Thursday, October 25, 2007

Is prepaid tech support really necessary?

We run three mobile email servers - Exchange with ActiveSync, Goodlink from Good Technology (now Motorola) and BlackBerry from RIM. Only BlackBerry wants us to pay in advance each year for tech support that we have never used. It's not cheap either.

I was amused when RIM sent a renewal invoice for the annual tech support. The prices were in English pounds sterling. So I emailed back and asked, "how much is that in US Dollars?" They sent me an email thanking them for contacting tech support and promising to get back to me within 24 hours.

Several days later I receive another email from RIM saying that they have provided me with a new quote in US Dollars. I email back and ask, "so where is it?" They had forgotten to attach it. They email back thanking me once again for contacting tech support. Several days later I receive another email asking if I'm going to renew our annual tech support.

By now I'm getting tired of this. I email back informing them that they neglected to send me a quote that I can use. They thank me for contacting tech support. I finally get a quote in another email and discuss it with management. We decide that it is not worth the $1,200 fee for something we haven't used in the past year. It smacks of 'protection money'.

What do you think? Is prepaid tech support worth it? I figure if the server ever goes down I can switch the BlackBerry users to a Smart Phone or reinstall the server software. Maybe if we had hundreds or thousands of BlackBerry users I would feel differently but we only have a dozen. Almost all our mobile email users have switched to BlackJacks with ActiveSync.

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