Microsoft Suffers From Ink Cartridge Envy; Jacks Up Tech Support Charges

If Vista's got you stumped, Microsoft offers a tech support chainsaw to help you down. Bring money.

As of Jan. 30, customers who buy full retail copies of Vista and Office 2007 will get unlimited calls, e-mails and Web chats with Microsoft technical support during the first 90 days after activating the software. But after that period, customers contacting Microsoft for help with Vista will pay $59 per incident, up from $35, according to Matt Fingerhut, general manager of consumer support for platforms and business applications. For technical assistance with Office, customers will pay $49 per incident, also up from $35.

People have been complaining loudly about the quality of tech support from both hardware and software vendors for quite some time. Let's see if they're willing to pay for access to a tech that cost as much as a plumber. They both make the same thing go away, generally.

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