@CloudExpo Authors: Roger Strukhoff, Dana Gardner, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Kevin Benedict

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PlumChoice Offers Guidance on Avoiding Tech Support Scammers

Company Urges Consumers, Businesses to Look for Customer Focus

LOWELL, Mass., Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Recognizing that rising demand for tech support services makes small businesses and consumers more vulnerable to tech support scams, PlumChoice®, Inc., a pioneer in remote support and thought leader in the Technology Services Solutions sector, today issued guidance on securing reliable, safe, trustworthy tech support to consumers and small businesses as well as to companies that provide tech support service to their customers through a white label arrangement. Tech support scams are a growing problem: Last month, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a global crackdown on technology support scams, alleging that tens of thousands of consumers were tricked into paying for removal of nonexistent viruses and spyware and conned into allowing scammers to remotely access their computers and data.

Support needs are rising due to the proliferation of interconnected devices and increasing demand for access to data across work, home and mobile environments. This heightens the importance of ensuring that support is delivered with integrity and that data is used appropriately; users who give support organizations access to their technology are also granting access to their sensitive data.

The recent release of the new Microsoft® Windows® 8 OS highlights the increasing need for technical support as it is a major departure from the familiar Windows design used by millions of customers worldwide. PlumChoice predicts that new users will require significant support to make the transition.

Tech Support Guidance for Consumers and Small Businesses

"Consumers and small businesses should exercise reasonable care when approached with tech support offers," said Ted Werth, Founder and Chairman at PlumChoice. "This issue is increasingly vital because today's tech support requirements reach beyond the basic fixing of broken PCs, peripherals and mobile phones; rather, people operate within immersive technology environments at home, at work and on the road and therefore demand ubiquitous access to data. That need for full access across interconnected devices and diverse platforms increases vulnerability to scammers."

Werth counsels consumers and small businesses seeking tech support directly to be wary of offers of "free" support from unknown companies, and to expect reputable providers to request permission to access a computer to deliver support remotely. These actions mitigate the risks associated with misuse of data, which can include sales pitches for unnecessary services. Rather, select tech support services from trusted providers, as the vendor will need access to vital data to operate effectively.

"Just as consumers and small businesses should be wary about providing banking, Social Security and credit card information to an unfamiliar organization, they should be suspicious of unknown individuals, organizations or companies that offer tech support, since unscrupulous vendors can use a service offer as a ruse to install software that provides access to the sensitive data on computers and mobile devices," Werth said. "It's imperative for consumers and small businesses to have a secure, reliable, support program in place and to deal only with reputable professionals with whom they have or can confidently establish a relationship. They should buy from a trusted brand that operates from a country that regulates service practices, consistently achieves high CSAT, has broad technical capability, thoroughly documents and audits support calls, and demonstrates brand commitments."

Advice for Businesses Seeking White Label Tech Support

"Companies that provide outsourced tech support to their customers value long-term customer relationships," Werth also observed, "So certainly they'll want to partner with a provider that appropriately uses data to provide an effective tech support solution. But any tech solutions provider should be willing to discuss how customer data is protected and used. It's absolutely crucial to ensure that the customers' best interests are always the top priority."

Finding a Reputable Support Partner

Helping consumers and small businesses and enabling white label partners with the tech support they need to make technology work in harmony in increasingly interconnected, immersive environments is a primary motivation for PlumChoice. Werth notes that customer focus – and integrity – come from the top down in tech support organizations, and that those seeking services – either as consumers, small businesses or as companies that offer tech support through a white label arrangement – should evaluate potential tech support organizations in that light, making sure the company employs only agents who are appropriately recruited, trained, vetted and managed by the support organization.

"In a world that is increasingly dependent on technology, there will, unfortunately, always be people who oversell, and we find that unacceptable," Werth continued. "But with basic research, it's possible to separate reputable companies from 'fly-by-night' organizations seeking a quick profit through dubious practices. Consumers, small businesses and organizations that offer tech support through partnership should look for companies that have years of experience providing support across multiple devices, operating systems and platforms and have documented practices they are willing to share. This will help ensure they're dealing with experts. Perhaps more importantly, they should look for companies that make support more about the customer than the device. Treat it like any other service offering – trust, but verify."

About PlumChoice

PlumChoice®, Inc. technology services solutions optimize the benefits technology users expect and demand from their technology environments. By partnering with PlumChoice, organizations can transform customer satisfaction to customer loyalty, whether through a premium technology services business, technical support services or an internal service desk function. PlumChoice delivers scalable software and outsourced services that not only influence customer loyalty, but also increase profitability, drive down support costs, and improve productivity. Founded in 2001, PlumChoice is headquartered in Massachusetts with offices in Colorado and Sweden. The company offers best-of-breed technology services solutions including its software-as-a-service Technology Services Solution and Tific® Support Automation solution, plus outsourced and fully managed remote and on-site services – which leverage the patented SAFElink® technology.

PlumChoice, Tific and SAFElink are trademarks or registered trademarks of PlumChoice, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other product and company names and marks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners and are mentioned for identification purposes only.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements regarding anticipated objectives, growth, demand, markets, technology adoption and/or expected product, service and/or technology developments or enhancements. Such forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of the following words (among others): "believes," "predicts," "expects," "may," "will," "plan," "should" or "anticipates," or comparable words and their negatives. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees but are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations contained in these statements. PlumChoice assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release in the event of changing circumstances or otherwise, and such statements are current only as of the date they are made.

SOURCE PlumChoice, Inc.

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