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  1. #1
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    Thumbs down Softlayer has dropped the ball.

    So much for my attempt at seeking an a quality provider!

    Perhaps I've come to expect too much after being at providers like Steadfast.
    I'm currently awaiting an update on my second ticket this morning with Softlayer.

    The primary ticket was notification of an IPMI installation that was occurring on one of my servers with them. I was told that there was less than thirty minutes of expected downtime due to the installation.

    Not a problem I said, proceed and I granted them the root password to the server to gracefully reboot it as needed. I waited one hour and three minutes before requesting an update (Yes, I consider that being patient! )

    I was told the following nineteen minutes later:

    Employee Response - 2006-Sep-25 03:46
    We are having some difficulty, we will update shortly.
    A little less details than I expected but if they're shorthanded this morning: Not a problem so I returned a note stating that if they couldn't get it back up within a few moments to cancel the install entirely.

    Between that time and the next update I shipped an additional three tickets to them requesting general updates and a thorough explanation of what went on.

    I received neither but rather got:

    Employee Response - 2006-Sep-25 04:01
    Your server is online and the IPMI device is working properly. I appreciate your patients. If you need any further assistance please open a new ticket. I am going to close this ticket

    Thanks,

    Support
    Oh, is it now? It's not responding to pings and this was over 24 minutes ago!
    I opened an additional ticket that is currently awaiting further review.

    Now perhaps I'm the worst client on earth (all right, I really am) but I'm the most loyal client on the planet.

    I'm going back to steadfast.
    At least with steadfast I was kept thoroughly up to date with each and every issue and no matter what I had faith that they wouldn't outsource to remote countries.

    Softlayer.. eh, I tried to give them a chance.
    Last edited by David; 09-25-2006 at 05:35 AM.
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  2. #2
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    I have no qualms with the fact that they couldn't properly install the card or whatever may have occurred (and we're still down).

    What I DO have a problem with is requesting an update from their technician (and praying it would be a thorough one) only to get told the server is online when in fact it wasn't.

    The technician did not even remotely attempt to read my three latest updates over before closing it.
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  3. #3
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    The server is now currently back online.
    In total there was about two hours and twenty two minutes worth of downtime and I'm fairly certain I won't see any explanation until someone from management arrives to save the day.
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  4. #4
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    Open a ticket with sales and talk to Amanda. Talk to her about a refund or something as they should give you a little money back for something like that as it was their fault. SL have been great for me, and when something like this happened to me they were really helpful (i did phone though). I asked for a refund and they were happy to discuss it, (I only wanted a bit back for the month as it was down a long time) so just talk to them about it
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  5. #5
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    That's a great way to get updates, flood them with redundant tickets.

    Server was down a whopping 2 hours at 4:30 in the morning on Monday and you're bailing.

    Good thing you don't over react
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by e-places
    That's a great way to get updates, flood them with redundant tickets.
    None of the tickets were redundant.
    The initial ticket was requesting an ETA or an update as it had gone well beyond the thirty minutes originally expected (two times in length).

    The second request was a thank you message to their "We are having some difficulty, we will update shortly." message.

    The third was a request for a thorough explanation as I noted that in the IPMI monitor the server was coming back online however it failed to do so.

    I wouldn't consider it spam: Yes, I do expect thorough communication but there were no redundant messages of any sort.

    Quote Originally Posted by TR Seeks
    Open a ticket with sales and talk to Amanda. Talk to her about a refund or something as they should give you a little money back for something like that as it was their fault. SL have been great for me, and when something like this happened to me they were really helpful (i did phone though). I asked for a refund and they were happy to discuss it, (I only wanted a bit back for the month as it was down a long time) so just talk to them about it
    I have no interest in getting any money back whatsoever. I simply want an explanation as to what occurred: Cutting their margins even further by getting refunds isn't something I'd want to do.

    I've had five months of great network performance with them but each and every time I've had to interact with their support team I've felt letdown.

    I do realize that in order to receive quality service I'm going to need to increase my budget at least twofold and it's my own fault for expecting that much out of Softlayer for the prices they charge.

    Quote Originally Posted by e-places
    That's a great way to get updates, flood them with redundant tickets.

    Server was down a whopping 2 hours at 4:30 in the morning on Monday and you're bailing.

    Good thing you don't over react
    I don't consider it an overreaction. The chances of it being a one time thing are fairly slim (as it's occurred a few times now with other issues -- primarily hardware setup taking 8-9 days) and if the technicians aren't even going to read tickets...

    Eh.
    Last edited by David; 09-25-2006 at 06:00 AM.
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  7. #7
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    If you put 4 tickets in regarding the same server and the same install it's redundant.

    good luck wherever you go. I hope you find what you're looking for.
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  8. #8
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    e-places,

    As do I.

    I did receive my update though and will leave it at that..

    Employee Response - 2006-Sep-25 05:00
    It looks like there might be an issue with the install procedure for IPMI and this type a chassis. For some reason the IPMI install tool reset the port information on the frontend and backend networks and did not restore the frontend configs upon completion of the install. I get with our developers and have them take a look at the install procedure and make sure they correct this issue to it will not happen again in the future.

