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Poll

Would you be willing to pay?

One dollar a minute billed in 5 minute increments.
20 dollars a call for up to 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes will be 50 cents a minute.
Four hundred dollars a year for 12 hours then 45 cents per minute "Silver" support.
Eight hundred dollars a year for 30 hours then 40 cents per minute "Gold" support.
Twelve hundred dollars a year for 50 hours then 35 cents per minute "Platnum" support.
50-75/hr period........

Author Topic: Re: Prices for one-on-one phone tech support.  (Read 13358 times)

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Offline DC9

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Re: Re: Prices for one-on-one phone tech support.
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2008, 10:12:55 AM »
I'd go with the first option - 1$ per minute in 5 minute increments.  I think that a lot of guys do not want to commit to hundreds of dollars of support cost to keep their garage mill running....

If a business has 20 machines running Mach and they want guaranteed response time then a premium plan would probably make sense.  One that guarantees a call back within an hour or so.  But for those situations I think that most would already have an integrator involved or an OEM that can support the software and equipment.

Siemens has a reasonable support system for their products (keep in mind that most of their cables cost more than $159).  If you call on a current product you will get a response back within 24 hours in most cases (free phone support in most cases for standard equipment and software).  If you buy a premium plan for a yearly subscription fee, they call back within an hour.  I don't know what their current premium plan cost is.

Siemens can afford to do this because their equipment is not inexpensive in most cases.  I'm not sure you can buy anything from them regarding CNC for $159.00.  Perhaps a manual??

On older products that are obsolete, they will tell you on the phone that the support for that device for one problem or situation is $225 (I think?)   And they will call and email you until that problem is resolved.  That is really a pretty good deal in most cases.

Regarding Allen Bradley - you cannot call their support hotline and get assistance unless you have a purchased support subscription. (Period)  I have an OEM that buys Allen Bradley software and equipment and they get hung up on also.  The only people who can provide free support for AB software and gear is their distributors and that is their option.

Parker Compumotor will provide free support - but the last ACR9000 4 axis motion controller I worked on cost about $4000, but the config software was a free download!!

I don't think it is reasonable to expect phone support for a $159 product.   Yes it was great that Art provided phone support at times.  At those times it probably made more sense to just get on the phone and speed the debugging process rather than drag it out over email.  But if you are just looking for info and have time to get the reply, the mass knowledge of the forums is rather large.  If a solution exists you will probably find out about it via the existing sources if you persevere.  If yo don't have time - then a pay for service system makes more sense.

Dave
Cole Controls Inc.







Re: Re: Prices for one-on-one phone tech support.
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2008, 01:16:04 PM »
I am with Mike & RC...There should be a little support with purchase

Offline Chaoticone

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Re: Prices for one-on-one phone tech support.
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2008, 08:59:21 PM »
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I don't think it is reasonable to expect phone support for a $159 product.   Yes it was great that Art provided phone support at times.  At those times it probably made more sense to just get on the phone and speed the debugging process rather than drag it out over email.  But if you are just looking for info and have time to get the reply, the mass knowledge of the forums is rather large.  If a solution exists you will probably find out about it via the existing sources if you persevere.  If yo don't have time - then a pay for service system makes more sense.

This is my exact point Dave. Well received by you. The number of users that would rather pay a little bit to find an answer quick is growing. Some aren't interested in searching forums or chatting with others. All they want is to get their machine running and running as fast as possible. I think we need to be able to meet these needs. 

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I'm curious about something. Is this an official ArtSoft feature or a sideline business set up to run along side Artsoft, much like NFW that Brian set up?

Mike, Artsoft is supportive of this but it will not be Artsoft, at least not yet. This is just a test, to see how it would be received.

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So......what I'm saying is there needs to be some free telephone support included with the purchase of the software. It doesn't have to be much either, because there is so much free information available on both support sites.


No way. I mean don't get me wrong, It has been very common practice for my self and other members to give free support by phone and remote assist but it is at those individuals leisure. As far as free support, I think this is as good as it will ever get. I can't see Artsoft spending any money to give one-on-one support for a product they have allready spent the money on to have the forums, the manuals, the tutors, etc. On top of this, it is a killer control at an insane low price. This isn't about providing more for the dollar. All the information anybody could want is allready avaliable for free. Nor is it a way to kill anyone or get rich quick. It is simply a way to provide a service that some truley want and for their business to be profitable need. It is in no way to lower the personal contributions of members like yourself or eliminate the truely nice gifts that members share with one another like free phone support. That to me is great alure of the forum. So just aren't interested in that, they only want a machine running because if it isn't, they aren't makeing money with it.

