SQL Server Support FAQ

How often should I expect to hear from my Support Engineer?

This will vary based on the issue and its impact to your business. If you have specific preferences for frequency of contact, time of day, or method (prefer phone vs. e-mail), please discuss this with your support engineer.


My Support Engineer is not available and I need help now.

If you need immediate assistance and your engineer is unavailable, please contact the engineer’s manager. Manager contact information is in the engineer’s signature block and in the initial e-mail.

If you are unable to reach the manager, you can call the Microsoft Support line (800-936-5800), provide your case number, and request to speak with the next available support engineer. You will be routed to the phone queue for that specialty and connected to an engineer. The Support Engineer receiving the call may need time to review the case history and steps taken to date, depending on the duration and complexity of the issue.


My support issue is not progressing well.

Each Support Engineer should provide a management contact in his/her signature block and in the initial e-mail. If you have:

· Schedule conflicts with your assigned engineer’s availability.

· Communications issues.

· Need a faster resolution.

· Or are otherwise dissatisfied with the support provided, please engage the engineer’s manager.

We strive to deliver outstanding customer service, and we appreciate you letting us know if we are not meeting your expectations.

I need a different engineer.

As mentioned in the preceding section, “My support issue is not progressing well”, you may contact the engineer’s manager and request a different engineer.

My Support Engineer has suggested that we archive the case. What does this mean?

If there is going to be an extended delay before you can implement a change or collect requested data, we may ask to archive your case. This means that the case will be closed on our end. You can reopen the case if you encounter the same error on the same instance/server again, or if you have the data needed to continue troubleshooting.

In order to reopen the case, contact the support engineer or his/her manager directly. You may be asked to provide feedback on support. Please assess the support based on the service received to date, with the understanding that Microsoft does not consider an archived case resolved.


We thought that our issue was solved, but the problem has recurred. Can I re-open my support case?

As long as the problem and the server are the same as in the case, you can re-open the case. To do this, first try to reach the previous engineer or his/her manager. If unable to reach them, contact the Microsoft Support line (800-936-5800), provide your case number, and request that Microsoft re-open the case.

Note that in some cases, the same symptoms can be caused by multiple issues. For example, if a server experienced slow performance and the disk I/O subsystem was fixed and performance restored, and later performance degraded again, this could be due to out of date statistics or other issues. In these ambiguous cases, you may be asked to open a new case.


What do the Microsoft Case Severities mean?

A – Critical – 1 hour initial response goal

· High-impact problem in which production, operations, or development is proceeding but is severely impacted, or where production and/or profitability will be severely impacted within days .


B – Urgent – 4 hour initial response goal

· High-impact problem where production is proceeding, but in a significantly impaired fashion.

· Time sensitive issue important to long-term productivity that is not causing an immediate work stoppage.


C – Important - 24 hour initial response goal

· Important issue which does not have significant current productivity impact for the customer.


D – Monitor

· This severity is used for support issues that are waiting, usually to confirm a provided solution or when waiting for an intermittent problem to recur, in order to collect needed data.

The Support Engineer for my support issue said that I need to open an additional support incident. Why should I have to open another incident?

Microsoft defines an incident or case as:

· A single support issue and the commercially reasonable efforts to resolve it

· A problem that cannot be broken down into subordinate problems

NOTE:   The Customer and the Support Engineer must agree on the case resolution. Also be aware that Microsoft does not charge for code defects, documentation errors, and product “wishes”.

As documented on Microsoft’s public website at http://support.microsoft.com/?LN=en-us&sd=tech&scid=gp%3Ben-us%3Bofferprophone&x=7&y=16#faq607

EXAMPLE:   A support issue is opened for slow performance of an application with a SQL Server back-end. Troubleshooting identifies a specific stored procedure as the problem, and updates to statistics and an increase in covering indexes resolves the issue.

However, the same server is also experiencing slow performance for merge replication. This is considered a different issue, which is unrelated to the original issue for which the support case was opened.

I’m interested in a higher level of service and a closer relationship with Microsoft.

Microsoft offers a managed support relationship known as Premier Support, designed to meet the needs of an enterprise customer. For an overview of the service elements, please see http://www.microsoft.com/services/microsoftservices/srv_prem.mspx or call 1-800-936-3500 to request contact by a Premier Support representative.

Advisory vs. Break-Fix

Microsoft provides support services for customers with problems encountered implementing or using Microsoft products. These are commonly known as “break-fix issues”. Occasionally customers need short-term (less than 40 hours) consultative assistance, as opposed to the standard break-fix service.

This short-term consultative assistance is known as Advisory service. This is available to Microsoft’s Premier customers as an element in their support contracts. It is also available to other customers on an hourly charge basis.

For more information on Advisory Services, please see the Advisory Services section at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;EN-US;OfferProPhone or go to the Advisory Services page, http://support.microsoft.com/gp/advisoryservice .

Hope this helps!

Posted By: Microsoft SQL Server Support Team