Businesses of all sizes need reliable IT service providers that can help them thrive.

Unfortunately, some IT service providers focus more of their energy on making money than meeting their clients’ needs.

As a business owner or manager, you may find it difficult to know whether you have an IT service provider that works well for you. After all, you probably haven’t used that many companies, so you don’t have anything to compare your service provider to.

Use the following list to learn how to spot a bad IT service provider. If your provider fits these descriptions, then it’s time for you to find a more professional option that puts your needs first.

Problem 1: The IT Provider Responds to Requests Slowly

When you need IT help, you need it immediately.

If you can’t access your network, answer calls or run your website, then you’re losing money. Even worse, you’re probably losing customers that don’t mind going to your competitors.

According to Small Business Trends, IT downtime costs businesses $1.55 million per year, on average. The precise amount that you lose while you wait for your IT service provider to respond depends on the industry that you work in. If you’re an online brokerage company, you can expect to lose about $6.48 million every hour.

Even if you don’t work in the high-pressure world of online investing, downtime can still cost you thousands of dollars an hour in lost sales and worker productivity.

Related: 3 Surprising SMB IT Statistics You Probably Didn’t Know

Ideally, your IT service provider should respond to your request nearly immediately. That way, you know that its technology professionals are already looking for solutions to your problem. The sooner you can get your technology operating, the sooner you can stop losing money.

Problem 2: You Find Discrepancies in Your Bills

IT service providers will either charge you a flat rate or bill by the hour. Regardless of how your current company charges you for its services, you should always check your bill for discrepancies.

You may find, for instance, that you were charged for more hours than the company spent fixing your network, or that you got charges for services you never received.

If you don’t review your bills, then you’ll never catch these discrepancies.

Related: How to Fix the 4 Most Common Technology Bottlenecks

Take a few minutes each month to review your bill and compare it to what you expected. If you often find conflicting amounts, then there’s a good chance that your IT service provider is inflating its price to make more money from you without giving you more services.

A company might be able to explain one or two discrepancies.

If it happens more than twice, though, then the company may be lying to you. Lying isn’t something that you can tolerate from a company as important as your IT service provider.

Problem 3: Your IT Provider is Bad at Communicating

Some IT companies may offer decent services, but they’re bad at communicating with their clients.

That puts you in an awkward position.

When one of your clients asked when you’ll finish a project, you can’t answer honestly because you haven’t gotten a timeline from your IT service provider. When your employees want to know whether they should just call it quits for the day, you don’t know how to respond because your IT service provider hasn’t updated you on its progress.

A good IT provider will give you frequent updates to let you know what it’s doing to solve your problems and how long you can expect the solution to take. Without that knowledge, you can’t make other decisions for your business.

Related: How to Choose Compatible IT Devices and Software

PCS International: The Good IT Service Provider

If you have noticed any of these problems with your current IT service provider, then it’s time to find a company that knows how to treat its clients well.

Contact PCS International to learn more about our IT support. Our flat-rate fees, extensive knowledge and professionalism will help your company thrive. We’ll always keep you in the loop, and we’re here to answer your questions around the clock.