Cisco vs. Nortel: Who's the customer support champ?

Cisco vs. Nortel
Recently Nortel has been very successful promoting their Cisco Energy Tax campaign. However, there are other extremely important issues to also consider when making a networking equipment vendor choice. One of those issues was brought to the attention of yours truly today when I received the following email message regarding customer support issues with Nortel. Keep in mind that the opinion expressed below is solely one network engineer's viewpoint who's working for a Nortel customer in the United States.
Q: When is a support call, like calling a mortgage broker for a loan? A: When you are calling Nortel support, and 1st level support can't solve it. Nortel 1st level support can't seem to escalate a problem if they can't figure out how to fix the problem within a reasonable amount of time. If Nortel 1st level support can't figure it out, they become a middleman, a broker, who 'sells' you to Nortel 2nd level just like a mortgage broker sells you to a lender. Nortel 2nd level support can and does refuse to take your problem if they don't like your paperwork. The message is: Maybe Nortel 2nd level support will take your case if you provide one more chunk of information. Looking back at e-mails from three cases this year, I see the pattern played out again and again. If it's not a network down situation, and Nortel 1st level can't solve it, it usually takes weeks to get escalated to Nortel 2nd level. My questions are: If Nortel 1st level support can't solve the problem within a reasonable time, why doesn't the issue automatically get escalated based on severity? I'm the customer. Why am I turned into the seller with Nortel 1st level support acting as a broker, 'selling' my problem to Nortel 2nd level support? If we've been through four or five rounds of their requests and given them a boat load of information, why can't Nortel 2nd level support start working on what they already have?

To be fair, the above issues are from a network engineer working for a Nortel customer who does not have any Cisco equipment that would allow him to compare Nortel vs. Cisco customer support performance. Have other Network World readers had similar issues with Nortel customer support?

Cisco vs. Nortel, who do YOU think is the customer support champ?

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