Round Rock, TX - Dell announced that they had been granted a patent
for the "reboot and see if that fixes it" technical support
process, which they pioneered.
"We're really taking our cue from other industries," said
CEO Michael Dell. "The American Medical Association patented
the 'let's see if that hurts tomorrow' treatment plan and General
Motors patented the 'turn it off and start it up again' fixing process
explained that this patent gives them an edge over competitors who
will have to find another way to help customers, or be forced to
pay Dell royalties. "It really enhances our award-winning technical
support. We will license the technology to others. It could be $1-$15
per reboot depending on volume," he disclosed.
Dell has quickly integrated this patent win into their advertisements
for technical support. Their new slogan: "Dell: Where rebooting
to fix the problem is our solution."
Competitors are scrambling for a solution. Representatives for HP
said they would change their process to avoid violation of the patent.
They will now tell customers "to reboot and call them back if
that doesn't fix it," the call back being the crucial difference.
Manager for Customer Service at Sony, Tom Fujiyama was outraged
by the Dell claim. "How do they expect companies to handle support
now? We'll have to retrain our entire staff. For most of them 'reboot
and see if that fixes it' is the only solution they know. I guess
we'll have to instruct them to tell the customer to reboot then quickly
hang up and just hope that it fixes the problem," said Fujiyama.
Patent enforcement won't be limited to large corporations. Dell
plans on charging royalties to individuals as well. "Margins
are tight and sales are slumping. We need to find a way to boost
profits, so we've also requested wire taps for anyone with a mother
or father who owns a computer," explained Dell.
Dell said the patent applies to hardware issues and that Microsoft
holds the patent for fixing software problems with a reboot.
Several other companies including Apple and IBM are challenging
the patent, contending they developed this process before Dell.
Special thanks to Nikolaj Borg
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