Submitting support tickets
First, if you need support and it's not something that can be covered in the support forums or if you just know that you need to submit a ticket, the first step is to go to the client area, click on the support tab on the left (1) and then the "New Request" button on the right (2).
You can also click on the 'New Request' text above, it's linked to make the process easier.
When you get to the next screen, you'll need to enter a title for the support request, the details and the department you want the request to go to.
Please try to summarize the actual problem you are having. Saying, "Help!" or "Urgent!" isn't very descriptive and while we will address every ticket, sometimes a proper description can help us to help you faster. If a ticket isn't marked as being urgent but your board is down and you title the ticket, "Board not working, only errors displayed" then that title might prompt us to check it in case it should have been flagged as an urgent ticket. It also helps to remind us of what the ticket is about when opening it again after getting a response from the customer, which in turn helps us to work faster.
Please include anything and everything we need to know about the situation. If you did something to cause the board to act up, then tell us what that was. Sometimes knowing what you did lets us know what we need to do to fix it. We want to know how it happened so that we can get it working again for you; so if you caused it, don't feel embarrassed about it.
Do include things like links to examples of the issue, like if you're having an issue with some topics or posts. If we have to hunt for the issue, that's time spent trying to find the issue and that means more time goes by before we get the issue fixed for you.
Please make sure you choose the appropriate department.
General Support - Most often where tickets should be going anyway. If it doesn't fit in another department, send it here and if necessary we'll redirect it for you.
Install/Upgrade Request - This is ONLY for submitting requests to have our software installed or upgraded. If you perform your own install or upgrade and encounter an issue, do NOT send it here! Send it to General Support instead. It's as simple as this - Are you asking us to perform the install/upgrade for you? If not, it doesn't go here.
Sales - If you have a question about price, here's the place to send the ticket.
Account and Billing Assistance - If you're having trouble accessing part of these forums, need to make a payment, anything related to billing or your account, please use this department.
Hosting: Emergency - This is rare to be used. If you believe that the server that your account is hosted on is down or something else is going on that is server wide, then submit here. If your site is down and hosted by us, this isn't the option to use.
Hosting Support - If you're hosted by us and having a hosting issue, such as the site not responding or needing to get a backup, this is the department to submit to.
Examples of issues that are urgent include your board only returning a blank page, an error, loss of access to the admin account or loss of access to the ACP. There are other issues which qualify, but the rule of thumb to follow is this: Is it really an urgent issue or is it only urgent to you?
Examples of issues that are NOT urgent:
Not knowing or remembering how to rename a topic.
Drop in search engine rankings since you changed the fURL structure.
Help with importing a skin you bought from someone.
Other 3rd party products causing issues.
Wanting to know where a setting is in the ACP that you want to change.
Abusing the 'Urgent' option can result in losing the option to mark tickets as urgent in the future. I've come across some tickets that should have been marked urgent but the client couldn't because they abused the option before. In other words, they cried 'wolf' and then when they actually needed it, they couldn't use it.
Please be sure to select the correct package that the ticket is for. If it's an issue related to IP.Board, then don't select IP.Chat for example. If your purchase has expired and you need support for it, then selecting the wrong package to get around it won't work. We'll still inform you that you need to renew your license to receive support. If you don't see the right package available, then click on the Purchases tab and see if it's still active. If it's not, then renew it so you can submit a ticket for support. It may sound harsh, but the reality is that there are others who pay for continued support and it would be unfair to them.
Sometimes we may need to access your board and even your files, so please make sure that the ACP and FTP details are correct and unrestricted. If we need to access a part of the ACP that we're restricted from, then we can't do our job. If we need to change a file to fix an issue but we're not allowed because of a restriction, then we can't do our job. It helps us to help you.
What's covered by support
Here are a few things that are usually not supported.
EOL products (products that have been declared "End Of Life", such as the IPB v2 series)
Server related issues
Sphinx issues, unless there is an issue within IPB that is not working properly with Sphinx
3rd Party Modifications
3rd Party Skins
Other things that I am not recalling right now
Make sure your package details are up to date
This is more important than you would believe. If either the ACP or the FTP details are incorrect, then we will have to ask you for the correct information. The best advice for this is to look at your package details and then test out the information you see before you. If you test the details and they don't work for you, then they won't work for us.
For the ACP details, the account you provide for us to use must have full access. This isn't an issue too often, but when it is, it requires us to respond asking for the full access necessary to resolve the issue. This means that the client has to wait longer for their issue to be resolved. We understand and respect the importance of privacy of the data that's accessible from the ACP and assure you that what we see there remains there.
For the FTP details, we need to be able to create/edit/delete files as well as alter permissions. If we can't do that then we may not be able to resolve the issue. Again, this doesn't happen too often, but it does happen from time to time.
If you just have a question about how to use a feature, how to accomplish a particular task, help with a seemingly minor issue or are unsure, then ask it in the Support Forums and if it's something that we feel requires a closer look, we'll direct you to submit a ticket in the client area or post a report in the bug tracker.