Microsoft Versus
Dissecting Microsoft | Directory

Microsoft Support Services

With an array of web sites and phone numbers it appears Microsoft is putting much effort into providing customers with support. Corporate customers who don't sign expensive long-term support contracts must pay hundreds of dollars for every phone call to Microsoft. Very often users are told fixes to bugs will not be made or upgrades (i.e. more Microsoft software purchases) are recommended. Microsoft offers forums for customers, but these do not provide immediate feedback for emergencies. Corporate customers may also be unlikely to document very detailed issues in public forums.

Microsoft tends to be secretive about problems with its software and services. Of course this would seem to be in their best interest, but at a huge expense to customers. Lack of information about [bugs] causes frustration and wastes time for users looking for answers. A search of their "knowledge base" often provides hundreds of pages of information to sift through, or no information at all. Many of the "knowledge base" articles provide no solutions or workarounds to problems and are therefore of little use to customers. It's impossible to know if every bug known to Microsoft is documented online.

Consider also the support provided by Microsoft's bCentral web hosting service for small businesses (now known as Microsoft's Small Business Center). Says one customer, "What's so disturbing is the lack of information from Microsoft.... After six or seven hours of no service, customers deserve more than that."
Copyright © 2004-2007 Matthew Schwartz