I got an email about fifteen minutes ago, from no less than the CEO of the hosting company Wikinewsie.org uses. This weekend saw a major upgrade for them, which anyone who runs an online service will know, can be a process fraught with risks. Some of the services on Wikinewsie were down over the weekend, but the ticket I raised was bumped to 3rd-tier support almost-immediately, ditto when I reopened it due to putting out a “brush fire” somewhere else bringing down something else.
I thanked the techies I dealt with, largely frontline people, only grumbling a little about not having access to the master ticket and more-of-a-clue as-to which of our services we should be testing, when we should re-check them, and being able to provide more-rapid feedback to those third-line folks.
But, after the hell that was Godaddy, this is a breath of fresh air:
Thank you very much for your assistance offer, it was passed on to me from our support team.
I would like to personally thank you for your offer and assure you that we’re doing the best we can in order to reduce those recent issues, the overall website performance will increase as we finalize and iron out the little details left.
Thank you very much for your cooperation and have a good day.
Would I recommend Vexx now? Yes, I would. They’re a low-cost hosting solution, in a well-connected data centre. And the above, from which I’ve dropped the direct-dial and extension number off, shows they’ve a CEO who cares about their customers. I’ve had the good-fortune to work a few places like that; you don’t mind calling off going for a beer, and grabbing a keyboard to stamp out the brush fires with companies like this. I even spent most of the odd evening or two stuffing mobile phone bills into envelopes when a prior employer’s printing company had their equipment break down. That’s where good management stay late too; not to manage, mind. To go get the pizza, Chinese takeaway, or whatever other fuel it takes to keep the people who know the systems well-enough going. The only management decision needing taken is telling people “Go home, you’re exhausted. We’ll see you when we see you.” Or, if all ends resolved at a civilised hour, buying the first round.
The alternative is ‘Tesco value hosting‘, and I experienced more than my fill of that with Godaddy. They made it out to be our fault when they’d left our services to rot on an under-powered shared server. It was quite obvious anyone there dealing with a ticket had targets to close as-many-as-possible with zero technical appraisal. By virtue of what I do, I’m part of third-line support on a few business-critical systems for a selection of companies, and organisations, which are household names – either globally, or in their own countries. I pay Vexx less than 10 Euro per month, customers of my employer pay a good-deal more. I appreciate Mr Naser’s email all-the-more, I can easily see ‘our Dave‘ writing the self-same email. Companies that care about good service, and making sure their staff can afford to give you that service when you most-need it, putting that far-ahead of any “brand recognition” or advertising budget and “acceptable churn level” deserve customer loyalty.