For us, this is the most uncomplicated kind of help we’re able to offer. Although conversely it is often at a time when the client we are helping, is experiencing a complicated IT problem.
Our volunteers donate their time and knowledge whenever one of our clients get stuck. This might be something that is just every day computing or help in using something that we’ve helped to create for you or previously trained you on how to use.
This can be delivered over the phone, through the Internet or literally by turning up in person when it’s something like setting up a new network or equipment such as computers or printers. Obviously since we’re ourselves a non-profit made up of volunteers, it is dependant on us being available and where possible giving help through the Internet is usually quicker and easier to convey the correct steps in solving an issue.
Many of our volunteers are well versed in their areas of expertise as they work in IT jobs full time, as a result help usually comes swiftly and to the point. In areas we’re not so much an expert in, decades of sifting through documentation has helped us to be proficient in researching and troubleshooting the right solution for your exact problem.
When giving IT support, we do require a receptive audience, willing to learn about the steps we’re taking or advising you to take. This ensures you get training (see Education) on at least the most basic and key knowledge surrounding the tasks that we’ll be helping you with. In essence we’d much rather you be able to help yourself and to know that’s what you want too. We’re certainly not your typical off-shore call centre mindlessly reading scripts, expecting frustrated users on almost every call. We’ll also not tolerate any personal abuse, irrelevant of how stressed you get!
Please bear in mind that sometimes the problem is perceptual, even if you can’t see it yet. We won’t be shy about telling you if we think the issue wouldn’t exist if another and just as productive approach could be used. Sometimes this might take the form of recommending alternative software and operating systems which grant more freedoms and flexibility to the user. Where possible this will always be FOSS (see FOSS Advocacy) if such software exists matches all the proper requirements.
In the scope of IT support we’ve assisted numerous non-profit groups and individuals such as political groups, advocacy campaigns and even schools. If you think you or your organisation might be in need of our help, then get in touch and we’ll assign you an account manager to liaise with you.