Paying for Premium Service is Usually Cheaper

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In the modern age it seems like everyone is focused on one, single thing when it comes to business transactions, and that is how “cheap” is it.  The thought is that “cheaper is better”, and you’d have to be as stupid as Eli the Computer Guy to believe differently.  I laugh at that mindset as I am forced to spend on the order of $100K to fix problems with my house that could have been prevented if the previous owner had spent less than $5K.

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The person who built my house was truly a remarkable person.  He took the dilapidated shell of a 150 year old barn and turned it into a residential work of art.  When a you walk into it you are overcome with an awe as your mind tries to take in something that is genuinely unique by all measure.  If you spend a day, or a night here it is an impressive place.  Sadly having bought the darned thing I am becoming intimately familiar with all the ways a home builder can cut corners in such a way that it’s hard to notice.  There are just so many little things that wind up breaking because an extra few dollars, and minutes were not spent 27 years ago when the work was done.

Unfortunately for me one of those “little” things ended up being how the deck system was built and secured to the rest of the house.  There is a proper way for this to be done, and then there is the catastrophic mess which is the way it was done.  For less than $5K proper flashing and structural supports could have easily been built in, and it would have taken an extra day or two of work.  But that is not what was done.

This came to my attention when it came time to redo the siding.  Another unfortunate decision was to use wood siding on a very large house.  Wood siding simply does not last very long, and has to have an enormous amount of maintenance to keep it up. (Life lesson #987: NEVER buy a house with wood siding!) With this in mind I decided to go with a high quality vinyl siding so I wouldn’t have to worry about it again.  That was when I found out how bad a job of construction the builder had done.

Because the deck had not been fastened to the rest of the house properly water had seeped behind the siding. This then caused not just the siding to rot, but also the support structure underneath.  This means that even if the siding was covered over there are real structural problems that may still get worse over time.

 

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To fix these issues would have been an annoying, but reasonable cost if the deck itself had been built properly.  Portions could be unsecured from the house, the siding and structure work redone, and then the deck could be resecured.  That is IF it had been built properly which it had not been.

So at this point the siding and deck have to be completely redone which then leads to the fact the deck was again slipshod built into the garage.  Where… you guessed it more rot and issues were there for the viewing.  And so down comes the deck, and the garage so that the structure can be repaired and the siding can be replaced.  What had been budgeted as a $40K job now has $100K well in the rear view mirror.

 

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THIS is why I pay a premium for high quality services.  The company I hired does everything by the book, uses top quality material, and stands behind everything they do.  When this work is done I have no doubt it will last long past when I live here, and frankly possibly past while I’m living.  Once this project is done I can move on and not have to worry about it again.

Compare that to the mess that was left by the previous owner being cheap…

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One lesson in life I have learned is that you always pay.  Sometimes you pay more upfront, some times you pay in installments as time goes by.  But at the end of the day you always pay.

Think about this the next time you make a sales call and the client scoffs at your price.  The easiest sales pitch in the world is to simply show them the numbers. “If I migrate your server now it will cost you around $10K and we can do it in an orderly way so that you have no business downtime or loss.  If we don’t migrate your server now… it will die at some point.  Maybe tomorrow, maybe a year from now.  When that happens it will still cost you $10K for the new server, BUT you’ll also probably have to pay around $1000 in order to recover your data from the old server. That is IF it is recoverable, and the  your entire business will grind to a halt for… well lets see… Once we know the server is dead that will be one day, then we order the new server from Dell, and that can take… lets check their website… oh look… up to TEN days to get it shipped here.  Then another day, maybe TWO  to do the migration and make sure everything is solid. So you can pay $10K now, or reasonably pay at least $11K later AND have well over a week of down time.  I know what my decision would be, but it’s your call…” and to follow on, “Can you buy a cheaper server?  Yes… I suppose… but again what are you going to do if it fails?  I can find something $1,000 cheaper, BUT it’s not going to be what you really need…”

Author

Eli Etherton

I am Eli "the Computer Guy" and have been in the tech industry for approx. 20 years doing all kinds of odd projects. I started as an electronics tech in the US Army, worked in corporate IT during the IT Boom, was an individual consultant and grew my tech shop to have numerous full time employees and supported small business clients with computer repair/ server maintenance/ web development/ surveillance systems/ telephone systems until the great recession. After that I started creating video training on all the topics I know and now have a YouTube Channel with over 500K subscribers. I am the founder of GeekBrainDump.com and my plan is to create a tech "news" site that I would actually find useful if I was still in the server room.

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2 Comments

  1. Vivek Prajapati August 19, 2014 at 10:53 am

    One of those real world things. The quality is dictated by the price.

  2. Jake Gardner August 19, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    I think that buying decisions especially in business should be based on suppot snd reliability not price. If you can get something for half the price but when it breaks it takes ages to get it fixed or the supplier is no where to be found how much is that going to cost you?
    Definitely need to weigh up the benefits of paying more for quality service and support before buying.

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