A support contract serves to maintain and ensure the functionality of a technical system. Support contracts are usually concluded in addition to an agreement to purchase IT hardware or software products. The support provider provides technical or other assistance to eliminate problems or carries out any necessary maintenance on the equipment and updates to the software in exchange for a fee.
A support contract defines, for example, the various services as well as the availability and response times of the support provider. The support can be structured according to competencies and arranged hierarchically by levels. The first point of contact is the so-called First Level Support, which records all problems and solves as many of them as possible quickly with the help of knowledge databases. If this is not possible, the Second Level Support processes the more complex queries and assists the First Level Support. The query is forwarded to Third Level Support if the complexity and technical options are no longer sufficient at the second level of support. Third Level Support is usually provided by product specialists.
There are no formal requirements for the conclusion of a support contract. However, in practice, such contracts are usually agreed in writing. The support contract is not explicitly governed by law and contains elements of the contract for work and services pursuant to Art. 363 et seq. of the Swiss Code of Obligations (OR), but also elements of the law of agency pursuant to Art. 394 et seq. OR.