How do other MSPs handle per device pricing pitfalls?

I have a new client w/ multiple branch sites using persistent VPN into the main network. They also offer vendors and out-of-office workers VPN access.

For the new service, we said they must include those sites and devices connecting to persistent VPN, but other VPN connections will be on a case by case basis. However since pricing is per device, the customer doesn’t want to cover all devices connecting to persistent VPN to reduce costs.

I understand they are working within a budget, but we have had a policy that “if it is on the network with covered devices it must also be covered”. Do other MSPs require all devices on a network be covered or will you let the customer pick and choose which devices they want covered?

Included devices can be covered by the support agreement devices outside of those nemed in the agreement for a specified price should be billed separately at whatever your non contract rate is. Make sure in such cases this is clearly spelled out in your agreement.
I bill by the man-hour for named services / products and every device meeting specs is supported (MS-Win is farmed out) clients pay for hours in advance and depending on amount get substantial discounts and additional hours are billed at the discounted rate.

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Make sure you have a clear scope of what is and is not covered. We had a client that had some drama earlier this year because they had declined coverage on a laptop that was used outside the office to log into their Office 365 account. It was shared with their kids who got it infected, compromised their account, and sent spam to their clients and vendors. It was a headache, but a billable one.

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I typically call clients, and people like that; Penny Wise, Pound Foolish.


That must have been a nice invoice. Did you get any push back on collecting?

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If you publish your per device pricing or keep it the same for every client, that may be an issue. I use per device / per user * complexity modifier to come up with pricing. I have some clients that need MS Office and Chrome and nothing else. I have others that have multiple CAD packages and a ton of other little apps to support. Per device or per user wouldn’t be fair in those environments with a true all you can eat MSP model.

As Tom said, make it clear what is covered and what’s billable, but you can always adjust your complexity multiplier if you think you’re going to have time that’s disputable.

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That is why I bill by the man hour and base support on purchase of hours.

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Thank you everyone for your advice. We already have a contract rate that is a substantial savings over our regular rate. I just explained to them that since they wanted to pick and choose what they wanted covered they wouldn’t be able to to receive that lower rate to resolve security issues that may arise due to the uncovered systems. Funny enough the very next morning I received an email that just read “Please sign and send back” from them with a signed contract for ALL the devices we listed to be covered. No arguments or picking and choosing.

I guess someone there actually did the risk assessment and math, or they knew the old saying… :crazy_face: :+1:

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