    I am sorry for any inconvenience this has caused you.
    The broken English is beginning to scare me quite a bit though!
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  9. #9
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    The broken English is beginning to scare me quite a bit though!
    I don't see much wrong with that paragraph? This is a tech after all, not sales/marketing. As long as they solve the problem effectively and can understand me I don't care if they're good at English.

    Just my personal opinion, David, it really sounds strange that you want to go right back to Steadfast, after spending so much time (months?) with SoftLayer and being happy...every company makes a mistake so you will always have a problem at one provider or another, you cannot do much about it. Overall, SoftLayer looks like they have been great for you, so why leave? Perhaps you should talk to accounting about this event and they might be able to give you a credit?
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  10. #10
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    [...]but each and every time I've had to interact with their support team I've felt letdown.
    My experience has been the opposite.

    Support is prompt and they know what they are doing. I think you're just saying this because of the one bad experience you just had...you're making a generalization.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by layer0
    I don't see much wrong with that paragraph? This is a tech after all, not sales/marketing. As long as they solve the problem effectively and can understand me I don't care if they're good at English.
    I couldn't really care less if they spoke with the whole 'tru dat, sup f00, j0r server is online' either as long as they read the ticket. In this case the previous tech. didn't.

    Just my personal opinion, David, it really sounds strange that you want to go right back to Steadfast, after spending so much time (months?) with SoftLayer and being happy...every company makes a mistake so you will always have a problem at one provider or another, you cannot do much about it. Overall, SoftLayer looks like they have been great for you, so why leave? Perhaps you should talk to accounting about this event and they might be able to give you a credit?
    I'm most likely going to have to agree with you for now: There was a single technician who dropped the ball somewhere and lost it. It'd be a bit much to abandon the entire provider over it but I'm going to begin picking up additional boxes elsewhere.

    I'll do so under the guise of keeping all of my eggs out of a single basket but it'll really just be my lack of faith in SL that drives it.
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  12. #12
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    I agree that their English is fine to me. There does not seem to be any major problems with it. True its not the most pretty piece of writing ever, but this is tech support not a theatre company
    Last edited by TR Seeks; 09-25-2006 at 06:18 AM.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by David
    The broken English is beginning to scare me quite a bit though!
    Here's an idea, they should charge more and send the support staff to ESL101!
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TR Seeks
    I agree that English is fine to me. There does not seem to be any major problems with it. True its not the most pretty piece of writing ever, but this is tech support not a theatre company
    I was more or less referencing...

    "I appreciate your patients." and "I get with our developers and have them take a look at the install procedure and make sure they correct this issue to it will not happen again in the future."

    If that's not broken I don't know what is.
    I've been known to be quite dyslexic myself but reading tickets is one of those general requirements for the job if I recall correctly.
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  15. #15
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    Working a tech job does that to you sometimes though. I mean I admit my spelling would never be that bad but hey mistakes happen and so do mistypes. I think we can discount mistype really as the letters are wrong the the c and t are not really near each other... I have never had a problem like that with SL before though. Every ticket has been fine English although I do have to agree on a few occasions to have been very annoyed at some of the techs who do not read the whole ticket but that has only happened once.
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by layer0
    I don't see much wrong with that paragraph? This is a tech after all, not sales/marketing. As long as they solve the problem effectively and can understand me I don't care if they're good at English.

    Isn't support the first point of contact for 100% of customers post-sales? It's all fine and dandy if there's a PHd in English answering the sales desk, but personally, if I start getting replies like...

    Your server is online and the IPMI device is working properly. I appreciate your patients.
    If I was a doctor I'd hope I appreciated my patients too!

    and

    I get with our developers and have them take a look at the install procedure and make sure they correct this issue to it will not happen again in the future.
    So many comments I could pass about that, but I shall resist!

    ...I start finding a new provider. Think of it this way: If you were looking at 10 Resumes; and 5 of them had English as demonstrated above, which people would you shortlist for an interview?

    --HV
    Last edited by HawkeVIPER; 09-25-2006 at 06:31 AM.
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  17. #17
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    oh it just gets better.

    now we've got a guy saying if tech support doesn't speak PROPER english he's going to look for a new provider.

    Unbelievable.
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  18. #18
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    Personally, if support starts coming back to me on tickets with English like, I start finding a new provider. Think of it this way: If you were looking at 10 Resumes; and 5 of them had English as demonstrated above, which people would you shortlist for an interview?
    I wouldn't mind going for the person with less experience in English if they are more experienced than the others...this is a tech support job after all. But this is your opinion and you are entitled to it...it is rediculous to judge a provider by their "English skills" in a ticket.
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by e-places
    oh it just gets better.

    now we've got a guy saying if tech support doesn't speak PROPER english he's going to look for a new provider.

    Unbelievable.
    You obviously haven't been in this business very long, have you. I've personally seen hundreds of tickets complaining about poor english in a Support reply, and saying that it looks bad for a company to use support staff whos English is lacking.

