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RDP for Administration Ethics or Code of Conduct

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Best of luck to you Steve. It sounds as though you have done everything you reasonably can, but are stuck between a rock and a hard place. The situation of having poor support and short-term solutions but having the vendor so entrenched in your business that you can't realistically move away is terrible. Nothing short of a time machine, or as you say a million dollars can fix that situation.

Some more unwarranted advice (that I'm sure you're taking anyway):
- Document everything, and be honest and transparent when discussing the vendor with your management. Show an understanding that it's not realistic to move away from this vendor. Don't play the blame-game. Always frame your discussions about the vendor in terms of "there are problems and I want to fix them" (as oppossed to "there are problems and I want to whinge about them").
- Continue to let your management know the problems that are being caused, and what their impacts are (this is where good documentation comes in handy. If you can show a record of recurring problems that caused significant financial/productivity losses then management should be more willing to intervene and demand more from the vendor).
- And over the long-term ask yourself why your management aren't taking your concerns seriously. Is it because they aren't important concerns? Because management don't understand the real impact of the problems? Because they don't respect your opinions? Or are they just short-term thinkers, or not properly invested in their jobs? Once you know what the reason is it should be more clear what your options are to resolve that root problem.