The executives at backup vendors typically face a pretty clear choice:

  1. Take the money that their customers pay them for support and create a well-trained and highly responsive customer support group that actually has not only seen the product but been trained on it and can actually use it.
  2. OR – pay peanuts for an outsourced dialing for dollars group which consists of earnest people who have not only never performed a backup but are continually confused about why people keep calling them about computers when they thought that “backup” has something to do with “American basketball” and concerns who plays when Lebron James gets tired.

Note that in case #1 the executive can only hope that happy customers lead to more revenue – while in case #2 the executive can writhe naked on the cash that the board awards him for meeting short-term profitability targets.

(Let me stop here and apologize to sensitive readers for clearly going too far – not in implying that most backup companies are money-grubbing parasitic organisms that exist solely to leech as much money as possible from their customers while investing in diamond studded dog collars for poodles named “Fifi” – but for forcing the reader to mentally picture nude backup executives.)

Think I’m overstating the case?  Let’s imagine that you possess the stamina, patience, and will to wait on the telephone for the first answer to your telephone call.  Let’s further imagine that you have a bladder capable of not being emptied for the geological eras that will pass by while you wait to speak to someone who is even halfway competent.  With most backup vendors, this means that you are then talking to a “backup specialist.”  What does that mean?  It means someone who has been carefully trained to blame anything OTHER than the backup vendor’s software.  Someone who isn’t just simply at an Olympic athletic level of finger pointing – but has gone pro and is soon to be inducted into the finger pointing hall of fame.  Someone who is able to say “that’s a Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 problem” or “that’s a Dell PowerVault DL2200 PERQ RAID issue” in less than 0.1739 femtoseconds.

Finally, unless you’re really, really weird – you probably didn’t have to pay for the privilege of being covered in honey and slapping a grizzly bear.  (Note: Given that this is the Internet, please note that I will completely and overwhelmingly ignore any and all attempts to explain why I’m missing out on the greatest thrill of my life by not joining the honey covered bear slappin’ club.)  Not so with backup support – you actually pay to suffer through this stuff!