After much pondering about the few adversarial customers I’ve had to drop, I’ve realized there are some common threads among them. Here are the top ten common bad practices, from 1 to 10:
1. Using DSL (Phone Company) for an Internet connection –
It’s slow, expensive, buggy, and totally un-workable for modern software and computers. The phone companies usually fail to provide the bandwidth they promise, because they’re negligent in managing their local capital investments to upgrade to fiber, etc. Usually the phone companies are just lazy monopoly gravy-trains for executives and bond holders.
2. Doing Banking or Investing on a Windows Computer –
Windows is the least secure for doing business on the internet, and risk of loss is very high. Or should I just say you’re bats**t crazy for using Windows to do banking?
3. Using Microsoft Outlook for email –
Outlook is a very shoddy place to put your email. Contacts and email get scrambled or lost easily due to Microsoft’s poor internal data management. Microsoft has a lot in common with the above phone companies.
When combined, bad practices 1 through 3 guarantee an eventual large failure or loss. Any three of all these top ten, and you’re still skating on thin ice.
4. Using old printers on Windows 10 –
Driver and software problems galore, but hey, gotta love all those Windows 10 Start Menu tiles for Candy Crush, X-Box, Solitaire, etc. And then there’s the Edge browser, cool ‘cuz it’s Edgy!
5. Comcast Email –
Spam, bugs, awkward and poor user interface. Be sure you don’t move, because if you do, Comcast will not forward your email address to your new physical address because the Comcast Mein Fuhrer does not permit this.
6. All-in-one Computers –
Most manufacturers take lots of shortcuts on these. Most are unreliable junk.
7. HP computers, or buying computers without first consulting with a technician –
Most are garbage. Shame on HP management and their destruction of good engineering and companies like DEC and Compaq.
8. Computers and servers more than 8 years old –
This is A GIANT red flag for risk of all sorts.
9. Being cheap on connecting to the internet, or making odd network configurations.
One business customer had made a huge mess with custom network cabling, multiple cheap routers and switches, routers with custom firmware, un-authorized modem changes, obsolete or bizarre server setups, like Windows Server 2008 running as a virtual machine on an old Linux partition, with an old copy of Microsoft Exchange thrown into the mix for fun and giggles.
10. Using the technician’s time without paying because computers just cost too much.
Well eventually, you don’t get what you don’t pay for.
As a service provider, there are certain jobs where very bad situations exist at the first visit. If a customer is willing to listen and correct issues, then there’s hope for the future. But if the customer stubbornly insists on preserving their quagmire, then, as they say in baseball, “strike three, you’re out!”