Saturday, January 1, 2011

Tech support sucks

I tried to come up with a better title, one that didn't sound so... so... crude. But there's just no two ways about it, tech support sucks these days.

I've been with a hosting company for well over 12 years and have had as many as 30 sites with them at times. They've been gobbled up a couple of times and now I'm dealing with the newest incarnation. They outsource their tech support to India, like many, many others. I know the on-hold music and know which tunes mean I'll be speaking to Sam or Frank in India or Susan in the good-ol-USA. I tried hanging up repeatedly until I got the 'right' music but soon learned that doesn't work.

A few days ago I called and asked for a simple website change. I've done it with them before, it wasn't a problem back in the days when I talked with someone state-side. This time I wasn't talking to Susan or Sandy, I was talking to someone across the ocean. It turned into a complete fiasco. It's still spiraling and tumbling.

First we had the communication problem. I'd say what I wanted, Sam would say he understood, would repeat it back and have it backwards. I'd say no, and try to explain in a different way. He'd say he understood with some frustration, repeat it back and have it wrong. It's a dance that aggravated both of us. It's one that made a 30-second sentence into a 15-minute ordeal.

Needless to say, he never understood and they totally screwed everything up. My site was down for two days. They opened the ticket, then would say they fixed it, close the ticket... I'd call and want to know why they closed the ticket since the site was still down... we didn't dance, we politely battled. I know well enough to know that if I show my anger they get snippy and punish me somehow.

We finally got it resolved after 7 (seven) different phone calls and multiple ticket re-openings. THEN, I got up this morning and the other site that was involved, which was working when I went to bed last night was down.

I made an 8:30 call, was promised it would be up within four hours. I knew better but hoped for the best. 5 p.m. and the site's still down. Called again. Now they're doing something which will take up to 24-hours to fix.

One site is working, one isn't.

I'm looking for a new hosting company. The problem I think I'm going to run into is that I have a pretty good monetary deal with these guys. I could switch to Go Daddy, but I've heard their tech support isn't any better.

I really don't expect miracles from tech support. I used to work as a liaison between tech support, back end coders and the end users. I have a pretty good grasp of all the problems that can arise. However, if you're not able to communicate it really doesn't matter whether a problem is simple, it can explode into craziness, like my simple request seems to have done.

I'm one of a million, zillion, who gripe about tech support being outsourced to other countries. I can understand why it's done, especially with hosting which really is a fairly simple thing to deal with. I guess since 'everyone' is now doing it we, the end users, are stuck. Where do we go when everyone is outsourcing to the same place?

Now, my final questions... I want to know how they ended up moving my domain registration to another company that I've never heard of... and how come they took the site down and then said they couldn't do anything about it as it must be something to do with the software I use to build my sites... and how they managed to get a band of words at the top of my down site that they say they didn't do and I know I didn't do... and... and...

Oh, um, happy new year to everyone except my hosting company and their tech support staff.

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