Poll: Has\is your school getting ripped off with IT purchases?

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Site Polls Thread, Has your school ever been ripped off with IT purchases\support? in EduGeek Stuff; We had a bunch of cowboys do the networking at our new build (several years ago) they left in a ...
  1. #16

    SpuffMonkey's Avatar
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    We had a bunch of cowboys do the networking at our new build (several years ago) they left in a right old mess that we've gradually tidied up what we can over the years, but we're shortly to be an Academy and they sent a company in to do a network survey over the Easter break (great I thought - they'll identify remaining problems and hopefully fix them) - but they must have sent untrained monkeys and they have left dozens of PCs & phones unplugged - and at the patch board end - it looks like they pulled a switch load of cables out at a time and just plugged them back in randomly - not a lot of help for our VLANs - cue angry letter...wallies

  2. #17

    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    IWB installations:
    We've used 3 different companies and every time I have had to stand over them and watch them like a hawk... and even then I've missed things and had to call them back. Amongst the issues:
    - Projectors mounted so that I would have had to take the projector down to clean the filters... installer seemed surprised that I didn't want to do this
    - One projector mount that points every way except at the board... this one's still a PITA, it points at the board now, but is permanently wonky
    - Cable runs for IWBs a mess/ duct there with no cables in(!)...
    - IWB mounted directly onto an ordinary Whiteboard. Maybe we should have taken it down first, but they said they'd do it!
    - Missing pens, cables, software...

  3. #18
    jamesfed's Avatar
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    (At a previous school)
    Two letters - RM
    Mainly on the grounds of overpriced Hardware (especially notebooks) and some software (mainly their own brand of network management software (RM CC4))

  4. #19

    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Another from an anonymous PM.

    One of our governors runs a technology company locally. He supplies all printer cartridges to the school and, despite repeated attempts over 4 years, I have yet to get them ordered from anywhere else which would save us a fortune.

    He quoted for an installation job in a new building, but didn't itemise the quote which was expensive. The then Bursar and I weren't happy and asked for an itemised quote so we could compare. He wanted us to show him the other quotes. We refused, he did itemise and, on this occasion, I won and the installation was done by someone else.

    The original installation was done just as I arrived here. I had no say in the spec. The equipment supplied by the same person has been a PITA and expensive. In some cases (e.g. the switch cabinet) the wrong things were supplied and we had a lengthy fight to return and exchange for the right items.

    It really riles me. I'm a governor at another school and the register of interests alone would stop this there.

  5. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    (At a previous school)
    Two letters - RM
    Mainly on the grounds of overpriced Hardware (especially notebooks) and some software (mainly their own brand of network management software (RM CC4))
    I quite agree...this school has practically been bankrupted for 3 years because of the contract a teacher was allowed to sign us into. An absolute crappy system that cost the Earth...and we are still paying for it.

    I was initially invited to the meetings with RM before the contract was signed, but was soon excluded once my feelings for RM became clear. Apparently my questions were too awkward to be answered by the sales reps.

  6. #21

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    IWB installations that were done at this school before I started are poor to shocking. Mounts not secured properly, boards mounted wonky, cabling all over the place. Price wise was reasonable, but the quality of workmanship was dredful and downright dangerous in parts - I think that counts as being ripped off as they wern't delivering what we were paying for. Needless to say I appointed a new contractor for our IWB installations.

    We had a subscription to some E-Learning software which was a total rip off. I found out that we were actually in a 5 year contract for the damn thing, signed long before I started. It was useless, badly put together, extreemly expensive and was only ever used by one ICT teacher who left last year. Luckily our business manager managed to get us out of this contract - I don't know how, but it saved the school tens of thousands.

    Again when I first started, the usual cabling contractor the school used was charging extortionate rates for installing network cabling - over 1000 for 4 straight forward network points in one instance. Soon put a stop to that and appointed a different contractor.

