We are currently experiencing a back-log in our support tickets, due to a very high demand. We have taken on an extra developer to help clear the back-log, and reassigned staff, but please be aware there may be some delays.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused here. Our terms and conditions state that if we can't meet the response time requested, we'll re-price the ticket into the bracket for which we were able to respond within. This means we really do want to hit our targets, as otherwise we will have to charge less.
In order to minimise the processing time of your tickets, please take the following into account:
Use budget tickets only when suitableBudget tickets have a response time of up to 7 working days, not including the time required for any custom programming.
If you need a quicker response (either initially, or between replies deeper into the ticket), consider raising a higher priority ticket.
We recognise 7 working days can seem a very long-time, especially when repeated multiple times across multiple replies in a ticket, but we actually price the tickets lower than our operating costs – they're designed only for very low priority tasks that can be fitted in during gaps between projects.
Keep separate issues to separate ticketsMake sure to only include one issue per ticket.
If you post multiple issues, or request quotes on multiple items in a single ticket, it can seriously delay responding to a ticket.
This is because we may need to marshal multiple staff with different areas of expertise, or wait until a staff member is fully free able to devote a much larger chunk of time to the ticket. If you post multiple smaller tickets, each can potentially be assigned to a different developer, or at least we can get out some individual replies sooner.
Finally, large tickets that weave together many disparate issues can get very difficult to follow for all involved, and make it difficult for us to draw in supplementary staff resource if we feel the need to speed them up.
Make tickets self-containedIt often seems like I, your humble CEO / chief nerd, is answering all tickets. In actual fact we have several developers available to manage the tickets. One of our terms and conditions is that tickets must not assume pre-knowledge of anything outside the ticket, such as other tickets or past work. This is necessary for us to be able to assign different staff members to dive directly into tickets, but because it often isn't the case, this is the reason I answer a lot of tickets myself – which makes me a major bottleneck. Please try to make sure tickets are self-explanatory.
It's very understandable to want a continuous relationship with a personal project manager and developer. This is a service we do offer, but not through our ticket system – generally we offer it through our agency service, which you can enquire about via an initial conversation in a ticket. We also offer staff secondment / resourcing agreements. Custom arrangements may be made, depending on budgets and requirements.
Don't tack requests for free support to bug reportsWe tackle bug reports for our users for free, personally corresponding with and helping our users. However, please don't try and follow up free tickets with requests for discussions about how to use various features you might desire. Please respect that we develop, distribute, and maintain, ocPortal for free – and have no external funding to allow our salaried staff to provide free support. All our funding comes from our support and software development services. The forum is maintained for free user to user support (i.e. voluntary support by people not on the ocProducts payroll).
We're really enthusiastic and ethical people here, so we always get uncomfortable when asked to work for free – it takes up a non-trivial amount of ongoing support time just addressing that we cannot do it. Often we make small exceptions then find us getting involved in a long ongoing discussion, and it makes it very difficult for us to deal with.
Thank you for your understanding, and again, our apologies for any support delays. We aim to clear through the back-log as quickly as possible.