Customer Support Response Time

walesmd

New Member
I've been having a bit of an issue with one of my VPS accounts lately, as detailed here. As a result of that thread, but deserving of its own topic I believe, what are your opinions in terms of Customer Support Response time? If you look back over the times in which you have had to contact support have you generally been happy with the support you've received?

I'm 16 days into this particular account and my mouse is hovering over the cancel button. It just doesn't seem worth it; not in a cocky "I'll take my money elsewhere" - but that it just doesn't seem as if I'm getting my money's worth in comparison to other providers. They're not my cheapest account, nor my most expensive, just a firm meh in "Bangs per Buck". With this particular ticket idle for 17 hours, 12 of which I was supposedly "at the top of the support queue" the meh is quickly turning into a fuck that noise.

Am I being a spoiled brat or overly picky? I will admit to being an ASmallOrange customer for 5+ years and counting... maybe their amazing service has set an unrealistic expectation? They managed to resolve this exact issue in less than an hour, at 4am on a Thursday for me in February. Absolute best customer service experience I've ever had with a company, equalled only by USAA (banking, insurance, etc) - those two companies have a customer for life even if their rates were to double.
 

Tux

DigitialOcean? lel
I'm usually pretty patient -- I'm usually willing to even wait more than 24 hours. IRC support (especially for FOSS projects) has basically made me into this state.
 

SeriesN

Active Member
Verified Provider
Here is a thing and it is my personal opinion, You don't decide how much to pay, we as a provider decide that. Thus price should not be an excuse for no support or non responsive support . However, depending on unmanaged providers, I have seen support as fast as 10 min (catalyst for example, we also have an average of 7 minutes) or as slow as 12-72 hour (Burstnet).
 

AnthonySmith

New Member
Verified Provider
Hard to say for sure if it is just your own expectations,

Did it come with 24x7 support?

If it is in the UK are you aware it is a public holiday?

Based on the description of your issues it does not sound like it is your VPS that has the issue.

I guess the only thing that will honestly answer your question is when you find out what the actual problem is, if it is beyond your control but within your hosts control then yes 17 hours is a bit much, if it is down to your own config/issue then maybe not unless you are paying for a service with 24x7 (active) support, in which case again 17 hours is a bit much.
 

D. Strout

Resident IPv6 Proponent
The thing with me (and I assume most of us here) is that I am fairly technically competent, and can fix most problems that come up. If all else fails, I'll just nuke it (a.k.a. reinstall the VPS from SolusVM). Thus if there's something I can't fix and have to ticket about, I tend to assume that it is a somewhat more complicated issue to fix and thus am willing to wait. Though I can be very impatient at times, usually I'm pretty patient, so I don't mind. What irks me and could make me consider cancelling due to poor support is if I give them full details (which I always do - I flatter myself that I've got the "how to contact support thing" down pretty well) and they manage to completely miss the issue. As in, they say something like "have you tried x", where x is something that has no bearing on the situation.

Generally, with all companies that I've been with, I have gotten fairly fast (or at least, reasonable fast, within maybe 12 hours) and competent support, well within my expectations. Perhaps that's because I'm fairly selective with which companies I initiate service with. But that's a whole other post.
 
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jarland

The ocean is digital
The issue in question here could be quite difficult if your IP is absent from any blocks on their end. Either this company is completely incompetent or you're looking at an issue that may be outside of their short term control. I don't know how the second can be true, but I'm not sitting in their position.


I'd have a little more patience as it sounds like this isn't crippling your services.
 

walesmd

New Member
Did it come with 24x7 support?
 

Yes along with a guaranteed 30 minute support ticket response time; ultimately I know this is marketing BS and wouldn't cause a fuss over the delay.

If it is in the UK are you aware it is a public holiday?
US-based, as am I, but that is actually interesting, I'm going to have to Google what the holiday is. Here it's Memorial Day but honestly I consider hosting to just be one of those industries where you don't get holidays - like phone, water, sewer - any other utility. If I can get a McMuffin or cheeseburger in the McDonald's drive-thru, a hosting company should have support staff available within a reasonable time. Of course, there I go using a pretty subjective term such as "reasonable" - tough one.

Based on the description of your issues it does not sound like it is your VPS that has the issue.
Any suggestions? I can't think of anything it could be other than my provider's network blacklisting my IP address for failed login attempts (forgot to update ~/.ssh/config and didn't catch it quick enough). You'd think there'd be a way to verify that and remove the blacklisting from a control panel somewhere... I wasn't even aware they were monitoring for that sort of activity or how they are accomplishing it. Fail2ban / DenyHosts aren't on the box.
 

SeriesN

Active Member
Verified Provider
Yes along with a guaranteed 30 minute support ticket response time; ultimately I know this is marketing BS and wouldn't cause a fuss over the delay.

US-based, as am I, but that is actually interesting, I'm going to have to Google what the holiday is. Here it's Memorial Day but honestly I consider hosting to just be one of those industries where you don't get holidays - like phone, water, sewer - any other utility. If I can get a McMuffin or cheeseburger in the McDonald's drive-thru, a hosting company should have support staff available within a reasonable time. Of course, there I go using a pretty subjective term such as "reasonable" - tough one.

