Nomination for DH support phone


#1

I nominate that DH provides a real tech support phone number.

I would be totally willing to pay extra for the service.

I am so happy with DH on so many fronts. I am so unhappy with tech support and reliability, mostly with tech support.

Does anyone second?


#2

I would second that nomination as long as Dreamhost prices it appropriately so that is would be a true “added value” and support itself.

I wouldn’t want it’s “free” or “cheap” availability to cause it to become a drain on DH resources. With over 300,000 domains registered at Dreamhost, and a “hugh” variation in the knowlege and competence of Dreamhost customers, I fear that any cheap, or included, “general” tech support by phone would change the “value” for experienced Dreamhost users if prices had to go up “overall” to support it.

I’m all for a mechanism to “pay by the incident”, or “by the minute” kind of thing, as long as it is financially “self sustaining”; I might even use it on occasion. For 99% of my issues, I like it the way it is, for that other 1%, I too am willing to pay as needed (but I don’t want that cost “factored in” to my existing plan costs).

Maybe a “Plus Support” addon, allowing “n” numnber of calls/minutes/incidents, etc., at an extra charge per year, with those calls going to dedicated “Plus” techs, with their own phone queue, would work.

–rlparker


#3

I don’t have enough dealings with tech support to care one way or another. Although, for the record, if you think it’s slow when things get real borked and there’s upwards of 900 requests in the mail queue, try sitting on hold for 15 minutes or so until a tech finally gets to you. Then watch the irritation level go up.

Yes, I have an opinion.

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#4

quanin,

I would totally rather wait on hold for 15 minutes. During this last bit of server problems, I had 3 tickets open (one a callback) for over 24 hours and never got a reply.

I don’t mind DH having problems per se, it’s the waiting in the dark that is driving me (and my clients) crazy.

rlparker,

I too would be willing to do a pay-per-incident type of help. I am quite capable on site management, but there are certain things that even if I knew it would be worked on would be nice. As I said above, waiting 24 hours (with all sites down) is way way too long.

I love everything else about DH.


#5

I agree.

With Crazy Domain Insane we can’t call DH at all,
and most people have this plan.

Maybe with a small fee to avoid abuse, we can request a callback ?


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#6

How much are you willing to pay, though? Because the phone staff would be expensive and I’d bet it’s a pretty tiny minority that would be willing to pay extra to hear someone’s voice on the phone.

Personally, I wouldn’t want them to add phone support unless it was a 900 number. That way, it only costs people that think it’s necessary, plus the cost might keep away the people that would jam the lines to whine or chit-chat.

If every whiny/rant/I-hate-DH post on their sites had been a phone call, they’d never get anything done and legit callers would have trouble getting through. The people that dedicate their time to trashing the forums/blogs when they’re unhappy, would be even more obnoxious with phone access.

I could be wrong, but I doubt you’ll ever see DH just throw a support phone number out there. I’m surprised they even offer the call-backs–which I’ve never even used.

I’d much rather see support working on problems than chatting on the phone. I just can’t think of anything useful I could tell a tech on the phone that I can’t type into a support ticket–where the entire staff has access to my problem.

I can see advantages to phone support with dedicated servers, but it doesn’t seem as important with shared. If there’s a problem on a shared hosting server, they probably already got 100 support tickets letting them know it needs to be fixed… I’d rather they got to work fixing it instead of answering 50 phone calls to say the same thing the tickets said.

Then, how many calls would they get that are outside of what support handles? “How do I add a user to Word Press?” “I can’t get this mod I wrote for a third-party script to work… where should I start debugging?”

But that’s just my opinion. :wink: As someone that’s been on the other side of the phones, I think in many cases (shared hosting being one of them), offering phone support isn’t worth the trouble.

If I ran Dreamhost, I can say that I’d atleast double the prices for phone support. Then again, if I ran Dreamhost, I’d probably have to raise the prices anyway to pay for all the mansions, cars, yachts, etc… :stuck_out_tongue:


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#7

[quote]it’s a pretty tiny minority that would be willing to pay extra to hear someone’s voice on the phone.

