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Corel's Robust Support Options

By Laura Acklen

When it comes to technology purchases, most of us want to know what level of support we can expect before we take the plunge. This is especially true for hardware and software. Just because you own a computer doesn’t mean you know how to troubleshoot and repair it. The same holds true for software – you may use it every day, but that doesn’t mean you can solve every problem that arises.

This is one area where Corel really distinguishes itself from the competition. There are three support options – warranty support, paid support and corporate support services – to address the varying levels of support required by the home, small business and enterprise user. On top of that, there are a variety of free web-based support services that are available every day, all day.

Warranty Support

Corel’s warranty support is included with the Standard, Professional, and Home editions of WordPerfect Office. It consists of one technical support telephone call (to get the software installed and running) and unlimited web-based electronic support.

Web-based support includes Corel’s Knowledge Base, email support and public newsgroups. Links to the Knowledge Base (through which you can email Corel), FAQs, newsgroups and online product registration are posted on Corel’s Support Services page.

You may obtain warranty support for your WordPerfect Office product by calling 613-274-0500 (in North America). Long distance charges will apply. A list of world-wide support numbers is available in this Knowledge Base document.

For more information on Warranty Support, see this “Warranty Support Options” knowledge base article (see Figure 1).

The Warranty Support Options
The Warranty Support Options knowledge base article contains valuable information on the advantages and the limitations of warranty support

Note: Student & Teacher editions and OEM (or “bundled”) software releases do not offer warranty support.

Paid Support

Sadly, the days of free technical support are over. They went the way of the $500 office suite and the brick-sized mobile phone. We have to face it – if we are spending a couple of hundred dollars for applications that in today’s dollars would probably cost a thousand – we have to expect that some things are going to have to go. If it makes you feel any better, Corel was one of the last software companies to give up free phone support.

That said, can you believe you can get your question answered, or get help with an installation for only $15? It is a toll-free call, so all you have to pay is the single incident fee. Corel defines a support incident as the resolution of one technical question, problem or issue, regardless of the number of telephone calls required to resolve it. If the issue turns out to be a bug, there is no charge.

You can pay for each incident as it comes up, or you can purchase support packs of three or five calls at a discounted rate. Single incidents are $15 USD. The 3-pack is $40 USD (11% discount) and the 5-pack is $60 USD (20% discount). Support packs are valid for a year after the date of purchase and can be transferred to other Corel products that you own.

The Paid Support Options knowledge base article contains pricing on single incident, 3-pack and 5-pack support calls (see Figure 2). There is also important information about what you are entitled to with incident-based support. This level of support is designed for troubleshooting problems with installation, technical issues, configuration/setup, migrating from one version to another and learning how to use features.

Paid Support Options
The Paid Support Options knowledge base article explains what you are entitled to when you use Corel's fee-based support.

Corporate Support Services

If you are seeking help with document automation via templates and customized macros, you should check out the Corporate Support and Professional Services areas. Designed for corporate clients who require account management services and access to Corel’s most skilled personnel, Corporate Support is the highest level of technical support.

When you sign up for Corporate Support, Corel assigns a member of their staff to act as a liaison between your business and Corel. Your liaison will focus on the specific needs of your organization and ensure that your support requirements are met. In addition, the purchase of a base package includes email-based corporate-level support, toll-free support, access to support history online, and support for all Corel products.

Corel’s experienced support team can assist you with:

  • Scripting and Macro Troubleshooting
  • Product Integration
  • Open Document Management (ODMA)
  • Network Configuration or Deployment (or installation)
  • Product Deployment (or installation)
  • File Recovery
  • File Conversion (any file format)
  • Technical Training customized for your business
  • Color Management
  • Pre-Press Support

To find out more about Corporate Support Packages & Services, customers in North America should call 613-728-6807. European customers should call the appropriate Service Centre on the Customer Services Worldwide list.

Professional Services

Don't let the cost and time associated with deploying new technology or upgrading your software sidetrack your business. You have a partner that can keep your IT project on track and on budget—Corel Professional Services. These guys have years of experience helping customers with application deployment; converting macros, templates, files and databases; integrating third-party products and much more.

Corel Professional Services has the flexibility to develop a custom solution that meets your needs. At the heart of the approach is Workflow Analysis. Corel’s experts use this process to assess an organization's workflow and expose its inefficiencies. Then they develop a framework for your Corel Professional Services engagement, which includes:

Project planning and design: With years of experience, Corel Professional Services is able to develop project plans that are tailored to your organization’s specific needs.

Upgrades and data conversion: Trust Corel Professional Services to deliver a smooth and reliable software upgrade for your desktop applications. Corel Professional Services will upgrade your deployed applications and convert your macros, scripts, templates and legacy documents, ensuring seamless and continuous access to your valuable tools. Of course, they are experts in their own formats, but they also have a wealth of experience converting PDF and Microsoft Word files. They can also help you convert your older files, including WordStar, AmiPro and early versions of Microsoft Word.

Application deployment, migration and maintenance: Whether you have an IT department or not, Corel Professional Services can work with you to roll-out and maintain your technology solution—at a reasonable cost.

Custom training solutions: Corel Professional Services personnel can train your trainers, develop customized training materials for end users and give your help desk staff the tools they need to answer questions and resolve issues that may arise as your company adjusts to new software.

Custom utility creation: Do you need to roll out a new installation of WordPerfect? Pay for a couple of hours and let Corel develop a module that you can use to push WordPerfect out to your workstations. You’ll save money in the long run and ensure a consistent installation across the machines.

Product integration: Corel Professional Services will ensure your new software is integrated with third-party applications and works with the operating system you use, whether it is Windows® XP, the new Windows® Vista™ or another platform, so your crucial business processes are not interrupted.

Take a minute and stop by the Third-Party Tools page (see Figure 3). It is continually updated with new products developed by technology partners.

Third Party Tools
The Third Party Tools page is continuously updated to add products that are designed to work with WordPerfect.

Free Support Options

Last, but certainly not least, are the free web-based support options. Invaluable at midnight when everyone else is sleeping or not answering their phone, the knowledge base is a treasure trove of information. The Technical Information Documents (TIDs) are continuously updated with current information. Years of questions and answers on all Corel products are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

The Knowledge Base page has drop-down lists where you can choose a specific product. You can then type search text (i.e. table of authorities), or you can browse through all of the TIDs for that particular product (i.e. WordPerfect Mail). When you perform a search, the lower half of the screen displays a list of TID that matched your search phrase (see Figure 4). You may have to refine your search a few times before you locate the documents that apply to your situation.

Knowledge Base keywords
The most effective way to use the Knowledge Base is to search for key words on a specific product.

Corel’s technical support personnel create new knowledge base articles on a regular basis. Whenever an issue arises and comes to a resolution, a knowledge base article is created so that the user community can benefit. If you’re on a tight budget and you don’t want to incur the expense of Corel’s paid support, the knowledge base is your new best friend. There are step-by-step instructions for many common tasks, in addition to a wealth of troubleshooting tips and answers to user questions.

Now, if you can’t find an answer to your question in the knowledge base articles, you can email Corel via the E-Mail Corel tab on the Knowledge Base page (refer to Figure 4). You may be prompted to create an account, or to sign in to an existing account at this point. If you are receiving the WordPerfect Expert newsletter, you already have an account set up with Corel.

Are you reluctant to share your email address with Corel? Don’t worry – they don’t share your information and it really is the best way to notify customers of special offers, promotions, product updates and improvements. Once you have an account with Corel, you’ll be able to use the My Stuff tab to check on answers to your questions, or to provide additional information. You can also delete (or renew) update notification requests and update your profile settings and contact information.

Built-in Help Topics

Surveys have found that most users don’t take advantage of the built-in help topics on WordPerfect Office. Did you know that if the information was printed and bound, it would produce a manual over 3" thick? Corel expends significant resources to keep the help topics up-to-date so take advantage of all that work!

There are two ways to access the help topics - press F1 from the document window, or choose Help in any dialog box. Choosing Help from a dialog box automatically brings up the help topics for that dialog box, so it’s called context-sensitive help. This saves time because you don’t have to look around for the related help topics.

When you press F1 in a document window, the main Help Topics dialog box appears with the Contents tab selected. The Contents tab organizes the help topics by feature and task, which is extremely helpful when you are learning WordPerfect. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you might find the Index tab and Search tabs to be more helpful. Both of the tabs allow you to perform searches by keyword. To give you an example, rather than locating the help topic on rearranging outline items in the Contents tab, you can use the Index tab to search for the keyword “outline”.

Corel provides powerful tools for the user who wants to help themselves. Whether you are fiercely independent, or working on a deadline in the middle of the night, Corel’s free help resources are there for you.