What Would You Do??

What you do??

The company that I had set up the new LISHost mail server really screwed me this weekend and I want to double check myself and make sure I'm not being irrational.

About 9pm Friday I was doing some work in the mail server, when suddenly it went down with a message from root "going down for halt now." Which basically meant someone turned the thing off on purpose. I thought maybe they were doing some work and forgot to tell me. So I waited, and waited, and about 30 minutes later I started worry, so I emailed them. About 30 minutes later I got an email that simply said "You will need to get in contact with billing about this. I will forward this to them." From the "Chief Operating Officer" of the company. So I waited an hour and got nothing, so I logged onto their chat support and asked the support guy there what was up. He said something like "Mr. COO replied to you already" and to wait for Billing. So I emailed support, COO, Billing, and anyone else I could find. No response. No one answered the phone, nothing.

8 hours later I try again, no on responds. I tried several more times on Saturday and got no response. FINALLY, 24 hours after the server vanished, I get this "Upon investigating your account, it seems that the reason for your suspension was unfounded. I apologize deeply for the inconvenience. I have credited your account for next month's service." To which I respond, "I can totally understand making mistake, but turning my site off with no notice and not getting any response to numerous emails for almost 24 hours wasn't an inconvenience, it was well beyond that. That was totally unacceptable." That was 10:30 last night, of course I got no response.

Luckily I had a disaster plan in place for the few accounts I had moved there already, and they really only had no email service for about an hour. Now that I can get to the server I can get any mail synced up with the old server so very little harm done to the people who had mail on the new server.

So…. Am I wrong to move my business elsewhere? Do they deserve a second chance?


Are you paying a sizable fee for the service? Is the company large, small, or medium? How many complaints have you had up til now?

I ran into a similar problem with my host provider but since they credited me the next month I let it slide. Since you're providing a product to people that obviously makes it a lot worse though.

I was currently paying about $30 for that, $20 for backup server, and I was going to move the main web server there which would've been about $440 a month more. I have no idea how big they are, if I had to guess probably a dozen people work there. I've been with them for about 6 months and they've been fine.

This is really the first problem I've had, but it's SO big I can't imagine I can trust them in the future.

Mistakes do happen, I would be less worried about the mistake and more worried about the way they handled it. I think that's really the true measure of a company... When they screw up, how much class/grace/style/honesty do they use in making things right?

I don't necessarily mean monetarily. I think the fact that Mr. COO said, "Get in touch with billing" and that's about it, and no one could respond to you for a lengthy period of time about even what the issue with billing was, that's worrisome. I wouldn't expect billing to carry a pager for every time a server goes down, but when you're title is "Chief Operating Officer" you should be able to do more than say, "Talk to billing."

I might give them the extra chance, if they're crediting you a free month. But it would make me, if I were using their services, a little uneasy.

BTW, as one of the people on the moved server... No worries, Blake.:) Even if the new server people didn't shine through this little hiccup, you did.

Mistakes happen but failure to respond to your inquiries and the failure to escalate your problem correctly shows a lack of planning on their part. I assume your SLA reflects just when and if they can interrupt your service. If not you should insist that it be changed, if they fail to change it leave.

If you remain with them I would insist upon having the mobile or home number of an executive (and no company with 12 employees has a COO -they need to quit pretending they are IBM) with authority to make decisions about your account 24 hours a day and you should be able to speak with them 24 hours a day.

Summarily your current provider does not have in place basic procedures for escalation of customer problems, your current provider does not have a satisfactory accounting system as evidenced by the recent fiasco, your current provider has a profound lack of understanding that they are not the only ones providing hosting service and treated you as if you had no alternatives.

Several years ago I had problems with my host and they acted as if I had to tolerate their mistakes. I dropped them like a hot potato and signed up with Dreamhost in 1999. I've had no problem since because they realize who pays the bills.

For $5K a year they need to understand who is paying the bills, and who has screwed up their billing system. Screw them they screwed you.

insist on compensation for the missed service, do give them another chance.

I doubt it. They obviously made no effort to begin their investigation of the issue by talking to you about it, as simple courtesy demands, and then when asked to simply know what was going on they blew you off. Fuck 'em.

Fang but it more succintly than I, but I agree.

If Fang-Face and mdoneil ever agree on something be sure to follow that advice.

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I'll be shopping for a new mail server.

you've got a point there.