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Technical Support Policy

GENERAL INFORMATION

TECHNICAL SUPPORT SOURCES
TECH SUPPORT CATEGORIES

TECH SUPPORT PROCESS

 
General Information
 
INTRODUCTION

Solving problems is the entire goal of our software, and we are committed to ensuring that you get you software installed and operating properly.  We strive to do everything possible to achieve that goal, an effort that includes well-designed software, a professional installation program, clearly written manuals, FAQ pages on the website, and responding to your individual training and consultation requirements.


Due to these efforts, and their "single-purpose", easy-to-use design, our Excel-based programs do not generate a lot of demand for technical support.  In fact, most of the calls we receive about the Excel-based programs are from experienced users asking about advanced strategies for using the products AND offering suggestions for future enhancements, which we are certainly pleased to receive.  Nevertheless, if you are experiencing difficulties with the installation or operation of any of these programs, technical training is available as outlined herein.


Not surprisingly, the vast majority of our technical support requests are related to using QuickBooks Pro.  Of course, our goal at PowerTools Software is to see that you are getting results out of the program.  That's why we developed the template files, and that's why we offer additional help with QuickBooks.  However, please realize that we don't actually sell QuickBooks, so technical support advice for using QuickBooks is always provided as Technical Training.

 
FREE vs PAID TECHNICAL SUPPORT

It's a tough call deciding to charge for providing Tech Support service. In the early days of the software (a mere 10 years ago) computers were new to everybody so everybody needed tech support, and if you wanted to sell software you had to include the cost of providing this "free" support into the price of the software.


In the past several years, however, many people have become more skilled in using their computers while software pricing has become much more competitive, squeezing margins for software publishers. The trend as been for software publishers to separate the development and sales of software products from the service of providing technical support.


At PowerTools Software, we considered the tech support issue for months, and we noted some patterns that led to the development of our current policy:

  1. MicroSoft (publishers of Windows and Excel) and Intuit (the publishers of Quicken and QuickBooks Pro) both charge for telephone support, typically a $15.00 minimum per incident.
  2. Our competitors in the construction software business, most notably the companies selling the $$$$ software packages also charge additional for tech support.
  3. We would have to raise the price of our software if we included the cost of providing technical support in each sale, and we would prefer to keep our products as affordable as possible.
  4. Our own analysis of our tech support calls revealed that 90% of the calls were from 10% of our users. The bottom line is that some people want more help using their computers that others.
  5. While we want to make sure that everybody is using our products to their fullest, it would not be fair to raise the price paid by everybody equally when different people need different levels of help.
  6. No matter what we do, no matter how fair we try to be, somebody is still going to be unhappy with the policy.


OUR TECHNICAL SUPPORT POLICY
  1. Any problem or issue related to something we can control (our CD's, our installation program, our manuals, etc.) is handled as a Customer Service issue.
  2. Any question or issue related to something outside of our control (your computer, your other software, your computer experience, etc.) is a Tech Support issue.
  3. Any Technical Support service provided via email is provided at no charge.
  4. Any Technical Support service provided through a Technical Training phone call is not free.
  5. If we provide you with Technical Training that you believe should be free, then we'll just forget about it.  We don't want an unhappy customer.
 
TECHNICAL SUPPORT SUBJECTS
  1. Using QuickBooks Pro. (all issues)
  2. Using your Computer.
  3. Using Microsoft Windows or Windows Explorer.
  4. Using Microsoft Excel or Spreadsheet Programs.
  5. Using Internet Explorer or other Internet Browsers
  6. Downloading a file from the Internet
  7. Diagnosing a problem with your computer equipment or your computer network.
  8. Walking you through the installation procedure.
  9. Helping you find, move, or rename files.
  10. Explaining how to operate a program.
  11. Walking you through a program procedure.
  12. Discussing a program's strategic application to your business.

 
Technical Support Options

TECHNICAL SUPPORT SOURCES

Technical Support for our Excel based programs and QuickBooks is available from the following sources.

 
POWERTOOLS CONSULTANTS

Your local PowerTools Advisor is a great source for help and advice in getting the most of your PowerTools Software and QuickBooks Pro. Review the PowerTools Advisors list for an Advisor in your area and give them a call.

 
ON-LINE MANUALS

We are constantly updating our manuals to reflect the latest advice in how to use our software and QuickBooks Pro.

 
FAQ PAGES

We have Frequently Asked Questions pages on this website for each of our programs and for QuickBooks Pro. Many of the questions and answers were derived from past issues raised by other users. A quick review of these FAQ pages could reveal the answer to your specific question.

 
ON-LINE TECHNICAL SUPPORT

The on-line Tech Support Form is the best way for us to answer your questions because we can forward your Email directly to a staff person or local PTS Advisor, who can respond at any time from any location.  E-mail support requests are usually answered within 24 hours, even in situations where we may be out of the office or perhaps on the road presenting seminars.  Because it's the most efficient method for us, it's also FREE to you.

 
TELEPHONE SUPPORT

You may call us at 407-831-6088 for Telephone Support at any time.  If we're not in, please leave a message and we will call you back at our next opportunity.  Telephone Technical Support is a paid service that is provided as outlined in the Telephone Training Procedure below.

 
Telephone Support
 
TELEPHONE SUPPORT PROCEDURE
  1. First, our policy is that you do not have to pay for any Technical Support Telephone call that you do not believe is justified.
  2. If you call us, or if we call you back in response to your Email or Voice Mail message, and the issue is something covered under our Customer Service Policy, then there is no charge for the telephone call.
  3. If you call us, or if we call you back in response to your Email or Voice Mail message, and the issue is something covered under the Technical Support List, then we will invoice you for the cost of the Telephone Training call.
  4. During or upon the conclusion of the Technical Support call, we will make a judgement regarding the nature of the technical support call, essentially determining if the issue is one covered under the Customer Service Policy or the Technical Support List. In the event the nature of the telephone call was something covered under the Technical Support List, then the we will prepare an invoice reflecting the duration of the call and the specific subjects discussed, and will advise you of the cost of the Technical Training call.
  5. If the subject of the telephone call is divided between both Technical Training issues and Customer Service issues, then the Technical Support invoice will be divided accordingly and you will only be asked to pay for the time spent on the Technical Training.
  6. If you would like to pay the invoice by credit card during the call, we will discount the invoice by 20%.
  7. If you wish to pay the invoice by check, we will fax the invoice to you in anticipation of receiving a check by mail at your next pay cycle.
  8. If you do not agree with the invoice, we will mail it to you for your re-consideration.
 
TELEPHONE TRAINING PRICES

Technical Training phone calls are billed at the following rates:

  1. Technical Training Time: $1.00 per minute
  2. Long Distance Telephone Charges: 15 cents per minute (outbound calls only)
  3. Please note: You can receive an automatic 20% discount for paying by credit card during the call.



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