The Customer Service Survey

You Get What You Pay For

by Peter Leppik on Mon, 2008-10-06 01:00

One of the amazing side-effects of Google's success and the "Web 2.0" phenomenon is the proliferation of pretty-darn-good free services. You can now get the functional equivalent of Microsoft Office (less a few bells and whistles) without ever paying Microsoft or anyone else a penny.

So what's the catch?

Customer service and tech support, of course, as outlined in a New York Times article over the weekend (thanks to Consumerist for the link).

At the same time Moore's Law and infinite dark fiber have conspired to drive down the price of online applications, customer service involving an actual human trying to solve your problem remains as expensive as ever. So while Google and others can afford to price their basic services at zero, support will cost you.

At Google, the price is $50/year to subscribe to the "Premiere Edition." That's still a bargain compared to the price of Microsoft Office, but a lot more than free.

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