Checklist: Service levels

Issues to consider when drafting, reviewing or negotiating service levels include:

Service levels

  • Are uptime service levels measured monthly, or over a different period?  (A 99.9% uptime service level measured monthly allows for a single outage of approx. 43 minutes; measured quarterly, that increases to more than two hours.)
  • Are out-of-hours outages dealt with in the same way as outages during business hours?
  • What types of downtime excluded from the availability calculation, e.g. planned maintenance or Force Majeure events?
  • For response/resolution service levels, are different severities of fault subject to different service levels?  Does a workaround constitute a resolution for the purpose of the service level?
  • Do the service levels apply from Day 1, or does the supplier have a grace period to allow the service to be ‘bedded in’?
  • Are there any ‘chronic’ service levels’, which if breached entitle the customer to terminate the agreement?

Service credits

  • If service credits are payable for breach of service levels, are the service credits subject to a cap?  If a default results in breaches of multiple service levels, can the customer claim multiple service credits?
  • Does a service credit constitute the customer’s sole remedy, or is the customer able to claim against the supplier if its actual losses exceed the value of the service credit?
  • How and when does the customer claim service credits?

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