What's your experience with cutomer service?


#1

i can see the knowledge base is very comprehensive and this forum rocks, but i still would like to ask if you have ever tried contacting DH for any type of customer service? how was it?


#2

My experience has been great. There was one instance in which I got a response in 26 hours rather than 24, but other than that all of my responses have come in under 12 hours. But, don’t worry, people will come here to tell you about their horrible experiences (after all, this is a support forum, people do come here to complain), so just remember to take each and every comment about customer support with a grain of salt and make your own decisions.


MacManX.com
I don’t work here. I’m just your typical support forum volunteer.


#3

One support ticket of mine took 20 and a half days to result in any action. Beyond that it’s been anywhere from 50 minutes to 36 hours for DH to send a response, with about half of the tickets going over 24 hours. This was during the big queue crunch though, so I think things are probably going better nowadays. Our last ticket was the one that got responded to in 50 minutes, sharp.

I agree with macmanx’s suggestion that you should take the opinions you hear on these boards with a grain of salt. Some people come here to do nothing but complain, while some posts here read almost like paid advertisements. Then there are the few who try to give an accurate account of their experiences, but we should probably ignore and even put them down because it’s always so convenient to categorize people in “us” and “them.”

Bottom line is that no host is perfect, and that includes Dreamhost. Things are not always rosy in Dreamhost la-la land, contrary to what some here will tell you, and acknowledging that there is a problem is the first step towards correcting that problem. That said, far as I can tell Dreamhost is fairly good as a webhosts go, contrary to what some on these boards would readily tell you.


#4

I have mixed experiences with Dreamhost support; they can take more than their advertised “24 hours” to get back to me, and sometimes I have to go back and forth with them a few times because they don’t properly understand the problem the first time no matter how carefully I explain it; however, in the end, all my problems have always been successfully resolved. I’m satisfied with Dreamhost, though they do have their periodic growing pains where their service temporarily deteriorates a bit.

– Dan


#5

ira,

couple of things:

  1. If you use FP at all, it is better to look elsewhere…if you do not use FP:

a. In my 25 support requests submitted between 1/04 and 11/04, 100% of them were answered in 24 hours or less…since 12/04, fewer than 5% of my over 100 support requests (because of many things happening in the past 4 months) were handled in less than 24 hours and of those, NONE of them were handled correctly initially and involved several back and forths to correct. I am someone who has some clients and need quick turnarounds on some of my problems and have attempted to use their request call back for immediate concerns and of those, not one was returned in less than 24 hours, even when i marked site down emergency and ASAP contact me…not to mention that their business is located on the left coast of US so, when i was receiving some responses, i would get phonecalls sometimes in the 11:30PM - midnight range EST…and with these callback requests, you are assigned 3 per billing cycle AND if you happen to miss the callback no matter what time of day or night they finally call you, they do not leave a return phone number and you are still assessed the callback…oh and btw, you will never ever find a telephone number for DH…no way no how…

but, this is only my experience and as you can see some others have quite positive experiences as well (though i will say that DH has a very lucrative referral system so be congnizant what some say if they are also re-selling DH service plans through their sites)…im not into politics nor lobbies when receiving true opinions…

finally, this is just my experiences…not everyone has these.

IAmAtMyWitsEnd


#6

My experiences with Dreamhost customer support have been mostly positive.

My one account outage emergency was responded to and resolved within a couple hours, which I think was pretty fast (even though it felt like forever at the time).

Billing/account questions generally seem to be the quickest responses.

Sometimes tech support has taken a little while. There have been a couple times they responded to me to let me know they would have a better answer shortly.

They don’t provide installation support or troubleshooting for third-party scripts or apps.

On the whole I think they’re good. They’ve always been polite and I think it’s great the replies often have links to customer satisfaction surveys.


#7

It still boggles me that people are happy with a response “within a few hours”, let alone 24 hours. (and anything beyond that is inexcusable). There are hosts (and I wont advertise them any more here) that respond WITHIN minutes. 4, 5, 6 minutes. (Though the claim a 15 minute average).

I was doing some site editing the other day (not dreamhost), and one minute my site was there, next, I got an error. In the time it took me to send an email to support complaining my site was down, it was back up. 3 minutes after I pressed send, I got an email back explaining what had happened and that they had it fixed before they got my email.

See THAT’S customer service. Filing a support ticket, waiting 20 hrs, and getting back a response that doesnt do anything but PROOVE they didn’t actualy read your explination of your problem is NOT customer service, it customer ignoring.

-Jason

I40.com - Home Page
MP3Mystic - Personal Streaming Music server.
(Neither of these sites are still hosted at dreamhost)


#8

What use is a host that responds within minutes, if the service and support they offer is useless? I had a couple of domains hosted with a company that gave free 24/7 telephone support, but I found myself constantly on the phone with them because their service was crappy.

At DreamHost, we get an amazing deal. Lots of space, oodles of bandwidth, and a huge range of features for peanuts. What attracts me to DreamHost is that everything just works, for the most part. And that is the crux of the matter: The mark of a good web hosting company is not one that offers unbeatable support - it is one where you rarely need to contact support in the first place.

On the few occasions where I’ve felt the need to contact support, responses have been handled in a timely manner, and I have been treated with courtesy and respect. In every instance, my questions were answered succinctly, and any problems were resolved quickly.


Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites | si-blog


#9
What use is a host that responds within minutes, if the service and support they offer is useless? I had a couple of domains hosted with a company that gave free 24/7 telephone support, but I found myself constantly on the phone with them because their service was crappy. Agreed. But some hosts have both (and in general the less users have to contact support, the quicker tech support can respond to questions)

I’ve had to contact my new hosts support three times since I signed up with them.

