My Stack Exchange background is really on the 'computing' sites, Ask Different & Super User.
I'm aware that different stacks have different requirements for off-topic, but searching Meta here for 'customer support' brings no results, so I'm wondering if it's even been touched upon as a subject.

On Ask Different, anything that would be considered an "RTFM" question has boilerplate copy/paste close reasons. It used to even be one of our 'tick a box' presets, but we brought in a broader 'no research' close reason which was felt at the time to be more commonly useful.

These are the two boilerplates…

[I am voting to close this question as off-topic because] it's a Basic Customer Support question. Please see the meta post linked above for details on how to proceed if you can edit the post and, if put on Hold, have the Hold reviewed. You can also contact the developer for assistance with their product.

Related: Why we're not customer support for [company X or product Y] and Why we're not customer support for [your favorite company]

Is there a consensus/policy for Seasoned Advice users to follow when met with what would appear to be customer support questions?

Two from today which prompted this meta question…

KitchenAid beater stuck on new machine
which ended up being a dupe, but with a moderator comment underneath

I saw there were close votes because this is about a mixer. Actually, equipment is on topic on the site, and we have taken this type of question before, so I wouldn't say it's closable as off topic. But it so happens that this exact question is a duplicate :) – rumtscho♦

Rapidly followed by

How above heating rod is working in IFB microwave rotissirie?

Which I'd have immediately vtc'd as customer support, had it not been for the earlier question.

  • We do have some old guidance, e.g. cooking.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/779. But reality has not always followed these guidelines specifically, and the scope of the site can change over time, so I think that this is a good discussion to have.
    – rumtscho Mod
    Commented Apr 22, 2020 at 14:36
  • There's also some past discussion on general reference questions, e.g. cooking.meta.stackexchange.com/q/1023/1672 but probably others too. (If you can get the answer by reading the manual, that does push it toward the kind of thing that's basically Google and get your answer.) I think really, this just isn't as big an issue here as on many tech sites, so there hasn't been as strong as incentive to try to draw clear lines.
    – Cascabel Mod
    Commented Apr 22, 2020 at 16:09

1 Answer 1


Historically, what you call "basic customer support" questions have not been a problem on this site. There just aren't that many of them -- particularly compared with the number of "I left this meat out on the counter for 3 years, is it bad" type questions.

Additionally, with cooking equipment, it can be difficult to determine what's a "basic customer support" question without research, since manuals for cooking equipment are usually fairly spartan, and cooks often want to make novel uses of their equipment. And once you've done the research, why not answer the question?

So I'd argue that "basic customer support" as a Close Reason doesn't belong on this site.

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