If you are a highly skilled IT pro, you can bypass the entry-line support and go right to someone who, instead of insisting you suffer through a script, believes that you know what you are doing, accepts your diagnosis, and moves forward from there. Even if you are using a consumer machine, you won't have to suffer through entry-level support questions. Other offerings might suit small businesses with a high level of tech savvy, a self-employed person in need of a help desk, virtual teams, and other situations.
"With Basic Support," writes Harvey, "you get to speak to somebody in some other part of the world who may or may not speak understandable English. He will repeat everything you say, go through a little script, and rarely solve anything. When you call Pro Support, you usually speak to someone within two minutes who speaks honest-to-goodness English, is well trained, and is allowed to make decisions. I've had clients call me after they've spoken with Dell Pro Support and thank me for making them spend the extra money to get it."
I found Harvey's endorsement encouraging, but think it would also be interesting to see a survey that breaks out these tiered service offerings so that we can get some hard, unbiased numbers to back up the choice to spend money. I couldn't find such a thing, though, and Dell didn't respond to my call in time for this post.
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