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Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQs Regarding Novell's Support Offerings and Policies

FAQs Regarding How to Register a Service Request

FAQs About the Service Request Process

FAQs about Novell Technical Services Online

FAQs Regarding Novell's Support Offerings and Policies

Does Novell provide any free support?
Yes. Novell offers complimentary access to its Knowledgebase, Documentation, Tools, at our Support Website. In addition, we offer access to our Support Forums which provide you the opportunity to post questions related to any of Novell's products. These forums are a community of expert administrators and consultants, are monitored by highly skilled System Operators, and are available 24x7x365.

What is required to get support, patches and fixes from Novell?
In most instances, in order to receive support, patches and fixes from Novell, you must purchase, and be current on, maintenance or a subscription for the product on which you require support. For detailed information visit

Academic customers who purchase product through an Academic or School License Agreement are the only exception to this policy since Maintenance is not a component of that buying program. For more information on support options for Academic customers, visit

What is maintenance?
Novell maintenance complements your product purchase with the critical combination of product updates, support and training. It helps you stay current with technology, keeps your Novell solutions running smoothly and reduces the overall risk to your IT operations. Maintenance is a key component of Novell buying programs and is part of our ongoing commitment to help our customers successfully integrate mixed IT environments. For details, download the Novell Maintenance Services flyer.

Can I buy support one service request at a time?
Novell has partnered wiht Arrow, ECS, a strategic and qualified Novell partner, to deliver single incident credit card support. Arrow ECS offers global technical support for single incidents via credit card. To open an incident with Arrow ECS, please visit:

You may also open a service request with Arrow ECS by calling 1-888-347-6305 in the USA and Canada or 303-305-4907 outside of North America.

What is the definition of a service request?
A Service Request is defined as assistance with one issue, problem, or question relating to the use or installation of a Novell product or product component, regardless of the number of communications required. A single service request is a problem that cannot be broken down into subordinate problems. If a problem consists of subordinate problems, each is considered a separate service request. In addition, Novell considers access to a support engineer at least one service request.

Do I have to use a service request to get support for a bug?
Customers may Submit a Bug Report without speaking to a support engineer. However, if you want to speak to a support engineer, a Service Request is required. If your issue is an unreported Novell software defect, you will not be charged for the Service Request. However, if this software defect has already been reported and logged as a Support TID in our Novell Support Knowledgebase it will be considered a service request.

Do I have to use a service request if I just have a quick question, or if it only takes a few minutes to get a resolution?
Novell technical support is billed on a per Service Request basis rather than time and materials, and the price is based on the cost of the average support call. Some calls may be resolved very quickly but will be considered a Service Request. You may also count on Novell technical support to handle complicated issues that may take considerable time and effort from multiple Novell resources, and these very complex issues will also be considered a Service Request.

For quick questions, we recommend that you visit the Novell Support Website for a variety of online options, as well as powerful support tools such as our Technical Subscriptions. The Support Website site is a very good resource and we have made it easy to find answers to simple questions. If you cannot find the answer you need in the Knowledgebase, you may post your question out on our Support Forums. Typically you receive an answer within 24 hours.

Do I have to use a service request to get a file referenced in a Technical Information Document (TID) that is not available in your Knowledgebase?
No. All released files are posted on the Downloads site for entitled customer and partneraccess. However, there is occasion when a TID mentions a file that is not posted on the web. Typically these files have not completed the required testing period. You can acquire such files by contacting a Novell support engineer. Please keep in mind that when you call, the Novell Customer Service Representative you speak with will still open a service request before connecting you with a support engineer. If all you do is acquire the file, the support engineer will close the call and you will not be charged for a Service Request. However, if you use this opportunity to ask the support engineer any other questions, it will be considered a service request.

Does Novell define different levels of severity for a service request, and does this influence my response time?
Yes. The severity of a Service Request is defined when created, and can be set by the customer creating the Service Request electronically, or by a Customer Service Representative over the telephone. Novell does prioritize response times by Severity and maintenance program level.

Severity Level Description Target Initial Response Time – Standard Maintenance Target Initial Response Time – Priority Maintenance
1 –
The operation is in production and is mission critical to the business. The product is inoperable and the situation is resulting in a total disruption of work. There is no workaround available. 2 Hours 1 Hour
2 –
Operations are severely restricted. Important features are unavailable, although work can continue in a limited fashion. A workaround is available. 4 Hours 2 Hour
3 –
The product does not work as designed resulting in a minor loss of usage. A workaround is available. Next Business Day 4 Hours
4 –
There is no loss of service. This may be a request for documentation, general information, product enhancement request, etc. Next Business Day Next Business Day

FAQs Regarding How to Register a Service Request

What steps should I take before registering a service request?
Search Novell's KnowledgeBase for answers to even the most stubborn technical questions. This ever-growing collection of product manuals, articles, tips and technical information documents (TIDs) contains the information you need now. If you do not find the answer you need, you will be given the option to initiate a Service Request.

