Not a good time

If you are a supplier, and you want me to believe you have the FIRST CLUE about dealing with education customers, there is one rule you must master above all others.



If anyone in a school needs something from you, they will call. They will call because if they need it now, this close to the start of term, they are utterly desperate for it.

If they don’t need anything, then you can be damn sure they don’t even have 30 seconds spare to talk to you. It will be this way until at least the middle of the month. Don’t call. Don’t email. Don’t even think about it. I, for one, am far too busy to even feign tolerance if you do.

About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

10 responses to “Not a good time”

  1. ICT_Tech says :

    Totally agree.

    We have three receptions at our main site and we know that if a call comes in from two of them then it’s just a cold call and so politely tell the reception to tell them to go away :-)

  2. Plexer says :

    Absolutely. Had BT Business ring today big fail.

  3. Adrian Edgar says :

    Spot on. If I could extend that to the rest of the year as well. If I want your companies services, I’ll find you. There is no such thing as a “courtesy call” from a sales person.

  4. Charlie says :

    Definitely agree with this. It’s even worse when they bypass reception because they have discovered your extension number. *Cough* Stone Computers *Cough*.

  5. Gerard Sweeney says :


    For us north of the border, we get that same joyous feeling a few weeks before you chaps.

    Personally, I despise cold-calling of any shape or form at any time. Anything call that contains the phrase “quick survey” or “2 minutes of your time” is met with an extremely chilly reception.

  6. Matt says :

    By far the worse are the companies who blatantly lie to main reception and tell them that we are “engaged” in an ongoing “project”.

    At which point I get exceptionally cheesed off when I hear “Hi Matt, we last spoke a few months ago. Have you got any projects on the board, we’d love to quote you”

    Regardless I have three suppliers: a guy locally who’s f’ing ace, eBuyer as their so cheap and Thomas Computers oop’North as they are very decent on toner prices and we have a good relationship.

    A to Z, Stone and CBC in Brum are the worst for cold calls at inconvenient times.

    • AngryTechnician says :

      Stone called us last week asking to speak directly to the Headmaster! I was in reception at the time and watched with amusement as, completely unbidden by me, the receptionist put the call on hold for about 15 seconds, then picked up again and told them the Head was unavailable.

      I think they know full well that the day they bother the Head with that sort of rubbish is the day they can kiss their backsides goodbye.

  7. Alex says :

    Can we contact you now ? lol

    Totally understand, and this is why we are not a hard sell company and would prefer to try and engage you guys with more informative publications such as a once a month newsletter with details of our pricing, case studies, news etc.

    I guess the hard part for us is measuring whether this just gets junked or is actually informative ?

    BETT is always a good venue for more relaxed time in people to come and see us on our stand.

    What would your ideal approach from suppliers be ? As above or the odd call from time to time ? I know a technician who actually scrubs suppliers off his list everytime they cold call him. Fortunately I found that out socially before ever making contact…..

    Interested Supplier

    • AngryTechnician says :

      As someone who is very proactive in searching out suppliers, my preference for contact is a personal, one-off email. By personal, I mean something other than your standard template ‘Dear Customer’ email. By one-off, I mean if you add me to your daily/weekly/monthly spam list, I will quickly introduce your domain to the Exchange EBL. You may certainly invite me to join the mailing list, but doing it without asking is a sure-fire way to annoy me.

      I do also take calls if I’m not too busy and you’ve asked the front office to speak to me about something specific that I’m interested in. (Here’s a hint though: printer cartridges is not one of those things. Ever.)

  8. Alex says :

    Thanks for the welcome feedback, I will certainly bear that in mind !
    Fortunately you will never get a call from us on Printer Cartridges…



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