It seems that some hosts claim they have 24 hour support which really means you can email them in the middle of the night and they will get back to you the next day.
Does anyone have experience with a host who actually does have 24 support on a regular basis? It always seems that I am often working on my sites late at night and when I need answers or there are problems, there is never anyone around.
Depends on how many clients and how many support tickets they have to answer. Usually if you get an answer within 4 hours I would say they are doing fine. 24 hour support means 24 hours. Sometimes a ticket can be responded to in less than ten minutes. Other times it could be an hour. Server related support and not third party software and questions about how long does it take for my domain to hit your servers.
Most hosts have all the information you need for questions like this. For example a FAQ page,In there welcome email,Tutorials and a knowledge base.
BUt calls will still come in in the middle of the night for questions that should be solved by the client and not the support team.
24 hour phone support should be server related and not to answer questions that have already been answered on the site or welcome email.
Most host do not mind answering common questions on the phone but it would make more sense to read the information that is available on the site before calling support. I have been swamped for the past two days with questions that are in the welcome email Support for how do I add a sub-domain should not be top priority if a host has other duties to perform when it is most likelty on the hosts site.
Now if something should go wrong that is server related then the host already knows and is working on it. I just see to many people judging hosts because at 2AM they did not respond to my question that has been answered on the site. Support is when you despertly need it and you have looked at everything and you just can not solve it yourself.
Good steps to follow:
Look for the answer in the host support forums:
Look at the hosts tutorials:
Check out the FAQ section:
If it is third party software: Go to the site that is responsible for it first:most likely you will find the answer.
Some people think because there is a nice shiny toll free number this is the first thing they should do:
I understand sandee and you make some excellent points. I do try and find the answers myself all the time and avoid asking simple questions. It is mostly for not being able to get to my site or other major problems where customers or partners are effected.
I don't expect to pay $19.95/month for 24 hour support. I understand that it is much more expensive to provide that. But was curious if there is a happy medium between getting 24 hour support and not paying a ton of money for it.
IF you can not get to your site then like I said the host should be aware of this problem and be working on it. Therefore you should get a fast response for support. If they offer 24/7 phone support then there should be someone there on the other end. You dont have to pay a ton of money for support. If you got a reputable company they will go above and beyong thier duties to help you solve a problem but sometime if it is a server wide problem they may be busy trying to get it up fast before answering support. The #1 priority is getting the servers up before answering 1000 emails. It can be hard to do all of this at the same time lol
iblive, there are hosts that can provide you with what you're looking for. The "medium" that enables you to have low cost hosting, and still a great support staff. If a hosting company is setup well, and doesn't have the initial funds to hire a 24/7 support team, if they hire support staff in various time zones around the world, you're much more likely to have close to 24/7 support.
Seems to me like the most reliable solution besides asking customers about the 24/7 support availability would be to test each host. Just use email/phone/IM/live-chat to get in contact at different hours, particularly when they should be sleeping. I will take a bit of patience&determination, but if this is such an important thing for you it should not be a problem.
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24 hour support is very important for some customers like me who live in time zones that are 10-12 hours ahead of USA. When I am working on my sites in the middle of the day (my local time), that is middle of the night in USA where my host is located. Using a host that doesn't have 24 hours support means I'll have to wait for 1 full day or more for reply to my emails that are mostly answered in 1 hour or less by likes of futurequest.com even on 1 AM EST on Sunday.
I don't know if they advertise it, but HostRocket seems to have 24/7 support. The phone support is only certain hours, but I have received tons of responses about 5 minutes after they are submitted on weekends or at 2 a.m.
It's really difficult to ascertain whether or not a company has true 24/7 support. Many times Sales do not have the same hours as Support within a company. That means that an email to sales might not get the same response time as an email to support.
To further compound the problem, Support may only be available to existing clients. The best test is to grab an account for a month and try it for yourself. For say, $5 bucks and a month of your time it could save you a lot of aggravation later on by testing a host yourself before you decide to place live sites with them...
You should write down a few host's phone #s you are interested in using. Wake up at 3am one morning and give them each a call. The one that answers the phone should be your new host. You should not settle for anything less than 24/7 phone and email support. Anything less means you are jeapordizing your business with slackers.
I currently am being hosted by ddihosting.com, a great hosting company. They have over 4 different people who are on their live chat programs at all times of the day and night, that way you are guarnteed an answer to your question.
24 hour LIVE support is a great asset to your hosting company. However i feel a live support room is pointless orless its staffed all hours of the day. Its the reason i don't have one. I know a good host who has one, and they have round the clock staff for it. Now obviously that costs a bit to do.. but it shows professionalism and makes clients happy to no end.
However whats really lame is sites that claim 24 hour support and don't offer it.
I've got our helpdesk and livechat manned 24/7 at present but I'm scared to advertise it for fear of one client coming along with an incredibly complex problem and moaning the problem takes too long to solve
Before you sign up with a new host, I recommend that you always fire off a few e-mails to their support department so that you can get an idea on how quickly they respond. I have done this many times. Some never bothered responding to my e-mail, so I never bothered signing up.
Thats actually a good idea sending emails to their support and see how quick of a response you get. Personaly, i offer next day support responses. Truth is i can actually answer them the minute i recieve them quite often, as i'm here that much but some days i am away, or very busy and since i'm the only one who answers them, i don't like to make promises i can't keep.
Rick, are you the only one answering emails? If it was just one person behind the servers, I wouldn't expect immediate response at all times (I like to sleep once in a while too). But for bigger companies who claim 24/7, they set pretty high expectations.
There's nothing wrong with 9-5 support. As an end user I could certainly live with it in all honesty. The problem lies when the server crashes at 2am and the one-man-band / 9-5 company isn't there.
I recently had a customer come to me. Her website went down 19.00pm Friday night. Because her host was a local company working mon-fri, 9-5, they didn't pick up her "website's down" email until Monday at around 11am.
I Agree. There is no excuse for a paying customer to have their website(s) down for a whole weekend. Lot of people need theirs running all the time for businesess. I hope the company involved compensated her somehow.