Live chat wouldn’t be much different than offering phone support. Way too many customers to offer that at these prices. Unless they do like a lot of hosts: advertise it as a selling point, but leave it offline so customers end up using the ticket system anyway.
Besides, if someone has time to respond to live chat, they have time to answer a ticket. If you have to go back and forth with tickets, it means you’re not including enough info in your first one.
What most people here call mission-critical really isn’t anyway. I can’t think of anything mission-critical that would be run from a <$10/month shared hosting account.
I think Dreamhost offers what they do, for the prices they have, because they have targeted a specific share of the market. Their huge success isn’t the result of unhappy customers.
Suggesting they do the opposite of what they’re doing is pointless. It would be like going to a $40/month host with 24/7 phone support and asking them to drop prices to $9/month and offer unheard of disk space and bandwidth limits because Dreamhost does.
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