re: How To Escape Consumer IT Hell
This clash between product support and technical users in general, and IT specifically, is one between mission and expectations. Consumer electronic support lines are designed to help people operate and configure a relatively complex product with features and options many buyers may not understand.
Technically savvy users, i.e. IT types, can figure out all of the subtleties. When we have a problem, we've been through all of the obvious fixes; we've rebooted, reset to default configs, looked at any available error log, unplugged extraneous peripherals, i.e. done all the standard troubleshooting steps. Hence, by the time we call 'support' there's at least a 50-50 chance we're dealing with a product bug or defect; not something that can be easily dispatched by a call center drone.
The problem is that it's virtually impossible to wade through the 'support' bureaucracy to reach some who can either: (a) file a bug report (i.e. the product doesn't do what it's supposed to do under a certain set of circumstances) or (b) send a replacement product (in the case of hardware) for a device that clearly isn't working properly under normal conditions; that is not an edge case, in which we might suspect a bug, not a defect.
Big dollar IT spenders expect escalation to support people that can initiate a software bug fix or hardware replacement, but this support model seems infeasible in the age of consumer devices. How do you prove the technical bone fides allowing you to bypass the front-line support drones and reach people that can actually effectuate change? Maybe it just boils down to money. Those that spend the dollars can get engineer-to-engineer conversations, but for everyone else it's call center scripts and FAQs.