[/quote]

It’s not really to hear someone’s voice, it’s just to get a quick response.


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#8

Would it, though? If the quick response is, “We’ll get that taken care of,” is it actually changing anything compared to if they read the submitted ticket and went to take care of it.

With their support window being 24 hours, I think people would abandon their ticket system and flood the phone lines if it would actually get quicker results. Then that would probably cause support backups and everyone one would complain they can’t get through/got voicemail, etc.

If the complaint is about support time, I’d think the request would be quicker response times, rather than a phone vs. ticket issue.

The other thing with phone support would be that the staff required to handle normal support loads, wouldn’t perform under loads like network outages where everyone calls to complain. Then that would just make everyone more mad & obnoxious than they are now when they trash the sites.

But with a ticket system, you can do what has to be done & easily blast out bulk replies to similar tickets… rather than answer 400 phone calls to say “We’re working on it” 400 times.

I just can’t imagine them staffing phone support to a level people would be happy with… without drastically increasing prices.

And I still don’t think you will find many that would trade low prices for phone support. Most of the things people complain about are only issues because of the amount of money they’re willing to spend.


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#9

Not me, I’m afraid. Telephone tech support is extremely expensive for the provider, and rarely satisfying for the consumer. The current system makes it easy for DreamHost to filter and sort technical support queries for optimum performance, which benefits all consumers using the system. I have never needed a “call back”, but I would imagine that service is more than sufficient.

Any phone-based support would be absued, even if it employed a premium rate number. That is just the nature of the beast. Any genuine support calls would be lost in the noise of the complaint calls.


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#10

I agree. Add to that, waiting on hold for 20 minutes just to be told “yes, we’re aware of the problem” is really no different than, say, submitting a system wide outage report, and having it varified on DH’s end. The difference? Those people who’re sitting there answering 400 “fix my server you fools” phone calls could be better utilized fixing your server.

Yes, I have an opinion.

Get a minimum 50% off with the “haveadreamyday” promo code, and… have a dreamy day. Original, no?


#11

How true! But just imagine what great material some of that would provide for the Dreamhost blog!(warning: voicemails contain pretty tough language and are definitely not work-or-child-safe). I mean, as long as you didn’t have to hear it all-day-every-day (which I’m sure takes it’s toll), listening to these jerks rant on occasion can be great fun :slight_smile:

rlparker


#12

Very cool, very good discussion everyone.

I think you’ve all convinced me that phone support really wouldn’t be a viable solution, and you’ve placated my recent digruntledness with DH.

Seriously, DH offers well beyond other hosting companies. In this most recent outage, I started to look at other hosting plans, and as I’m sure you already know, nobody come close.

The web panel, the space and transfer (OMG), the actual (rare) support for most recent versions of web technology, etc, etc, etc are what keeps me here.

I guess maybe the best solution would be a change in how DH handles critical system failures. To begin, as I’m sure they’re aware, they need to build a better redundancy into their network. Second, they need to move effected customers to working servers before they try to fix something as opposed to leaving sites down for over an entire day.

In reading these forums and the comments on DH status, this has been a common complaint.

So I guess I retract. But then open up a second suggestion (which may be kind of mute, since DH has already mentioned in their blog) that DH really step up their efforts to build in better disaster response policies.

I want to be a happy DH customer.

Thanks for all the discussion.

-A


#13

amseek, I appreciate that you recognize where we excel and I sympathize with you where you are frustrated. As I mentioned in another post, we have been steadily increasing our hiring rate and my current push is for a 5-hour average response time. We have been hovering at 10 for months now. Secondly we have recently had a problem with some support requests going over 24 hours which is something we have had meetings about and have made some procedural changes today to prevent this going forward.

http://discussion.dreamhost.com/showflat.pl?Cat=&Board=curious&Number=57532&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=14&part=&vc=1