How do I register a service request?
The process for logging your service requests varies depending on the severity of your issue. For Severity 1 issues, contact your Novell support center by phone. For all other issues, please submit your service request online. As part of the process, you choose your preferred response method:

  • Chat - Request real-time access to Novell support engineers. Using this technology, you can also allow your support engineer to connect to your system for improved troubleshooting and easier walk-through directions. You can even grant full control of your desktop or server so that he or she can work directly on your problem, with no assistance from you required. Chat support is available in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish. More information on Novell's chat service may be found here.
  • E-mail or call back - Request support via a call back or e-mail and a Novell support engineer will contact you within the response time parameters of your support agreement.

What is a CID?
A CID, or Contact ID number, is the number given to you by Novell when you are entitled to support. This number is your unique identifier within our support center database and allows you access to Novell support on the internet and/or via the telephone. All of your accounts, agreements and entitlements with Novell support should be tied to this one CID number.

Can I use someone else's CID to register a service request?
No. CIDs are to be used only by the person to whom they are assigned.

How do I add Contact IDs?
To learn how to add extra Contact IDs please visit our How to Manage Maintenance Support Benefits page.

How can I get a faster response time or higher level of service?
Novell offers different levels of support programs which, depending on the buying program, include tiered levels of support based on access hours, response times and frequency of support usage. To see the available options view the support programs

Does Novell offer any immediate direct phone access to support representatives after raising a service request?
Immediate direct phone access is an option for High Severity issues. Choose your region to view detailed information on how to your Novell Support Center: Americas, Asia Pac, or Europe, Middle East and Africa.

FAQs About the Service Request Process

What happens to my service request once a defect is logged?
Defects that meet the initial requirements for a fix will be scheduled for an upcoming field test file (FTF), patch, or release. Your engineer will set the expectation on the release date and may choose to close the Service Request depending on the severity of the issue and the schedule date for the fix release. Defects that do not meet the initial requirement for a fix will be logged and considered for a future release and the Service Request will be closed. A Service Request with an associated defect can be reactivated at any time to check the status of the defect.

What is Novell Technical Services Online?
Novell offers the ability for customers to choose chat as method of receiving support. This method provides the ability for Technical Support Engineers to chat, diagnose, and establish remote control all through a single tool and session.

Can you tell me approximately how long I'll have to wait for an initial response?
Your response time will vary depending on your entitled support level and the severity of the issue.

What if the support engineer doesn't resolve my problem? Am I still charged for the support?
If you spent time working with a support engineer, you will be charged for a Service Request. If you never communicated with a support engineer, your Service Request will be canceled and you will not be charged.

Under what circumstances and time frame can I re-activate my service request?
Novell's policy is to allow customers to re-activate their Service Request within two weeks after closure date, providing the same original issue still occurs. Beyond two weeks, the customer must open a new Service Request referencing the old one. Novell can then determine if the new Service Request would be charged or not. The Customer Service Representative will coordinate with the support engineer and support management to make this determination.

What if I am not satisfied with the way my service request is handled?
Please call the support center to register any complaints or concerns regarding your Service Request. To send a written complaint, please visit the Novell Technical Services Feedback page. Your feedback will be routed to the appropriate manager.

How can I provide feedback about my support experience?
You may provide feedback at any time. The feedback provided at this link is monitored by our customer service representatives and passed to the appropriate managers for consideration and resolution. Additionally, unless you choose to opt out, a short survey will be sent to your e-mail address each time a Service Request is closed. Novell uses this information to improve our products and support services.

How do I request to escalate my service request?
Many things can happen during the course of troubleshooting technical problems that may necessitate escalating your Novell Service Request (SR). Novell may initiate such an escalation on its own. To request an SR escalation yourself, you may use any of the following methods:

  1. Contact the assigned Technical Support Engineer (TSE) to ask him/her to escalate the Service Request.
  2. Initiate a chat with a Customer Service Representative (CSR) to request an escalation.
  3. Call the Novell Support Center to ask the CSR for a manager to request escalation.

When you request the escalation, specify what you would like to see happen. Escalating a Service Request may mean raising its severity level, reassigning it to another engineer, involving second level resources, or speaking with a manager.

Novell is committed to resolving problems quickly. By using this process to communicate clearly what you need from us, we can do a better job of helping you be successful with Novell technology.

If you have any concerns or feedback during your interaction with our support team, please feel free to contact us.

FAQs about Novell Technical Services Online

Why do I have to start a unique download for each time I initiate a chat session with Novell Technical Support?
All initiated sessions are unique to ensure secure access between the customer and Novell. The session information contains information about the customer, the Service Request, and the issue that the customer is currently experiencing. The client used by the customer for a chat session is removed from the system after it is used. The session client cannot be re-used.

Why is Novell using a downloadable client for chat sessions with a customer?
The downloadable client offers more than chat capability. It provides diagnostic and remote control functions that will help Novell and the customer during the troubleshooting and solution process.

How large is the client that the customer downloads?
The downloadable client is about 900 KB.

Which ports need to be open in order for Bomgar Chat to work?
Port 443.

Will I be able to chat to the same support engineer if I need to initiate a further chat session?
If the engineer is still assigned to the Service Request and is available for chat, then yes, his/her name will be visible in the customer center Service Request chat page. Either the same engineer or a new representative can be engaged in a chat session. If the engineer is not available for chat, his/her name will be displayed as unavailable. At that point, the customer has the option to work with the next available engineer, or to send an e-mail/leave a voicemail message with the assigned engineer requesting to be contacted.

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