3rd Line Support - Windows expertise when you need it  

Network Support


What does
it cost?


Meet the Team


Response Time


How often can you get help?


Pickup and
Drop-off service


Discuss your support requirements or current problems


St Mary Islington Community Suport

"3rd Line Support has provided us with an exceptional standard of IT support over many years.
The advice and solutions have
always been invaluable"

What type of Network Support does 3rd Line Support provide?

Many smaller companies and organisations can't afford a full-time IT person, and yet still depend on their servers, PCs, email and Internet connection in order to do business.
In such cases it's often a company director who deals with day-to-day IT support problems, but has to seek outside help when things get difficult.
3rd Line Support aims to provide a backup to these companies' IT specialists so that, for a small monthly fee, they have professional help and advice, readily available, to fall back on when their knowledge runs out.

The support service includes:-

Connecting remotely to servers, PCs, Laptops and routers to diagnose and fix problems.
There's almost nothing that can't be done using remote access, coupled with a local pair of hands and eyes to swap a CD, do a hard reboot, check a model number or confirm that a page has actually printed.
Remote access doesn't require any travelling time and can be done out-of-hours when it won't disrupt your staff.
Windows Remote Desktop and Team Viewer are the methods used for remote access.
Team Viewer doesn't require any router configuration so is suitable for accessing a laptop when travelling.

Server Administration
Performing tasks such as setting up a new user in a Windows Server Active Directory Domain and configuring their email and file access permissions.
Configuring firewalls, DNS records and digital certificates on your in-house server or perhaps one you rent at a datacentre.

Setting up a new PC, Router, NAS Drive, Printer etc.
Configuring any new equipment you buy to work on your network.

Providing advice about your network setup, such as improving reliability and ensuring adequate backups plus recommendations on the purchase of new equipment with links to specific products at vendors' websites.

What does it cost?

  £179+VAT/month for simple networks (1 x Server, 1 x Router, 1 x Switch) with 6 or less users.

£15+VAT/month for each additional user that needs support.

If you have additional servers or networking equipment there may be an extra charge.

There's no long term commitment, as you can cancel at any time and you'll only be invoiced up to the day you cancelled.

The price includes unlimited support by email, phone and remote access, but not site visits.
If you ever require a site visit to carry out some work the charges are shown here.

Use the support service to solve a one-off problem
You probably want to try the support service out before committing to a monthly payment, and every company or organisation gets one go at this.
There's no charge for discussing a problem on the phone or exchanging emails, but for specific directions or intervention by remote access that fixes the problem there'll be a charge of £25+VAT/hr.

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Meet the Team

There's only one person providing this network support service - me.
This has advantages and disadvantages - see what you think:-


  You always deal with the same person
This means you get the same level of skills and knowledge.
I'm familiar with your network and all recent support activity - no need to re-explain things.

You trust me and not the company
Allowing access to your network requires you to trust me not to delete important data or make a mistake that disables vital systems. It's easier to gain trust in an individual than a company.

No passing the buck
If something hasn't been fixed properly then it can only be down to me.


  I go on holidays and sometimes get sick
I don't go on holiday to places where mobile phones don't work or there's no Internet access.
Sickness I can't control, but I'm usually only out-of-action a few days a year.

I go to sleep
For these monthly fees you don't get to wake me up!
However I've got my phone on and am receiving emails between 8am and Midnight.

I can only fix one problem at a time
That's not really true. Although I can only be on the phone to one person at a time I can be operating several remote access connections at once and responding to multiple email conversations.
I also limit the number of networks I support to a manageable level.

I have a degree in electronics and an MCSE from Microsoft.
I've been in IT support for 20 years and have been running this service since 2004.

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Response Time

I expect that most times I'll answer your phone call, instead of it going to voicemail, but my aim is to respond to missed calls and reply to emails within 2 hours, during business hours, and within 4 hours during "waking hours" which is everyday between 8am and Midnight.
I expect my response time will be much shorter in the majority of cases.

A response doesn't always mean I'll start working on a solution straight away as I might be in the middle of something else at the time.
In such cases I'd take a little time to understand what's gone wrong, how serious it is and see if there's a quick fix or work-around. I'd then endeavour to re-prioritise my next few hours accordingly.
It sounds complicated but it usually seems to work out.

Although I can make a site visits, if required by some major failure, I don't make any promises as to how quickly this can happen.

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How often can you get help?

As often as you need to - but not every day
This support service isn't suitable for all companies.
The idea is it's an insurance against problems with your computers affecting your business, but not a helpdesk to provide day-to-day support to all your users.
Here are some points to note:-

Problems occur at random and so some weeks it can be just one problem after another but then maybe a month will go by without any problems.
Don't ever think that you've used up your "monthly allowance" - if you have a problem don't hesitate to contact me. No problem is too trivial
It's likely that new customers will initially have a lot of problems and then things should settle down.

Problems should be channelled through a just a few people in your company rather than all users contacting me directly.

Setting up a few new PCs occasionally counts as support, but some larger scale upgrade of PCs and servers would be an additional charge.

Sometimes a problem can be caused by faulty hardware.
While this can be diagnosed remotely, it needs someone on-site with a replacement part to actually fix it, and this isn't part of the support service.
It's a good idea, therefore to take out a separate hardware support contract for your server and PCs, usually with the manufacturer, such as Dell.
I've guided people over the phone before, to replace a hard drive, but this is for the more adventurous.

Sometimes problems can't be fixed when the cause isn't just software needing reconfiguration or a faulty part.
Maybe an important program you use won't work with the latest version of Windows, the available solution costs too much or what you want to do just isn't possible.
In such cases my role is to accurately diagnose the problem and suggest possible work-arounds or changes to the way you do things.

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Drop Off and Pick-Up Service

Drop Off your faulty Laptop or PC at our Offices
This is available to any company - you don't need a support agreement with us.
If Leighton Buzzard isn't too far away, you can drop-off your faulty Laptop or PC at our office and then collect it again when it's finished.
The charge for this service is £25/hour and, as even the severest problem, requiring a rebuild from scratch, only takes 4 hours, the the maximum charge is £100 + VAT.

If the problem with your PC doesn't involve the keyboard, mouse or display, you only need bring in the system box.

This service is mostly for fixing software problems as we don't hold spare parts beyond a few hard drives, Desktop PC power supplies and memory modules.

If you have vitally important data on your computer that you need to recover then you should contact a specialist data recovery company.

Pick-up and Return
If you are located within 20 miles of Leighton Buzzard, we can collect the faulty computer from your premises and return it after it's been fixed.
This costs 60p+VAT/mile.

 Contact me to discuss your network support requirements or your current problems

Call 3rd Line Support free on:-

0800 634 9870

Email: info@3rdlinesupport.com

Use the following web-form to ask a question or request a call:-

(Most boxes are optional, a phone number's only required if you actually want us to call you.)


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