On the third try, when I explained the problem, the tech put me on hold for 10 or 15 minutes -- but at least he came back with an answer. Samsung was aware of the problem and engineers were "working on it." But there was no time frame for a fix.
The dark side of consumerization
I realize it's unfair to generalize from this one experience. Perhaps Samsung is better at supporting other devices. And hey, I hear Apple has a bar you can go to where actual geniuses fix stuff. But you gotta wonder: With the explosion in mobile devices and software updates rolling out "all the time," how on earth can tech support ever keep up?
It's a serious issue. My tablet is a business device, but I bought it, so it's up to the vendor to support it if something goes wrong that I can't fix. What happens if the next update bricks the thing? I've enabled an option that automatically backs up data to "Google servers," but I'd need another device running S-Note for that backup to be usable if the tablet failed.
On the one hand, consumerization has given us unprecedented freedom of choice. On the other, it's put us at the utter mercy of vendors. And as those who found themselves on a road to nowhere a little while ago discovered, even Apple makes mistakes.
This article, "Tech support tanks -- when we need it most," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Eric Knorr's Modernizing IT blog. And for the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld on Twitter.