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What is Billable?

Computer Consultants across the globe are often asked: What is considered “Billable?”

Abraham Lincoln said, “A Lawyer’s time and advice are his stock in trade.” This is also true of doctors, accountants, mechanics, computer consultants, etc. KelCon Technologies is a service-based company. As such, our time is extremely valuable to us and to our clients. In fact, we have invested thousands of dollars to make the time we spend more effective for you. We bill for all time spent on a project or on troubleshooting a problem, even when some of that time may not have led to the final solution. Simply put, if it takes your doctor two visits to properly diagnose the cause of your ailment, he still charges for two visits. We at KelCon Technologies do everything we can to properly troubleshoot and fix all network issues which your company may have in the shortest time possible. Some issues are more complex and may require a “narrowing down” process spread over multiple visits. That said, we at KelCon Technologies work hard to make our clients happy and their kind words are proof of our efforts.

On rare occassions, a prospective client, whose experience with computer consultants is limited to relatives, cheap services, or bouts of “do-it-yourself”-ism, has asked: Why do you charge what you charge?

A fair question. Let me share with you a story. Back when the ‘Klez’ virus was making headlines, I received several calls from new clients who were grateful when I was able to remove the Klez virus and restore stability in minutes. Just for fun, I called a $25/hour competitor to find out what his solution was for the ‘Klez’ threat. His solution: send the hard drive off to OnTrack and pay $1,000 – $5,000 to have your data retrieved (OnTrack is a professional Data Recovery company specializing in hard drives which are no longer readable). Hard to believe? I’m not kidding. Knowledge and creative problem-solving saved my clients literally thousands of dollars!

In this regard, I am reminded of the story about a customer complaining about a mechanic who charged him $75 to fix his car. The customer complained that all the mechanic did was turn one screw and only spent about five minutes doing it. The mechanic responded by saying, “It’s not turning the screw that I’m charging you for, it’s for knowing which screw to turn.” The analogy speaks for itself. A sophisticated client will make a cost-effective investment to retain a sophisticated network engineering firm.

Can you guarantee to cure my spyware problem?

In many cases, a spyware problem can be removed and completely fixed, but because the cause rests with the user, we cannot make any guarantees. A client asked me that very question once, “Now that you’ve cured my spyware problem, can you guarantee I won’t get any more spyware-related pop-ups?” I joked with him, “Yes, if you can promise me that you won’t touch the keyboard or the mouse!”

Obviously he couldn’t, and neither could I…but he got the point. Although spyware protection and removal programs are helpful, the best defense against spyware, adware, and malware continues to be prevention by avoidance. By avoiding sites and programs that are high-risk, you will do more than any anti-spyware program to reduce and prevent spyware. Such high-risk sites and programs include (but are not limited to) casino and gambling, gaming, music download sites and programs, some shopping and “bargain” programs and sites, inappropriate sites and programs, etc. If the aforementioned sites and programs are frequented or downloaded by those who use the computer, there is little if anything that KelCon Technologies or any other qualified professional can do to prevent damage to the computer.