Our support team work hard and are available at all times to help you with any problems you might be having with our services.
To make sure they can help you as quickly and effectively as possible, here's some guidelines on how to work with our support team and what you can do make sure they can help you as quickly as possible.
- Is the problem you are having really an issue for our support team?
We often get support requests for issues that aren’t in our remit, such as:
- Error messages from software installed on your own PC
- Problems with PDA's, iPhone's, Blackberry's, or other mobile devices, and how to configure it to collect or send emails
- Problems sending or receiving emails when you don't have POP accounts on our email servers
- Scripting errors with software or applications you are installing
- Advice on programmes or scripts that you are thinking about installing.
Free support is only provided for problems with our systems if they aren’t working correctly or require our intervention to make them work. If you contact us to request support for something that is not an issue or problem with the our servers or the systems we provide then you will be charged for the support time.
- Is an answer already available?
We provide a number of online resources that are designed to help you. Before contacting our support team please check these resources for an answer. Our online Knowledgebase has a number of different areas where help can be sought, including:
We try to keep these systems up-to-date, so that they can be relied upon as the first place to look for an answer to common issues.
- Articles and answers to common questions
- Video Tutorials
- Troubleshooting Guides
- Application Installation Guides
- Downloadable Documentation
Online search engines such as Google or Bing can also be an excellent resource and you’d be surprised how often the answer can be found there.
If you encounter problems installing a script or application don’t forget to check out the developer’s web site.
By looking for an answer yourself you can save time by getting your answer quickly with an explanation on how to fix the problem. It also helps to keep the pressure off our support staff who will then have more time to deal with problems where their help really is required.
If you make a support request and the response is already available in our online systems then other support requests will receive priority over your request, and our support team will eventually just send you the link to the resource that provides an answer.
- Identify yourself
It sounds obvious, but our support team deal with requests from all of our customers. We like to provide a personal touch but it’s impossible for all of our support team to know all of our customers, so please make sure you let them know who you are.
If you are using a Control Panel provided by us, the best information you can give is your Control Panel Account number.
If there is an issue with a particular domain please tell us the domain name.
If you aren’t using our Control Panel, then tell us your customer account number, your domain and the name of the server your website is located on, (or any other information you think will be relevant) when contacting us.
We can’t action support requests that only rely upon the domain name for security reasons.
If you don’t identify yourself clearly your support request will be significantly delayed as it will be given the lowest priority by our support team irrespective of the issue you are having.
- Provide as much information as you can that might be important.
Please try to give us as much information as possible.
Support requests along the lines of “help, my email is down” don’t really let us help you.
Here’s some guidelines:
- Always give information such as your username, what server you are on, and the web site, domain, or service you are having a problem with.
- Please try to clearly explain what problem in detail. We don’t expect your answer to be technical but the better you try to explain the problem, and the more information you give, the greater the chance of us fixing it quickly. Additional information that may be important includes:
- Are other domains having the same problem or is it only this domain?
- Was it working before?
- When did the issue first start happening?
- Has anything changed, or been updated, or installed?
- What do you think MAY has caused this issue?
- Can you think of any reason for this happening?
- Any other information you think may be important
- If you’ve received an error message please forward the whole error message. It’s important that we see the whole error message as provided as it may contain codes or clues to what the problem is.
- Be sure that you can replicate the problem and describe what circumstances cause it.
- We may need to “see” the problem for ourselves and to test if the work we do is helping, so please send any relevant links to the pages (including username and passwords – if required) and tell us how we can replicate the problem.
- If the issue is to do with a connection problem or the unavailability of a site or service, please supply a traceroute for that site or service by following the instructions in this file.
- If a service appears not to be working at all, please check our Monitoring Reports (links to the monitoring service are available from the Control Panel and our “Help” pages) and our Online Portal for news and updates of any outages or system-wide errors.
If the relevant service is highlighted in RED in our monitoring reports (problem with a service) then you can be sure that our support team will already be working on it. If you can see a service is down it’s preferable if you don’t contact support immediately as it may result is us pulling technicians or support reps from solving the problem which only increases the time taken to fix it.
