What an extraordinary road to buying a server in the UK it has been in the last 2 weeks.
I am based in Australia yet most of my users are UK residents. Subsequently I want UK located data centre hosting.
I already have a server with a UK host and have been with them for over 5 years. However the server is getting rather tired (its my 2nd server in 5 years) and their pricing is no longer competitive.
After much investigation of forums and packages I thought I would order a server with 1 & 1 hosting as their pricing was very good for a managed solution and their servers offered many extras. I contacted them about purchasing a server and after 4 days they replied saying they only deal with UK residents.
My next choice was Interhost.co.uk. I went through their site looking at options and attempted to place an order. I noted however that their online ordering system whilst allowing for orders from other countries did not take UK VAT into consideration. So I sent them an email asking about exemption from VAT as I am not based in the UK or European continent.
No reply was recieved after 2 days so I emailed again. That was over 10 days ago and no replies!
Next choice was Fasthosts.co.uk. I went through and placed an order for a server and entered my CC details. I received a confirmation page saying that as I was overseas they needed to call me to confirm as an anti-fraud measure. I received NO EMAIL confirmation only a browser confirmation page.
I waited 2 days and no call. I emailed them asking about my order. Waited 2 days No reply. Another email was fired off yesterday and no replies as yet.
How hard is it to do business in the UK? Having lived there for 7 years up until 2003 I do remember that customer service is something that seems at the bottom of the list for most UK companies but this is rather ridiculous!
If anyone can recommend a company with UK located data center that actually offers a decent service please let me know here or by PM .
The fact you tried to rent servers from 1&1 and then Fasthosts shows your research of UK server providers was a little lacking. They are some of the worst companies to choose from in this country, you really couldn't have picked worse!
Anyone searching here for posts about quality UK providers would have picked up several that have outstanding attitudes to customer service and enjoy excellent reputations on this board.
Take a look here http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=536824
and have a word with yourself before you take a pop at a whole country's ethics next time!
If you want someone that will give you real customer service in the UK, call rackspace. One of their DC's is in heathrow (i drive past it nearly every day). Their sales team can seem a little pushy at times, but are ultimatly fantastic. They know what customer service means.
There are lots of options in the UK, and you are normally better looking for the smaller but stable companie in the uk to get good customer service. Make sure you dont try donhost tho, their customer service was awful.
Take a look in the offers forum, some good DC's over here off the top of my head are the IXeurope facilitys, Redbus (think they changed their name tho), Doclands tends to be a good area, and generally anything in the thames valley / m4 corridor gets good connections.
If you get really stuck, i would look at the US for servers, Softlayer have been great, and the speed from the UK (once you hit BT core which is where most ISP's go through in the end) is exclent.
Note to self: Add something funny! Search is your friend!
The host will no doubt call you at some point, shame they dont have that bit automated, although they probably seen a IP out of country and for anti fraud purposes they will no doubt need some ID or something from you as this is known with fasthosts, but again their only trying to keep safe from fraud & Chargebacks.
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