Avoid IT Service Companies That Only Sell “Blocks of Time”

by | Mar 1, 2023 | INSI Articles, IT Services

What Are “Blocks of Time” IT Services?

“Blocks of Time” IT Service is an IT support agreement that allows the Atlanta, GA, client to pay for IT support hours upfront at a highly discounted rate. The more hours the client buys upfront, the cheaper the hourly rate. These discounts can be pretty substantial.

On the surface, Blocks of Time contracts are a viable option for IT support. However, this type of support, it is actually more dangerous than ad hoc IT support.

Dangers of “Blocks of Time” IT Support

Imagine a situation where you pre-pay a home contractor for 60 hours. The contractor agrees to be at your beck-and-call for any home repairs. But, he makes the same agreement with 20 other homeowners. A major storm hits a few months later, and your roof leaks. You need help before more damage is done as do the other nineteen customers. In this scenario, the home contractor does not have enough capacity to respond to everyone’s needs in time. Similarly the same applies to Blocks of Time companies because they do not staff appropriately.

The Risk to the IT Support Provider

The biggest challenge for companies that only sell “blocks of time” IT support services is the liability of unused hours. Many of these companies’ hours never expire. Yet, in the interim, business must go on as usual. For example, bills and salaries must be paid. Unfortunately, the money could be long gone before the client calls in the hours owed to them. That’s why many of these companies only stay in business for a short period of time.

The Client Bares the Risk

The client bears all the burden when they purchase a block of hours, and there is no way to recover your money if the service levels are poor. Many of these companies filed for bankruptcy and opened their doors under another name. In one case, I was approached by a prospect that was owed $32K in unused hours by their IT support provider. Their provider’s owner got sick; and could not fulfill the agreement. The client was actually negotiating on his provider’s behalf to buy the company so they didn’t lose their money. It wasn’t the first time I came across this situation, nor the last.

In addition, the entire program is entirely reactionary. Most of the “Block of Time” Only IT Support companies are small and do not staff appropriately for peak times. For instance, they may have one technically strong engineer and a few entry-level technicians. Since there is little management oversight, the technically strong engineer is putting out fires, and the entry-level engineers are left to their own devices.

Often, it takes days for a client to get a returned call during peak times of the year. As a consequence of being understaffed, there is very little proactive support. This leads to viruses, malicious attacks, and festering issues. In the end, it is a trial-by-fire environment, and the client is the one who pays the price.

Why Some Atlanta Companies Choose “Blocks of Time”

Many small- and medium-sized Atlanta GA-based businesses use “Blocks of Time” IT services to save money and control costs. For example, you can buy hours for as little as $75 per hour, which seems great on the surface, but it is quite dangerous to your network.

A Better Alternative

A better alternative to “Blocks of Time” only IT service companies is INSI’s Managed Services if you don’t have an IT department or INSI’s signature Customized IT™if you have an internal IT department. INSI’s unique model offers decreased rates on helpdesk issues without sacrificing quality because we charge entry-level rates for entry-level tickets, which constitute 80% of the IT support tickets. We can manage the entire environment, fill in the gaps for an internal IT team, or break out the services to the client’s exact needs. Finally, we can do all this for a fixed fee.

Do You Want To Learn More About The Difference Between “Blocks of Time” and INSI’s Customized IT™?

Go here to see the various types of IT support, their pros and cons, and great questions to ask the provider. Contact INSI, your top MSP in the Atlanta GA area: 770-387-2424, option 2.

About INSI: The Best MSP in Atlanta!

Innovative Network Systems, Inc. has a unique approach to integrating IT support and cybersecurity. Our month-to-month programs range from basic support to proactive support, managed support, and customized support. Each program is tailored to the client’s needs and internal IT strengths.  

For more information about cybersecurity dangers and the preventative measures for your company, connect with the top MSP in Atlanta; Contact INSI: 770-387-2424, option 2 or click the link below. In addition, we offer 16 different cybersecurity programs to protect you and your data.

About the Author

Deborah Frazier is the author of IT Outsourcing Secrets – A Small Business Guide to Compare IT Support Companies. With nearly 20 years of experience consulting small and medium-sized businesses on their IT support needs, she brings a wealth of knowledge to INSI as Head of Marketing and Sales. If you like this article and want to get notified when a new article is posted, click here.