Ashland Computer Systems Tech Support Policy
These guidelines cover general situations that we have encountered over a period of time here at Ashland Computer Systems. We have had to revise these guidelines in order to better provide support in a timely manner. ACS reserves the right to make amendments to these policies at any time in order to provide the most efficient and reliable service.
Internet Customer(s): A person or group paying ACS a fee, usually monthly to obtain dial-up access through the use of ACS servers.
Non-Internet Customer(s): A person or group not currently paying ACS a fee to obtain dial-up access through the use of ACS servers.
1. New Internet Customers can have their computer inspected at no charge upon signup to ensuring that it is able to access the internet service.
2. If the Internet Customer's computer is determined to have problems that will not allow easy and consistent access to the internet, recommendations will be made by ACS staff to provide assistance. Note: This may include suggestions for installing or uninstalling specific software and/or hardware if it determined malfunctioning programs and/or peripherals are causing the problem.
3. If a problem later arises with an wherein an Internet Customers Computer cannot access the internet, ACS will attempt to determine the problem using phone tech support. If the problem cannot be resolved in a timely manner by phone, (usually a call lasting less than 30 minutes,) The Customer will be advised to bring in the computer to determine if the problem may be related to software or hardware. Bringing in the computer the first time will be at no charge to the Internet Customer. Non-Internet Customers will be subject to appropriate fees.
4. If the problem involves the necessity of installing new hardware or software, or removing malfunctioning hardware or software, the Customer will not be charged for labor if the new hardware or software is purchased from ACS.
5. If an ACS internet Customer's computer is found to have viruses or other malicious programs, the first-time removal will be at no charge. ACS will then recommend an anti-virus package. If the machine is returned for repair work again, and more viruses are found, there will be a $20 charge for each instance of virus removal thereafter, if the Customer does not desire to take preventative measures for their computer.
Situations falling outside of the above guidelines will be considered Extended Tech Support. The following stipulations apply.
1. Computer upgrades, installations or repairs done with hardware or software not purchased from ACS will be subject to a $30.00 per hour charge or $20.00 flat fee if the process takes less than an hour. If the computer was already experiencing problems prior to the installation, this will be taken into consideration.
2. If it is determined that a problem is caused by something other than the functioning of the 3 main internet components recommended by ACS, i.e., Dial-up Networking, Internet Explorer, and Outlook Express, and the technician has to travel to where the computer is located, and the distance is more than 5 miles from ACS facilities, a $40.00 charge may be applied.
3. Hardware upgrades for computers include but is not limited to computer cases, motherboards, processors, modems, memory, hard drives, monitors, sound cards, CD-ROM drives, CD-RW drives, DVD-ROM drives, DVD-RAM drives, printers, scanners, etc.
4. ACS does not manufacture hardware components nor develop software products, and therefore cannot and will not provide any warranties or guarantees, either expressed or implied that hardware or software bought by a customer from a source other than ACS will operate as intended. The Customer is advised to first follow the End User License Agreement for software, and the corresponding warranty procedures provided by the manufacturer for hardware when problems arise. If the hardware or software was installed by an individual or other company, the Customer will be advised to seek technical support from the original source first, as this may be more cost-efficient to the Customer.
5. Any advice or recommendations given for or against the purchase of certain hardware or software will reflect the experience of ACS through years of using different components and software configurations, as well as information gained from various hardware and software testers who post their results freely on the internet and cannot be contsrued as a verbal warranty or guarantee.
6. ACS is under no obligation to provide free tech-support or instruction for internet related software, with the exception of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Outlook Express, and in rare cases, Netscape Navigator. In all cases, the end user is encouraged to take full responsibility for learning how to operate the software. ACS may provide limited troubleshooting and instruction to get a customer pointed in the right direction for general surfing and e-mail. If the process becomes extremely time-consuming, tutoring will be offered. (See no. 8 below.)
7. ACS is under no obligation to provide free consultation for end users whose purpose is to use the information provided to sell goods or services to other end users. ACS is also under no obligation to provide technical support for products and services not purchased through ACS, nor for non-Internet Customers. In-depth consultation is based on an hourly fee, and appointments can be arranged by contacting ACS staff.
8. Excessive Q&A sessions -Troubleshooting or Teaching?: When someone calls ACS for specific questions relating to internet or hardware issues, it is usually considered tech support. When extensive inquiries are being made which require a tech to go outside the range of normal trouble-shooting procedures, then the session will be considered crossing over into tutoring. An approximation of this would be asking more than 5 questions related to the operation of any given software, or hardware configuration. Tutoring/teaching is a time intensive process requiring an assessment of a customer's skill base and the appropriate information that should be provided so as to provide a well-rounded computing experience. This is a separate fee-based process, independent from providing internet service and computer repair. The most efficient use of resources is to set up an appointment and location to continue the tutoring, usually on a one-on-one basis.
The only two after-hours numbers available to ACS customers (before 9:00 a.m. and after 5:00 p.m.) are: