Fair Use

What is “Fair Use” all about?

Our comprehensive plans include different types of labor. The information below outlines how this labor can be used and defines restrictions on how you, our client, get to use this labor.

The fair use of our labor ensures that: 

  1. Our team members have an enjoyable work experience.
  2. No single, noisy client can monopolize our time since this would hurt our ability to serve exceptional clients, like you!

Should a client use our labor inappropriately, they will be billed for our time at our standard hourly rate, or in the case of an emergency, at our emergency rate.

Plans may include any of the types of labor listed below: 

  1. Remote and/or On-site Troubleshooting
  2. User/Workstation Setup
  3. Project
  4. Proactive Security Hardening
  5. End User Training 

Other types of labor are not included in plans.  Such as: website design, emergency & after hours troubleshooting, assistance to 3rd party vendors, etc. 

1) Troubleshooting labor 

This plan item covers our effort to:

  1. Identify broken software and hardware. 
  2. Reactively support covered endpoints or systems.
2) User/Workstation Setup Labor

This plan item covers our effort to:

  1. Setup your new employee’s email address.
  2. Setup your new employee’s Microsoft or Google access permissions using the instructions and credentials that you provide.
  3. Pre-configure, in our Charlottesville shop location, your new employee’s computer, using the instructions, credentials, and/or software that you provide.
  4. If on-site labor is included in your plan, then we will set up this machine at your location for your new employee.
3) Project labor

This plan item covers our effort to:

  1. Proactively identify a security or usability issue. 
  2. Plan out the standard steps needed to rectify this issue.
  3. Implement this plan by following the pre-approved project schedule.
4) Proactive Security Hardening
  1. This plan item clarifies the inclusion of security-related projects and covers our effort to:
  2. Plan out the standard steps needed to proactively rectify any security issues we identify.
  3. Implement this plan by following the pre-approved project schedule.
5) End User Training

This plan item covers our effort to:

  1. Help a user to be efficient using your setup in Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace.
  2. Help a user to be efficient using your setup on Windows or Mac computers.

When would Fair Use come into play?

The scenarios below will raise the Fair Use flag.

  1. A user asks the same question repeatedly, regardless of how much training they have had.
  2. We identify some broken hardware or software and ask for permission to replace or repair the problematic item. This request is not approved.
  3. The request is for items not included with your support package.
  4. A troubleshooting request is opened for a non-reactive issue.
  5. There is an on-site service request for a location not listed in your agreement or for a task that can easily be performed remotely.
  6. A person opens a support ticket in your company that is not a covered user.
  7. A project goes off-schedule.
  8. A project is not approved in time, or not completed, before a contract end date.
1) User asks same question: 

Sometimes troubleshooting an issue involves training. In the unlikely event that we have provided training, and the user isn’t following our directions, we will alert you that our time is being used answering the same questions repeatedly.  We will ask you for advice on how to help the user. Should the user still refuse, or be unable, to follow our how-to document or other instruction, then we will alert you that future requests by this user will be billed separately. You will have the option to instruct us to not help this user but, instead, to direct their requests back to you.

2) Broken hardware or software: 

If an issue keeps happening and the solution is to spend money to replace/repair the problematic hardware or software, then we will request your approval for funds to do this. If we are not given approval to fix it and so must keep applying ‘band-aid’, temporary repairs, we will alert you that any future fix-it requests for this specific issue will be billed separately until the permanent fix can be approved and applied. 

3) What is included in your package:    

Your service plan will have an itemized list of products and services. You can always request to have a copy of your plan sent to you in case you lose it. In short, any item not specifically defined by this list is excluded by default.

‍For example: Only our top-tier plan covers project labor. However, most of our packages include licenses for Microsoft 365. Also, the higher-level packages include cyber insurance audit completion labor while the more basic packages do not.

4) Non-reactive requests: 

Sometimes, IT projects are needed. These projects range from being quite simple, and taking a few hours, to complex and taking many months. Unless your plan specifically states that it includes project labor, then these sorts of requests and other non-reactive requests will be quoted and billed at our standard rates.  For example: If you submit this request, “We would like to replace all of our old computers for our 25 employees with new, fast laptops!” You may not realize that this will require special planning and complicated execution. Rest assured that we will tell you, and make sure your company doesn’t come to a screeching halt due to poor planning. Plans that include only troubleshooting labor, would not cover this request since they cover our efforts to reactively support a covered endpoint or system and do not cover non-reactive requests.

Regarding user training, while this is a non-reactive request, this is a special service covered under many plans. This means that we will help a user to be efficient using your setup in Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace or on Windows or Mac, but this does not include “soup-to-nuts” training on these products. If your plan includes user training, this training applies only to their ability to work for your company efficiently using your approved processes. Training or customization requests outside of this are billable requests.

Here are a few examples of requests covered by project labor: 

  • migrating server data to Microsoft 365 
  • setting up a new office in a new location 
  • replacing and reprogramming an aged network 
  • configuring a VPN for your team to work from home 

Here are some examples of requests not covered by any plan: 

  • excessive customization of hardware or software beyond what is reasonable for a user to complete their work (i.e. Install a special plugin to change the color of all desktop icons to purple)
  • requesting our team members perform data entry or other highly repetitive task (i.e. manually move 10,000 contacts from AOL to Google or put a company sticker on 2,000 laptops)
  • requesting any that we perform a task normally handled by your company hiring an employee or another type of contractor (i.e. install structured wiring or a home theatre system)
5) On-site service requests: 

Usually, we can resolve all issues remotely or with 3rd party boots-on-the-ground. However, while it is rare, sometimes we need to fly one of our team members to a client’s location, or we may make a long drive. We will ask you to approve this travel time and expense before we show up at your door. If your company is within a 2-hour drive from one of our offices, and your plan includes on-site labor, then there will be no charge. Your plan may specifically include special locations outside of our 2-hour drive range. If you would like an on-site visit for a problem that has a remote solution, we can often oblige, but this unnecessary site visit is not covered under any of our plans.

6) User that isn’t covered by your plan: 

If you pay for 10 users and we are asked to support an unknown 11th user, then we’ll need to verify their identity with you first and then get them added to your plan before we can support them. 

7) A project goes off-schedule:

Projects being performed on schedule is critical to our ability to support many businesses.  Some projects require that we work with your team or your other vendors to either to plan actions or trainings.  If we are unable to stay on-schedule with a project because of your team or vendors, any time spent on rescheduling or rework will be billed out at our standard project rates. 

8) A project is not approved/completed in time

This issue only arises if a company is downgrading their plan to not include project labor or is cancelling their plan completely. If we are approved to start a project on time, and any delays are due to our own issues, then we will complete the project plan beyond the contract end date as if it were still covered. Otherwise, any uncompleted project labor will be billed.