Support Policy

Last Revision: 27-10-2018


1. Subjects and Object

1.1. The Support Policy, hereinafter SP, are legally intended to govern the terms and conditions to describe how support is handled by Ricardo Mendes, a sole proprietor, with VAT no.: PT202 4** *** , hereinafter referred to by its trademark OPENVSERVERS number 474498 registered on the Portuguese Institute of Industrial Property , and the subscriber to the services, hereinafter called the CLIENT.

1.2. This annex must be understood as an integral part of and be combined with the general conditions of service, hereinafter the GC, and with the specific conditions of the service subscribed to by the CLIENT.

1.3. The timezone is UTC+1 for any hours mentioned in SP.

1.4. Any phrases or paragraphs written in italic (e.g., like this) are meant to be notes to provide additional clarification for the CLIENT and shall not be considered part of the SP.

If you have any questions or do not agree with any particular points, please contact us. We welcome any suggestions and feedback.

2. Support Definition

OPENVSERVERS support service covers the main items: pre-sale, billing, basic questions and requests, infrastructure issues and software bugs/issues.

2.1. Pre-sale, billing, basic questions and requests

Can be considered as the most common questions asked before purchasing, questions about how to use our services, billing inquiries and requests to access a specific feature only available upon request.

We can divide these questions into four groups as below:

  • Questions about the product’s features;
  • Questions about the after-sale support service;
  • Questions about your invoices;
  • Questions about relevant issues such as offered discount, ownership, availability, customizability, affiliate program and refund requests.

These are generally replied between Monday – Friday (excluding holidays) between 9 am and 6 pm and receive medium priority.

If you would rather prefer to receive special attention to have your questions answered, the best way is to schedule an hour with a representative through our website.

2.2. Infrastructure issues

Can be considered a problem that any CLIENT has met while using OPENVSERVERS products or services:

  • intermittent or permanent network failures in our datacenters;
  • hardware component failures (e.g., motherboards, processors, power supply units, switches, routers, and so on).

Infrastructure issues are monitored 24/7/365 by OPENVSERVERS including weekends and holidays to achieve the maximum uptime possible (100%) and will be resolved as fast as humanly possible or within the specific conditions of the service (generally within 15 minutes depending on the problem). Infrastructure issues and receive maximum priority.

OPENVSERVERS is aware of any problems ongoing in real-time. Therefore, for infrastructure issues, a CLIENT don’t have to open a ticket to notify OPENVSERVERS.

Nonetheless, the CLIENT is free to reach out in case of having any questions. In this case, the CLIENT shall be aware that during these rare times, in case it is a general issue, many other clients may be asking questions about what is going on or what happened, and understands that it may take some time for OPENVSERVERS to reply.

As a CLIENT you may request access to a private monitoring webpage, allowing you to obtain access to a specific status webpage which displays the uptime of all services assigned to your account in real-time (updates every minute).

In case of a general issue, OPENVSERVERS shall update their twitter, or if it’s specific to a particular service, shall update the private monitoring webpage available to the CLIENT.

2.3. Software bugs or issues

The CLIENT notice bugs or errors where features are not working as intended in their web hosting account (e.g., when using their cPanel Control Panel):

  • creating an FTP account is not working when you still have available slots for additional FTP accounts;
  • deleting a mysql database is showing an error and does not delete it;
  • using phpmyadmin is not possible because it is slow or showing a mysql error;
  • showing an error when accessing the service via FTP;
  • any functionality which does not work as advertised in our services or products description.

The CLIENT notice bugs or errors where features are not working as intended in their Cloud Portal:

  • reinstalling a server is not working;
  • uploading an ISO is not working;
  • starting or rebooting a server is not working.

The issues or bugs mentioned above are just examples. Any of the issues or bugs equal or similar to the ones mentioned above shall be resolved as fast as humanly possible by OPENVSERVERS, or within the specific conditions of the service as soon you report them at any time, 24/7/365. Server software issues receive high priority.

During weekdays (Monday through Friday) these are generally resolved within minutes. During the weekend (Saturday/Sunday) it will typically be addressed within two hours.

3. What is the general scope of the support included in our products or services?

The following paragraph clarifies paragraph 2.1. concerning any questions or doubts about how to use the infrastructure we provide which allows you to manage your service.

3.1. In short, OPENVSERVERS provides support related to your service specifically. OPENVSERVERS does not offer technical support for application specific issues such as application configuration, CGI programming, web or mail server configuration, or any other problem. OPENVSERVERS does not provide technical support to your customers either.

3.2. For shared web hosting services (.e.g. cPanel accounts) support focus on topics like:

  • the general configuration of your service, how to create and use an email account, databases and FTP accounts;
  • how to check the CPU and RAM used in your account;
  • how to access your service via SSH;
  • how to restore and backup an account;
  • how to configure the PHP version of your domains;
  • how to change and configure php.ini to make it compatible to use your scripts;
  • any functionality not specified in our documentation concerning the infrastructure we provide to manage your web hosting account.

OPENVSERVERS shall do their best to help with issues related to the installation of a web application (e.g., Wordpress) in the first 15 days of a newly purchased service to help the CLIENT get started (free of charge). If the web application exists in our auto-installer, we will suggest to use it instead since it’s the fastest way to install and configure any web application.

