Open ltr to Watcom re: exorbitant (IMHO) tech support charges 
Author Message
 Open ltr to Watcom re: exorbitant (IMHO) tech support charges

I am currently trying to review and extend my prior knowledge of
VX-REXX.  I have often gotten stuck on something and need a point of
design or function explained.

I am extremely upset at the new technical support policies that have
been implemented.  While you say that you offer free support via fax,
email, and Compuserve, you also say that it may take one or two days
or more to respond via those methods.  

I chose VX-REXX as a development environment for small utility
programs incidental to a Fortune 500 client's major project.  I did
so on the basis of my experience with a prior version of VX-REXX.  I
was not aware that the support policies would be changed so
drastically.  I will now have to tell my client that my progress has
been severely hampered by the lack of affordable support.  This will
certainly stick in their minds the next time they decide whose
software to buy.

I understand that you must recover from your customers the cost of
providing technical assistance.  I even grant that for an excellent
product you have the right to profit from tech support just as you
profit from the sale.  However, I find the $75 per incident charge
excessive for the kind of help I need.  Furthermore, given the fact
that it is so expensive, I feel that this should have been disclosed
when I purchased the product.  The value of the product has
diminished relative to what it was when I bought it because the cost
of support has skyrocketed.

I have already invested much time in learning this product and will
probably try to fight it out by myself without your help.  However,
it is unlikely that I will buy any Watcom products in the future if
this policy remains in effect.

As I said, I acknowlege that you need to charge for technical
support.  A while back when I worked with Borland's compiler, I would
pay about $2.00 per minute on a 900 call.  My average call was about
three to five minutes.  I feel that this was a fair charge for the
short time I spoke with the support people.  If you could implement
such a policy I would happily use it.

- Keith Bennett

P.S. Is there a VX-REXX expert out there that would be willing to
offer tech support on a per-minute basis?

--
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Keith Bennett                            Bennett Business Solutions, Inc.
C++/C Software Development               1852 Middlebridge Drive



Fri, 11 Jul 1997 09:39:20 GMT  
 Open ltr to Watcom re: exorbitant (IMHO) tech support charges
900 number would be a nice addition, but  since WATCOM in in Canda, I don't
know if they could get the service there. If this type of gouging persists,
I think that many of the application vendors are agoing to put their tech
support people out of a job.
 ----------
From: owner-rexxlist
To: Multiple recipients of list REXXLIST
Subject: Open ltr to Watcom re: exorbitant (IMHO) tech support charges
Date: Sunday, January 22, 1995 20:39

I am currently trying to review and extend my prior knowledge of
VX-REXX.  I have often gotten stuck on something and need a point of
design or function explained.

I am extremely upset at the new technical support policies that have
been implemented.  While you say that you offer free support via fax,
email, and Compuserve, you also say that it may take one or two days
or more to respond via those methods.

I chose VX-REXX as a development environment for small utility
programs incidental to a Fortune 500 client's major project.  I did
so on the basis of my experience with a prior version of VX-REXX.  I
was not aware that the support policies would be changed so
drastically.  I will now have to tell my client that my progress has
been severely hampered by the lack of affordable support.  This will
certainly stick in their minds the next time they decide whose
software to buy.

I understand that you must recover from your customers the cost of
providing technical assistance.  I even grant that for an excellent
product you have the right to profit from tech support just as you
profit from the sale.  However, I find the $75 per incident charge
excessive for the kind of help I need.  Furthermore, given the fact
that it is so expensive, I feel that this should have been disclosed
when I purchased the product.  The value of the product has
diminished relative to what it was when I bought it because the cost
of support has skyrocketed.

I have already invested much time in learning this product and will
probably try to fight it out by myself without your help.  However,
it is unlikely that I will buy any Watcom products in the future if
this policy remains in effect.

As I said, I acknowlege that you need to charge for technical
support.  A while back when I worked with Borland's compiler, I would
pay about $2.00 per minute on a 900 call.  My average call was about
three to five minutes.  I feel that this was a fair charge for the
short time I spoke with the support people.  If you could implement
such a policy I would happily use it.

