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«Return to Blog List HostGator’s Support Ticket System Problem

This could be a rant, but it’s not: primarily because I’m writing this post more than 48 hours after the support incident that had 20 client websites down for several hours on Sunday. That it happened had to do with some miscommunication for which Evo shares and accepts part of the responsibility. It should also be pointed out that we’ve been happy with HostGator’s webhosting: pricing, reliability, features are all great.

What still bothers me two days later is that it took just 10 minutes short of 5 hours to resolve the problem.

Sunday morning just after 10 am, I got an unhappy email from a client who noticed her site was down. After checking the basics for a few minutes and seeing nothing out of order, I found that ALL of our client websites on that reseller account were down. At 10:12, I submitted a support ticket. I got a pretty quick response, by 10:15, asking for clarification. To make a long and tedious story short, the issue was finally resolved at 3:03 pm, after dealing with 5 different support techs, with gaps in communication from HostGator of more than an hour. Ultimately, I specified the solution, which took less than 5 minutes to implement. As far as I can tell, none of the 5 seemed to grasp that the most important thing to me was to get 20 websites back online as soon as possible.

If I were going to design a support system that was meant to be ineffective, I think I would do pretty much what HostGator has done: shuffle support requests among several different techs as they can get to them, so that no one is really engaged or responsible for fixing the problem. To be fair, I’ve experienced some pretty dismal support from other well-known webhosts in the past (I just wasn’t blogging then). I’m beginning to think the industry as a whole has a broken support framework that stems from trying to keep costs as low as possible.

I’d like to see a webhost differentiate themselves on superior service. And I mean walking the walk; I’ve seen webhosts that talk the talk but don’t deliver great service when it’s needed. I’d like to see HostGator decide they can be that webhost. They appear to have everything else in order, and I’d prefer to continue with them.

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