'I just shine a light down it'. Another engineer told me his tester was broken so could he "borrow a media converter?"
- Points simply labelled with labels from a label maker, not with the correct cardboard inserts. In other areas numbers are simply written on with permanent marker.
- In some areas multiple brands of patch panels are used in a single install, and panels are not the right ones to validate the cabling guarantee.
- Points in the past have been left with no marking at all, leaving us to guess where they run to.
- When terminating a cable has obviously been too much trouble, they have sometimes left a cable with an RJ45 connector dangling in the cabinet rather than terminating it.
- Points are sometimes put where they feel like it, rather than where we ask them. Communication is poor as there are constantly different teams of cablers on site.
- No testing done, so normally some points dont work at all, some are just terminated very poorly.
- Arrival on site very late, afternoon in some cases, and they clear off extremely early. Compare this to other companies who stay all day.
- No communication of where equipment should go. Recent example was some fibre pulled requiring a new patch panel. Not much room left in the cab. Instead of asking us where we wanted it, they took it upon themselves to remove one of our cable management bars and stick it there, far away from the rest of the fibre.
I've heard it said several times on here that the bad cablers have been sacked and most are good. Well there are SOME that have done a very good job, are friendly, and give you some confidence in their work. But you never get the same ones back.
And whether the old offenders have been sacked or not, they still have some dreadful cablers working for them, as the cabling they have recently completed is a new low in terms of quality.
Whether you get hardware from them is a personal choice, there are worse companies, and some equipment such as their servers are good quality and the engineers to support them are very knowledgeable.
But for cabling I would NEVER recommend them. I thought the quality of their cabling was the norm until we got a different company in, who showed the right way to do cabling. No corners cut, all tested, neatly finished, plenty of length on cables and they always consult you if theres any problems.
In a Server Room cutting through a forest of Cat5e
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Re: NS Optimum
Well that's disapointing that they haven't improved. I thought after some un-named people had left things would have improved. Can I suggest you do as I did when I had a huge number of problems with a job and phone them asking to speak to Jill Rose (unless they have finally fired her) and have a rant at her.
Another thing to check with their fibre installs. Did they put any turn in the turning pits to allow for some extension or did they put it in straight through?
It really is a shame to hear that their cablers are still so crap, my commiserations that you now have to clean up their mess
After a recent flood his reaction has been only slightly short of criminal. I decided then that if that was his attitude to his tenants (customers) then the school I work at would have absolutely nothing to do with his company.
They were the only mistake I made I when I first started out in education. Used them for a small 10 pc admin network and then never again. We had to threaten them with legal action when they kept sending the same invoice out after it had been paid. As for their cablers... the less said the better.
I have never used them, and buy the sounds of it, its a good job
I always just get spammed by them and emails claiming they tried to call and i was unable to take the call. When i first started out and got this email, i rang the person back and was then told he never tried to call me, after that it was all over!
I'm glad I'm not the only one that had to go down the legal threat route.
We ordered 2 rooms of 28 PCs from them not long after I started (some moons ago) and had nothing but trouble with the machines. We had great difficulty getting them repaired and they even "lost" one and refused to replace it even though we had proof of delivery to their depot.
They charged us for software that they never supplied - even after repeated calls and solicitors letters.
Their cabling was so crap we replaced it after a couple of years (or rather I replaced it). There was no testing, no labeling and we were 4 sockets short that were cobbled with cable splitters.
To cap it all their sales team kept on ringing for years and occasionally still do. I absolutely refuse to deal with this arrogant and unhelpful company ever again.
I went on work experience there whilst at 6th form in 1999.
Wasn't impressed. Wasn't shown much. Was supposed to be on the production line for thier machines for the first 2 days, instead ended up being given a pile of pc's and bits taller than me and asked to find all the floppy drives!!!
Ended up being put infront of a pc with excel and yell.com and told to create a directory of all the schools in the midlands!
I was supposed to be there to learn tech support!
OT: hi jwood, what school in Cheltenham are you working in?