As computer vendors pare down their technical support options, third-party Web sites and support services are filling the gaps. Many of these services are free, relying on advertising or e-commerce partnerships to generate revenue. Others charge a nominal fee and use their technical expertise and economy of scale to turn a profit.
In some cases, these services provide better support and more accurate information than the computer vendors themselves. Before you pay for phone-based support, do a search on Google and check out these services.