Paid Support

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Dee
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Paid Support

Post by Dee » Thu May 12, 2016 11:22 am

Hello All!

I have used Linux Mint for around 2 years. I am happy enough with it that I decided that this will be my main squeeze on Linux distros but will offer Ubuntu as well as a dual boot and individually. I have not yet tried dual booting Mint with Ubuntu and UEFI. I hope that it is a better experience than with Windows 8. I have searched your forums for my topic without much satisfaction. Therefore, I have decided to list a topic that hopefully everyone can find information regarding this subject. It is pretty clear that if I want to pay for support I will have to go with Canonical. While I sometimes us Ubuntu solutions to resolve my issues with Linux Mint, I would prefer to find solutions that deal directly with the Cinnamon desktop and Mint.

In addition, I have sold 3-4 units on the web with great success. Recently, a client asked whether we offered support. We do not feel comfortable enough with the distro to answer any questions other than light support. We will direct our customer over to this forum and tell him that we do not offer that type of support he is looking for.

IMHO, I think that the creators of Linux Mint have done a wonderful job with their distro. In fact, I use this distro, full blown OS, along with Puppy every day. However, I think they are missing the boat, from a revenue standpoint, on offering support to those who would like it rather than doing what I do and search until I find an answer or move on from the issue. As some one who worked in support, briefly, in my life it is needed for any OS. At least support that translates geek talk to real talk. It is an art and NOT a science.

Thanks in advance. I am looking forward to selling more "elegance" to my community and maybe the world.

:D
Last edited by Dee on Thu May 12, 2016 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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z31fanatic
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Re: Paid Support

Post by z31fanatic » Thu May 12, 2016 1:16 pm

I would imagine than offering support would require to have some substantial initial capital.

Dee
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Re: Paid Support

Post by Dee » Thu May 12, 2016 1:33 pm

For sure, as in any project would require. However, there are places in the country that the cost would be lower. The question would be whether you could make enough money with just Linux Mint. I probably would include Ubuntu and even possibly Debian and Elementary. Just to through some things out there.

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Moem
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Re: Paid Support

Post by Moem » Thu May 12, 2016 1:55 pm

Dee wrote:However, there are places in the country that the cost would be lower.
Sorry, which country are you thinking of?
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If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!

Habitual
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Re: Paid Support

Post by Habitual » Thu May 12, 2016 3:11 pm

Dee wrote:I have used Linux Mint for around 2 years. ...Recently, a client asked whether we offered support. We do not feel comfortable enough with the distro to answer any questions other than light support.
So, all 2 years of using LM only worth "light support"?
Define "light support".
Who's "we" and how much of the "light support" do they contribute?

You could have had "paid support" and still not been able to "feel comfortable" providing support.

So I find this post rather dubious, and my questions are rhetorical.

Nothing personal.

Dee
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Re: Paid Support

Post by Dee » Thu May 12, 2016 5:00 pm

Habitual wrote:
Dee wrote:I have used Linux Mint for around 2 years. ...Recently, a client asked whether we offered support. We do not feel comfortable enough with the distro to answer any questions other than light support.
So, all 2 years of using LM only worth "light support"?
Define "light support".
Who's "we" and how much of the "light support" do they contribute?

You could have had "paid support" and still not been able to "feel comfortable" providing support.

So I find this post rather dubious, and my questions are rhetorical.

Nothing personal.
Sure, we assume that most people that purchase our machines are newbies with little or no experience with ANY Linux distro. While I would disagree with the term being dubious, I would agree that it is highly subjective. However, we guide them to solutions that usually do not require use of terminal input, if all possible. We send them information when purchased regarding the level of support we provide. Furthermore, we are not shy in telling any client that we do not know the answer and suggest that they Google and/or visit this forum. Frankly, it looks like you have concluded, as most geeks do, that a person has to have a "personal relationship" with an OS before they should even offer light support. I like most non geeks like turning my computer on and being productive without knowing every little thing about how it functions. If I wanted to know those things then maybe I would have majored in computer science, rather than finance, in college or spent as much time as I've spent with Windows resolving issues on my own.

Frankly, to some extinct, the fact that you have forums, such as this one, answers the question as to whether support is needed. It does not, of course, answers the question whether some would pay for it. I think that as good as this distro is, it is worth having an intelligent conversation about the next level of support. I thought that was what forums were for, no offense.

