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Wintertree Software's support group tries to resolve issues and answer questions as quickly as possible. Often, the information we need to do that isn't provided by the customer, and that means you get a question from us rather than an answer to your question. This can be avoided in many cases if your e-mail to support contains the information we need to help you.
Following are some do's and don't's that will help us to help you as efficiently as possible.
Do identify the product you are using. Don't just call the product "your spellchecker" -- we need to know the specific product's name. Each product is different, and it will just waste time if we try to guess which product you're using.
Do identify the product version. The version is identified in the "readme.txt" or "readme.html" file that comes with the product.
Do be as specific as possible in asking your question or describing your problem. If you're having a problem, describe the steps needed to reproduce the problem, and the exact behavior you observed. Don't simply tell us it "didn't work."
Do try to reproduce the problem using one of the examples included with the product (if applicable). One of the purposes of the examples is to provide a stable "baseline" to help narrow down the causes of problems.
Do show us the code you are using to invoke our product (if applicable). If you can't reproduce a problem using one of our examples (see previous point), show us some of your code. We can sometimes spot problems this way. Better yet, create a small application that reproduces the problem, and send it as an e-mail attachment. Don't send your entire application.
Do answer any and all questions we ask. Our support engineers are trained to diagnose problems methodically. If we ask a question in response to problem you report, we are looking for the next piece of the puzzle to help us diagnose the problem. If the next response from you doesn't answer the question(s) we ask, we'll just ask them again, resulting in wasted time.
Do include the text from any previous e-mail related to the same problem or question in your e-mail reply. Due to the volume of e-mail we receive, we don't have time to search e-mail archives to figure out what a message like, "So I tried what you suggested, but it didn't work" relates to. Also, there's no guarantee that each message from you will be handled by the same support engineer, so it helps to keep a record of the exchange so far.
Do read the documentation. The documentation for most of our products includes a "Troubleshooting" section that provides help with common problems.
Following is a description of the level of support Wintertree Software offers its customers.
Wintertree Software provides free e-mail support to its customers, in terms of answering questions, providing advice, and solving problems.
Support is offered to customers regardless of how long ago the product in question was purchased. There are no time-limits for support.
Support queries are handled on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to queries that can be resolved quickly. We do not provide "pay per use" support or any other form of priority service. All support queries are treated as "urgent."
We make no guarantees about response times, though as a general goal we try to respond within 24 business hours. Typically, we respond in much less time (1-2 hours on average), but sometimes the best we can do within the 24-hour period is to offer an estimate of when the actual response will be available.
While we try to be as helpful as we can, we make no guarantees or promises that questions will be answered, problems will be resolved, or helpful advice will be offered.
Generally, we can't answer questions about or provide help with third-party software, including operating systems, compilers, and development environments, even if our products are intended to be used with that software. Sometimes we know the answer to a question about third-party software, and may provide the information informally, but we take no responsibility for the accuracy of any such information offered. The customer is advised to contact the manufacturer of any third-party software for support.
Generally, we can't answer questions about or provide help with our customers' software products that use our technology. If you are an end-user having problems with a product published by one of our customers, please contact that company's support group for help, even if you are having problems with (for example) the spelling checker in that product and you happen to know the spelling technology was licensed from Wintertree Software. We simply do not have the resources to support our customers' customers. Our support obligations extend to our customers only. The diagnosis of and solution to a problem may require technical information which an end-user doesn't have.
Wintertree Software reserves the right to withdraw support from specific customers at its discretion, for reasons including but not limited to excessive demands, use of offensive or threatening language, nuisance or spurious requests, etc.
Wintertree Software reserves the right to change its support policy at any time without notice.
Copyright © 1997 Wintertree Software Inc. Last modified