While the move into the new +BrickSimple, LLC
office has been amazing, I need to vent about two areas.Business Phone Systems
Why does this still suck? I got some vendor bids based upon our current pricing with incumbent Broadview. Then, Broadview throws down a renewal that is nearly half the price that they have been gouging us for the past 3 years. I mention this to another vendor and they drop their equipment price from $6,000 to $1,300. They did this like it was nothing. Meanwhile, another vendor who offered us EOL'd Polycom devices for $8k pivots to serve up different phones, 28 handsets for a $20/mo "lease" -- magic number attained by lobbing 10% off our existing Broadview bill. Another vendor insists that I buy their cheap Chinese PoE 100Mbit dumb switch and SOHO router, because it will "outperform" our CISCO/Netgear ProSafe PoE Gigabit setup. Yet another vendor quoted their network hardware as suddenly being "free". I was buying phone systems back in the pre-VoIP PBX days. How does a non-techie even sort through all of this nonsense? I hate it. The pricing is basically based on nothing. You want to bathe in Lava Soap when you're done. It requires way too much cross-shopping.My solution: I just bought a bunch of Polycom IP550s and a IP6000. I'm going to wander SIP providers until I find one that we like.Projector
How can retailers quote the same job, hardware and installation, from $7,500 to $75,000? I literally received a dozen quotes. The higher priced vendors seemed to size up our space and think that this would be fertile gouging territory. I suspect that we would have gotten a different quotes if I didn't show them our space. Heck, even the $7,500 vendor started at $15,000 until I removed padding like $69 power strips, inexplicable 500ft of astoundingly expensive Cat5, and doubled labor rate. Line by line padding for a project that specified a $3k projector. My Solution: I haven't found a vendor that I really want to work with. If I didn't have to cut out all of the padding from the lowest bidder, I'd feel much better about writing the check. I need phones now, but the big screen can wait. The low bidder will probably get it, because the dealer universe for the hardware is so bloody small. Boo. This sucks too.