Martin MC Brown

Giving consultants a bad name

By Martin MC Brown
August 21, 2008 10:00 AM EDT

I heard from an old friend of mine today who is, once again, having trouble with the people managing his computers. As a hotel owner, he doesn't have the technical ability to manage his own machines, so he has to rely on the services of external computer experts.

But these so-called experts are continuing to cause him stress. He is on his sixth company so far and thought, having had them recommendrf by his local government business development department, that this latest team would be reliable.

The reason for his call? They can't seem to get a new computer that they have installed set up to access the Internet. The reason they gave is that his domain name hosting is managed by someone else (me, as it happens).

Of course this is nonsense. His ADSL connection in the west of England has no relation to the fact that his website is hosted on of my servers in California.

There are three possibilities: either they are stupid and don't know this; they are too stupid to work out how to configure a simple IP address; or they know and are just trying to get the rights and responsibility of running the domain so that they can charge a fortune for doing so.

There's a big part of me that hopes it's the latter, but I've come across too many companies that would easily fall into the the first two options - i.e. not actually as 'expert' with their computer knowledge as they make out. Usually it's with something more complex, but a simple TCP/IP issue is a little bit suspicious.