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Support staff and forums

Discussion in 'Plesk for Windows - 8.x and Older' started by jaytee, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. jaytee

    jaytee Guest

    I'd like to hear your arguments regarding presense of support people in the forum.

    From my point of view, support people are paid to do their job, and the most effective way of doing it is to process tickets, assigned to them. This way, everything is tracked, support managers have a handle on the support situation, so on.

    On the other hand, visiting the forum is useful for developers - they could see how people are using the product, what real-life problems they have, etc. Few of us are browsing these forums on a daily basis, we try to answer non-trivial questions, but in many cases we would ask you to go through official support channel to get help, as we also have job to do - developing the next version of Plesk.

    It just seems strange for me to see "URGENT!!! I have a problem" messages in the forum, and then find out that that user did not even care to request support via official support request form.

    Disclaimer: this is my personal point of view, I don't speak on behalf of SWsoft here.
  2. moyalo

    moyalo Guest

    agree but...

    Some of us use have license through out server host company and cannot submit tickets (but that might be personal problem).

    But if you're talking about productivity. you're tech's may need to solve each problem 1000 times and yet, noone will know about it since we cannot see other's tickets. If you solve problem here you can save you'reself a lot of tickets. So I think if SWsoft will pay also for a tech to look over problems here about 3 hours a day it will be worth it for both sides.

    (Did I mention that I have some free hours aday and I'm here anyway ?.. ;) )
  3. addstravel

    addstravel Guest

    I agree with both of you.

    I do some support for clients and emails marked as 'urgent' raise a smile in that I am contactable by phone (and always tend to answer straight away). Urgent support issues should be supported to sw-soft, but logged in the forum as well to educate everyone.

    When I have submitted a support issue direct the response time for me has been around 8 - 12 hours. Is this typical for other people?

    I think there should be more technical help on the sw-soft website though. The windows plesk 7 FAQ is pretty small!!
  4. emsol

    emsol Guest

    I have a major problem with this fax thing.

    There should be no reason to send a fax every time we need support. You'd think that a software company might have a software based support desk.

    I dont want to hear the nonsense about needing signiatures on paper - thats a poor excuse.

    What I'd like to see are actual answers to our questions in the forum.

    There are clearly some bugs in this release that affect everyone but not too many customers seem to post in these forums. (probably becasue they never get answered). If these problems are being fixed individually for customers by support - they should post a fix in here so we can all sort the problem out. - its basic communication and basic pro-active support.

    Its clear that a large number of people have problems with plesk removing / adding mailboxes to / from mailenable. its clear that a large number of people are having problems with the mssql implementation and the database manager - at least 3 people have posted here about not being able to send email from a form in frontpage but as far as I can see - not one answer has been posted by swsoft in this forum.

    I havent logged a support call on the frontpage problem because whoever looks at the initial call (as they always do) will say - "this isnt related to plesk and its chargeable at £200 per second". Strange that I've never had this problem on any other server ? As a customer - I get a bad feeling when communicating with you as a company and for support.

    I had a serious problem with ASP.NET pages not working at all. After a standard installation where nothing had been changed. Clearly a plesk issue. After posting in here and getting no answer I searched for the problem and picked up on a few people saying that the ASPNET user needed access to the users httpdocs folder - it turns out that this was probably bad advice but I took it and by doing so, caused myself a permissions problem and now I have a security issue on the server. To my surprise, sw-soft decided to open a support call for it (hooray). after a few days I was asked to fax a form. I did and ive heard nothing since, despite emailing to say that id sent the form.

    Sw-softs support problems are down to poor communication and poor access to information. On top of this, you also charge for supporting your own products !- ive never heard anything so ridiculous ! - especially when your support staff show little enthusiasm and dont give any information as to what they have done.

    I've been a support manager for 12 years and I've experienced very good and very poor support from many companies - sw-soft is definateley in the "very poor category.

    Edit... Update on the support call. I received an email saying that swsoft had not received my fax - so I sent it again and updated the call - then I got a reply with advice that was not in any way related to the problem - which I replied to, explaining that they must have answered the wrong email. I then received another email stating that my fax had not been received - again !
    I think someone is having a joke at my expense.
  5. troubler

    troubler Guest

    I agree aswell with Emsol.

    And if sombody would ask for why, the answer is easy.
    If I would offer you an X product for a compette solution, what would you expect ? Paying lot of money and getting lot of troble after ? Would that, what you expect ? I guess no, right ?

    For what are such Forums ? Just to waste time here around ? Having fun or whatever ?
    Surely people will came and ask questions. If I would buy a brand new Mercedes, and if this car making me problems at the first miles/km...(and that not of my offense) belive me Mercedes would got lot of trouble with me. And so the same goes here. What ever the price and volume of the product is......
  6. LithiuM

    LithiuM Guest

    I agree with emsol especially about the fax thing..:(

    I am also happy to see Sw-soft support people replying user posts here.. People should appreciate that cause there isn't any forum member replied here by plesk support since now..
  7. Mertz

    Mertz Guest

    I've noticed that a lot of you guys mentioned that you're not really licensees of Plesk but use it through your hosting provider.

    Please don't take this as rude because I'm not intending it to be, but shouldn't your hosting or service provider be giving you support?
  8. LithiuM

    LithiuM Guest

    Eheh.. Good point
  9. troubler

    troubler Guest

    No Mertz,

    I'm a licensed user. But my post to this thread was not a technic look for myself.
    I just have explain my general idea about this subject. And thats all.
  10. tuwebfacil

    tuwebfacil Guest


    I am new here, and new with pesk, and this is the first control panel I purchase for windows. I have many cpanel servers, but here is my point of view.

    When I first bought a cpanel server with redhat, i only pay, i had my server in one day running, and I don’t have to do anymore, just start bringing customers. And all I want it I can find it from the cpanel.

    I didn’t have to learn linux to make things done, and when I need the fantastico, xcontroller, I just pay the developers to install and never got errors.

    When i need a backup, i only have to setup it from cpanel and ready. And when i got problems was easy to restore from backup.

    With plesk, here is my show:
    1) I didn’t find the correct information to setup name server, i search for 2 days, and finally pay 75$ to the datacenter to setup it for me.

    2) I don’t find a way to install MS SQL when the plesk is already installed, I didn’t know if I install it and I can damage my system and cost me more money. I have to pay them to install it.

    3) I can’t find information how to install postgres sql when the server is working, I’m afraid I have to pay 75$ more to do that.

    4) I didn’t find a way to install the Spanish language pack, I had to download, install it and pray to god to everything works fine. Thanks to god that’s was the correct way.

    5) right now I have a problem with tomcat, made when I update my java, the support guys says that I have to re-install the tomcat, but I can't find any where whit a how to. I don’t know if I simply uninstall it and install from the tomcat's home page or not?

    6) i have a problem with ms sql, after I changed my sa password the support guys from datacenter says is a know issue and I have to setup a new user and db, I don’t know for what and i can find any information.

    7) I opened a ticket 2 days ago, fax the form and no answer right now, I only receive a fax receive confirmation by email.

    8) I can’t find any decent services that provide plesk 7 for windows server management.

    I know that this is a new version, and that’s why maybe nobody knows nothing, the forums are empty, no knowledge base, but if you realize that, you have to give us a better support.

    The support that your very nice control panel, which i think will revolution the windows hosting service deserve!

    Sorry for my poor english
  11. LithiuM

    LithiuM Guest

    Interesting.. I ordered a cpanel server for testing from ev1 a couple of months ago... And I had to make a lot of fixing over ssh, before able to setup a single site on it.. There is a lot of discussions on ev1's forums about that...
  12. jaytee

    jaytee Guest

    Sure. And we offer 30-days free support which should be enough to get you up and running. This time could be extended, if you give a good reason why. And you never have to pay for reporting our bugs, that's of course.

    The problem is, this forum is for customer to customer support. Just like countless Mercedes forums, discussing Mercedes engine and electronics problems. But if you want to get your car serviced, will you call the dealer or will you post to the web forum asking Mercedes technician to come to your home and fix your car?

    Just like with cars, support may need to look under the hood.

    Nevertheless, we plan to have dedicated support staff answering questions here, as a courtesy and because Plesk for Windows is still a new product. We are trying to hire good people specifically for this purpose. I hope that you will notice them here by the end of the month.
  13. jaytee

    jaytee Guest

    Please suggest another way to document your consent for making changes on your server. I'm not so glad about that fax thing myself, but some people are very litigious. Do you think that you would rather give support a blanket permission to log in once and forever?
  14. xerex

    xerex Guest

    While I am new to Plesk, the IT industry is something that I am very experienced in. The way that I would setup the support system would be to allow the customer (provided they have purchased Plesk) to submit trouble tickets through an electronic help desk. From that point the problem is addressed by a technician and keeps the customer up to date by posting back into the ticket, the current status. After the problem is resolved it should then be reviewed by SWsoft to see how frequent the problem arrises. If it is a problem that happens more than "x" number of times then two things should happen. The first being to publish the problem and solution into an FAQ. The second step is to build the solution into the next service pack, or if it is warranted to release a hotifx for the issue.

    As for the forum, SWsoft should maybe consider a different approach. Make it well known that tech support will be handled at the ticket level. The forum should be used simply as a community device where current Plesk customers can conversate with other Plesk customers. Also it could be used by the SWsoft developers to find out what customers are saying about the product, this is an effort to help spark the creative genius in them to design more applications, or to improve on the current ones.

    While this process is not that complicated, it can be time consuming because it must be implented at the company level. This for some companies, depending on how productive they are, and where they pioritize techincal support in thier daily operations. It is my opinion that if SWsoft continues to get nagative feedback in the forums, it could negativly affect customer retention, as well as future sales.
  15. PaulC

    PaulC Regular Pleskian

    Aug 5, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Juri, I find it great that you are here and active.

    Listening to the end users is one of the best things you can do, and you are doing it :D

    I agree that urgent problems should go through the correct channels, but the forums are a very good place to learn of problems. You can learn if somebody else has the same problem, and can save both the sw-soft support and everybody else hours of work.

    Keep up the good work!

  16. AbsolutelyFreeW

    AbsolutelyFreeW Guest

    What plesk needs is an open searchable bug tracking system. Providers can be worried it would give competitors means to show the weaknesses, but the ones who 've gone this route are always the winners! so please set up an open bug tracking system TODAY ;) There are free ones out there... If you want some examples look at orionserver.com or intellij.com or sourceforge

    Also, you don't really have much competition. what ensim?? I just read a thread in ensim forum how much better the plesk product is, in their own forum!!!... and how they neglect their forums, and give out buggy releases...

    Yes, you say 30 days free support, but I got mine and sent in 3 support requests, and on the third (which was a bug report) I got a response back, "you should check with your reseller first, and our support costs $$$"...

    I'm still happy with the support. I do get response back in a day or two (if I continue to get that is). The answers are not always what I want.. e.g. I asked for url redirection, I got a mail back saying how domain redirection was done.. I felt it didn't address my question, but I had got my answer indrectly, plesk didn't have one... Other times, the response has been to the point and VERY helpful when I was lost after upgrade. I think your support people deserve to show out in open what good job they do!

    So, my suggestion, forum is not a real alternative to support software, please replace Best Practical RT with a web based public solution, please please please today and right away ;) why wait? please forward suggestion to support manager who can decide instantly :) and reply here confirming it! I think such a system with login, ruling out faxes and such procedures, will make a lot of people cheer in happiness :)

    Oh thank you for a good product!

    By the way, when you set up the support tracking software, be sure to have one area for new features, and one for bugs. Intellij has even a poll system that lets users decide what bugs/features are addressed first.
  17. AbsolutelyFreeW

    AbsolutelyFreeW Guest

  18. wtwolf6

    wtwolf6 Guest

    and why should a reseller provide support for a script they did not create only resold. SWsoft developed it, HMmm must mean they would know how to fix the problems quicker and faster for customers that choose to use plesk. Also a reseller is just that, SWsoft still makes a profit off the customer who purchased it wich means that customer deserves the same help and support that a customer who gos strait to swsoft and orders the license. Come on now sounds like your making excuses for just plain out right poor support.
    And where is these more dedicated staff member who are supposed to be on these forums looks like this post is nearly 3 years old, so in 3 years swsoft hasnt found "good" support people?