  1. Was a pre-sales question. 6 minute response.
  2. Was my unfamiliarity with cpanel, I messed something up. 4 Minute response, and problem was fixed 100%.
  3. Was the previously mentioned 2 minute site outtage.

Compare that to the dozen times I had to contact Dreamhost support (email broken, one click installs failing and marking files owned by another user, sites down, domain transfers breaking, etc) some of which were responded to within hours, more within days, and some that were just plain DUMPED.

I’m just saying there are webhosts that are as cheap (except for the 77 cents a month “deal”), that provide MUCH better service based on response time, completeness of responces (and not just dumping things they don’t want to deal with), and frequency that you need to contact them.

-Jason
2)

I40.com - Home Page
MP3Mystic - Personal Streaming Music server.
(Neither of these sites are still hosted at dreamhost)


#10

My previous hosting company had almost instantaneous replies, but they were responses copied and pasted from the cPanel documentation (not helpful) or assumed I needed help to use Windows properly (which I don’t use at all). They would then close the trouble ticket. Most of the time I was reporting server problems and the answer was not appropriate. The help desk people didn’t seem to talk to the system administrators at all.

With Dreamhost, it seems that things work very well, and if you care to look, the information in the Knowledge Base is accurate and helpful.

I am glad I switched.

Kathy


#11

I will agree Dreamhosts Knowledge base is very good, and I have high hopes for their new Beta Wiki Knowledge Base. It’s an idea who’s time has come.

-Jason

I40.com - Home Page
MP3Mystic - Personal Streaming Music server.
(Neither of these sites are still hosted at dreamhost)


#12

Usually take less than 12 hours to get a reply.


#13

Most of the time I am able to avoid contacting support because I can get my question answered through the kbase or support forum. I have not had to contact support very often, but when I have I’ve been satisfied with the time it took to get a response (never taken much longer than 24 hours at most), and the tech has never failed to solve my problem with minimal fuss, and has even gone above and beyond what I would expect. The replies have always been very nice - never automated.

Mind you, my websites are both personal so having them down qualifies as a minor inconvenience in my book, not a threat to sanity and livelihood. :wink: Customers with business sites might have very different standards about acceptable site downtime and support response times and such. Personally, I’m very happy with Dreamhost’s service.


#14

Support quality has dropped significantly recently. From lazy responses that require more info (because the person didn’t read) and another 24 hour wait to a report of a hacker that put the burden on our site (shouldn’t DH be a little concerned?)

Our stats didn’t run the other day. In the past, a quick note to support would give an apology and stats! This time, a long response that stats would “catch up” the next day. They didn’t. It’s Tuesday – stats are still for Saturday’s report of Friday’s visitors. Another polite request re: stats was sent yesterday – 21 hours later – still unanswered.

Is it because DH moved? Or has tech support been outsourced?


#15

Support times have become abysmal, from a turnaround of a couple of hours just a year ago to more than 24 hours today. Some support inquires have gone unanswered for days. I don’t require support very often, in fact, I only contact them once or twice per year on average, but when I do, I expect to be treated like a client, not some mXXXXXX in their system! My recent ticket has been in the queue for more than 24 hours, going on its 2nd day (1 day 5 hours), and as of right now, the queue has 335 open requests. I did notice however that the queue starts to shrink at around 11pm EST, which leads me to believe that either dreamhost hired some cheap, night support, or they have outsourced their tech support completely, which is unlikely. I’m moving all my email accounts to godaddy, and because I don’t have access to modify DNS records, I’m forced to request changes by utilizing their ‘support request system’. I feel that once the email is ported over, I’ll have to say farewell to dreamhost. Sorry, I’ve been with dreamhost since December of 2003, and I have had nothing but problems in the last couple of months. Don’t get me wrong, I like dreamhost, otherwise I’d jump ship a long time ago… They have until April to convince me otherwise.


#16

Considering that they just hired 4 new support employees, I doubt that support is being outsourced.


MacManX.com
I don’t work here. I’m just your typical support forum volunteer.


#17

You can modify your MX record from the Panel.

Panel->mail->mx record

-Jason

I40.com - Home Page
MP3Mystic - Personal Streaming Music server.
(Neither of these sites are still hosted at dreamhost)


#18

[quote]Considering that they just hired 4 new support employees, I doubt that support is being outsourced.

[/quote]

We now have new definition of “hiring” compared to like 10 years ago: they could be off-site. :wink:


DreamServers.net :: DreamWhois.com :: DreamRegistrar.com


#19

I know, but I need to modify CNAME as well. Thanks for a quick reply, though. :slight_smile:


#20

We now have new definition of “hiring” compared to like 10 years ago:
they could be off-site. :wink:

[/quote]

Support is definitely not outsourced. All DreamHost employees are not only directly involved in the core operation of the company, but are also part owners and have a vested interest in the company’s success.

We’re not big on hiring people for exploitatively low wages and treating them poorly here. Almost everyone (even the new guys) has their own office - certainly no cubicles - high end hardware, and dual 19 inch flat screen monitors. While everyone here works very hard, in many respects this is about as good a job as you can get in this industry.

We’re kind of like a dot-com in some respects, but with an actual business plan, a loyal customer base, absolutely no dependence on outside investment, and over 7 years of existence.

BTW: We did recently hire 4 people, but only 3 are TS employees. The 4th is a new Dev/Admin.

BTW2: Until DH moved me to the Los Angeles area, I worked “off-site” for the first couple of years I worked here. Speaking from experience, there are definite pros and cons to working from your home. :>

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin