The Register has a story about Dell, titled Dell: why Customer Care had to die, which describes Dell's decision to close its Dell Community Forum (DCF). I used DCF and the community support was good.
While The Register's normal satirical style is maintained in the article, there's a serious side too. Does it make sense, in these days of transparency, to go dark like this? Seems to me that by shutting down these forums, Dell do not help themselves or their customers. Microsoft, by comparison, may not like some of the comments they get on their open newsgroups, but the groups are open for your to post away. And genuine complaints not only get listened to, but get resolution. Everybody wins.