Intel has been accused of arrogance following the chip giant's plans to deny free technical support to smaller dealers.
OEMs and dealers that have previously used Intel's support hotline for advice on subjects such as compatibility between products and motherboard configurations, will in future have to pay for the service.
One chip distributor described the news as yet another example of Intel's arrogance. 'The larger OEMs will still get as much help as they've always had, but those who need it most will find they now have to pay for it.
These are the dealers who don't have highly skilled technical people at their disposal.'
The company has been criticised for asking smaller OEMs to subsidise the help given to larger Intel customers.
Keith Warburton, head of the Personal Computer Association, said that while a charging structure was understandable, Intel should beware that it alienating its smaller channel partners.
'It is reasonable to expect that companies would want to charge for the support they give, but to charge the smaller businesses and not the larger ones makes no sense,' he said.
'Surely the smaller OEM should be encouraged to gain as much knowledge and skills as possible.'
Without access to telephone support, a large number of OEMs and dealers may have to resort to using Intel's Web sites for technical help, despite the off-the-peg nature of the information available.
As PC Dealer went to press, an Intel representative refused to comment further on the withdrawal of technical support.
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