I decided to try WebhostingHub because $10 for a year of webhosting looked too good to pass up. What I did not expect was a wonderful example of poor communication.
I admit it, I’m cheap. I follow Rick Broida on Twitter because he comes up with some real bargains. When he Tweeted about a year of webhosting for only $10, I jumped on it. I’m happy with GoDaddy but, I justified with myself, this would give me another direction to explore and a comparison with GoDaddy’s service.
I decided to do a site about dogs and Fromthedoghouse was available. Oops, registering the domain name was an additional $11.95. A little more justification and I made the plunge. I spent the next two weeks setting up the website and doing graphics for the header. I was really proud of this because the header shows a photo album that changes pictures each time you view it. I even made cards that used the header. I was becoming emotionally invested, always a bad sign.
Using what I had learned from Udacity, I made a few changes to the WordPress theme I selected and I was up and running.
About a week later I went to the site only to see “This site has been suspended , if you are the owner please contact customer service”. No warning, no emails, no calls, simply suspended. It turned out that my Wordfence plugin was making excessive requests and they shut down my site until I turned it off.
Later that day they sent me an email asking me how happy I was with their tech support, they might like to use it as a review. This is my exact response:
I don’t think you would want to use my review. So far I’m very disappointed with your service. Today you disabled my account with no warning. When I used your on-line chat system, I was told that my account has been disabled because it was causing problems on the server but I would have to call customer support because he could not discuss it in chat. He also said would have details in the email they were supposed to send me. I checked, there was no email.
About 5 minutes later I got a call listed as 1Host. When I answered he identified himself as being from your company. He said that he had disabled my account because of excessive CPU usage from WordFence. He then proceeded to explain to me that I shouldn’t be using WordFence on this type of server. Amazing since I’ve been running WordFence with the same settings on GoDaddy for the last 8 months. I wasn’t going to argue the point. I agreed to disable WordFence and he turned my website back on.
No warning, no email giving details, can’t discuss details in chat, not identified correctly on caller ID, can’t handle the same load that GoDaddy has for the last 8 months. Can you give me a reason I should be a happy customer?
I tried you out as an alternative to GoDaddy. I think you’ve already given me my answer.
This is the response I got:
Thank you for following up with us and I am very sorry for the recent frustrations you have experienced on the server that houses your site
While small instances of downtime can be the nature of any shared hosting environment, we do strive to reduce or prevent this by monitoring our servers 24/7/365. Because accounts on a shared server can not only directly affect the serer, but subsequently all of the other accounts housed on that server, there may be instances where service interruptions.
Our System Administrators work diligently to prevent a situation of this nature. In the few instances where the load spike is so sudden that we are not able to prevent it, they will immediately begin removing accounts from the server to ensure stabilization.
I am very sorry for the frustrations this has caused and we would be more than happy to compare any specific instances you may have to our server logs so that we may assist in differentiating between a server based problem, and something in the connection.
Thank you for your understanding and please let us know should you have any further questions.
I was really confused by this response until I realized that I received the standard unhappy customer (technical issue) form email. The form letter breaks down to this; We’re sorry this happened to you, we work hard to prevent this kind of problem, we’re as good as anybody in the industry, maybe it’s on your end. Broken down like this, I recognize it and the ten’s of others I’ve received from the cable company, the phone company and even my online games. Communication, protocol matters but a response should actually respond.
I discussed communication before when I was attempting to order a Nexus from Google. If you respond to an email, especially one from an upset customer, you should at least read their email. Customer service at WebHostingHub did not respond to a single point in my email.
I’m not really mad or even disturbed. When I justified this endeavor to myself I set two goals, setup a totally different website about dogs and compare WebhostingHub to GoDaddy. Fromthedoghouse.com is up and GoDaddy wins the comparison hands down, all in less than 30 days. If I hadn’t allowed myself to become emotionally invested I would be done. Now I get to see how long it takes me to move over to GoDaddy.
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