Philips aims to provide consumer helplines as part of Leisuresoft's distribution service.
"As technology becomes increasingly mass-market, so it needs appropriate support," said John Hawkins, executive VP of Philips Media. "This is something which as an industry we need to sort out."
Currently, there is no clear-cut route by which consumers who purchase PC hardware or software can provide technical support.
Some software publishers have set up support lines which vary in the amount they charge consumers. Usually the customer turns to the retailer for help.
Taking on technical support fits in with Philips' philosophy of adding value to the conventional pick, pack and ship operations of distribution.
The company hopes to pilot the scheme before Christmas and is currently working out how such a scheme will be financed.
Options include the service being financed by the consumer or by a charge built into Leisuresoft's margin.
Hawkins sees Leisuresoft's move as a catalyst in what will become an industry-wide trend: "Old-style distribution won't live forever. Distributors need to build lasting relationships with publishers and offer added-value services to retailers."
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