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This tech support fight could have been avoided

You know the story. You ask for tech support, and they tell you to pay first.

OK, that’s fair. You can’t always expect lifetime free service. (You wouldn’t expect Ford to fix your car for free, forever. We have weird expectations about computer products.)

Recently, I tried to get help on a disk drive product, and they asked me to pay.

Why I’m not happy: The technical logs I need to fix the problem myself are encrypted on purpose, so I have to pay for help.

So a simple request for info turned into a sales pitch for a new service plan.

And the worst time for a sales pitch is when a customer is already angry/freaked out about another problem. For a failing disk drive (which is what this situation was), it’s like trying to sell health insurance to someone who’s been waiting five hours in the emergency room.

Lesson 1: Don’t be an ass about service, and don’t kick your customers when they’re down.

Lesson 2: Make it easier for customers to help themselves.

  • The faster and easier it is for customers to get answers, the more they like your company and the more great word of mouth you get — which equals new sales.
  • The millions of posts in support forums show how much customers will help themselves and each other. Every one of those posts represents tech support costs you avoided.
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