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ASP Ombudsman Information

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If you are an ASP member, you may optionally include the ASP Ombudsman Statement in your documentation and web sites.

If you have software-related problems with an ASP member, the Ombudsman can help you resolve them -- but cannot give you technical support or installation assistance. If a company does not mention their ASP membership in their product documentation or web site, you may search our database to determine whether they are an ASP member.

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ASP Ombudsman Policy

Ombudsman Policy as of June, 2010

The ASP Ombudsman is a valuable service to consumer and members alike, setting ASP member software and services apart from software and services offered by non members. Each party, whether consumer or member can look to the Ombudsman to facilitate communication.

  1. The ASP shall set up the office of Ombudsman and appoint someone to that position. The Ombudsman's sole role shall be to conciliate and mediate disputes between ASP members and their customers. The Ombudsman shall not have the right to arbitrate disputes (that is, he/she shall not have the right to force a resolution). The Ombudsman shall report to the Board situations where he/she feels Board action or knowledge is appropriate.

  2. All ASP members are required to cooperate with reasonable OMB requests relevant to the consumer's complaint.

  3. Members are not required to mention the ASP Ombudsman in their programs, documentation or marketing material (including web sites), even if they mention their membership in the ASP.

  4. If a member chooses to include a consumer directed statement regarding the ASP Ombudsman' s availability to aid consumers in a dispute, they must use the approved language below:

    "This program is produced by a member of the Association of Software Professionals (ASP). The ASP wants to make sure that the shareware principle works for you. If you are unable to resolve a shareware-related problem with an ASP member by contacting the member directly, ASP may be able to help. The ASP Ombudsman can help you resolve a dispute or technical problem with an ASP member, but does not provide technical support for members' products. Please contact the ASP Ombudsman online at http://www.asp-software.com/omb."

    Members are free to include the Ombudsman statement in printed documentation, ads and other mailings if they wish. However, if a member elects to use a ASP Ombudsman Statement, it must be as stated above, with the following allowed modifications.

    This program is produced by ...
    Services here are offered by ...
    Programs offered here are offered by ...
    are allowed to be substituted as the opening phrase in the approved Ombudsman Statement.

  5. The ASP Ombudsman shall have an obligation to perform his or her duties in confidence, not revealing the nature of specific complaints, or the members complained against. In the event that a complaint of alleged violation of the Code of Professional Conduct being referred to the board, the Ombudsman may reveal such information as the board shall require to reach a decision. While all correspondence with the Ombudsman is treated in confidence, this does not mean it will not be shared where required by law, or when deemed to be in the best interests of the Association of Software Professionals.

  6. The ASP Ombudsman may refuse to accept complaints from consumers at his or her discretion. Some of the reasons complaints may not be accepted include:
    * Either party has already initiated (or stated intent to initiate) legal proceedings, complaints to member's eCommerce provider, credit card charge-back, or complaints to another third party, such as the BBB or UK Trading Standards.

    * The consumer has not given the ASP member a reasonable opportunity to address the complaint. In this case the complaint can be resubmitted.
     

An archive of the old ombudsman policy can be found here.

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