Any suggestions? I can't think of anything it could be other than my provider's network blacklisting my IP address for failed login attempts (forgot to update ~/.ssh/config and didn't catch it quick enough). You'd think there'd be a way to verify that and remove the blacklisting from a control panel somewhere... I wasn't even aware they were monitoring for that sort of activity or how they are accomplishing it. Fail2ban / DenyHosts aren't on the box.
Can you use console?
 

TheLinuxBug

New Member
US-based, as am I, but that is actually interesting, I'm going to have to Google what the holiday is. Here it's Memorial Day but honestly I consider hosting to just be one of those industries where you don't get holidays - like phone, water, sewer - any other utility. If I can get a McMuffin or cheeseburger in the McDonald's drive-thru, a hosting company should have support staff available within a reasonable time. Of course, there I go using a pretty subjective term such as "reasonable" - tough one.
I am not sure where you got this idea, but most non-multi-billion  dollar companies for the most part honor national holidays.  Now, this shouldn't mean no support at all, however, even the company I work for drops the amount of technicians on duty and for some roles it is "On Call" meaning only emergency tickets would be dealt with in their department until tomorrow morning.  This can mean if you issue isn't something that is (considered by them) an emergency, you may not receive a response with the normal quickness and/or you may not hear from them till the morning.  

Disclaimer: this is not always true of all businesses, however, this is a generally accepted standard for holidays and US Businesses.

Cheers!
 

walesmd

New Member
Now, this shouldn't mean no support at all, however, even the company I work for drops the amount of technicians on duty and for some roles it is "On Call" meaning only emergency tickets would be dealt with in their department until tomorrow morning.
Yeah, I think this is more in-line with what I was referring to; especially given the "work from home" status most enjoy.
 

Sonwebhost

New Member
I would give support as much time as they need to fix any problem, the only time I rush support is if my site is down, one day a big company I just transfed my reseller account to vps and waited a week to make sure it was ok to turn off the reseller account, the next day the container was down for four days and I lost my bigest client an online news paper, so you never can tell what happens in this business. If all the sites are running I am happy, support can sleep as long as they want to, just keep my websites running.......
 

WebSearchingPro

VPS Peddler
Verified Provider
maybe their amazing service has set an unrealistic expectation?
 

Its exactly this... After being with ASO, with responses of less than an hour at midnight on a weekend it really changes you....

I signed up with an unnamed host recently that often has 1 week turn around time on tickets. Though I pay 10% of the cost of ASO...
 

WSWD

Active Member
Verified Provider
With this particular ticket idle for 17 hours, 12 of which I was supposedly "at the top of the support queue" the meh is quickly turning into a fuck that noise.
Response time and resolution time are two very different things.  You might get an initial response in under 30 minutes (or so) from most companies, but the time needed to resolve the issue in its entirety is often much longer.  If you are thinking that all issues are going to be completely resolved within their 30 minute guarantee window, then yes, you are expecting WAY too much.

Judging by your link to the problem, 17 hours is probably realistic, considering you aren't the only client the techs. are dealing with.  Looks like it might require some serious digging to determine where/why/etc. your IP is being blocked.
 

concerto49

New Member
Verified Provider
Response time and resolution time are two very different things.  You might get an initial response in under 30 minutes (or so) from most companies, but the time needed to resolve the issue in its entirety is often much longer.  If you are thinking that all issues are going to be completely resolved within their 30 minute guarantee window, then yes, you are expecting WAY too much.

Judging by your link to the problem, 17 hours is probably realistic, considering you aren't the only client the techs. are dealing with.  Looks like it might require some serious digging to determine where/why/etc. your IP is being blocked.
Sadly, you might get a response in 15mins saying we are looking at it and not get a reply for days. Seen this happen. It's just to comply with SLAs. 
 

walesmd

New Member
Two tickets (and an aneurysm when support told me for the 5th time "iptables look fine"), I just cancelled. Another tech picked it up and he was actually amazing but couldn't identify the problem (I'm confident it's at their network boundary, from what I remember when it did work but it could be the last node of their upstream provider).


They offered to credit my account for the down time and a free move to a different data center, but that one's too slow (this box is specifically for my local to San Antonio clients). I have VMs w/ twice the hardware, half the price and excellent <20ms connections in Atlanta and Denver.


I was specifically interested in this for the Dallas location, although it's surprisingly slower than the others still. It's more of a marketing purchase than anything else. They're supposed to check on routing and if a different subnet would help, still waiting for that.
 

WSWD

Active Member
Verified Provider
Sadly, you might get a response in 15mins saying we are looking at it and not get a reply for days. Seen this happen. It's just to comply with SLAs. 
Absolutely, there obviously needs to be a happy medium with initial response time and resolution time.  

Two tickets (and an aneurysm when support told me for the 5th time "iptables look fine"), I just cancelled.
ROFL!  What a mess.
 

Marc M.

Phoenix VPS
Verified Provider
What to do when you don't clearly understand what the customer is trying to say? You ask a second time and his reply is still broken... what then?
 

mikho

Not to be taken seriously, ever!
What to do when you don't clearly understand what the customer is trying to say? You ask a second time and his reply is still broken... what then?
You answer that everything looks fine on your side???
 

Jono20201

New Member
Verified Provider
We like to maintain as low as possible support response, any longer than 12 hours for hosting support (sales/billing different) seems to be over the top during non-holiday seasons.
 
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