The following are the rules for ##techsupport @ freenode, the official channel of /r/techsupport. You must read and agree to these rules before continuing to the Live Chat.

Channel operators (“ops”) have a “@” in front of their name and are responsible for overseeing the channel, user conduct, and all support given. Trusted techs are voiced and are denoted with a “+”.

Appropriate Conduct

  1. Don’t be a dick. Everyone here is a volunteer and helping out for free.
  2. Do not “ask to ask”. State your issue when entering the channel and be as specific as possible. Include any screenshots, logs, or other relevant information you may have and explain to us what you have attempted so far to fix your issue.
  3. Be patient and don’t spam. If you do not receive a reply after posting your issue, wait and someone will assist you. Do not ping the ops.
  4. Do not private message users (including ops) without first asking in the channel.
  5. Priority is given to tech support queries. Off-topic discussions are permitted when no support queries are in progress.
  6. For long descriptions or multiple lines, upload your text to a pastebin website and provide the URL.
  7. This channel is for personal tech support issues. We do not provide assistance to users in a business or corporate environment, including IT personnel. Please refer to your company’s IT team for assistance.
  8. All support is 100% free. Offering to pay for or requesting money, goods, or services in exchange for help is strictly prohibited.
  9. We do not provide assistance with password related issues, queries resulting in illegal activity, or inquiries that violate any Terms of Service.
  10. Screen sharing or remote control programs are forbidden.
  11. Do not ask for recommendations on specific brands or products. If a new or replacement part is needed, we will only provide OEM or non-branded suggestions.
  12. If your name is automatically changed to a “guest” nick, eg. TS12345, pick a new one with /nick new_name
  13. Listen to ops. Ops reserve the right to quiet or remove users at their discretion.
  14. Voiced users are trusted users with a track record of providing good advice. If you have a concern about their advice or behavior, please ask to speak to an op.

Files, Pastes, and Specs

In order to ensure the safety and privacy of our users, the following resources must be used as indicated. Content not placed on these sites will not be accepted.

  1. All pastes must be submitted to the TechSupport PasteBin.
  2. Files required for support must be uploaded to the TechSupport File Uploader.
  3. If a Speccy report is requested, submit only the URL generated by the application. Pastes or rehosts are not allowed.

Links to the above resources are available on the Live Chat page for easy access.

The Three Strikes Rule

The TechSupport bot enforces a strict “3 strikes” rule in the channel. The following actions are automatically triggered and handled by the bot:

  1. Excessive CAPS Using a large amount of CAPS (rule #3)
  2. Flooding Posting many lines quickly or large walls of text (rule #6)
  3. Spamming Repeating the same lines (rule #3)

Each offense will add one “strike”. In addition, channel ops many manually trigger a “strike”. The following actions are automatically taken by strike number:

  1. Warn A warning message from TechSupport will be sent.
  2. Kick You will be kicked from the channel.
  3. Ban In addition to being kicked, a ban will be set.

Every action taken will include the rule violated.

Tips for Receiving Good Help

  1. Don’t be a dick.
  2. Avoid ambiguous statements such as “doesn’t work” and “having issues”. They provide no information others can use to assist you.
  3. Condense your query down into only the relevant information and post it as a single paragraph to avoid splitting statements up into multiple lines.
  4. If you’ve posted your issue on the subreddit, include the link to the post.
  5. We can’t help you if you don’t help yourself. Follow advice from ops and voiced users. If you have a concern or are unable to follow the advice, state so and provide a rationale.
  6. When making a claim, provide a source.
  7.  Do not ask for help or specific skills, just state your issue.