Why do so many big companies stop their e-mail support?

Have you noticed that it's almost impossible to contact larger companies via e-mail nowadays? They have phone and a chat function that no one ever monitors, but all e-mail addresses are removed. Why is that?

I can imagine a long row of reasons companies don't want e-mail addresses. They don't want to be spammed, they want to keep a history of the support case, and probably believe that everyone is happiest getting an immediate answer. I believe that customers appreciate the ability to send a question via e-mail and get an answer later.

Since I started Sadowski Media I've needed to sort out several annoying details - I need everything in my little office to work the way it's supposed to - and I have needed to reach Apple, T-mobile, Symantec, GoDaddy, and Bing ads. None of them have e-mail support.

I hate phones. I won't call anyone unless I absolutely have to. I'd rather buy a new computer than call support.

Chat is okay, I can start chat sessions, but in my experience you usually have to wait 20 minutes for someone on the other end to wake up and answer, and I do believe the junior support staff gets to man the chat. It's difficult to find anyone who knows anything, and if I need support I really want to talk to someone who knows more than I do myself.

This is the result of my attempts to get help.

1. Apple. I have a simple question about file conversions in/from iBooks Author.

I dug around on the website until I found an e-mail address, sent them my question, and asked them to forward my question to the right support people. I got an e-mail back with the same phone number that's already available on the website. There is no other way to contact them than through phone.

Apple support: Fail.

2. T-mobile. I had a question about my cell phone plan since I wanted to add a line and the website wouldn't let me.

They don't have e-mail addresses for support on the website, but I finally dug up a link that sent an e-mail to them through Facebook's messaging system. I didn't really expect an answer, but got one within minutes. They helped me through everything in a smooth and professional manner.

T-mobil support: Success.

3. Symantec. I've had a Norton subscription for years, and the license stopped working when I had to re-install my PC. I couldn't find a viable support option and finally threw a fit on Twitter. Symantec contacted me via e-mail and solved my problem within minutes. They also asked how I would want support to work.

Symantec support: Success.

4. GoDaddy. I've been trying to create subdomains. Again threw a fit on Twitter - nothing. Sent them a message through Facebook, and they gave me the phone number to support, even though I told them I wasn't interested in calling. *eyeroll* After messaging back and forth a few times they weren't able to solve my problem.

GoDaddy support: Fail.

5. Bing Ads. I got an email from PayPal about a payment to a Bing Ad I didn't know I had. I finally resorted to contacting them too through Facebook, and found myself in the old discussion of why I don't want to call support. After going back and forth for a day I managed to persuade them to forward my question to support and someone e-mailed me back.

Thus far I've provided my account number four times, asking how to find out what user name or e-mail address is connected to it. Every time they answer back that I should attempt to log on with the e-mail address I'm sending messages from - which is not connected to Bing Ads at all - and use the link to reset my password.

They're clearly idiots.
Bing support: Fail.


What do you think? Is providing a phone number adequate support in the year 2014? Do people want e-mail support, or is it just me?

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