Procedures for Support Cases

Version: AbleCommerce (all versions)

Applies to: Level-Two Technicians

Last Update: 6/02/10



Technical Support (Level-two technicians)

Your priority is to respond to the cases that are assigned to you.  At this level, a review of each case assigned to you should be done as soon as possible.  Response times vary depending on the level of support required.

NOTE:  It is assumed that the support case has been reviewed by a Level 1 technician and is eligible to receive Level 2 support.  

Paid Priority Support:  The highest level of support we offer.  

  • Initial response times should be within 1-2 hours, with a maximum of 4 hours.  

  • Keep an accurate report of your time with EACH post.  

  • If any support case exceeds the one hour initial purchase, a review of the case will be made by the Support Manager, and approval to continue working with customer must be obtained.  

  • At final resolution, the case is transferred to the Support Manager for final review and billing.  

Standard Support:  Our standard support offering for evaluation users and new customers.  

  • Initial response times should be within 4-8 hours, with a maximum of 24 hours.  

  • Responding too quickly raises the customer's expectations, consequently resulting in a negative if we fail to meet those expectations in the future.  

  • Keep an accurate report of your time with EACH post.  

  • If any support case exceeds the one hour, a review of the case will be made by the Support Manager to determine if additional resources are necessary to solve the issue.

Bug Reports:  

  • Initial REVIEW times should be within 4-8 hours, with a maximum of 24 hours.  

  • It is your responsibility to make sure any critical issues are discovered and reported quickly.  

  • A bug report that is not serious or preventing use of a major feature should be addressed within 1 week or less.

How to confirm a Bug Report:   

  1. Using intranet links to the current stable builds, attempt to reproduce the reported issue.  If you cannot reproduce the issue or have reason to believe the customer's issue is an isolated event, then skip to Step. 6.   

  2. Submit a "complete" bug report for the next version in development.  (e.g. report for 7.5).  

  3. All bug reports will be submitted as "Normal" and go through a review process by the Risk Control and Management (RCM) team.  The RCM team will decide whether or not the issue qualifies as a major or critical bug and initiate the "Emergency Patch Procedures" as necessary.  

  4. Priorities can be used to receive faster response times from the RCM team.  These are covered in the "Bug Reporting Procedures".  

  5. After the bug report is submitted, respond to your case with a canned message and provide a link to the bug report.

  6. In cases where the issue cannot be reproduced, the customer will receive a canned message and be given an option to purchase support time or post to the forums.  In this case only, we honor our policy of refunding any support time if the issue is proven to be an actual bug.  



Response times (after the first response is made) should be made ASAP.  

Once you have initiated a response to the customer, the response times stated above no longer apply.  Respond to your cases as soon as possible...within 30 minutes to an hour is preferable depending on work-load.  This keeps the momentum going and you're more likely to resolve the issue fast - while it's all fresh in your mind.

These are NOT "advertised" response times.  It is a recommended practice to improve efficiency.


Any case opened with paid support time will be your first priority.  You will have to make a note of these cases until our system can be improved.   

After that, respond to your "Note Queue" by the first in, first out method (FIFO).  This means to respond to the oldest customer updates first.

Closing Cases

It's important to close your standard support cases within a few days of being complete.  The "En Mass" feature allows you to close several cases at once.  Be careful though, once a case is closed, it cannot be re-opened.

The cases with paid support time need to be billed and can only be closed by the Support Manager.

The cases for bug reports can be closed if you feel that further communication will not be necessary.  A case with a serious bug report should be left open so we can gather additional information if needed.  Sometimes clients will assist in testing patches as well.  The "Reminder" feature allows you to schedule a check for some date in the future.  

Remote Server Access

In almost all cases, you can solve any issue with FTP access and the admin login to an AbleCommerce installation.  It is not our job to make changes but rather, make a NOTE of the change to the customer.  This relieves our liability in case something goes wrong.

In rare cases were we need full remote access to a LIVE server, the customer will need to sign a waiver, relieving AbleCommerce of any liability.  This should be a rare occurrence though.  Electronic form needs to be uploaded to Docusign. (We can include server login info to keep it secure.)

Phone Support

Typically, working over the phone will waste much more time than using your case system.  However, if you feel that a quick phone call can clear up some confusion, feel free to make a call.  Record your time and conversation notes to the case.

Some customers will open a case with no information and expect you to call.  We do not work this way.  Use a canned message in this case.  The tracking of an issue is equally as important as solving it.  We need to have all information together in one place so we can expedite the case to any member of the team if necessary.

Problem Solving Techniques

  1. Make sure the installation has the latest patches.

  2. Use the Search form on our website to find error messages.

  3. Search in for similar issues.

  4. Look for recent changes that help identify source of trouble.

  5. Check system requirements for installation issues.

  6. Upgrade error means they probably didn't get everything updated.

  7. Error after moving means they needed to follow the FAQ.

  8. Permissions can be checked with script available at help site.  

Getting stuck on an issue can happen.  When it does, do NOT email any member of the team directly.  Instead, pass the case to the Support Manager for review.  Make sure to provide detailed background history in the case to expedite the review process.  A determination will be made to escalate the case to a Level 3 Technician, Software Engineer, or continue troubleshooting.  Continue working with Support Manager until resolution.  

Additional Requirements

Gathering of information for bug reports and FAQ's is an important responsibility of the technician.  It is NOT our goal to simply solve  each issue and move on to the next.  Instead, we will take a proactive approach to problem solving.  Any question asked more than twice is deserving of a FAQ.  Documentation that is confusing or lacking information needs to be noted and corrected.  Problems that keep occurring need to be addressed in a different way, through software changes or documentation.  Etc. etc.  

Daily involvement will be required in the forums.  This allows you to see what's going on in the community.  Often, new issues will be reported here first.  At the end of each day, attempt to answer questions about AbleCommerce, leaving the customization questions to developers and partners.

You will also need to be aware of current bugs being reported.  Use to view reports on new and pending issues.

Under no circumstances, do you start an email conversation with a customer needing support or who has an active support case.   




The email account can be used for FAQ requests, doc changes, or procedural issues.

Attachments?  (Send to new email

System Emails:  Bug Report received, Bug Report submitted, Bug unconfirmed  


Revision History:

6/2/2010 - KLR - Create procedures for support cases.