updated 10:25 am EDT, Tue July 1, 2008
Dell Tech Team Service
Dell on Tuesday introduced the Your Tech Team support option for its PCs. The nationwide service follows a New York City pilot project and gives owners of any Dell-branded device quicker access to technicians, the ability to schedule contact with a specific technician, and the ability to support at least some non-warranty problems. Performance tuning, network setup, and security are also available for a fee during the calls, Dell says.
The plan costs $99 for an unspecified duration and covers every device in the household which is still under warranty; costs for any extra support aren't outlined with the news.
Controversially, however, the plan also effectively charges some of Dell's customers for the privilege of receiving support from North America, effectively creating a two-tier system where more affluent customers are given support in more recognizable speaking accents and from more knowledgeable technicians. The Texas-based computer maker acknowledges the split but defends itself by arguing that it has to appeal both to budget-conscious users and those who want the best support possible.
"We see time and time again, that when we increase prices to cover certain costs we drop in sales," says Customer Experience official Laura Bosworth. "On the other hand, we must balance that with many suggestions that we provide North American support."
However, the Your Tech Team plan comes on board despite other North American PC builders offering support from the continent themselves without additional charges. Apple, Gateway, Lenovo, and Micron typically provide North American support as part of their standard warranties in the US and Canada.