We hate to say it but we have become very good at virus detection and removal
While we may like the money, we would prefer it if you spent the cash on protecting yourselves with a really good internet security package instead!
|NB: Registered charities automatically receive a 50% discount on all prices quoted.
As an IT professional, you are probably tired of everyone asking for your help,
I know that I was and this is why I created FCA. It started one night when
someone telephoned me in the middle of my favourite television program. They
had heard from a friend at school that I was good with computers and that I had
fixed their Dad's for him. Normally I like to be helpful to people but this one
was the last straw, I told this lad that I charged for my services and he hung
up so quickly that I thought the phone was on fire. However, from that same
repair that I did, I received a call from a local barrister asking me to quote
for some work that he needed doing in Chambers. I have never looked back, since
starting FCA I have developed a small but loyal client base who are happy to
pay for the small amounts of work I do for them and I am now only doing
freebies for close friends. The result of this is that I get far more time for
myself and a little extra money in my pocket, the few clients that I have get a
very good deal as well.
What is an Associate?
All associates are effectively self employed although currently all of them
(including myself) also have full time careers in IT. Each associate is
responsible for building up their own client base although any potential new
clients contacting FCA directly from their area will be passed on to them.
The idea behind the association is that whilst each member has their own
clients, they and their clients have the backup of a larger organisation. This
means that if you are a member with a question that is outside of your
particular area of expertise, you can call on other members of the association
for support. Also, your clients can still get assistance if you are
snowboarding in the desert or if you get hit by the proverbial bus.
In order to achieve this, we have a common client list and a centralised
(web-based) source code library that is available to all associates. The key to
the success of FCA is honesty with the clients and trust between the members.
In the event of a breach of this trust or deliberate dishonesty with the
client, the offending associate will be removed from the association and the
entire client list will be requested not to deal with that person again.
Complaints from clients
In the event that a client complains about an associate to FCA, their
performance as an associate will be judged according to the rest of their
client base and not by the one that complains. The associate will also be given
a chance to explain the situation themselves. If the majority of the
associate's clients are happy with them and FCA then that is what matters to
us. In the days before I started FCA, I had a client myself who got a lot more
than his money's worth out me and who then still complained about me to other
people so I am very aware that it is possible to get the odd bad client. Also,
due to the way in which FCA is constructed, it is possible for the odd cowboy
to creep into FCA. Because of this, any complaints will be taken seriously and
clients should feel free to contact FCA in the event that they feel that an
associate has deliberately lied to them.
Depending on the nature and severity of a complaint, there are several
possible outcomes. In all cases both the client and the associate will be
informed of the decision reached and the reasons behind it:
||no action will be taken although we hope that the associate will attempt to make good where possible and appropriate.
||Bad working practice by associate
a warning will be given to the associate who should then make good where
(This includes a "3 strikes and you're out" principle in the event that an
associate receives 3 warnings in any 2 year period)
||Deliberate misrepresentation by associate
the associate will be removed from the association and the entire client list
will be requested not to deal with that associate again. In addition to this,
FCA will attempt to make good if possible and appropriate.
||the client will be removed from the FCA client list and will not be dealt with again.
How to become an associate
If you like the look of FCA and agree to work within the framework laid out
above then please contact us stating your address and credentials (a resumé or
CV in word or RTF format would be great if you have one). There is no charge
for the services offered by FCA, we work on the basis of helping each other out
as a loose conglomerate and that anything that helps FCA helps every member. In
the unlikely event of multiple requests to join the association from one
geographical location, existing associates will be consulted prior to
acceptance of your application.