Support calls should always be raised by calling the helpdesk number 08456 444 446. Outside weekday working hours, please call 07917 461529. We do not take direct support queries via e-mail, we may ask you to e-mail further information through to help an ongoing issue but the initial contact must be made via phone.
All support calls should be raised as soon as possible after a problem has occurred (ideally straight away whilst any error message is still shown).
When reporting a problem, details of any error message should be provided in full together with the caller’s name, company and branch, a description of the steps that preceded the problem and what the caller was trying to do.
The support person answering a call should give their name and then ask the caller whether this is a new issue or if it relates to an earlier call.
The call should be logged with all details recorded.
The call log should be checked to see whether any similar issues have been logged and if so what steps are required for resolution.
The support person will then attempt to resolve any issues. This may involve a series of questions which may sometimes appear to be of a very basic nature - please do not take offence at this. It is only by asking questions that we are able to clearly identify what is happening and we are trying to get to the answer as quickly as possible.
In some cases it may be necessary to restart computers and or peripherals and where this is required a series of steps will be described by the support person. Where this is the case it is essential that the steps are carried out in the order described.
A client may prefer to carry out the recommendations of the support person without remaining on the telephone. Where this is the case it will be assumed that the recommended course of action resolved the issue unless we are notified otherwise and the support call will be closed.
If the support person is unable to resolve a problem immediately, then they may need to dial in to the client’s computer via pcAnywhere to get additional information or transfer files.
It may be necessary to pass the call to another member of the support staff with more specific knowledge in the area affected. If this is necessary then this should be done by transferring the original call rather than arranging for them to call back. Only where there are no suitable support personnel available should a call back be arranged. Support calls always take priority over development work.
Where it is necessary to further investigate a problem and attempt to recreate it at our offices then the support person should make this clear and give an indication of how long this will take and when they will get back to the caller.
The support manager will monitor the call log and progress any calls that are outstanding. At the end of each day all calls should have been closed unless there are exceptional reasons which have been cleared with the support manager and an agreed timetable for resolution has been put in place. In the event of this being a non critical problem this may involve a fix being added to the next release of PropertyPro® where this is the case this needs to be agreed with the lead developer and the caller should be advised of the likely implementation schedule.
If it has not been possible to resolve a critical issue by telephone or remote dial up, then this should be escalated to the support manager who will arrange for a site visit.
We aim to provide the highest level of support to our client’s, if at any time we fail to provide this then please call 08456 444 446 and speak to Vicky.
A full log of all calls received and the actions taken to resolve them can be supplied weekly to our clients. These call logs should accurately reflect details of any calls and the steps taken to resolve them.
For all our PropertyPro® users who have been trained in using the system a full 24 hour 7 day a week support service is available. Where a member of staff has a problem but has not been trained, they should consult a suitably trained colleague before calling the support line. CSL reserve the right to charge for support of untrained personnel (see free training below). Occasionally a caller may have a problem which can best be solved by additional training. Where this is the case we will do our best to help, but this may require arranging for the client to call back at a suitable time when a trainer is available.
Support will be provided on receipt of the maintenance fee. Either party may terminate this Agreement forthwith upon 90 days’ written notice.
We are happy to help with problems related to email and internet connection, however it is important to realise that unless we host your website and provide your dial up that it may be necessary for you to contact your third party supplier. We currently recommend that customers connect with a fixed price connection to the internet, but we cannot make any guarantees as to the level of service available from such a connection.
From the initial release of PropertyPro® in 1997, we have always provided interfaces to all the major portals, such as Rightmove, Prime Location, Fish4Homes, PropertyFinder, HomesOnLine, Home Sale Network, PropertyLive, NetHousePrices, etc., free of charge and this will continue to be the case.
Many of the portal sites are evolving and offering increased functionality to agents who use these services, for example, more complete property particulars, virtual tours, floorplans, etc. In order to automate uploads to provide these additional facilities require our development resources, often on very short time scales and with little or no notice. In addition, we are frequently asked to intervene to resolve problems with uploading data which, frequently prove to be a problem with the portal itself. This involves our support staff in often protracted conversations with third party companies, in order to ensure that issues are quickly and efficiently resolved.
Rather than increase our support charges across the board to cope with this increased load on our development and support teams, we have decided to offer our customers the option of whether they wish to use us as a first line of support for automated uploads. All of our uploads are written to the specifications provided to us by the third party company and will continue to deliver data in the correct format to them.
PropertyPro® portal support includes full integration with all future upload requirements for your selected portals with all new program versions installed and scheduled by our support staff. Ensuring that all scheduled uploads are programmed to integrate efficiently with the times allocated by each portal. Investigation of any issues raised and liaison with the third party on your behalf to ensure issues are resolved as quickly as possible. If the data has not been received by the third party, then investigation into the cause of this including, checking that scheduled tasks have completed successfully, whether firewall hardware or software has blocked a process, etc. Should you not wish to use us for support of this process, the portal companies should have everything they need to provide this support directly to you. If the portal company needs to contact us to progress an issue that you have raised with them, then this call will be taken.
