Review & Alternatives
"Customer support ticket system"
osTicket is an open-source customer service or support ticketing system that can be implemented on a PHP-capable server to provide online ticket tracking and response to customers wishing to contact a company.
The system is intended to be used in place of bulk emails arriving into a customer service email address. Customers can arrive, setup a new support or customer service ticket, and this can then be viewed by the support or customer service staff who can review the query, technical problem or complaint.
The package can actually handle incoming email, phone call contacts and web form submissions all within the same system which helpfully groups all customer-facing interactions within the same system.
The different fields that the system manager can access may be edited and changed to suit the type of information they wish to collect, the business type and what sort of questions are appropriate. Tickets can also be filtered by various criteria in order to drill down to the most critical ones. When a member of staff has been assigned to a given ticket, it is then locked so that another member of staff cannot be assigned to it.
The software is programmed in PHP language, so it will run most easily on a Linux web server which typically has PHP pre-installed as part of a LAMP and Apache hosting package installation. However, PHP can also be installed on Windows-based and other server types and the package will happily run there too.
The installation process is simple enough. The installer will check that the right PHP language has been installed so that it can complete the installation successfully.
There is no malicious software included with this free software.
There are now two versions of this software available. The free osTicket (reviewed here) and the Cloud Hosted Support System which is available as a free trial. The latter is newer, includes support, different infrastructure, and daily backups.
The osTicket interface is very clean and well designed.
There is admin access in the top-right corner which display the user who is logged in, plus Admin Panel, Preferences, and Log out options.
There is a tab menu at the top with Dashboard, Tickets and Knowledgebase. The second layer of tabbed menus changes depending on which of these three tabs is clicked.
With tickets, the users can see who they are assigned to, whether they are overdue for completion, the ticket number, date, subject, priority and department assigned to.
- Free ticketing system to manage incoming queries, technical problems and complaints
- Deal with phone call logging, email logging and technical tickets
- Runs on PHP which more than half web servers has access to
- Multiple user system
- Locks tickets when assigned to a member of staff
- Customizable entry fields
- Install of osTicket and database must be performed by the user
- No support other than community-led forums
- User has to do their own backups
- Email and SSL not available without user configuration
osTicket is an excellent free tool for managing customer contact via phone, email and online web form. Tickets can be raised to handle each issue, a person assigned and details retained. Good oversight for managers to check the current queue of outstanding issues and follow-up.
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