Last Monday, I got a note from a colleague telling me my blog was down. I tried it, and yes, it was down. Then I tried all of my sites – I have 6 – and all were down. I contacted my webmaster. Seemed the server was down. He called my server and finally got through to the 1&1 folks, and was told they knew nothing of the problem. I was relatively calm. After all, how long can a server be down?
How long indeed. It took 3 full days. It wasn’t until Thursday that my sites were back up and working. Excuse me? From Monday to Thursday with 6 sites down? How many ways can this harm my business:
- Links to my sites on published articles of mine – only up only a week, so exposure greatly diminished.
- Blog posts go out to many thousands of readers – subscribers and syndications and colleagues – and not being read, and no purchases made.
- One of my sites sells my products, so I lost untold sales.
- Site visitors can’t get to the info they need for my company.
- My sites represent my brand, my business, my reputation. Nasty way for people just finding me to be introduced to my extreme professionalism… how professional can I be if all of my sites are down…. for 3 days!
Readers couldn’t read. Articles couldn’t be linked. Prospects couldn’t get data. People couldn’t listen to podcasts. Buyers couldn’t buy. I couldn’t show my patented material to business partners. I paid my webmaster for his wasted time.
My webmaster and I made several calls into the server’s customer service folks, in the Phillipines; they refused to let us speak with anyone in the technical group, all the while either denying there was a problem, or saying it was being fixed and sorry we can’t let you speak with anyone.
How much did this cost me? And did they care? No apology. No choices. No make-up month. No responsibility. No explanation. No discussion of it not happening again. Obviously, they’ve lost my business. Hopefully you’ll think twice before hiring a group that will leave you stranded for 3 days, with no one to talk to, no ability to speak with a tech person, no way to find out what is going on or when a problem might be resolved, or or or…. And then to receive these semi-literate responses from the kids at the help desk was the icing on the cake. And all the while, I’m losing business and have no way to even get my sites to another server until they are up again.
Here are a few email exchanges between me, my webmaster, and the 1&1 folks. Truly: think twice before you hire them. You can get similar service for the same or less money from many other vendors. And when you hire the web hosting company, make sure they take calls and keep you updated of problems, and have a paucity of down time.
Hello Sharon-Drew! I just got off the phone with 1&1 again. The tech support person I talked to did say that they know there is an issue and are currently working on it (which is more information than I had before), but could not give me any estimated time of completion.
Dear Sharon-Drew Morgen, (Customer ID: 8308840)
Thank you for contacting us. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience as much as we would like to help you but we do not have a direct access on the back end that why we just waited for our admins to resolved the case.
Thank you for contacting us. Actually your not just the one person who had experience the technical glitch. Every domains which is listed on the same server where your domain are being hosted had encountered the same issue. If an issue occurs in the system we sincerely apologize but neither the agents even the highest person in the technical support department has a tool to repair and resolve the issue.
Thank you for contacting us. This email is an update about the server issue. We would like to inform you that the issue about your websites are now resolved. You can now access your websites. Thank you for your patience. (NOTE: IT WAS ANOTHER 24 HOURS BEFORE THE PROBLEM WAS RESOLVED) If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us. Sincerely, Juan Ongcal Technical Support 1&1 Internet Limited