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  Post #1 (permalink)   08-04-2008, 04:08 PM
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How do you explain to a client that you do not support third party applications when its something they feel you should? This besides plain people that refuse to believe anything you say, are the next in line on my pet peeve list. How many support tkts do you get that deal with 3pa's?

  Post #2 (permalink)   08-06-2008, 06:28 PM
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I get a few tickets about every week asking for someone to install these scripts. It really is kind of annoying. Sometimes if I feel generous I would just go ahead and install it for them, because then it will make it more likely that they'll continue to stay as your clients. Or at least come back if they need to stop paying for it or whatever.

  Post #3 (permalink)   08-07-2008, 04:14 PM
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Unless its something that is commonly supported by the top hosting companies I can't believe people would just assume you'd support an application. Granted some people think if they pay $1 for hosting you should bend over backward for them too, so I guess perhaps making a list of supported applications with a disclaimer that anything not on the list isn't supported might help out a bit.

  Post #4 (permalink)   08-07-2008, 04:56 PM
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I have people all the time telling me that they broke their gallery and need it fixed. Or "I have this theme for my blog" (worpress) and "I want to change the color, you do that right".

You would be surprised at some of the things a hosting company can be asked. And many hosting companys do state that they do not trouble shoot/support ticket for 3rd party applications but many dont pay attention to that when signing up.

  Post #5 (permalink)   08-07-2008, 06:31 PM
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I've had people submit tickets asking for things like that. I have responded and told them:

While we don't support third party applications, as is stated in our terms of service (link to the document), you do have a few options:
* you can ask in the support forums. Perhaps other clients also use this application, and may be able to tell you how to do this.
* you can ask in the community forums for this application (and supply them with the link)
* you can read the support documentation for this application (and supply them with the link)
* I will be happy to take a look at this issue/fix this . The cost for development is ${howevermuch} an hour, with a 30-minute minimum.

Their next ticket response usually says, "Okay. I'll do this myself" with the occasional "Thanks for providing those links" and the even more rare, "Yes, please go ahead and do this and bill me." The few times a client has challenged and asked, "Don't you support all these applications? Why not??" I've used a routine borrowed from another support tech: when you install software on your PC at home, who fixes it if you have a problem or configures it for you? The computer manufacturer? Alternately, when you go to install a new car stereo that you got at another store, who installs it? The automotive manufacturer?" One person got irate with me and yes, the dealer will install my car stereo if I ask them to. I responded, "Will they do it for free? Because if they do, I think I know where I'm buying my next car..."

The client's response? "Touche!" ...and after trying to tweak the template a few times themselves, they finally did hire me to install it and customize it a bit, at my published development rate. They understood my point, they did try to solve their problem themselves, and when they hit a wall, they didn't expect me or my staff to take care of the problem for free. The situation could have backfired, but if the client had gotten upset and demanded free development and support beyond what we state we offer...I've had one experience radically changing my business plan for a client. The client proceeded to bully myself and my staff for the next several years. I'm not willing to put myself or my staff through that particular nightmare again.
Lesli Schauf, TLM Network
Linux and Windows Shared Hosting since 2002: Scribehost

  Post #6 (permalink)   08-09-2008, 10:08 AM
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Personally, I think that you will allways get these type of customers, more so when you are offering cheaper services. No offense to most of the people looking for "cheap" hosting, but typically these types of customers are allways the ones that in the end will require the most support. One idea is maybe not to offer that "cheaper" end product, and go for a more midrange service, that way it will fend off some of those type customers. The ones that are willing to pay a bit more, I don't really mind helping out, as they have sortof paid for it in a round about fashion. That's just my opinion however.
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