I thought I might share some of my experiences with SM after having taken advantage of their recent free secondary 80GB HDD offer.
Installation and server setup. This was awful. It took 36 hours for them to install the server in spite of their 24 hour set up SLA. Those who are familiar with SM will know that an internal tracking support ticket is created to allow new customers keep up to date with the progress of the installation. 19 hours after I received confirmation of my order, I noticed that the ticket was closed, but hadn't received my welcome email yet. I opened another support ticket asking a simple question -- was my server ready yet. I got a quick but cryptic reply telling me to try connecting with the IP listed inside orbit -- the customer support system. But all attempts to connect failed. So I tried contacting tech support but there was no reply for 9 hours., at that tpoint they told me that they were looking into it.
Support. This leads me to think that this might be a case of poor coordination between tech support and the server build department. Why couldn't they just give me a simple yes or no answer if the server was ready? Less than 24 hours after the server was ready, my second HDD started to malfunction. I've once again opened a new ticket but 12 hours later, there has been no acknowledgment.
I know that SM had a good reputation for its customer service but when support goes bad -- it's usually the case of having too large and too sudden an increase in the customer base for the existing staff to handle.
I hope others will take these comments into consideration when deciding on the right dedicated server provider.
Well, not being located in the U.S. I preferred using email and the support ticket system. So the only contact I had with them was through these channels.
In any event, they've finally replaced the malfunctioning HDD. While they took quite some time to react, the actual time taken to shut down the server and have the drive replaced was minimal. So I'll have give them credit for that.
FOr some reason I still suspect that SM tech support response time is probably affected each time they have special offers. I assume that each time an extraordinarily large number of servers is put online, more support calls are made as new customers send in their initial server configuration problems. Yourhost, was this what was happening?