Thanks all for the feed back so far. These are very good points and I truley do appreciate the input.

Brett
;D If you could see the things I have in my head, you would be laughing too. ;D

My guard dog is not what you need to worry about!

Offline rcrabb

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Re: Prices for one-on-one phone tech support.
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2008, 09:14:06 PM »
I say a dollar a minute in 5 minute increments. I must say to all those that may think these supporters are are making money from knowledge that was received for free. This is false. People like Brett and all other Mach experts that will be supporting this product have dedicated uncountable hours of their own time testing, reporting bugs, and helping hundreds of people through email, Skype phone and chat, and even phone support at times. I'm sure these guys have saved thousands of hours of support that made it possible for Art and his guys to crank out a great product. But I do think you should get a discount if you have to talk to Bret because of his southern accent. Just kidding Bret. Thanks to everyone willing to provide another form of support.
Ryan

Offline Chaoticone

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Re: Prices for one-on-one phone tech support.
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2008, 09:15:47 PM »
 ;D   Thanks Ryan, you have a valid point too. LOL

Brett
;D If you could see the things I have in my head, you would be laughing too. ;D

My guard dog is not what you need to worry about!
Re: Re: Prices for one-on-one phone tech support.
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2008, 09:46:54 PM »
I pay a "per-year" amount for help on a particular cad/cam program. I'm not in to heavy use yet, but I need that program and need it to work. I would be disappointed if I couldn't get help for a cnc problem because I didn't have the money yet to rate good help. I am buying a new cad/cam machine and system soon. I had hoped to use Mach as my operating system on all of my machines, but I'm wondering if I won't get a better deal with one of my non Mach machines/systems now. You are concerning me a bit. I may pay hundreds or thousands more on Mach if I have a problem. Greg Smith

Offline rcrabb

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Re: Prices for one-on-one phone tech support.
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2008, 10:20:07 PM »
I think the intentions here are to provide another form of support. Not to make money. Some people see spending hours searching a website for answers as money spent. Some people see it as money saved. All the info needed is here on this site. If a machine is down more money would be lost if immediate support isn't available. I would rather buy a product that has this type of support. You have all the FREE videos, the FREE manuals, FREE forum posts, and immediate paid phone support. Not to mention all the extras like wizards, Brains, and Custom screensets. All for $159. I can't imagine how this product wouldn't be the best choice.
Ryan

Scrag

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Re: Re: Prices for one-on-one phone tech support.
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2008, 11:09:24 PM »
Well put rcrabb.
Its obvious that there is heaps of free forum support and that the phone thing is a last resort, or for those who just want someone to sort things out for them.

Graphsmith, I think you always knew this but just want to stir up some sensationalism.
Re: Prices for one-on-one phone tech support.
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2008, 03:09:43 PM »
Brett I'll make one more comment then hush! ;D I promise!

Had the fact that this was something that you or some other individual wanted to do as a sideline business, or fulltime business for that matter, been point out at the first post, my original response would have been different. I assumed (my fault) that this was an official Artsoft poll and as such I again assumed it was a new direction Artsoft was headed. Brian posted a reply over on the Yahoo group that finally address my question there. Had my email alerts been working, I would have seen your reply sooner. Sorry about that.

I'm gonna be brutally honest here. I felt this poll was precursor to larger changes coming and for me it indicated a drift from what Art told me personlly back in 2002 what his vision for the software was......"he was tired of the little guy being shafted".

Sorry if I offended anyone.

Mike
Re: Re: Prices for one-on-one phone tech support.
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2008, 04:58:45 PM »
Hey Brett,
I voted early on.
I don't mind paying for support if I hit a stump, it seems reasonable.
But....Only after the the software is TOTALLY locked down and debugged. And there is a COMPLETE manual that covers EVERYTHING about it...No secret or mysterious buttons or functions.. and everything functions as intended.
If the software is as perfect as possible, and the manual is written as such, along with this great forum it seems that there would be little need for phone support. Other than "the big hurry" as mentioned earlier or couldn't find it in the manual. (which wouldn't say much for the manual.)
As you all know, I'm new at this but there are some pretty big holes and gaps yet to be filled....For the most part, we all seem to be "Beta testers" at this point. (BTW..does that pay much ? Maybe a POLL ::) ) just kidding
If I make a call and it turns out to be a bug or something not available to me in a manual...I would not expect to be charged.
Thanks for all you do Brett,
RC