SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    College Station, TX
    Posts
    58
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    quality of support is important, especially in this narrow-margin market

    I have done some host-hopping over the past 5yrs, leaving a little something hosted at each just out of laziness but also to keep an eye out. Now the one I put all my bets on has just thoroughly aggravated me: my support tickets are only skimmed before being responded to, and it's across all support staff whose names I've seen on the tickets.

    What I've learned over the years is that it's not just about uptime and the bottom-line: when you're doing more than just ftp'ing files and setting up emails, especially with the ease of cPanel and other solid web host control panels, the major difference may very well be the quality of support you get. Having questions fall on deaf ears or, when they are responded to, clearly miss the point is extremely infuriating.

    Shopping for a new VPS host right now is frustrating, because it costs time to explore options, and there is no real way to rate "support + uptime + price".
    ________________________________
    design.. code.. music.. life...

  2. #2
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Philadephia, PA
    Posts
    20,578
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you can afford it, the way around this is hiring your own system administrator. There are companies that you can pay a monthly fee for a certain number of hours of administrative support, whether it's configuring, updating, fixing, or installing new software on your servers.

    Once you find a company you're happy with, you can get an unmanaged VPS or dedicated server anywhere, and not have to rely on their poor support.

    Along the same lines, over the years I found that most of the time I needed outside help was in configuring or fixing e-mail services on my servers. They're just too arcane for me to figure out in a reasonable amount of time, and I have a degree in computer science!

    Rather than paying a system administrator to do things like reconfigure spam filters or fix a stuck mail queue, I just outsourced the whole thing to MailTrust. $16/month for 16 mailboxes, I'll never have to worry about configuring qmail again, 100% uptime SLA, and the spam filters are way better than what I had with SpamAssassin and Thunderbird's filter hosting the mail myself.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard ~ServerPoint~'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,813
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Shopping for a new VPS host right now is frustrating, because it costs time to explore options, and there is no real way to rate "support + uptime + price".
    You know each web hosting service is unique as well as unigue each customer request. And no one can say you for sure beforehand that you will be happy with this or that provider for ages.
    I believe that doing own test and through own experience you will get what youy actually need. Just sitting and guessing and hoping will never drive to you decent solution
    ServerPoint.com - a true hosting company since 1998
    Web Hosting, colocation,
    dedicated servers, Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    College Station, TX
    Posts
    58
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ok I agree with you both. And in fact, what prompted my post was the realization that even for a seasoned linux nut or network admin, support can be important. When I was just hosting rinky-dink, simple sites, I never had to do anything but sign up and be billed automatically. Once I had moved onto a virtual private server, I had a small learning curve. Funny thing is, what took four days of support emails that never got off the ground, I knocked out in a single online chat session.

    Support comes in all flavors: I don't doubt how qualified the support personnel were that responded to my tickets-- but their customer care screamed for even the most simple improvement.

    Now that I'm familiar with what to expect with virtual private hosting (semi-dedicated?), I don't foresee having to go to support for a while again, and it's all about cost and uptime again!

    Thanks for your ideas.
    ________________________________
    design.. code.. music.. life...

  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    58
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Good discussion guys, the one thing I am seeing or rather not seeing regarding support tickets is that no one mentioned the phone. I know everyone likes to use email from a documentation purpose, but if the problem is big enough, one phone all can fix something a lot quicker than 50 emails. I'm a sales guy and I have a strong preference to talking to a client than to using email, except to mail over quotes. Gotta give a bump to Dan on the mailtrust thing, going to bookmark it for later use.

    BCS, good luck with everything.
    Dewey
    DedicatedNow.com
    Servers from $49.95!

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    College Station, TX
    Posts
    58
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Phone? I have heard of this device..

    It's a good point: I see "24hr phone support!" billed all over hosts' ads these days. Personally, I'm a fan of the chat sessions, because both sides of the conversation are instantly documented. That's good for learning, sharing your experiences with management, and disputes. Plus, I enjoy knowing that I am not tying up a person's time 100%-- they can multitask just as a well as I, and the phone just doesn't elegantly allow for that.

    (preference..)
    ________________________________
    design.. code.. music.. life...

  7. #7
    Web Host fcolor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    South Bend, IN
    Posts
    507
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The thing that is hard to be defined is what the customer support should be looking like, as whole. Some people understand it as fast, some as helpful, some as friendly etc.

    It cannot be said what exactly it should be, but one thing is sure - the companies, not only hosts, should have mail and phone support by all means. Of course and ticket system and live chat would be good too.

    A customer need to have the opportunity to contact the company in different ways and still get the same quality of support. Having a phone line is good and may solve problems faster - but if the probs are not technical. Its best for sales but not for technical issues.

    So, offering all types of support gives stability and from there, its only matter of quality of the support the representative can provide or/and the level or training the company gives or provides to its staff.

    Thanks
    Alexander
    HostColor.com
    Colocation | Dedicated Servers | VPS Hosting
    Web hosting provider since 2000


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •