Frequently Asked Questions

The NearlyFreeSpeech.NET FAQ (*)

Member Support (*)

What is the status of my support issue?

How can I get specific software installed for my site?

What is a system problem?

Do I really have to buy a subscription membership just to get a simple question answered?

Why was my system problem report closed as "works as configured?"

What are the options available for member support?

What are the various responses to a system problem report?

Why was my system problem report closed as "not a system problem?"

In short, this means that the issue you reported did not meet the definition of a system problem.

Most people submit system problem reports with a good faith belief that they're reporting a problem with our system. So it can be surprising and frustrating to see that we did not agree with their assessment, and we totally understand that.

It's very important to keep in mind that we take all system problem reports seriously, and when we close one as not a system problem, we're not blowing it off, we're not just doing it to be jerks, and we're not trying to pretend a problem doesn't exist. We investigated the issue enough to figure out what's going on, typically we can see exactly what the problem is, and it's not a system problem. But the generic "not a system problem" response doesn't indicate what the problem is or why it is not a system problem. (To understand why we do this, please see this FAQ entry.)

We find that sometimes system problem reports get submitted inappropriately because the member has a particular misconception about what such reports are for or how they work. One such misconception is that system problem is a synonym for important. This is not the case, and attempting to misreport something as a system problem because it's important to you is a recipe for frustration. The report will be closed, everyone involved will be irritated, and you will have to start over with lost time and an even higher frustration level.

If you want the fastest possible response about something important to you, then maintaining an active subscription membership is by far the best way to obtain that.

We also find that members are sometimes confused about which support mechanism is right for their situation or they prefer not to use our paid support. System problem reports are not a way to get support, free or otherwise. In general, if you're not sure which support mechanism is right for your needs or you prefer not to pay for support, try asking in our member forum.

Another difficulty we encounter is a redefinition of "system problem." Anything that doesn't work as expected, the theory goes, qualifies is a "system problem" because the system is not working as expected, and that's a problem. This is not the case. We have meticulously defined exactly what constitutes a system problem. Please make sure you're using our definition when reporting a system problem, since that's what we're going to use when responding to the report.

Here are a few examples of common issues that may appear to be system problems, but actually aren't:

Any one of those could be critically important to the person reporting them, but even if that's true, they still aren't system problems and can't be addressed through the system problem report facility.

If you do get a "not a system problem" response, your next course of action -- if you can't figure it out on your own -- should be to contact us through one of our member support options. This is true especially if you're sure we got it wrong, because at that point you need to talk to a person and system problem reports aren't a way to do that.

How can I give you private feedback about your service?

Can you help me restore something that has been deleted?

How do system problem reports work?

How do I "cash out" unused support points?

Why don't you answer @nfsn tweets?

Why don't you provide free support?

What is an assistance request?

Why don't you provide more detail in response to system problem reports?

How do I buy support points?

What if I can't figure out which support option to use?

Why does your support cost so much?

Why shouldn't I wait until I need support to set up a subscription membership?

What are support hours and expected response times?