My Experiences with Hosting Service Providers: Customer Service is my #1 Criterion.
Service providers need to meet their obligations and promises in a reliable, timely manner.
Recently, I've signed-on with about 5 news VPS' (Virtual Private Servers) and 1 Dedicated Server to simply test out their service, network speeds, reliability and to establish a global infrastructure that loads websites and services really quickly. I setup these services nearly the same and it is quite easy for me now to setup a server in minutes. What have I learned from all this?
- You get what you pay for. The customer service will likely suck if prices are rock-bottom.
- A non-meritorious reply, although better than no reply, is extremely counter-productive.
- Companies that are quick to solve my problem, win my business for the long-term.
It is completely unacceptable that any service provider charge customers for something that which they cannot deliver. I would name names of who did what, or rather -- what they didn't do, but it's time to move on. I stated my issues with the 2 companies I had a problem with, and I hope they do better in terms of customer service for the sake of their likely dwindling client-base.
All in all, I've found a commonality among the best service providers -- they provide solutions, reliably. These problems are very often, simple requests -- like a rDNS request for a PTR record -- so my e-mail goes through, all the time, without being flagged as spam. Or, like an additional IP. I do the rest myself typically -- the firewall config, server administration, and so on. I will likely farm this out soon, but for right now I've found that doing it myself is the most reliable resolution. Perhaps I will gather a list of reliable hosting services and furnish them for people who want to take a look in an upcoming post; stay tuned.