Support fees
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Thread: Support fees

  1. #1
    Old Fart
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    Support fees

    I read an interesting article in the NY Times today. To summarize, it is reporting a growing trend in the software industry to charge for technical support. I'm just curious as to if I am the only one who finds this disturbing. The model used in the past basically included support, though sometimes time-limited, in the price of the software. The new model varies in it's specifics, but basically seems to be eliminating free tech support in favor of a system that generates revenue. Given the level of 'flaws' found in software today, along with poorly written help files and the lack of 'bound' documentation that used to be available, do you think this new support model is fair to the consumer or not? If you want to read the article for yourself, use the handy link below...


    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/22/te...ts/22SUPP.html

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    Al
    It isn't paranoia when you KNOW they're out to get you...

  2. #2
    Developer Extraordinar
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    I don't think it's fair Either Allen, as you said they're gonna charge you becasue they didn't write their help files good enough, or because they had a flaw in the program, and you call them to see what's wrong. Dosn't seem logical. Damn people are always try to wrip you off
    Come to UnError.com

  3. #3
    Banned
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    I find this to be very disturbing as well, Al.

    Software can be somewhat expensive and not to mention very buggy. Free technical support is the least that these companies can offer their customers in exchange for buying their products.

  4. #4
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    I agree with you guys (and gurl!) if its for software that was paid for. But more and more software is being developed as open source and given away for free or a nominal price: in which case i dont think its unreasonable to charge for their personal time. My $0.02
    Darwin\'s rollin\' over in his coffin, The fittest are surviving much lest often,
    Now everything seems to be reversing, And it\'s worsening!
    --nofx, American Errorist

  5. #5
    Old Fart
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    Agreed...If it's freeware, then I have no problems with paid support. For that matter, I can see a valid argument in favor of paid support of software-for-sale when it comes to addressing user competency issues....but not an across-the-board fee structure for software that I paid for and know how to use.
    Al
    It isn't paranoia when you KNOW they're out to get you...

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    The world is going to Hell!!!

    Oh, excuse me, I'm sorry.

  7. #7
    Allenb1963, I have to agree with this 110%. I have seen "premium support" with all kinds of REALLY expensive programs such as Windows Server (and OEMs), Visual Studio, Macromedia products, Symantec, and many others. I mean, you pay hundreds even thousands of dollars for programs, and cannot get anything unless you pay more?

    I don't think that it is fair, and while I can understand on-site support costing extra, I do not think they should charge for installation and operation support, but it happens all the time.

  8. #8
    Jaded Network Admin nebulus200's Avatar
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    In my experience, it has been more common to see payment required for support (through maintenance contracts) than not and often times the support is more expensive than the software or hardware that has been purchased. At times it is worth it, provided that the service is exemplary and timely; however, that is kind of a hit and miss thing, that has been more dependent on the company than on the service contract amount. If the service is very good and timely I don't mind paying for the service contract as/for a business.

    With that being said; however, as an individual user without the resources available to purchase a support contract, it is disappointing to hear about free tech support ending, especially when it is related to insuffeciency in the original product that requires assistance in correcting (when it should have worked in the first place).

    Puts people in a tough spot...

    neb
    There is only one constant, one universal, it is the only real truth: causality. Action. Reaction. Cause and effect...There is no escape from it, we are forever slaves to it. Our only hope, our only peace is to understand it, to understand the 'why'. 'Why' is what separates us from them, you from me. 'Why' is the only real social power, without it you are powerless.

    (Merovingian - Matrix Reloaded)

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Paid support is almost the norm now, regardless of how unfair it is. At work our accounting program has a 1-800 number but that doesn't connect you to support that just lists the different fees for support. Different levels of support require different fees.

    Rather than charge for support I think they should charge for the updates, or as was mentioned before have a time limit on support.

    Another peeve of mine is when you have paid for the support you still have to go through the bull sh*t of long telephone menus, push 1 for english, push 2 for version blah blah etc etc. So even though you have paid for support you still don't receive service!

  10. #10
    Senior Member roswell1329's Avatar
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    I completely understand the frustration on this issue. Charging for tech support? Bah! I refuse to pay! For I am not your personal coin purse to be nickled and dimed to death! I have a refuge from your blatent attempt to strip me of my dignity! I support on-line forums!!! TECHIES UNITE!!
    /* You are not expected to understand this. */

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