P.O. Box 695
Stayton, OR 97383
Best times to call:
Mon - Sat 1:00 PM Pacific - 3:00 PM Pacific
We are a small company with limited resources, but will do our best to serve you.
Windows users: Please test the software thoroughly to make sure it meets your needs before purchasing. You have 30 days to evaluate the software after installing it. Due to the multi-tasking nature of Windows, we cannot address all of the situations that may be encountered. If you are comfortable with the operation of the software on your P.C. after a trial period, and feel comfortable that the software will serve your needs - we will be pleased to have you as a customer. If you are still apprehensive after testing the evaluation download, or feel that you will need on-going detailed support, you may wish to seek another vendor. Some companies can offer you 24 x 7 personalized customer service.
Please use e-mail for support whenever possible. Most often, this will yield the fastest response.
30 Day Support Period:
Our current policy is to offer 30 days of no-fee technical support. The full support period generally begins when you receive your software (or registration code), and lasts for 30 days beyond that date. Please be aware that this support is designed largely for technical, not operational, questions. There is ample information contained in this manual and on-line software help files in the program to familiarize you with The Auto-Mate. However, we recognize that there may be operational questions to which you can't find the answers. In these cases, we will be happy to speak with you during the 30 day support period at no fee. The goal in setting our policies is to prevent people from becoming dependent on expensive telephone support instead of finding solutions in the manual or our web site. Please use e-mail for support questions whenever possible.
After 30 Days:
Once up and running, we seldom hear from most of our users. However, there are those who - for one reason or another - end up substantially increasing our support load month after month. Several problem potentials exist in this area. 1., Experimenters who alter their system continually, and then need technical support to undo the damage, 2., purchasers who encourage staff to call our support line rather than having questions referred to a qualified person in the facility, 3., users who do not have access to a competent broadcast engineer or computer hardware/software technician - and 4. (and this is the big one): Those who fail to make backups of their system! Any system, run long enough, will experience a hard-drive or other failure. You don't want to have to rebuild from scratch if this happens! Keep a backup of all system files. We will discuss this more in later sections.
Lately, particularly with our older clients, we find that many are upgrading to newer P.C.'s. Of course, this is a good idea, but often requires us to assist users as if they were new customers all over again with technical installation issues.
For these reasons, we reserve the right to institute a support fee which is designed to help us cover our costs. From 1994 through 2000, we have seldom asked anyone to pay for support because the load has been mostly light. However, as time goes on, it becomes apparent that the profits from a particular sale can eventually be swallowed by the technical support load.
Take, for instance, a long-term user who has only one problem per year. However, this problem may take one or two hours for us to solve. It is easy to see it is possible over the years to actually spend more resources supporting a client (through staff time and phone tolls) than the client actually paid for the software. Of course, a business cannot survive if this were allowed to continue.
Therefore, the situation is monitored on a constant basis to ensure that we are able to continue providing support as needed. A new fee structure is being implemented Starting Jan 1. 2000.
Support Fees AFTER 30 days:
Effective January 2001 until Further Notice:
( Phone Support: If the question relates to system functionality problems, or you require operational assistance:
$25 per hour (or fraction thereof - 15 minute minimum)
$.25 per minute for phone charges (if we are calling your facility).
*E-mail Support: No Charge for initial consultation. If the problem cannot be solved via e-mail, or can - but is of a complex nature, you will be advised that the problem is billable for our time spent researching/writing e-mail responses. In that case, the $25 per hour fee applies.
Please use e-mail for support whenever possible. Most often, this will solicit the quickest response.
$Billing: We will invoice you via e-mail. All invoices must be paid within 30 days. Failure to pay will result in banishment from further technical support until the bill is paid.
The support fee and support policies are subject to change year to year. We will attempt to notify all users of changes in the support policy or fee structure as they occur.
A few More Words on Technical Support:
In order to keep costs low, we do not offer around-the-clock technical support. In fact, many times you will get connected to our voice mail. This is all the more reason to be self-sufficient in being able to solve your own problems. Please be aware that response may not be immediate, and our resources to assist you with certain problems are limited. Keep in mind that helping you is our top priority and the lack of ability to always be there is simply an economic reality.