Tech Support Has Its Price

from the incentive-to-suck dept

More and more often technology companies are charging for tech support (NYT registration blah blah). They claim that this is the only way they can stay competitive, because otherwise tech support calls are draining all of their profit margin. They also say that studies have shown most customers prefer cheaper products over more expensive products that have the price of support "built in". There are a few problems with these justifications. First, it's not clear the price of the products have been dropping. More importantly, the companies that are charging for tech support are charging ridiculous fees - meaning they now have incentive to produce a poorly built product. They can now make more money on all those phone calls to tech support. Also, having had very few tech support calls that have gone well, I would be furious having to pay $30 or so to talk to some nitwit who knows less than I do about a problem. I can certainly understand that there are some moronic users out there who waste company resources - but cutting off legitimate issues unless people pay seems dangerous. It makes it much more likely that I will avoid doing business with such a company since they clearly don't believe their own product works well enough to support it with free tech support.

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  • identicon
    msykes, 22 Aug 2002 @ 12:52pm

    No Subject Given

    Yeah, charging for tech support, could be really dangerous. Thinking back to our own recent Earthlink DSL debacle, it took about 5 calls with tech support, only in the end to find out that as we knew all along, it wasn't our problem, and that it was the upstream hardware that was the problem. I can only imagine actually being charged for these calls, I would have flipped out!


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  • identicon
    phoenix, 23 Aug 2002 @ 2:21am

    it could work nevertheless

    I could imagine conditions when paid tech support would be acceptable: fixed price per incident, no matter how much resources it takes to resolve (including on-site visit if necessary) and your money back if it is found the problem is off your site.

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  • identicon
    thecaptain, 23 Aug 2002 @ 8:38am

    problem with paid tech support...

    the problem with companies offering PAID technicall support on their products is that it creates an incentive for those companies to make people USE the tech support. Ie: Company A charges for tech support...therefore they put in a few problems in their products which forces us to spend MORE money.

    and if EVERYONE does it...or they have a monopoly...or we got suckered...then boom...crappy products that generate profits for the company.

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