FixITlocal founder John Carter has urged resellers to stick with the online scheme following concerns from registered VARs that the service is failing short of expectations.
A straw poll, conducted by CRN, of 20 FixITlocal-registered resellers, revealed that all but one had received no more than two calls since the scheme, which routes calls from IT end users to VARs in their local area, went live in November.
The VARs ranged from as far north as Edinburgh, to Birmingham, Manchester, London, Surrey and Wales and the failure to advertise the service in the correct way or in the right publications was an overriding concern of those questioned.
Chris Butler, owner of SPB Computers, said: “We were an early member of FixITlocal, converted one of our phone lines and took on extra staff. Now we are paying between £40 and £70 a month for the phone line and the FixIT service, and so far have received just one call out.
“If it is promoted properly as a national service, it should be a business model that works very well.”
However, Albert Ryan, technician at MPICS Digital, said: “We receive four to six calls a day, so we are very happy with the FixIT service.”
Neal Somaia, owner of Mighty Micro Manchester, said: “Response has been quiet so far, just one or two calls, but new brands are not established over night.”
Carter, managing director of DMSL, which runs the scheme, agreed, saying: “Rome was not built in a day”.
“We always knew it would take time to establish FixITlocal and unlike our competitors, such as The Geek Squad, we do not have millions of pounds to spend on marketing,” said Carter.
“To date, we have spent £100,000 and are about to enter our next promotional phase, which will involve national press advertising and pushing the scheme out to businesses rather than just consumers.”
For any VAR who is yet to receive a call through the scheme, Carter pledged not to charge them until they received their first enquiry. He also asked VARs to be patient and to get in touch with any suggestions on how to improve the scheme.
Additional reporting by Charlotte Baxter
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