3.3. For virtual servers (e.g., VPS, KVM and Cloud Servers) support focus on topics like:

  • how to reinstall your server using a pre-installed image;
  • how to change the drivers to make it compatible with your operating system;
  • how to mount an ISO;
  • how to upload your ISO;
  • how to restart your server;
  • how to access your server via VNC;
  • any functionality not specified in our documentation concerning the infrastructure we provide to manage your server.

How to inquiries receive low priority. Nonetheless, these are generally replied between Monday – Friday (excluding holidays) between 9 am and 9 pm and will be resolved as fast as humanly possible or within the specific conditions of the service.

Of course, we always want to provide a reply to our clients as quickly as possible. Usually, all questions are quickly answered. Outside of those hours, weekends or holidays, questions are typically replied within two hours.

4. What is “out-of-scope” or not included for free?

The CLIENT agrees, including but not limited to the following support requests or topics that are not included free of charges or considered “out-of-scope” in any service or product, except when otherwise stated within the specific conditions of the service or in the description of the service:

  • Doing any customization of our products, services or any other custom work;
  • Change the default workflow for our products or services;
  • Adding functionality which was not advertised and is not available by default with our product(s) or service(s);
  • Any errors relating to code (e.g., php, javascript, HTML, CSS);
  • Any broken webpage or styling as a result of code or theme customization;
  • Provide or check compatibility with 3rd party plugins, themes, modifications, either for your web application or any of our product(s) or service(s);
  • Provide help with anything that is related to a programming language, such as, HTML, JS, PHP, CSS, or even MySQL queries;
  • The loss of data caused by authorized or unauthorized third parties (e.g., hacks or using your password to access your service);
  • The loss of changes due to not backing up your site before running any update;
  • Any web application or php script installation or administration;
  • Server diagnostics, maintenance, optimization or any other server related service (e.g., Apache, PHP, MySQL server);
  • Third party plugins, extensions or any other third party software;
  • Changing the MAC Address of a virtual server or machine;
  • Help or recover access to an encrypted volume of a virtual server or machine;
  • Help or recover access to the administration account (root access) of a virtual server or machine;
  • Recovering data caused by issues or the malfunction of a web hosting account, virtual server or machine;
  • Unblocking the IP address in the firewall of your virtual server or machine in your behalf;
  • Issues on your website, web application or php scripts related to the compatibility with different browsers;
  • Issues on your website, web application or php scripts related to outdated web applications or scripts;
  • Issues on your website, web application or php scripts related to web applications or scripts not updated in the latest two years by the developer or vendor;
  • Issues on your website, web application or php scripts after an update to server related services (e.g., Apache, PHP, MySQL server);
  • Issues caused by DDoS attacks not blocked by our DDoS standard protection automatically;
  • Spikes or performance issues caused by bots crawling your site;
  • Issues caused by spikes in traffic or visitors.

The CLIENT understands the OpenVServers Community is better suited for “out-of-scope” questions and understands these topics are outside of OPENVSERVERS responsibility.

The CLIENT is still free to reach out directly to OPENVSERVERS and agrees that in this case, OPENVSERVERS will anonymously post the question, request or issue of the CLIENT in the Community (after removing any personal data). The objective is to help other clients get faster help for similar issues and questions.

5. What is the “best-effort” support included in our products or services?

For support requests and issues that are considered in the paragraph above (4), the CLIENT agrees and understand there are no guarantees that OPENVSERVERS:

  • will give the CLIENT a possible resolution for any issue or request;
  • will help or point the CLIENT in the right direction;
  • will not provide a disadvantageous outcome before or after the CLIENT follows any instructions;
  • will reply to the CLIENT quickly enough.

To clarify, the CLIENT agrees to be ultimately responsible for the outcome of any followed instructions. The CLIENT agrees to be solely responsible for creating backups before any changes.

OPENVSERVERS reserve the right, including but not limited to decide to help the CLIENT with:

  • any support requests, bugs or issues “out-of-scope” (e.g., on your Wordpress installation or your apache server in case of an unmanaged server for example);
  • any support requests, bugs or issues “out-of-scope” without charging any fees.

Moreover, in case OPENVSERVERS does any work free of charge or helps the CLIENT with any instructions or even point the CLIENT in the right direction, the CLIENT accepts and agrees not to assume that OPENVSERVERS will keep doing it for free in the future.

It is ultimately the decision of OPENVSERVERS to decide to either help or not a CLIENT for free related to any of the topics mentioned in the paragraph (4).

6. Expectactions when using our “best-effort” support?

6.1. When the CLIENT don’t know how to do a particular task, either it is related to something on our web control panel or your web application (e.g., Wordpress), OPENVSERVERS will most likely send a tutorial or a guide.

6.2. OPENVSERVERS reserve the right to do any action on behalf of the CLIENT. Generally, OPENVSERVERS won’t do any tasks for the CLIENT. The standard procedure is to send the CLIENT a tutorial or a guide.