    A long time ago someone here thought it would be a good idea to purchase some tablet PC's - 200 of them to be precise at 1000 each! Problem is they were under specced from day 1, and upgrades and spares for them were also extreemly expensive. With only a 800MHz processor and 256mb RAM they were wholey in adequate for even running windows properly, thus they were never really used properly. There were still around 160 of these left when I started which I slowly phased out, and last year I donated the whole lot of the remaining machines and spares to charity - boy were we glad to see the back of them!
    Last edited by maniac; 22nd April 2010 at 12:58 PM.

  7. #22

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    Anonymous:

    3 weeks I found out that our budget had been agreed for the ICT department. I attempted to buy a new wide screen monitor for myself as my monitor has about 50 dead pixels (been in use near 8 years now!). I had found one for 130, and the deputy chair of governors (who owns his own company) told the bursar he could get one for us via his company. The specs I asked for was a 19in, 2048x1080 (minimum). He agreed to the specs that I had asked, we paid 90 for the monitor (which we thought was a bargain), and got a receipt for said purchase.

    He bought in said monitor and it turns out he had written one off from his business so that he could use it at home, and we got his old home monitor. The specs of said monitor is 17in (none wide screen), barely supports 1280x960 and is absolute rubbish. We have been on at him to refund us so we can buy the one we want but he is now refusing.

    Needless to say the schools legal team is getting involved because of this.

  8. #23

    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Anonymous:

    Ramesys installed some IWBs a couple of summers back. None worked properly from the off, one still has problems now. Ramesys refused to replace with new kit even though they were faulty from the day they were installed or had been installed badly. They kept referring us to the warranty company with whom the warranty had been had been sub-contracted to. This second company then sub-contracted the work out further to a third. No one would accept responsibility and our so-called account manager refused to take or respond to my telephone calls or emails.

    I don’t remember the name of this company but a couple of years before that our bursar arranged an air conditioning unit for the server room, which even the company admitted wasn't fit for purpose. SLT wouldn't take legal action on either of these occasions, we just paid somone else to put things right.

  9. #24

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    Sorry to intrude again, but have any of you ever come across the procurement guidance stuff on the DCSF website? /www.teachernet.gov.uk/management/epc/

  10. #25
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    There used to be so much ripping off in my school Quite sad really.

    The local company they were using took advantage of the fact that nobody was particularly computer literate. Exorbitant charges for call outs, huge prices for hardware and even some delicious unnecessary upgrades. I built up a nice little report on the actual costs vs what they'd been paying and (tactfully) explained that they'd been ripped off.

  11. #26

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    Help! I am just going through these posts, and want to make sure that I understand all of them, for an investigation I am doing on technical support issues for the National Association of Head Teachers.
    I have had a bit of troubleunderstanding all of the abbreviations used in a couple of the messages. Can you help?

    One of the messages said:
    "I manage a college and several primary school.The previous it teacher was charged 3500 for a empty 44 u network cab and 145 per network point.I was using the same installer at the time at my previous college and they charged me 600 for the same cab and 45 per point."

    Can you tell me what an "empty 44 u network cab" is, please? Shame to say, this means nothing to me.

    Also, another post said:

    "The previous tech got massively fleeced when buying SLA. For 90 PC's, 2 servers and 100 CALs."

    Can you tell me what "SLA" is, and "CALs" are?

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Warwick

  12. #27

    localzuk's Avatar
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    An empty 44U cab is a server cabinet capable of supporting 44U of devices. A U being a standardised measure of the height of rack mountable devices.

    SLA is 'Service level agreement', a contract between the supplier and client outlining the requirements and responsibilities of both sides.

    CALs are 'Client Access Licenses', a license allowing a single user or machine (depending on which type are purchased) to access a server/service.

  13. #28

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    Thanks! Brilliant to have such a comprehensive answer so quickly.

    Warwick

  14. #29

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    Today's TES carried an article with quotes from this thread, excerpted from an NAHT-commissioned report for their annual conference:

    Schools being treated like 'an open chequebook', says NAHT - News - TES Connect

    Can't find a link to the original report, but it may not have been issued publicaly yet.

  15. #30

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    The article on the NAHT website can be found here - NAHT Ripped Off Schools

  16. 2 Thanks to GrumbleDook:

    AngryTechnician (30th April 2010), john (30th April 2010)

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