Customer service

Is your Mac consultant a rip-off?

MacMaven clients know that their bills will be fair. Can you say the same thing about your consultancy? If you feel like your bills are excessive, bad news, they probably are. I’ll explain MacMaven’s billing practices.

  • MacMaven charges a range of billing rates, depending on the complexity and experience level needed to perform a job. Simple or routine jobs are billed at a lower rate than work requiring IT mastery. Some Mac consultancies follow this practice, but most do not.

    You should only pay senior consultant rates for specialized areas like compliance, information security, enterprise storage, business-class networking, business-class backup, systems management, MDM, deployment automation, and IT strategy.

    Examples of routine Mac work includes data/system migration, desktop software installation, Time Machine installation using a USB drive, and home router installation. If you’re paying $200 per hour or more for these services, you’re getting ripped off. These types of jobs require minimal skill, education, or experience.

    Initial deployment of Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace warrants paying senior consultant rates. It’s easy to deploy these services to get them up and running, but more difficult to configure securely.
  • MacMaven takes a firm stance against the recurring fees that managed service providers charge. Under almost any circumstance, MSP support and monitoring contracts are not to your benefit.

  • If your consultancy keeps the billing clock ticking when waiting for a multi-hour process to complete, you’re getting ripped off. I take a lunch break when doing a system migration, as an example.

  • I put care and thought into invoices. If there’s a good reason to deduct some time, I gladly do so. I give the benefit of the doubt to my clients. As a rule of thumb, your consultant should only bill for productive work.

  • MacMaven is not focused on generating revenue. Lower-cost solutions are encouraged when there are several available options. If an engagement isn’t a great fit, the job is declined.

It’s worth having a discussion with your consultant if you’re not comfortable with your bills. In the tech world, it’s not uncommon for practitioners to hype up their skills and instill fear that only they can get the job done right. That’s nonsense. Your consultancy should be a good value. The engagement should feel like a partnership, not an exploitation.

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