This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

Our new anonymous Counter Insurgent columnist comments on the negative effect that rogue traders can have on genuine businesses…

I’M GOING to take this opportunity to write about something quite close to home, and I am pretty confident that most store owners who read this magazine will certainly have dealt with similar circumstances in the past. The bugbear that I have decided to share with the world is rogue PC traders. I have two local traders that hang around like a bad smell. Other more reputable traders have come and gone – in fact, over the years I have seen 12 IT stores close down within a five mile radius. Yet

these two have been with us for just over three years. My issue with them has

always been that if someone is blatantly ripping off consumers, surely they should not be allowed to continue trading? Not only that, but I would hate to see the reputation that my team and I have worked so hard to build tarnished by these other stores. I don’t want potential customers to hear a bad story about “that computer store in the town centre” – in case they think it is my store they are complaining about.

I have tried a few things

to get them on the straight and narrow. I have helped customers who have had shoddy work done to find the correct person to speak to at Trading Standards, and I have reported stores to Microsoft when I have seen blatant disregard for software licensing. I have even gone to the stores and spoken directly to the managers and owners themselves. One of the most

frustrating moments was when I saw that one of the stores had installed Windows XP Professional

“Mickey Mouse Edition” on a customer’s laptop that had a legitimate XP Home licence number written clearly on the chassis. My frustration comes

from the fact that these retailers clearly know how to repair PCs and laptops. As the old saying goes: “If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” In some cases they could be making

more money by letting people know they don’t have the correct licences and selling them what they need instead.

In the meantime I will

continue to ensure my team and I are giving the best service and look forward to the day when local people will stand a good chance of not getting ripped off.

Got a gripe you’d like to share with the industry? Contact


IT support firm’s Tony Shemilt on gaining a physical presence on the High Street, maintaining growth in a struggling market with Amazon and eBay sales, and more…

Tell us about your business – what products and services do you offer? Our core business is the supply and support of business IT systems including printing, PCs, networking and CCTV. This sort of business is

very much face-to-face, so we are able to offer tailored solutions instead of just selling something. It’s our aim to maintain a link to our customers and hopefully become trusted advisors in the field of technology. A supporting part of our business is sales via eBay and Amazon. It’s not unusual for such sales to lead to a

52 | PCR January 2014

more dynamic partnership with the end client as they get to know what else we can do for them.

Who are your customers? Our clients are very diverse, from individuals buying a printer to multinationals placing large orders. Local business plays a very large part in our activities, as we are able to spend the time with them to understand what they need.

How has business been? As with many others, it’s not been an easy year or two, but despite that we have sustained 150 per cent

“It’s not been an easy year or two, but despite that we have sustained 150 per cent growth over the

last 12 months.” Tony Shemilt,

Sandtony Consulting

growth over the last 12 months. In fact, the limitations of our premises was the biggest factor preventing us from growing even more. That has now been resolved and we are optimistic of the future.

What’s coming up for you in 2014? We are hoping to launch a new website to make direct sales more streamlined, but what is equally important is the opening of our new showroom in Alsager. This will be a direct sales facility,

but it will also be a physical presence in the High Street.

What are the benefits of trade organisations like Synaxon?

Not only do they facilitate credit card rates, but they also have a wealth of knowledge and experience. They are approachable and helpful and seem capable of handling any problem you throw at them.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92