The subtle art of retaining customers

Sometimes something as simple as a smile can stand between you and a lost customer

Google Apps tech support falls short

A reader asks the Gripe Line to help solve a problem with Google after being left in limbo by the company's Postini service

How to sue telemarketers and win

Turning telemarketing harassment into cash is not as hard as you might think

Disgruntled HP customer meets happy resolution

Readers -- and the company -- react to a tale of HP tech support gone awry

Weighing the merits of tech-gear insurance

Gripe Line readers have questions -- and answers -- about the decision to insure high-tech items

Windows 7 lifts PC satisfaction rates

Customer satisfaction among PC makers is on the rise -- that is, until tech support gets involved

Metrics -- the Achilles' heel of tech support

Support-call statistics can be very misleading -- all the more reason to look beyond the numbers

HP tech support lacks human touch

The company loses a customer when tech support staff forgets there's a human being on the other end of the line

When to insure your tech gear

Depending on how you use (or abuse) your tech gadgets, it might be time to move beyond simple warranty math

Parallels guilty of clueless Mac support?

Tech support staff fail to deliver on Parallels Server's promise of Mac compatibility

User reviews: The best advertising money can buy?

The FTC launches an uphill battle against paid endorsements on the Web, charging a firm for fake game reviews on iTunes

Zero-day exploits spur uptick in Adobe updates

Increased frequency of requests to update Adobe software can be attributed to a rise in exploited vulnerabilities

Microsoft tech support bot goes rogue

Pressed for explanation, Microsoft support chat bot concocts its own Office 2007 download rules

Don't be duped by fake software offers online

One reader learns the hard way that you need more than faith alone when dealing with some online vendors

Readers sound off on Dell Ubuntu support, Adobe Reader updates

Gripe Line mail bag: More Ubuntu options, fewer Adobe Reader patches please

Beware ever-changing fine print online

One reader who read the fine print before signing his satellite TV contract learns that reading it once is not enough

Read the fine print of your satellite TV contract

Beware of high early termination fees and other hidden unpleasantries lurking in DirecTV and Dish Network contracts

Tales from the tech support trenches

Real stories from the life of field technicians show how dirty tech support duty can get -- and the value of personal touch

Where are Dell's Ubuntu PCs?

Dell told us back in February that new machines were coming soon -- but has the company gone back on its word?

The four stages of software upgrade grief

A failed Adobe CS4 upgrade leads one reader on a long, discouraging road to recovery

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