True story, you couldn’t make it up.

This topic was created by miket82 .

  1. miket82
    IT Angle

    True story, you couldn’t make it up.

    Once worked for a government dept and prior to the mandarins deciding to out source our I.T maintenance I did most repairs myself. Being a taxpayer and saving myself money I used to buy whatever I wanted using a personal account and invoice the cost to our treasury. This saved pounds as I always managed a better discount than their purchasing dept.

    Then we went all contractee and the work was passed to a well known National service provider.

    A PC fan failed and I knew I could do the job for under a fiver. But, following the book (the treasury stopped me doing my own thing) I rang and placed an order, including the details of the machine. Details not required as they already had them, or so they said. 3 weeks later a parcel arrived and I phoned the contractor to say the part had arrived. Another 2 weeks passed and a ‘tech guy’ turned up. Gave him the parcel, directed him to the machine and left him to it.

    Thirty minutes later he came back to me and explained he couldn’t do it as the wrong part had been delivered. How long does it take to remove 2 screws I wondered so asked him to show me how he knew. At that point he hesitated and admitted he didn’t know how to get into the machine. So how did he know the wrong part had been delivered I asked. It was too small was his answer. A bit of a shaggy dog story followed but I won’t bore with the details. Come with me I ordered I’ll show you.

    Removing 2 screws I took the fan from him, replaced the faulty unit and in probably 5 minutes the machine was up and running. You can’t do that he said you are not qualified. OK, at this point the farce is beginning to make me smile at the idiocy of it all so I said OK, here’s the screw driver, you do it.

    30 minutes later he heaves a sigh of relief, switches on and the machine blows up. Told you it was wrong he says, hoping I had failed to see him drop and leave a screw laying on the mobo. Listen I said, if you say nothing about me being ‘unqualified’ I won’t tell on you, just give me a new mobo, I’ll fix it and you can go on your way. Don’t have a mobo but I do have a new machine he replied. Deal done.

    Cost of fan if I had done it my way £3.59p.

    Contractor cost (eventually all passed on to the taxpayer of course), £726 for the new machine, £24 invoice price of ‘wrong’ fan, £49.50 per hour not including travelling time for the ‘tech guy’.

    I feel sorry for whoever who got our old machine which mysteriously was DOA.

    Government contracts eh, don’t you just love ‘em.

  2. Adam JC

    To add insult to injury

    He's probably on twice your hourly rate as well!

  3. jcitron

    I've seen that before as well.

    I had a Compaq Proliant 6000 go down. It shutdown and I couldn't restart it. Okay... it must be the power supply or something. At the time we were being serviced by one of the dumbest, most idiotic helpdesk companies anyone could ever hire. Talk about a helpless desk! I hated calling them for anything, but because we had to play nice with corporate, we had to go through them. I called the 800-number listed on the side of the server which rang up to the very same helpless desk I didn't want to deal with.

    I bit my lip and begrudgingly told the representative the problem. She said she'll send out a technician to have a look. Now mind you, this is a server and not someone's desktop PC which I usually fixed before the techs came over from the helpless desk.

    The technician, who was dispatched "right away", finally came two days later. He looked at the server and said "Yup, it's broken" and left to get the part which was supposed to be replaced the next day.

    Well 3-days later, after I kept pestering them about the job, the tech comes in and can't replace the part as he brought the wrong model. He must've written down the wrong part number or something! Finally he comes in now a full week since the failure, and replaced the motherboard.

    When we split off from the parent company, we brought in our own service contractor for the servers and never had that kind of issue again. That helpdesk company, we dealt with, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy a year after that incident. I wonder why!

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