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Companies that hire IT support complain that some techies turning up are patronising, suffer from BO and halitosis and are dressed in "scruffy trainers" and "heavy metal t-shirts".

This rather uncomplimentary picture of tech support staff comes courtesy of Surrey-based IT services outfit Blue Screen, which quizzed around 100 SMEs to find out their biggest gripes about IT support.

Top of the list of bellyaches is an "obvious" lack of knowledge and training demonstrated by on-site IT contractors. Companies also grumbled about low response times which left some companies stranded without their IT systems for days, sometimes weeks.

There was also a tendency for helpdesk staff to deal with problems in a "patronising and over-simplified manner", said the survey, while others complained that the services on offer were simply not value for money.

Of course, the eye-grabber in this "top ten gripes survey" is the notion that companies are hacked off with a "lack of personal hygiene and understanding of on-site dress codes and protocols".

Said the survey: "Many companies highlighted body odour, halitosis, and inappropriate dress such as 'scruffy trainers' and 'heavy metal t-shirts' as reasons for dissatisfaction with the technicians that their IT support firms had sent."

Oh dear, one senses that Blue Screen's "Contact us" button could be in great demand this afternoon … ®

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