Not many companies believe in providing its customers with free, quality technical support anymore. A tech support department means an unwanted expense to a big company, hence they are outsourcing tech support departments to places like India left and right.

Even getting simple tasks done seems to be a challenge for some customers. I once called Electronic Arts about a Sims game that wasn’t working because the CD was scratched. I just wanted a replacement CD. Instead, I was forced through troubleshooting. I’m not sure the representative understood me at all when I kept telling him “The CD is destroyed!”. He still wasted a half hour “troubleshooting” and ended up telling me to update my CD-ROM drivers.

I hear many stories from Dell and Gateway customers. The steps their techs often provide include no-brainers such as “Have you restarted your computer yet?” or “Is your monitor on?”. Instead of simply fixing the issue, they usually end up walking you through using your recovery CD to restore your computer to the factory default software, erasing all of your data.

Whenever you buy a technical product, do not expect support. Don’t even waste your time calling. Just assume that you aren’t going to get good support from the product manufacturer and seek help elsewhere such as an web forum or third-party support company. It’s just not worth your time.