If you've had the "opportunity" to call Novell for support this month, you might have noticed that single incident support calls have gone well up in price - to $650 (from $325)! Those of you with multiple incident agreements will discover the pinch when you next need to renew your agreement.Of course, if the problem you're reporting is a bug, and none of Novell's free services (we'll get to those in a moment) have pointers to a fix, then the $650 charge can be reversed. But you do have to cough up a credit card number in advance before you can talk to a "first-line" (translation: not terribly knowledgeable) support technician. And you may need to poke and prod to get the charge reversed - it isn't automatic.One thing you could try is to post your problem on the Novell Product Support Forums, inquiring if there is a fix for what you might think is a bug. At best, you'll get a pointer to the fix (for free) and you'll have ammunition to get the charge reversed when you call into the support phone line (1-800-858-4000 within the U.S. or 1-801-861-4000 outside the U.S.).Of course, just because the otherwise extremely knowledgeable and efficient Novell Technical Support volunteer SysOps aren't aware of a fix it doesn't mean that one doesn't exist, buried deep within the labyrinthine Novell Web site. And just like the IRS, following the advice of the support volunteers is no defense against doing something wrong. Still, the volunteers are far more knowledgeable than the front-line phone answerers. They're also far more experienced and usually more interesting to speak to. Of course, "free" vs. $650 is usually conducive to "more interesting."Still, if you feel the need to go through official channels to get your advice - or if your organization has rules about that sort of thing - then it's time to consider moving from the single-incident support to an annual support agreement. There are quite a few different programs all listed at Novell's support Web site, with a myriad of different payment choices. Take a look, find the one that's right for you, but remember that the free advice could be the best value for you.