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HP Plans Instant Care Remote Support Service Expansion

5/21/2007 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Hewlett-Packard will launch its Instant Care remote tech-support service globally and has plans to expand the service to cater to more languages and more of its consumer product lines.

The free online service originally launched in September to allow HP technicians to have remote access to a consumer's PC so they could fix a problem directly rather than having to talk the user through the process over the phone. In its current iteration, the service can be used to support HP PCs, cameras and printers and is only available in English.

Instant Care is expected to be expanded to TVs and be available in Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish by this summer. It should also be available to French-, German- and Italian-speaking users next year.

The company said it expects the various expansion moves will allow it to double the amount of "virtual house calls" it makes.

"Remote tech support for PCs is great, but to benefit from it, consumers have to have a working PC which can be exactly the problem that people are trying to solve," said Didier Chenneveau, HP's operations, imaging and printing group VP – Americas. "We're finding that the opportunity for remote support is much bigger on things that connect to the PCs rather than the PC itself."

According to HP, there are multiple opportunities for users to benefit from the Instant Care service. It provides consumers with the chance to perform a variety of diagnostic tests on their products without having to download applications. Also, the secure personalized support, which lets users allow HP technicians to have secure access to their PC and connected HP products, is said to save consumers time because the technician will have all the information they need to diagnose a problem. Finally, the company said consumers can learn from the support professionals as they resolve an issue and the company will even send customers step-by-step instructions for future reference.