Microsoft is planning to revamp its customer support services, to make the services more appropriate to each customer.
In the next five months Microsoft will leave its incident system behind - one incident is one customer technical support call, which are provided free with software or can be purchased in singles, fives or twenty-fives.
But the current system takes no account of the profile of user, who could be a home, mobile, desktop, business or server user.
"For business users, like PC Week readers, there is a lot more that we can do that is more appropriate than incidents," said Stuart Anderson, services marketing manager at Microsoft, but he could not give specific details of the scheme that will replace it.
News of a revamped scheme may not come as a great comfort to the customers who listened to Microsoft ads while on hold on Tuesday and Wednesday last week, following a serious upgrade at the call centre over the week end.
One irate customer, Anthony Phillips, group accountant of the Sparshatts of Kent Mercedes Benz franchise, told PC Week that he had phoned Microsoft five times in the two days following Easter and been kept waiting up to an hour before being able to register his request for support. Subsequently he was put in a queue for technical support, which he quit after further lengthy waits.
"How can Microsoft expect people to pay for support when they cannot get through?" questioned Phillips.
Microsoft insisted that the new implementation of the call centre application software from Clarify on SQL Server 7.0 was not to blame, but that it had taken time to get the support staff up to scratch. It was also time consuming to check that each customers records had been transferred correctly from the previous applications, Microsoft claimed.
For further stories see 12 April issue of PC Week
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