Customer Service in Today’s World

I suppose I could have titled this “Dotster sucks” but they aren’t the only company with lousy customer service. It seems to be a pervasive issue these days, and I find it infuriating. I think I’m especially sensitive when it comes to online companies because I work as a web developer and I would never treat customers with such callous disregard as these large service providers do (nor would any of my teammates).

What is it that these larger companies don’t understand? It’s simple — we are paying them to provide a service, and at the very least — if they want to keep our business — they ought to provide informative, intelligent help. They pay lip-service to having online help, or response in 24-hours, but if and/or when you get a response it’s not meaningful, it has no bearing on the issue you’ve written to them about. 99% of the time it is someone who is paid to read from a script, asking a set of questions, regardless of the fact that those questions have nothing whatsoever to do with the issue you are having.

Long story short — shoulda been more diligent about backing up my blog dB (lesson learned). The blog dB got totally munged somehow, one day it was there, next day I went to login and it was all gone.

All I wanted to know from the hosting company (Dotster) was (a) did they have any backups (which I knew was doubtful) and (b) could they tell me if security had been compromised or the cause of the dB failure.

I got the usual automated responses that said I would hear from someone in 24 hours — but that didn’t happen.  The first response I received from an actual person made it seem as though I was going to get help. It said “this should be fixed with in 24 hours i have forwarded this to our team will be work on it.” Horrible English, yes — but the “team” was going work on my problem. A day passed, then two, it was New Years… so I waited ’cause who works during the holidays?

It took 2.5 more weeks before I got any further information, and by that time I was pretty well angry… not about my site, but about the lack of basic information, and/or courtesy — not to mention decent intelligible English.

All I wanted was an answer — the first time. I didn’t need a fake — we’ve got our team on it — just a simple explanation, “your database was deleted because…” would have been fine, even if they weren’t sure of the cause, letting me know that security wasn’t breached would have been enough. I just wanted an intelligent, courteous human reply.

I immediately moved the site here to Hurricane Electric. We’ve been hosting other sites with them since… 1994 or 1995. Never have had an issue, and always get timely, appropriate and *helpful* customer service responses. Shoulda been here with my blog since day one. Won’t make that mistake ever again.

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