The latest versions of all uploads will be available to download from our website at www.property-pro.co.uk/downloads.html, together with installation instructions.
During normal working hours we are happy to accept support calls of all types including those not directly related to the use of our software or hardware. Where these relate to hardware or software sourced elsewhere, we will endeavour to help but obviously can make no guarantees.
Any upgrades or alterations to existing hardware or software will be supported during normal working hours. This includes help and advice on relocation of computer equipment etc. Where it is necessary to carry out such work out of normal working hours then support should be arranged for this in advance.
Outside of normal working hours we are happy to accept support calls related to the use of our software or hardware. Where a client has a problem relating to hardware or software sourced elsewhere then we reserve the right to charge for any out of hours support.
Some hardware (particularly printers and cameras) is covered by a manufacturer’s warranty directly with the customer. Where this is the case then it is the client’s responsibility to contact the manufacturer and arrange support. We are happy to supply the contact details and offer initial advice. Completion and return of any third party hardware warranty cards is the responsibility of the client.
We supply and install hardware and will show customers briefly how to use it. The customer is responsible for its day to day operation and should read any manuals supplied and be aware of any operating and maintenance requirements. These manuals should be available to callers if requested by support staff to refer to them.
It is important to ensure that data is backed-up on a regular basis and, if using a tape drive, that a cycle of tapes, ideally including at least one off-site copy, is used. Tape drives do require regular cleaning, a cleaning tape will normally be supplied and should be used in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Back-up tapes and cleaning tapes may need replacing periodically.
All problems with any hardware supplied by CSL must be reported to the support desk in the first instance. Should it prove necessary to return any equipment to our offices for further investigation/repair, then an RMA number will be issued together with return instructions. No goods will be accepted for return without a previously issued RMA number.
All upgrades to the PropertyPro® software are provided free of charge to customers with a current support contract. The normal way for these to be distributed is for them to be downloaded from our web site at www.property pro.co.uk/downloads.html.
Details of features included in new releases will be emailed to our clients together with installation instructions.
It is the client’s responsibility to ensure that their systems are virus free and that their data is regularly backed up. We are happy to advise on the use of anti virus software and can supply these if required. It is important to ensure that virus definitions are kept up to date to ensure that you have protection against the latest viruses. These updates can be obtained directly from the manufacturers web sites. There is normally a period after installing anti virus software where definitions can be updated for free. After this period there is usually a yearly charge. We strongly recommend that all clients subscribe to these updates. Should any computers become infected with a virus then advice is available from the manufacturers website. Normally they will supply the information required to remove any virus from your systems, without charge. It is not possible to guarantee that there will be no damage to files on your system and no loss of data.
Due to the increasing prevalence of "worm" type viruses which attack users when they are online to the internet, it is worth installing a firewall – this can either be software or a separate hardware firewall for users permanently online with a static IP address.
Spy Ware, Ad Ware and Mal Ware: It is essential to always keep antivirus definitions up to date on every PC on your network. With Windows operating systems, many loopholes and vulnerabilities are fixed in automatic updates which are available from Microsoft. All PCs should be set to download these upgrades and it is important to check that these are installed. If PCs are set to automatically update at night, then ensure that the PCs are left on. Where automated updates have not been configured, then check daily on the Windows update sites and install all critical updates.
Gaming and music download sites offer a serious threat to companies. The impact on network performance is potentially massive and there are legal issues relating to copyright which may impact your company. It is recommended that employees are specifically informed that downloading music, video and games from the internet is not allowed.
In order for us to resolve a problem, we have to know about it. To this end it is our clients’ responsibility to report any problems as soon as possible and to supply us with any requested information required to help resolution.
Where it is necessary for us to dial in to a computer to help resolve a problem then it is the client’s responsibility to ensure that the computer is available for this purpose, that it is connected to a telephone line with a direct dial number and that this line is not being used for any other purpose. It is necessary for pcAnywhere to be waiting to receive a call and it is the client’s responsibility to ensure that any member of staff calling the support line is able to do this.
Where a support call relates to a failure in the transfer of data between offices then before calling the support line the client should first contact their other branches to ascertain whether the failure is at one or more branches. Steps should also be taken to check whether all computers involved were running normally at the time that the data transfers were scheduled to run and that they were connected to a telephone line. After contacting other branches the support line should be called as soon as possible and in any case not later than 10am. Where a call is received later than 10am we cannot guarantee that it will be possible to “catch up” the data transfer process that day. It is important to recognise that the data being transferred belongs to and is the responsibility of the client, if you require our assistance in resolving a data transfer issue then we will need uninterrupted access to your computers via pcAnywhere.
Training courses are run regularly at our Rugby offices. PropertyPro® users can attend these courses free of charge and will be given the opportunity to suggest the topics covered. Dates of the courses will be notified in advance together with a fax back form for attendees to complete.
If you require a specific course tailored for your company using a copy of your database at our offices then this can be arranged and is charged at £195 per day for up to 6 attendees.
The feedback that we have received from the courses run so far has been very positive. It is to everyone’s advantage for users to be fully conversant with PropertyPro® so please take full advantage of this free training.