Let me tell you a quick story. I thought that the distro sucked. I purchased a copy of the ISO from a vendor, I believe, that was connected to Linux Mint website. I contacted them to tell them what the issue was and received no reply. I looked at other distros and was fine with them so I gave up on Mint. I read an online article and this time, like other distros, I downloaded and burned the ISO myself. I have used it ever since.

I do not consider burning an ISO to be light support anymore. Why? Because even though I knew about cheksums I never, ever, actually use it. Of course, we know how that worked out here but I was lucky since my ISO was downloaded and burned last summer. I will never ever download an OS without using and working with checksums.

We like working with people who want to learn rather than working with people that know it all unless of course they are providing support. And even then we are not paying them for what they know; we are paying them for what they can effectively teach to others.

:)

brvcf
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Re: Paid Support

Post by brvcf » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:47 pm

I have converted many customers over to Linux Mint. They are all pretty happy with it and I don't get many questions. So far all the questions have been very simple and I have been able to answer them easily. However, it may happen that there is a more serious problem. Then what?

In addition, in order to get to this point I have spent hundreds of hours playing with Linux, particularly Mint and Lubuntu. Perhaps if I stuck with Ubuntu I could buy a somewhat comprehensive book on the GUI, but there really is no such thing for Mint and of course there are differences between the various editions.(My favorite is XFCE. I personally like it as much as Cinnamon, and I tend to convert customers from XP or Vista and their machines don't have tons of RAM, etc. But I use Cinnamon as well.)

There are wonderful generic books like "The Linux Command Line" by Wm Schotts and "How Linux Works" by Brian Ward. Both of these can be downloaded free but I bought the actual books I liked them so much. They don't address the specifics of Mint at all, and they are totally irrelevant for a non-techie who just wants to use the GUI, So is The Linux Mint installation guide, and the User Guide doesn't answer many questions either.

Searching or posting in the forums may or may not be effective. I find that it is not an effective way to learn or quickly solve problems because there are too many opinions and you get 'answers' that are years old so you don't really know if they apply to a current distro. Or you get no answers at all to simple questions. For example, see viewtopic.php?f=47&t=261191 which has been sitting all week with no answer. It seems the Mint XFCE/Thunar will let you drag an drop files to a blank DVD in a window called "CD/DVD Creator" same procedure as in Windows but I can find is no "write these files to disk" button to actually burn the files. Yes, I know to open Xfburn, etc. but simple drag and drop is something the average non-techie user coming from Windows would try. Somebody must know the answer to this question. Maybe whoever wrote the program?

As an IT professional promoting and selling Linux Mint, I am definitely willing to study and learn and experiment, but when I come across a problem I can't solve or is not clearly documented I would be willing to pay for answers rather than waste ten of hours a week searching through forums because there is no concise documentation.

Linux may be open source and the user may theoretically have total control, but unless you are programmer and care to analyze source code, or perhaps already have years of Linux experience, it can be worse than Windows because at least with Windows there are dozens of published technical manuals for every version that are reasonably thorough.

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Sir Charles
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Re: Paid Support

Post by Sir Charles » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:41 pm

Dee wrote
VI like most non geeks like turning my computer on and being productive without knowing every little thing about how it functions.
As a user, I think part of the fun of using Mint, or whichever Linux distro one might like, is that you learn something new everyday about the working of computers, experimenting, breaking stuff and try to fix them and the list goes on. You can take a conservative approach with your system and like many people enjoy a hassle free computing experience with Mint.
If I wanted to know those things then maybe I would have majored in computer science
I am not a computer sceintist but I think If one is not willing to make an effort to move along that learning curve, which in case of Mint is not that steep, not even for a novice like me, then one has simply to look elsewhere. I am happy and grateful that there are highly competent people right here in this forum that has willingly answered my questions and helped me to sort out my problems. Without charging me a penny.
Let me tell you a quick story. I thought that the distro sucked. I purchased a copy of the ISO from a vendor, I believe, that was connected to Linux Mint website. I contacted them to tell them what the issue was and received no reply.
That's a sad story. A search with any engine, would have brought you to Linux Mint official site. And you could have dowloaded your copy free of charge, received information about how to check your sums, burn your media, install and so on. That's what I did right from the start and I never for a second thought that the distro sucked.
...
I suppose that's one of the ironies of life, doing the wrong thing at the right moment -C.C.

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