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System Pricing 

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"In your career, knowledge is  like milk. It has a shelf life stamped right on the carton.

The shelf life of a degree in engineering is about
3 years. If you're not replacing everything you know by then, your career is going to turn sour fast."   
--Louis Ross, Ford Motor Co., CTO to a group of engineering students 


            Please send us your comments and feedback
Service References - Bricks & Bouquets

Stu Innes, Regina Businessperson, Grain Farmer, Friend
As we review the comments made by the Duncans team concerning 'on site service' we immediately feel the negative undercurrent of dissatisfaction with the previous arrangement for on site service calls. As unfortunate as this change may be for some business customers we also clearly see the stated goal of greater fairness in pricing for both Duncans and client. As to whether or not this policy is written in stone will depend on the continued development of a "working relationship" with present and future customers, with perhaps a greater focus on fairness and definitive pricing. Just my two cents. December 11, 2000

Doug Sanderson, A+ Certified Duncan Technician and CCNA (Cisco) Candidate
I think that this is a good development. I believe this because when you go to a customer's site you can never be fully equipped. You often do not know what the real problem is. I believe this to be the main trouble with on-site  service calls. It's just so much easier to work in a familiar environment, where we know we can easily get the tools, information and teamwork assistance that we may need to correct a problem. November 27, 2000. 

Kerry Hjertaas, A+ Certified Duncans Associate and Technician
It's about time. Since before now we have been unable to reliably enforce proper service charges. This is a giant step in the right direction. Now we will be able to monitor more closely the time spent working on machines and bill more appropriately. There will no longer be cases where a customer gets four hours of service and will not pay for more than one. Efficiency is an integral part of a great business and this is big step towards that goal. November 27, 2000

John Duncan - Senior Sales Administrator,  A+ Candidate and Duncans Associate
The posts to this discussion certainly reveal the frustration we have all been feeling. We all work so very hard to meet the needs of our clients, and we have often been rewarded both financially and through personal compliments for our work and dedication. I can not even remember the number of times we have said to a client who has asked us "Do I owe you something for this service work? and we have replied, "No, that's all right!"

So we, ourselves, may be at the very root of the problem, and we may be contributing to the perception that our knowledge and expertise is of no value, as we give it away freely. All of the professions we have in place today have no problem turning the meter on. Doctors, lawyers, accountants have learned how to do it. We need to learn how to bill for our expertise ourselves, politely, firmly, fairly and consistently for us to gain the respect of our clients and be treated as professionals. 

If we are unable to do this, then we are only tradesmen in their eyes. and not worthy of professional respect. Knowing how to diagnose a computer's problems and being able to correct those problems is important. Knowing how to be paid for our expertise could be the most difficult and perplexing computer problem we will ever face. November 27, 2000

Robert McCallum Senior A+ Computer Technician (15 years experience), CCNA (Cisco) Candidate and  Duncans Associate 
One of the longest standing problems for IT personnel or Companies is payment for actual services rendered. People are willing to pay for almost anything except someone else's knowledge. When a plumber comes to your home or place  of business and takes 2 hours to find a plugged line that you caused, then takes 5 minutes to fix it, you expect a bill for 3 hours @ $65.00 per hour without question. When a computer technician spends 2 hours to straighten the mess you caused on your hard drive because you don't know anything about the machine you are depending your business on, then takes 5 minutes to fix the error, you usually get a bill for 1 hour and throw a hissy fit because it ONLY TOOK 5 MINUTES!!! This total lack of respect for someone's knowledge leads to the problems that result in us having to implement new onsite policies.

When you buy a vehicle from a car dealer its assumed by both parties that you know how to drive, and wrapping the car around a tree isn't covered by warranty. November 27, 2000

Jerrad DeBolt - A+ Certified Duncan Technician and Associate
In reference to cancellation of on-site warranty service....... I think that putting it in black and white it makes us look more professional, as well as preventing the "Oh I didn't know that" routine. I think that overall this is a step in the right direction, since it eliminates mom and pop thinking and shows confidence and leadership. This is the kind of thing that will say "we mean business" instead of "can u give us business". . ....................... .............I approve :) November 27, 2000

Les Hallett - A+ Certified Candidate and Duncan Associate
Right on. The business clients we have tend to be averse to spending money on properly designed information systems, both at hardware-purchase time and system-design time. The time spent on "expert consulting" tends to be about 10 minutes during the "hardware-purchase" phase. The client regards this as a free service, a benefit of buying from a shop with expertise instead of from a big box store. Unfortunately, the client generally chooses a single-point-of-failure system for reasons of economy, with a vague reliance on infrequent "backups" for data security. The "warranty" on hardware is not a "guarantee" of data security. The client, through ignorance and wishful thinking, may regard it as such, and expect it under warranty at no charge. There is the conflict. The client has not done his/her part. Does not even know he/she has a part, or what it involves and has an expectation of free service. This conflict will not go away by forcing the client to bring the machine in for repairs. The expectation of free service will still be there. Surely, though, we will be able to handle it better within the shop. November 27, 2000


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       This page last modified November 05, 2007
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