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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Smoothwall Pricing in Technical; It used to be amazing, but now it appears random. Sometimes you phone get straight through and you are sorted ...
  1. #16
    lmgtfy's Avatar
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    It used to be amazing, but now it appears random. Sometimes you phone get straight through and you are sorted in minutes. Other times you phone get voicemail and receive a call back upto 3-5 days later in my experience anyway.

    The online tickets which I only really use for low priority calls since August 2012 I have had 4 tickets all with 10 days plus response times with some being upwards of 20 not ideal.

  2. #17


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    @chrisrowlands our support has been slightly a victim of our success in recent months, but we're back to fairly snappy response times, and still aiming for a lot of improvement - especially in the turnaround of cases with "quick answers" like the one you describe with another organisation.

    Edit: also should point out that direct support is manned by people on a sort of voluntary basis - which is why you find me lurking on here on a Friday night... you wouldn't be able to pay me to do that
    Last edited by tom_newton; 10th May 2013 at 11:45 PM.

  3. #18
    lmgtfy's Avatar
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    I do appreciate that Tom and don't get me wrong I like my smoothie and that's why I always try and post on the direct support first before raising a ticket with Smoothwall. Perhaps you could implement a system though so if a thread on the direct support goes under answered for whatever reason it will flagged and a ticket raised? For example http://www.edugeek.net/forums/smooth...d-reports.html

  4. Thanks to lmgtfy from:

    tom_newton (11th May 2013)

  5. #19


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    Unfortunately a ticket needs an account attached, and our EduGeek to real name database is not that good :-)

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    I prefer the direct support too, difficult at the best of times to make phonecalls in my busy office without constant interruptions! You can guarantee as soon as I start to make the call someone will come barging in Luckily I find the product good enough not to necessitate asking for a lot of support, just need a spot of guidance now and again.

  7. #21
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    I appreciate the helpfulness of Smoothwall support, however while the initial contact time has definitiely improved, getting a followup to an issue still doesn't seem to have gotten any quicker. The recent issue following our migration which seemed to screw everything up and require a reinstall (as suggested on here) was sat open on the ticket system for 2 weeks without a response despite me chasing it up which I was disappointed with.

    I hope the price hasn't increased dramatically otherwise we will also have to start looking elsewhere as good as it is because the budget won't be able to take it .
    Last edited by Cache; 11th May 2013 at 12:30 PM.

  8. #22


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    @Cache - we have made a few changes to speed up initial turnaround, and i'm told 30% of calls are closed on first contact now - but we know sometimes the priority of a call is lost when it is passed up to a senior support team member as yours will have been - expect this to improve with immediate effect as we tweak our operating procedures...

  9. Thanks to tom_newton from:

    Cache (11th May 2013)

  10. #23
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    the comments on this thread are not helping with us staying with the smoothwall

    Time for some serious shopping next week i think

  11. #24


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    @wickit anything in particular you are concerned about? Any company that doesn't admit they've got it wrong now and again isn't worth dealing with we did have a few blips this year as we are totally reorganising how support works (there are now more support people than ever, no corner cutting here), I see chris's comments about some tickets taking ages to get closed, and it being "random" wether you get fast or slow - I would suspect that it has been more fast of late than slow - looking at the stats it certainly seems that way.

    Would be happy to talk on the phone if you'd like.

    Tom

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    first line support is great, and its a bit of an insult to call them first line they are not by any stretch of the imagination telephone monkeys.

    more work could be done in calls that are escalated.....

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    AMLightfoot (15th May 2013)

  14. #26


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    @tom_newton is right when we says that there are huge changes afoot in support. Things in that department are undergoing radical changes all with the view to improving the customer experience. In addition to this, we are currently working on a hugely exciting project involving self-help resources to give our customers better access to our detailed and comprehensive Knowledgebase - Did you know that during April, we found that over 40% of cases raised by our customers could have been resolved quickly and easily by one of the Self-help Solutions in our Knowledge base? We are invested in improving this resource and I'm really excited to be a part of that project so over the next year expect to see some changes there. I'm really passionate about this project and could go on for hours about it! LOL

    Our Triage team have been doing a brilliant job and really hit the ground running. We don't believe in the 'phone monkey' model as our product is far too technical for the usual scripted 'Have you tried rebooting it?' type of questions. If a ticket is very complex it will be escalated to an engineer for further diagnostics.

    I am always keen to get feedback regarding the Knowledgebase and Self help resources and would love to hear your thoughts as I will feed these directly into our project so please feel free to ping me a PM.

  15. #27
    zag
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    - Making the Youtube channel more obvious
    - Quick start guides for setting up filtering
    - Actually calling back when an escalation is needed and not waiting 10 days
    - Better help documentation with pictures

  16. #28


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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    - Making the Youtube channel more obvious
    - Quick start guides for setting up filtering
    - Actually calling back when an escalation is needed and not waiting 10 days
    - Better help documentation with pictures
    Well you'll be pleased to hear that 3 of the 4 are under my sphere of influence and are already focus points for the work we're doing - without giving too much away, some of the things we working on will mean that we can embed our YouTube resources directly into articles so you can search all the resources in one place!

    Setting up filtering is never going to be a quick thing, but we are hoping (over time) to develop various parts of the KB and the product itself to make this easier. This is definitely on our radar.

    Help documentation with pictures? I'm certain we can manage that - this is one of the big things I've been pushing in this project - adding screenshots to clarify instructions. I can't comment on changes to the actual 'Help' within the product itself as this would be @tom_newton's sphere of influence, but we will certainly be including much more of this in our knowledgebase articles and self help resources.

    I'm so excited about this project and I can't wait to get the first phases in place and unleash it on you all.

  17. Thanks to AMLightfoot from:

    zag (15th May 2013)

  18. #29

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    Biggest help for me as I told to @tom_newton was the fact that Sale-Farse lost all my past case details thus I lost a LOT of useful resources which were not ever on the public KBs some are on your internal KBs and some were specific qwerks to my setup but that was very damaging

  19. #30
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    @AMLightfoot the new knowledgebase idea sounds really good to me, I think with Smoothwall being as comprehensive and feature filled as it is, its hard to know all of the features as well as I would like sometimes.

    I had an idea which popped into my head today about another possible way Smoothwall could improve their support. I have been having an issue with our Frog server which wasn't the easiest problem to solve and instead of having to use teamviewer or remote support into a machine on site here they had a direct connection to the Frog server offsite and were able to test things and putty in when needed and fix the problem and send an email to say all fixed. I know for all my tickets I have raised with Smoothwall more often than not an engineer will end up teamviewing in which either involves me giving them access to my machine with all the right tools on or setting up a test machine with the tools on. Surely it would be a lot easier from both your point of view and customers if you had a back door into your own product. I know this might not be possible with some customers firewalls or some tickets but it is only an idea

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