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Customer service information

Customer service is an essential part of the relationship between a provider and a client. We always strive to make sure our customer service is the best we can provide.

To help us ensure the best possible service we ask that our clients make the best use of the communication facilities available to them. 

This article explains how to get the best out of our customer service and how we will respond to your requests.

0. The problem

The biggest problem with a problem is deciding how a bigger a problem it is. However the size of a problem is always in the eye of the person who has the problem but for us to understand your problem we have to some way by which we can agree on an assessment of that problem.

As such we need to tell you how we assign priorities to problems which is on the basis of four levels of priority:

  • High priority Typically something is completely broken -- nothing works (the site is down?!) or you cannot do any work (I cannot access the management system).
  • Medium priority There is something which is affecting the service in some way but not all the time. Typically a particular page on a web site is not displaying properly or some aspect of the management system does not work in the most recent version of Firefox.
  • Low priority There is a problem which is having limited -- for example, a workaround exists or it is not affecting many people (e.g. something does not work in an ancient version of Internet Explorer).
  • Nice to have These are not really problems or customer service requests -- they are feature requests. 

As such when you ask for customer service we are trying to assess what priority to assign to your problem. Generally issues to do with availability -- whether a site is up -- is generally known to us as all our resources are monitored internally and externally. These monitoring facilities alert us in various ways according to the scale of the problem.

1. Reporting problem

As part of your client setup with us you will be allocated a client specific email address – typically of the form clientname.support@widearea.co.uk. If you do not know which email address to use then send an email to widearea.support@widearea.co.uk.

In the email please provide:

  • As much information about the problem as possible:
    • If you are seeing a particular problem on a page on a web site please provide the URL of that page e.g. https://www.widearea.co.uk/something/xxx.html.
    • If it is a web browser based problem please provide information on the browser and platform in which you are seeing the problem. If possible please use the web site aboutmybrowser.com to provide information about the browser an platform.
    • If possible, include screenshots. If you do not know how to create screenshot look at the site www.take-a-screenshot.org which gives platform specific information.
    • If the problem occurs after a sequence of actions please provide that information -- can you reproduce the problem?
  • Your contact information -- we will know your email address from the email but a phone number is also useful. If you are not in Europe, please provide your timezone so we know when we call you.
  • Your assessment of the problem's priority.

When you have sent the email, you will receive an automated reply from our help desk system within 20 minutes. This reply will contain a reference number and a link to a web page where all information about your problem will be kept.

IF THE PROBLEM IS URGENT

If the problem is urgent then you must call us before or after sending the email. Do not rely on email for reporting urgent problems -- the problem you are seeing may be impacting on the delivery of emails.

During UK working hours call: +44 20 7631 9280 (9am – 6pm)

Outside of UK working hours call: +44 20 7631 9289 (all other times and all day at weekends). Typically this number is not manned but please leave a voicemail which will be delivered to staff.

2. Our response

As mentioned above, on sending an email to the help desk you will get an automated response. Once the priority has been allocated, the service levels will then be:

  • High priority: first response one working hour; aim to fix within four working hours.
  • Medium priority: first response same working day; aim to fix within two working days of first report.
  • Low priority: first response one working day; aim to fix within four working days of first report.
  • Nice to have: first response one working day; aim to implement when needed. 

A problem can change priority – for example, a high priority problem may be fixed in a temporary way which allows it to be fixed as a medium priority task. Similarly a low priority problem might rise in priority – for example a problem seen in a recently released version of a web browser. 

Throughout the process you will be kept in the loop – typically this will be via the Helpdesk system but we may need to telephone you. You can check the status of any problem by following the links in all emails from the Helpdesk system - you will be able to see the current status of the problem and who has been allocated to it.

3. Escalation procedure

As per the old advertising adage of 'not wanting to make a drama out of crisis' if you feel we have not dealt with your problem properly then we have an escalation procedure. The process we would recommend is:

  • if this is an initial problem then please call the office – as in you have sent in a support email and have a reference  number.
  • to update the helpdesk ticket which was created by email. You can do that by simply by replying to the original email. All updates like this are recorded in the helpdesk and seen by appropriate staff members.
  • if you are still not happy then ask the person who is on the helpdesk ticket to call you or call them.
  • if you do not feel that is appropriate then please contact the office directly and ask to speak to a manager.
  • if you are still not happy then please contact Simon Brock via the main office number.

4. complaints procedure

If you want to formally complain about our services then we would ask that you either:

  • send an email to your support address; or
  • send a letter to our office address which is shown below.

We will do our best to resolve that complain internally but if we are unable to do that to your satisfaction within ten working days of the initial complaint, we will look to external arbitration.

5. UK domain names

Wide Area Communications is a Nominet tag holder and we may register domains on your behalf if required. As part of that process, we will inform of you any costs associated with the initial registration and subsequent renewals. Generally we do not put any impediments in the way to any transfers of domains from our Nominet tag to another Nominet tag.

Generally all domain related correspondence should be directed to the hostmaster@widearea.co.uk email address on our Helpdesk system.

If there is a problem that we cannot deal with then you should escalate that to Nominet or make a formal complaint via the Nominet web site.

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Tel: +44 (0)20 7631 9280

Email: info@widearea.co.uk