Has your school ever been ripped off with IT purchases\support?
This is a serious poll, and I please ask for any stories you have to be posted below. What we need to know is wether your school\previous school has ever been sold\missold either a service or product at an extortianate rate, or at a below par standard, was it was swept under the carpet by senior management, and if the companies or persons involved are still 'milking' your school. In essence, is your school getting ripped off with an IT issue from an outside provider? You don't have to post examples if it is going to give your identity away, although you can PM me and I shall post them on your behalf so as to ensure you remain undetected. I don't want 'Teacher 'A' purchased naff software at BETT' stories unless said software ran into thousands of pounds and was not up to the task.
You don't have to mention the company if you don't want, we just need to get an idea of the scale of this kind of thing affecting schools currently, so please keep your comments relevent to the past 3-4 years and yes, you can include support companies overcharging for basic services such as installing new network points @£300 a time.
Last edited by Dos_Box; 18th April 2011 at 08:50 PM.
The previous tech got massively fleeced when buying SLA. For 90 PC's, 2 servers and 100 CALs (which were not needed) he got charged £27000 for 3 years. I came in in it was in year 2 of 3, looked at the renewal cost and explained how badly he got ripped off. I sourced our needs for just a shade under £7000 for 3 years.
Company that he got rippe off by was ramesys - however said salesman got fired for overcharging customers when it was found that he had around 30 complaints to his name for this.
Our school used to swear by a certain supplier/manufacturer/rip-off merchant before I started. This company in particular has two letter in its name and is a well known supplier for education.
Anyhow, after paying a good couple of hundred quid more per machine for similarly specced machines from other suppliers you'd expect there to be a reason for this. Namely, a decent warranty. So when a bunch of machines (of various models) start playing up for their various reasons you'd expect 'two lettered company' to sort it. Did they? No! We had to rely on our seperate SLA's to sort out these hardware problems.
Never again are we buying from 'two lettered company' again, for as long as I have a say in this school. Rip-off merchants! That's all they are - they think they can still get away with selling crap hardware/services at a stupidly high price. Do they not realise most schools have their IT teams now instead of an unknowledgable ICT Co-ordinator running the network?!
Company X (name removed for legal reasons) was selling PCs to schools without OSes on them ... and then charging schools for licences on top.
The quote would say something like "PC of spec x to run windows 98 / 2k / etc" but without saying the actual OS is on it
Same company installing Exchange and quoting the setup costs, but failing to mention that there were support costs too and then trying to tell schools that the signing up for installation commited them to the support too
A company brought in to migrate a school away from a unix based file system to a Windows 2000 setup, integrated with Macs and *nix not having any mac expertise and the school having to sort out the problems. Same company not patching the new server and it got infected within 2 days with Nimda
Company selling an MS VL CD at dirt cheap pricing, only to send over a retail box version of XP and refuse to give the VL key or CD
Actually ... I'm quite interested in this thread too ... but would be really interested in how it affects those in primary schools (as this is where I sometimes struggle to get buy-in from school leaders).
Local school bought 10 whiteboards and EVERY SINGLE one was badly installed, with power/speaker/cable issues. Company didn't really move to sort out issues, citing the installation company who just punted it back to the importer. Never really got sorted - school lived with the problem until I got there and kicked up a huge fuss. Even then, things still werent perfect and a local guy sorted out the final issues.
We had one of those, LA mass purchased across the borough. Installation company was overstretched did really bad job, came back to botch some more. Another company took over the original company, who tried again to sort the mess but finally went out of business. Not surprising really.
We got stuck in a contract with our copier company, as part of an LEA contract. The copier was broken about 50% of the time - at one point we were getting 3 call outs a week. We pushed, at school level, to get it sorted out, but the LEA kinda failed - just saying they've had words and the machine remained useless.
Now we are on a contract dealt with in school and we are getting better pricing, better service and better quality.
PS> Poll needs a 'Yes, but it is sorted out now' option.
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. I have also had lea approved electrician try to charge £2800 for 5 sockets for over head projectors(job was completed for £345 by another sparks)
I have had one company try to charge £1000 for export of data from sims and another £1000 for import into their package.7 mouse clicks to export and import (£285 per click not bad by anyones standard,and they got it wrong because they forgot to tick one box )
Also had a company try to charge £1500 per install for white board installs.This does not include equipment or electrics.Same primary had £1000 bill fore RM sharebox install ,for this we had to unpack the box ,install the box and attach all of the workstation.Not sur what the guy did but it took about 15 mins(my guess is set the ip and ran a few test).
My last place ordered 160 machines from a company (a forum Sponsor infact, not sure if still is, but not naming it) having ditched Viglen (who tbf are not worse but still bad) for a better standard of stuff when i left last October we had spent approx 40 back - apparently more now - having last may needed to order new machines for another IT suite we could only purchase the machines we if got them of said company (by orders of a governor) having known full well about the problems we had experienced with there hardware. Needless to say there was a far chunk of these machines sent back aswell. Many of the problems being simple hard disk failure - but said company had written in there warranty that we could not take the lids of the machines - therefore for a hard disk to be replaced we had to remove machine from classrom phone the company raise a RMA number - wait for said company to come pick the machine up - take it back and then swap the hard disk and send the machine back - we would then have to reimage the machine. all in all for a hard disk failure could be over a week before machine is returned to classroom. Which most major companys like HP would have shipped you the hard disk next day and you could swap it re- image the machine and the machine is back in the classroom 2days later
This View is my own and not that of the previous school
Before I started we had 12 interactive whiteboards & projectors installed. None of the projectors were aligned with board, the image didn't fill the screen, all of them were not mounted level, and one of the the projectors is just attached to a plank of wood balanced on 2 ceiling brackets! None of the cabling is quite right either!
In the same 12 classrooms the school also had "additional" network points installed - the company in question merely put a faceplate on the wall and plugged it in to an exisiting network socket (so they basically just extended it).
The school PBX was also a rip-off. We paid for a NEW Samsung OfficeServ 7200, instead we got a rubbish used one that keeps having problems (but got charged for new). We have had to have most of the extensions replaced as the phones that were installed don't work correctly with the switchboard and refuse to work. We also pay for a support contract with said company, but they charge us for call-outs, consultations, parts and labour!!
You've probably seen my posts on this on another thread; I'm very interested in this issue and would be keen on talking to any of you on here about your experiences directly. Please PM me if you'd like to be in contact.
Education journalist investigating this issue.
We ordered 100 Thin Clients from our LEA approved (and used) supplier, specifiying that they must support USB drives. A few months of head scratching (in between other issues I had following a whole school move to a new site) and then back and fore to Samsung it emerges that they run CE 5 and would never support this. Our supplier was very slow to resolve this, and in the end in an effort to at least get a working solution I requested they try Thinstation, which they did, slowly and we finally had a solution. I'm still, nearly three months later, waiting for them to return the Thin Client they had to test Thinstation on.
This big, European Wide, supplier has given us nothing but trouble, other issues include underspeccing requirements for AV installs (not necessarily ripping us off, more poor service!) requireing us to spend more, or threaten to cancel the order.
My kids primary school were quoted £75 for a lead to connect a laptop to a Smart board, £145 for a projector lamp change (the lamp was £350 extra!) and £98 for the replacement and fitting of 7 x .25m patch leads........all from a very large company predominantly in the education sector!! Thankfully I found out about it before they placed the order and managed to get the lot done (including the cost of the lamp) for just over £200, ok I didn't charge for labour but how much would that be for less than an hours work?