PCSupport.com

By SmallBusinessComputing Staff | Posted April 01, 2000
by David G. Propson

The problem with technology is that it's always breaking down, and that means spending money on expensive tech support to fix it. PCSupport.com tries to solve this tangle by offering business users simple tech support functions and live technical support on line, for free.

The most commonly used part of the site probably will be the services it runs directly over the Web: virus scanning, 25MB of online backup space, and diagnostic tools. Customers can upgrade to more powerful versions of the service for additional fees. The best part of the site is the opportunity to get tech support from actual people, through either e-mail or a live chat window.

In order to carry out its neat tech tricks, the site collects lots of information about your systems, including your unique IP address. But on the registration form, users must indicate they don't want their data to be shared with PCSupport's partners ­ whoever they are. This is a common but shady practice among Web-based service providers, and it should be abandoned: Let users "opt in," don't force them to opt out.

PCSupport.com is designed for companies that do not have permanent, in-house tech staff or are willing to turn some of the basic tasks over to the PC users themselves ­ which some might consider a risky proposition. But even CEOs who have live techies on staff may find themselves double-checking with the people at PCSupport.

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