Tech support - how is it?


#1

I am looking into buying a 2 year plan. I’m currently with a host that’s pretty good, but there are some major problems with their tech support. I’m not a stupid person, I’ve built a robot or two in my day, but sometimes I’m genuinely curious as to why my email is down without any notice. I don’t think this is an unreasonable request, but everytime I submit a ticket I get either no response, or I get a really big attitude. Support emails shouldn’t begin with “Well, first of all, if you’d bothered to look at your hosting plan…” and then go on to tell me stuff I already know that doesn’t explain why my email is down. I don’t mind a little downtime every once in a while, it’s to be expected, but I do mind the attitude when I dare to ask them.

The hosting company before that had a support guy that actually said the reason I didn’t understand something was because I was a girl.

Anyhoo, how’s the tech support? I’m sick of arrogant tech support people getting mad at me for contacting them. I occasionally ask a stupid question, I lose passwords, but the attitude usually starts way before I even have a chance to genuinely be a clueless idiot.


#2

They’ve done a pretty good job of putting the power in your hands here. If you lose a password, there’s an admin CP to change it. There’s also a knowledge base to prevent stupid questions and this support forum with other DH users who can answer your questions and tell you if they’re too stupid to submit to tech support or not.

I’ve never had a problem with tech support and I’ve been using DH since 1997. The only reports of problems I have seen are related to one of the following issues:

  1. User not knowing the basics like how to FTP. Then the instructions given are over the user’s head.
  2. You can’t directly call DH for tech support. You have to use their web panel and they usually get back to you within 24hrs. Sometimes it’s just a few hours. The most annoying thing about this is, when something is down, I wait a bit to see if it comes back up. When it doesn’t, I submit a support ticket. A day later I get an email saying “everything looks fine now.” Thankfully things rarely go down.

#3

[quote]Support emails shouldn’t begin with “Well, first of all, if you’d
bothered to look at your hosting plan…” and then go on to tell me
[/quote]

[quote]The hosting company before that had a support guy that actually
said the reason I didn’t understand something was because I was
a girl.

[/quote]

Given that I’m a DreamHost employee I will let our customers give you the scoop on our support quality, strengths and weaknesses, etc.

However, I can definitively say that if any of our employees did either of the above and I found out about it they would receive a rather angry email from yours-truly, CC’d to our Support Team manager.

We believe in friendly, professional conduct. Luckily we have a great group of employees so this sort of thing has never really been a major issue, but if anyone were as rude as the people you mention above they would be reprimanded and, if they didn’t shape up, probably let go.

Of course, this goes both ways - we don’t tolerate customers who are rude, insulting, use threats of physical violence, etc. Luckily this is a very small percentage as well - we have an overwhelmingly nice customer base. :>

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

#4

Partially for this reason, we do recommend that you have at least one contact address on an account which is not tied into a domain hosted with us. An ISP account, an account with another hosting provider, or a freemail account will all work fine.

I’m of course biased on this particular question (nor do I have a lot of experience with other webhosts – but if you look around on the web for various reviews of us, customer support is one area where most people give us high marks.

A few:
http://www.epinions.com/inet-Web_Hosting-All-Dreamhost/display_~reviews
http://www.webhostingratings.com/plans/DreamHost-Reviews.html
http://www.upperhost.com/dreamhost.htm


#5

I feel like adding my two cents here. It’s not much different from the other reviews, but that just makes it all the more true: DH does give great support – hundredfold better than all my previous ISPs combined. They’re typically accurate, straightforward, helpful, and respond within 1-24 hours most of the time. Sometimes they take longer, but it’s rarely a problem.

One reason their support replies are so helpful is that when you submit your question, there’s a dropdown box where you can rate your understanding of the topic at hand. They use this rating to tune their reply on the range from newbie to Hawking. It works well because some parts you know a lot about (HTML?) and others you’ve never heard of (.procmailrc?).

Another reason that DH tech support is fairly popular is that they’re quite simply frank about what’s going on. (We messed up. You messed up. Josh stepped on a cable. The bitbucket tipped over.) They tell you even when it means somebody’s being pointed at, but they do it factual and let’s-get-things-going-again. I made a big oops once that caused them some trouble – they told me but didn’t scold me.

In their “About Us” they stated that they started out hosting just their friends, and now they try to serve everybode like that. They do well.


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