So much of our industry ends up being the same across nearly every company we deal with. My question to you is simple: What are the common practices of hosting companies that drive you insane?
I’ll even start. I dislike when providers blame customers for their situations instead of trying to focus on positive solutions. Like an unmanaged customer who is genuinely stuck and just hoping for an encouraging word, but instead receives something equal to “Not my problem.”
Providers that consider your service being powered on as online.
“Sorry this was due to a network outage if your service was actually offline i.e. powered off due to a internal issue you would be qualified for the SLA, a network outage however does not qualify you.”
Not going to name the provider but I got that response above recently. Service was actually “offline” for 5 hours due to a switch issue on their end.
The old Surat Special. The Bengal Banger. The Mumbai Message. The Hyderabad Helpdesk. Alright I’ll see myself out.
Even worse, you write 2-3 nested questions, with lots of detail, they ignore all but your first question, as well as all of the detail.
Here’s a pet peeve as someone who has done lots of support work at all levels: there’s a huge difference between “We can’t help you.” and “We can’t help you, but here’s a bunch of articles and forum discussion I found on the subject with a 30 second search that would take you an hour, because hey, I’m paid to be good at this stuff, so the least I can do is extend that skill to you, the customer.” - the second one takes about a minute longer, you won’t need to do it often, you can save responses to save time in the future, and that customer will feel infinitely better about the situation. This is also a cheat on how to build a great knowledgebase/wiki very quickly.
So you demonstrate that you have advanced knowledge and clearly articulate the troubleshooting steps you have taken thus far, but still get a reply like “Did you try restarting your VPS?”. Seriously guy? Let’s skip the foreplay and send me up the food chain please.
Also, one provider I had put in a ticket with asked me for the IP of my VPS that I was having issues with (I only had one service with them). All I could do was laugh. Took that as a sign to run and run fast
This is precisely the reason why I always tackle one issue per ticket, instead of dumping all my concerns in a single one. On record, I have a ton of tickets opened, but they all refer to different issues per; it takes quite a patience to get through it all, but at least all my concerns get the closure they deserve
When you take the time to compose a ticket that has the details of the faults, where relevant, the logs, any debugging steps you’ve tried, proof, etc, etc… And you get an email back that is scripted. And it goes on like that.
The other one is companies trying to get out of refunds. I bought some headphones they broke, I emailed them, they said oh you need this spare part for $13. I emailed back and said I believe this should be covered by the warranty, only to get another email saying they were going to make an exception and send me the part… An exception?!
I had a KVM VPS with one provider and I was experiencing some network problems so I sent them mtrs to and from along with describing the problem. Support replies a few hours later asking for my root password…didn’t really have anything important on the box so I copy and pasted the root password. Well the support guy kept trying to login using that password and kept failing at it and told me I gave him the wrong one. I double checked and it was definitely the correct password. More hours and tickets went by and he ended up having to hand it over to someone else who had no problem with logging in with the password but the only command he ran was top? and then offered to assign me a new ip. After that I didn’t even care about the network issue, I restored my backups to another provider and canceled that VPS.
I am sick of stock images of data centers being used on hosting sites that are not the actual data center the customer’s servers are in. I have toured many a data center for all sorts of reasons and 9 out of 10 times I am blown away at how terrible they look and are. From wire management, to the servers being used to the condition of the critical infrastructure. For all of you consumers…I suggest you ask your host for a picture of your actual server with a wide angle. Tell your Account Manager to use their phone and “let me see the whole rack and a few of the racks next to it…and a pic of the back of the server too.” See if they can produce it.
This post may be perceived as self-serving but its not. I have wasted more money over the years flying out to tour a facility for one reason or another only to realize within a few minutes what a waste of time and money I just spent.