Microsoft raises support fees for Windows, Office

Microsoft raises support fees for Windows, Office

Summary: Microsoft quietly raised last week its per-incident support prices across the board for Windows and Office. Officials are attributing the changes to a desire "to provide more personalized support options based on customers’ technology usage."

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TOPICS: Windows
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Microsoft quietly raised last week its per-incident support prices across the board for Windows and Office.

Support for Windows XP and Windows Vista now costs $59 per incident. Prior to the Vista launch, the per-incident support price for Windows was $39. Vista users get their first 90 days of support for no charge.

Support for Office XP and Office 2007 now goes for $49 per incident, compared to $35 per incident prior to lthe January 30 Windows Vista/Office 2007 retail launch. Office 2007 users also get their first 90 days of support for free.

A reader tipped me to the change. When I asked Microsoft for comment, a spokeswoman provided me with the following statement:

"Microsoft has expanded the pricing model for assisted support inquiries for consumers across all supported versions of Windows and Office products with the launch of Windows Vista and 2007 Microsoft Office system. This change was timed in conjunction with the worldwide launch of Windows Vista and 2007 Microsoft Office system to retail customers."

(This is a novel use of "expanded," I have to say. How about "upped the price"?)

Microsoft is attributing the changes to a desire "to provide more personalized support options based on customers’ technology usage."

These changes are aimed at retail customers. If those customers happen to have volume-licensing contracts with Microsoft, they will receive a set number of free support calls before these fees kick in. The new fees apply to e-mail support, individual Web-chat support and phone support.

Microsoft's per-support fees depend on the product, the spokeswoman said.

* General assistance for personal products, such as Money 2007, remains at US $35

* Operating system support is now US $59 (was $39 before).

* “Scenario-based assistance,” such as networking, entertainment, and OS optimization, is now US $79. (Not clear what it was before; I have a query in to Microsoft on this.)

Have folks out there used Microsoft's phone, email and/or chat support for Windows and Office? Was it worth $39 a call? What about $59?

Topic: Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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