 - Keith Bennett

P.S. Is there a VX-REXX expert out there that would be willing to
offer tech support on a per-minute basis?

 --
 --------------------------------------------------------------------------
Keith Bennett                            Bennett Business Solutions, Inc.
C++/C Software Development               1852 Middlebridge Drive



Fri, 11 Jul 1997 22:08:00 GMT  
 Open ltr to Watcom re: exorbitant (IMHO) tech support charges
Message sent from Tulsa, Ok. on Monday, 01-23-1995

KB> I chose VX-REXX as a development environment for small utility
KB> programs incidental to a Fortune 500 client's major project.

I'm sorry!

KB> I was not aware that the support policies would be changed so
KB> drastically.

This is why I chose VisPro/Rexx.

KB> However, I find the $75 per incident charge excessive for the kind of help I need.

I've called Hockware several times.  Had to wait almost a minute once.
Also, Hockware provides its update free of charge.  No handling and
shipping charges either.  I followed these conferences for a while
before deciding which to buy - VisPro or VX.  After reading all the
gripes about VX (the upgrade and bug fix polocy being a major hit) I
bought VisPro.  Just received my upgrade last week.  (free of charge of
course) Love it.  Won't ever part with it.


---
 t KWQ/2 1.2i t This tagline stolen by KWQ Mail/2.



Sat, 12 Jul 1997 13:51:00 GMT  
 Open ltr to Watcom re: exorbitant (IMHO) tech support charges
If you do not wish to pay for telephone support, there are other alternatives:

   - CompuServe (type GO WATCOM), the official Watcom electronic support area
   - IBMLINK (the VX-REXX CFORUM), also supported by Watcom
   - comp.lang.rexx or comp.os.os2.apps, where lots of VX-REXX users can help
   - "Writing VX-REXX Programs", a McGraw-Hill book by Ronny Richardson  
   - VX-REXX Technical Notes
   - The VX-REXX online documentation

Tech notes and patches are available from http://www.watcom.on.ca or
ftp://ftp.watcom.on.ca or ftp://rexx.uwaterloo.ca.

Eric



Mon, 14 Jul 1997 01:23:31 GMT  
 Open ltr to Watcom re: exorbitant (IMHO) tech support charges

Quote:

>I am extremely upset at the new technical support policies that have
>been implemented.  While you say that you offer free support via fax,
>email, and Compuserve, you also say that it may take one or two days
>or more to respond via those methods.  

It's better to say... they never respond via email.
I can witness this. See my postings in comp.lang.fortran a few weeks ago.
(Sorry if this is a bit off-topic. I believe it's relevant, however).

I bought both VX-REXX 2.0 and Fortran 77/32. I had serious problems with
F77. I sent several messages to their Internet support e-mail address.

They acknowledged receipt of my bug report. I received an automated reply
telling me they were busy and I should have expected a reply not before
ten business days....
Well, the bug was indeed demostrated by a Watcom F77 beta tester in
comp.lang.fortran. However Watcom never replied to my problem report.
I had also sent my F77 source code in order to prove my statements.

That was the reason I chose to not upgrade to VX-REXX 2.1.
I too am extremely upset at their new support policy. Specially for
Fortran since we should have to get research results with their product.
And it's not so cheap, even with an academic discount.

Quote:
>I chose VX-REXX as a development environment for small utility
>programs incidental to a Fortune 500 client's major project.

For that kind of projects I chose to subscribe to IBM DevCon.
Besides a lot of programming utilities and other stuff I got IBM
DrDialog/DrRexx for free (it's in the CD). It's well suited for low
volume Rexx applications and you can compile to a standalone EXE.
There is no need for that elephantine VROBJ.DLL which VX-REXX needs.

--

Michele Marziani


 * Dipartimento di Fisica               Telephone: +39 532 781823 *
 * 44100 Ferrara - ITALY                      Fax: +39 532 781810 */



Mon, 14 Jul 1997 04:55:58 GMT  
 
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