Here are my top five pieces of advice for those deciding on which consultant to use:

Ring around and get free advice.

Don’t be afraid to ring a few companies for some free advice.  Consultants who genuinely want to help and believe in good old-fashioned customer service won’t have any problems with this.

Those that don’t help ‒ avoid them!

Check out experience and qualifications etc.

Nothing beats a word-of-mouth recommendation from friends but all consultants should be able to provide a list of satisfied clients you could contact.  Also, if a consultant says he or she has passed any Microsoft, VMware or Cisco exams they will have certificates to prove it!  So ask them!!

Remember “You’re the boss”.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and don’t be blinded by science.

If the consultant isn’t using plain English and not taking the time to explain issues – avoid like the plague.

Do not allow anyone to take away your PC.

If a company’s way of working is to automatically come and take your PC away – don’t use them.

If there appears to be a legitimate reason  for needing to take your computer away, only agree to this AFTER they have completed a full consultancy session on your premises and have given precise explanations.  And always ensure you obtain a written, signed document for any PC removal including an agreement stating when it will be returned to you free of charge.


Before any work commences, ensure that maximum costs are agreed and binding.

Make certain there are no hidden extras and that costs will not be increased.

Be aware of some typical tactics used and, so you can spot them, below are some examples which are used by companies.

Sometimes these are either simply attempts to get you to part with your money or excuses made to cover the lack of knowledge by the consultant.

“We offer a free pick-up service of your computer” might sound good but never let your PC be taken away from you because If an engineer is experienced and has the right equipment then most diagnostics can be done in-situ.

While theft of a PC might be a low risk, the main problem is ascertaining just how long before your machine is returned.

When you hear “Sorry, you need a new computer.” alarm bells should start going off in your head!

Of course there are times when a new PC is required ‒ e.g. a catastrophic failure of the motherboard etc. ‒ but most PCs are modular and fixable or can be upgraded on a component basis.

If your PC is slow there’s lots that can be done without jumping straight to getting a new PC so “We need to completely restore your system” is the catch-all answer from consultants who either don’t understand the problem or who haven’t been able to convince you to purchase a new PC from them!

“Your photos, your documents? …Did YOU not do a back-up?  Well, I'm sorry but it was YOUR responsibility to have backed-up your data before I started the work.” ‒ This is an attempt to cover up inadequacies of either lack of experience or not taking enough care to ensure that your data such as photos and documents etc. wasn’t deleted.  And anything lost will have gone forever.

“National firm, local presence"

A few companies have stated that while they are based many miles away they still offer you a ‘local engineer’.

Often these companies don’t have any 'employees' they just take local people onto their books with no background checking of skills or character.

The consultant pays a commission for every lead passed-on to him or her by the parent company so they have to ‘sell, sell, sell’ to maximise their charges.

I don't do this because I prefer to give a personal service ‒ even if it means I have to decline a commission ‒ but, should the need arise, I have a number of trustworthy, close associates I have known over the years who are experts in their fields.

Ring, Ring, “Hello I’m from…..”

Never, never, never give time to cold-callers who claim to be from 'Microsoft', BT, 'Your internet provider' etc., etc.

Plain and simple, these people are nothing more than con-artists  (do a Google search to find out more).

It’s very annoying that people are conned in this way.  I, my family members and friends have received many such calls but, thankfully, did not fall for them.  So, if you have been contacted and have any concerns, ring me and I’ll be very happy to offer completely free advice.

“We sell…..”

While some companies also sell computers and peripherals ‒ and there is no problem with that in itself – it can lead to a temptation to sell unnecessarily and does call into question the impartiality of any advice.

In my case, I’m happy to advise and arrange for any hardware/software to be provided if asked but I have not made this a main part of my consultancy for the above reasons. 


Email:  Telephone: 0845 4024899  Mobile: 07840 386200  Comsolv System Solutions © 2018