Our monitoring reports show when a service went down (the “Status Changed at” column) so it is easy to calculate how long the service has been unavailable for. If it has been more than 60 minutes a report will be available in our Online Portal.
If time to fix the issue is likely to be protracted we will send an email to all affected customers and provide an update in our online portal.
- Open a new ticket for each individual issue you are having. If you are having two problems send two emails as it helps to keep things simple and ensures that questions are dealt with by the appropriate support person.
- Please don’t re-open old tickets unless your support request is a continuation of an existing issue. We monitor response times and the number of responses taken to resolve an issue to ensure our support responses are fast (time to respond) AND that they deal with the issue quickly (number of replies required to resolve the issue).
- Please be patient. If you have provided us with sufficient information to allow us to investigate the matter then our support team will be looking at the problem. It may take time to replicate the issue and provide a fix so please give them time to look at the problem and try to resolve it. Bombarding them with emails or requests for updates will only delay matters
Our support and technical team do work 24/7, and our response to problems is almost immediate. You won’t have to worry about matters not being taken in hand, and you certainly won’t need to wait too long for a resolution or an update on what is happening when your request is urgent. It is unusual for you not to receive an update or fix for an urgent problem within 2 hours, but the time-to-fix depends upon how complicated the resolution is.
Support requests are prioritised by our support team and emails marked as urgent get no more priority than resgular emails. Urgent matters - server or service not available - are always dealt with first and non-urgent requests may take some time to complete if there are more urgent matters to fix first.
- Don't assume that all problems are our fault
Sometimes our support team is too efficient at answering questions or dealing with problems, and it can be easier to contact us when you notice anything that doesn’t seem right rather than take steps to ensure it really is a problem with our systems.
There can be many reasons for things to go wrong, web sites not being available (or “slow”) and it's not always obvious where the problem lies.
Traffic on the Internet travels through various points and over various connections known as "backbones". Backbones are the main conduits for network traffic and operate at varying levels of capacity. When a backbone gets heavily used or has problems it can affect performance for certain areas of the world. There is very little that we can do to alter the network conditions for the major backbones as they are out with our control. Thankfully, these problems are usually temporary, but please don't assume that your server or site is down just because you aren’t able to connect to it.
The best thing to do before contacting us is to check general network conditions. Carry out a tracert as described here and if you’re not sure what the results mean send the results to us with your support request.
- Always use the Online Support System
Every Support request is tracked and monitored, and logs are used for training and evaluation purposes. By using the online system all of the details about how your support request is being handled are available.
Using the online system also saves you having to repeat yourself if your request is escalated to a more senior team member. By using the online system we have a full picture of what steps have been taken to solve your problem.
We don’t provide general telephone support and unless you are paying for telephone support, or else a service or server is down, you will be charged for the time it takes the support team to deal with your query if you call us.
To use the online support system, you only need to send an email to email@example.com and the support process will start automatically.
- Don't email and then call
We only provide support through our ticket support system except for a number of specific cases when telephone support is paid for or else there is an emergency i.e. a service or server is not operating.
If you believe a service or server is not working please check our monitoring service. If the service is highlighted in red then we are aware of the problem and our support team and technicians will be working on it. If the time to fix the problem is likely to be extended we will email all relevant customers or provide an update in our Online Portal. We prefer that you don’t send a support request or call us about the service at this time as all our resources will be targeted towards fixing the problem. Emails and telephone calls at this time only delay matters.
If you do call for general support you will be charged for the time taken to deal with the request at our standard support rates.
- Check the Monitoring Service
If you are having difficulty using a service, check the monitoring reports for errors with that service. Our monitoring reports are updated every 5 minutes and all services are tested on a regular basis.
Our monitoring service is very accurate and very detailed, and if any problems are detected they will be displayed in the monitoring reports.
The monitoring report shows 3 basic levels:
- Service is operating. White Background, Black Text. This means the service is functioning.
- Monitoring is Disabled. Grey Background, Grey Text. The monitoring of that server has been disabled and usually means someone is working on that service, or the monitoring has been temporarily disabled while maintenance is carried out.
- Service has failed. Red Background, White Text. The service has failed. In these circumstances, support will have been informed, and they will be working on fixing the problem.