6.3. If the CLIENT runs into issues because it doesn’t know how to follow a specific instruction, OPENVSERVERS may help and clarify such step by providing additional details.

6.4. If the CLIENT runs into issues because it doesn’t understand how to follow a tutorial and apply or change the variables for their use case, OPENVSERVERS may help and clarify such step by providing additional details.

6.5. The CLIENT agrees that is not always possible for OPENVSERVERS to send a tutorial, guide or instructions to the CLIENT for any particular action, request, issue or clarify any particular step with additional details.

6.6. If for some reason the CLIENT is unable to understand a guide, instructions or a tutorial or doesn’t have the necessary knowledge to execute a particular action, OPENVSERVERS may send a quote to do such task which the CLIENT is free to approve or deny.

To clarify. Not being able to do or follow any particular task (e.g. “I’m not sure”, or “I don’t know how” or “I’m on mobile, can you do it please?”), nor having the patience or knowledge required to follow a tutorial/guide won’t convince or make OPENVSERVERS to execute any action on behalf of the CLIENT for free.

The CLIENT should consider hiring someone to execute remote tasks if necessary. The CLIENT does not receive a Virtual Assistant for free when subscribing or purchasing a service from OPENVSERVERS.

7. Abuse

People often rudely approach us as if they expect the corporate bureaucracy to stand in the way of the results that they desire, so they become defensive right away. While we value our clients, we also value our sanity and a positive environment in our workplaces. This paragraph is to protect our staff from abusive behaviors from such clients.

OPENVSERVERS has the right to revoke your access to the client area, communities, Facebook pages it controls or any other methods of communication in the event of abuse towards support staff or other users, including, but not limited to:

  • Use of profanity of any kind;
  • Defamation of character;
  • Spamming of any kind;
  • Misuse of support tickets or threats for self-promotion;
  • Continually re-posting the same messages in multiple tickets or threads or emails.

Here are some example attitudes that may result in a negative reaction from support:

  • The attitude of “It would be a shame if I had to take my money elsewhere because you didn’t do what I’m asking you to do right now.”
  • Direct insults toward us, our services or any products we sell. Feedback is good, and insults are not. “You suck” is not feedback. Letting us know you don’t agree with something, or saying that you don’t like our service because of X or Y reason, or you would instead prefer something would work differently is considered constructive criticism, or feedback, and that is more than welcome.

Certain attitudes will promptly lead to a refund of your last invoice if the service or product is refundable, probably a link to a backup of your content whenever possible, and the termination of your service. We are not your cable company; you cannot speak to us poorly while we continue to provide you our services.

This way we make sure to not waste any time with abusive clients which will eventually leave the service and may - indirectly - cause delays on our support queue for more deserving clients.

8. We are happy to help

The following is to clarify why this Support Policy was created. Over the years, for those who know us, OPENVSERVERS gained the reputation of providing the best support in the web hosting industry while providing a high-quality service for a budget.

The paragraphs 4., 5., and 6. were made on purpose because some people abused our “best-effort” support in the past.

Unfortunately, some people thought and considered to have their team of system administrators, virtual assistants, developers and IT consultants for 5/month. This way, we provide transparency when it comes to how OPENVSERVERS handles support for “out-of-scope” issues and protects everyone from potential abusers, including you, the client which doesn’t abuse our human resources - since we will reply faster and have more time for you when you require.

Concerning the paragraphs 4., 5., and 6., we are always happy to help any of our clients, even without charging any fees for tasks which are typically charged. However, there is a difference between asking for help once in a while and requiring support 247 or every day for a business or any other project or activity. For this, you usually need to pay us for the work involved or hire a third-party depending on what is cheaper or better for the situation of your business or activity.

8.1. The example I: For free, it’s not possible to have any of our staff members dedicated to the issues of your WordPress website on a daily basis for every time you decide to change something and start to have issues caused the changes you made.

8.2. Example II: For free, it’s not possible to keep helping you tuning your server free of charge every time the situation changes, such as:

  • whenever the code of your site changes;
  • whenever the amount of visitors raises or decreased;
  • whenever the specifications of your server changes.

Kindly understand we charge a meager amount considering the specifications, features and high-quality services provided.

We provide a high-quality service on a budget where we are willing to go the extra mile for a client as much as possible. However, for the prices that are charged, we cannot guarantee that extra mile promptly or guarantee that we will be willing to help without charging for our work at any point.

All the services displayed on our website do what is mentioned without resorting to marketing schemes. No corners were cut to provide such high-quality, stable and reliable services. We do not oversell any service, period.

Independently of the amount paid per month for any service; the services being charged doesn’t include any specific amount of “best-effort” support either, even if you are paying us 2000/month for services. Nonetheless, we value and take into consideration the number of times you ask to go that extra mile for you.

The only exception to this paragraph would be when it is otherwise stated within the specific conditions of any particular service or in the description of the service since some services may include a managed service or support 247 (e.g., WordPress Hosting may include support for any issues related to WordPress while a standard web hosting plan won’t).

A reminder, this paragraph (8) is only related to the paragraph 4 for “out-of-scope” issues or support not included for free and is not intended for the general scope of support included in our products or services support included (paragraph 3).