Whether you are a potential or existing client, you’ll find answers to a number of questions here.
IT consultants are paid for expertise. Appraisals, proposals, research, designing, providing purchasing advice, and troubleshooting, whether performed on-site or off, all make use of our expertise and provide value to our clients. Basically, if a full-time employee would be paid for it, it’s billable.
“Non-project-based engagements” and troubleshooting are compensated on an hourly basis:
Whenever possible, we avoid charging by the hour. (And we think you should reconsider this practice as well.) We prefer to price our services in a manner in which you can see their value, their cost, and then make an informed decision. We understand, however, that there is not always time for appraisals and proposals; you simply need to get back to work. We will show up and work diligently to frame the problem, then explain the pros and cons of the various solutions. Sometimes this involves contacting tech support on your behalf, often this involves troubleshooting and research.
A few notes about the nature of troubleshooting:
An awkward challenge of our work is that we cannot always guarantee results when we are troubleshooting an installation that is not our own. We will, however, guarantee a better understanding of the situation at hand. A few things for us to keep in perspective:
- Sometimes breakthroughs come by chance.
- Sometimes an issue is actually two or more issues compounded.
- Sometimes technology which “works”, is a house of cards.
- Some issues result from software bugs or conflicts.
- Sometimes “normal” behavior appears to be “broken” from your perspective.
- Sometimes getting back to work is more important than finding a root cause.
- Some issues require more resources to solve than our clients are willing to invest.
As you can see, there are several factors that are simply beyond our control, and trying to troubleshoot improper setups inevitably uncovers additional root issues. We want you to realize this up front, to avoid any “You touched it and it broke” awkwardness. This is not the same as us getting stumped. (See above.)
Phone, Text, Chat, and e-Mail support:
Often we can answer a question or troubleshoot an issue via e-Mail, Text, Chat or phone. For conversations up to 10 minutes, there is no charge. For more lengthly calls & e-mail, we have a 1 hour minimum and we bill in 15 minute increments beyond the first hour. We may suggest remote or on-site support, however.
Our rate is $149/hour, billed in 15 minute increments. Keep in mind, however, the things we do not charge for.
If we feel we are hitting a dead end, we will let you know ASAP. We are paid to be experts. If we get stumped, we stop the clock. We will either work off the clock until we gain some traction or leave and continue to research on our own time, then return with answers. And though officially, we bill for e-Mail, Text, Chat or phone support, we bend our own rules for regular clients and do not charge for quick questions. We want our clients to ask us questions.
We can often respond to an emergency and show up at your office within a few hours if we are not on-site with a client at the time you call. If we are on-site with another client and that client agrees to reschedule, then we will be able to visit your office ASAP, though we will need to charge time-and-a-half (150%) for the duration of the visit.
Coverage Area, Minimums, and Travel Time:
ka-POW-er! does not charge travel time for our clients in and adjacent to Boston Zip Codes. This includes Allston, Brighton, and Jamaica Plain, as well as portions of Brookline, South Boston, Cambridge and Somerville. We have a two-hour minimum in this area. For clients beyond this range, we bill the round trip at 50% (using Google Maps to measure time). Beyond a 10-12 mile radius from the Back Bay we have a 4 hour minimum.
Our services provide immediate results. Therefore, our terms are C.O.D., payable by Cash, Debit/Credit Card, or Business Check. (Technology Coaching is only available pre-paid.) Our business model is not one which provides credit services. Banks and Credit Card Issuers exist for such needs. For larger institutions, payment is expected during the next “check run” though no later than 10 business days from invoicing. This splits the difference between being COD-only and “30 days after receipt” which is standard for many businesses. Clients find that this is far more convenient than COD.
We use Square for on site Debit/Credit Card payments.
Make business checks payable to “ka-POW-er!”
Our mailing address is:
30 Newbury St., 3d Floor
Boston, MA 02116
ka-POW-er! business hours are from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM Monday through Friday, with the exception of Federal & State holidays. All requests for work to be performed outside of these hours are subject to availability. Any work performed Monday through Friday outside of these hours will be billed at time-and-a-half (150%). Work performed on Saturdays and Federal holidays is subject to a 4 hour minimum and will be billed at time-and-a-half (150%). Work performed on Sundays and Holidays is subject to a 4 hour minimum and will be billed at double time (200%).
We take a 30-60 minute break for lunch and fresh air. It’s better for all of us. It’s off the clock, of course.
Incoming Emergency Calls:
While we are on site with you, we may need to take emergency phone calls from other clients. Some day, it could be you calling with the emergency. We will obviously not bill you while on the phone with another client.
We trust you find these policies reasonable. If you have any questions or wish to make suggestions, please let us know! (Contact info below)
(First time customers: please print this out and have it signed prior to our appointment)
I have the authority to make purchasing decisions on behalf of this business. I have read the above and agree to the stated terms. I will be responsible for facilitating ka-POW-er! invoices, W9 Forms, and other paperwork required by my company, so that the above terms may be met.
Print Name: _______________________________