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<Just as important as low cost is good, prompt, technical support service. If you have a problem at 8PM on Friday of a 3-day holiday weekend, you want a prompt and useful response to your concerns. www.crystaltech.com has never let me down. After using the other services, I'm amazed sometimes how fast they are to respond to email support questions.>

Absolutely and this has got to be a prime issue for many aspects of services to small businesses. Paying more for prompt support may be more viable for the small business than paying less for unreliable support. I still remember phoning an insurance provider who supposedly offered a special service via my business association. My crime? Well I phoned at about 4.00pm on the Friday of a Bank Holiday Weekend (US readers substitute 'public holiday'). This may seem unsympathetic of me but I'm a retailer and a bank holiday often means a much busier weekend than usual. I and my staff certainly won't be going off on holiday - we have to do that at other times.

It was amazing. The person taking my call got all flappy, and - evidentally in despair - passed me onto someone clearly far above the level of employee I needed to contact. Who was he? Senior Manager? Or even the C.E.O. perhaps! But he was certainly panicked while also desperate to help BUT he explained if I needed insurance now what was he to do all the staff had already gone off on the bank holiday (I fear he was indeed the C.E.O.!). I explained several times over as I'd already done to the person taking the call that I didn't expect to insure that day and didn't need to insure that day I just wanted info and an application form and receiving it next week would be fine.

But he flapped on and on. I insured with my current insurer 10 days later instead. Not necessarily the best deal but at least they didn't flap!

Lynn
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