    I'm not debating whether or not they can do the job or not; they likely can, just take 'em off the front lines, and give them positions where they don't have to interact with customers. It looks so much better.

    --HV
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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by layer0
    I wouldn't mind going for the person with less experience in English if they are more experienced than the others...this is a tech support job after all. But this is your opinion and you are entitled to it...it is rediculous to judge a provider by their "English skills" in a ticket.
    Ok, well, let me rephrase that into a more mainstream analogy.

    You call your bank, because something is wrong with your account. You get through to india/china/wherever. You have to repeat your account number 7 times because the person on the end of the phone doesn't understand you.

    They ask you for your name, but you have to ask them to repeat that 5 times because you couldn't understand them. After 30 minutes, they finally have your account information on their screen, and ask you to explain what's wrong, even though you explained this at the beginning of the call. You explain again, and they say 'all is fine with your account', because they honestly have no idea wtf you're talking about.

    After an hour of being on the phone, you manage to get escalated to some senior member of the support staff who is located in america, and who speaks fluent english. Your issue is dealt with and fixed in 10 minutes. You just wasted an hour of your time.

    The bank which has a branch next door doesn't outsource their telephone staff. Do you stay with your current bank, and go through an hour of pain every time you need to contact them directly, or, do you walk next door, and open a new account where you are able to contact someone who is helpful whenever you need them?

    --HV
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkeVIPER
    You obviously haven't been in this business very long, have you. I've personally seen hundreds of tickets complaining about poor english in a Support reply, and saying that it looks bad for a company to use support staff whos English is lacking.

    I'm not debating whether or not they can do the job or not; they likely can, just take 'em off the front lines, and give them positions where they don't have to interact with customers. It looks so much better.

    --HV
    No, what you SAID was you'd be looking for a different provider. Don't back pedal.

    and I've been hosting for a little over 6 years and in the industry for 15.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by David
    Between that time and the next update I shipped an additional three tickets to them requesting general updates and a thorough explanation of what went on.

    I received neither but rather got:
    The tech probably had the ticket assigned to them (so other techs could/would not reply) and they had the ticket window open the whole time. When they returned from fixing the issue, they simply replied to the already open ticket. In this scenario, they would not be aware that you had updated the ticket.

    The above is a guess about what happened, but it could seriously change things here. I'd be more concerned if they deliberately ignored my replies than if they just didn't see them. After all, they were not waiting on any updates from you so they didn't really have any need to refresh the already open ticket.


    Quote Originally Posted by HawkeVIPER
    Ok, well, let me rephrase that into a more mainstream analogy.

    You call your bank, because something is wrong with your account. You get through to india/china/wherever. You have to repeat your account number 7 times because the person on the end of the phone doesn't understand you.

    They ask you for your name, but you have to ask them to repeat that 5 times because you couldn't understand them. After 30 minutes, they finally have your account information on their screen, and ask you to explain what's wrong, even though you explained this at the beginning of the call. You explain again, and they say 'all is fine with your account', because they honestly have no idea wtf you're talking about.

    After an hour of being on the phone, you manage to get escalated to some senior member of the support staff who is located in america, and who speak fluent english. Your issue is dealt with and fixed in 10 minutes. You just wasted an hour of your time.

    The bank which has a branch next door doesn't outsource their telephone staff. Do you stay with your current bank, and go through an hour of pain every time you need to contact them directly, or, do you walk next door, and open a new account where you are able to contact someone who is helpful whenever you need them?

    --HV
    How is that even remotely similar to what happened here? The problem was the English in the support rep's response, but it's still 100% clear from reading it what they actually meant. Calling someone and having to repeat yourself and waste an hour is hardly the same. No time was wasted here because of the broken English.
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  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by e-places
    oh it just gets better.

    now we've got a guy saying if tech support doesn't speak PROPER english he's going to look for a new provider.

    Unbelievable.
    So that's one of the things he's looking for in a provider. Big deal.
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  24. #24

    * Bad sales impression too. . . .

    Yeah, i'm starting to doubt whether I should switch to SoftLayer too (I'm switching from aplushosting.com after a couple of days and not-so-responsive tech support, but that's another story. . sigh)

    After emailing [email protected] about a simple question on whether they could partitioning using LVM about 4.5 hours ago, I still haven't received a reply.
    To me, taking that much time to respond to a simple sales question really takes the confidence away.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkeVIPER
    Ok, well, let me rephrase that into a more mainstream analogy.

    You call your bank, because something is wrong with your account. You get through to india/china/wherever. You have to repeat your account number 7 times because the person on the end of the phone doesn't understand you.

    They ask you for your name, but you have to ask them to repeat that 5 times because you couldn't understand them. After 30 minutes, they finally have your account information on their screen, and ask you to explain what's wrong, even though you explained this at the beginning of the call. You explain again, and they say 'all is fine with your account', because they honestly have no idea wtf you're talking about.

    After an hour of being on the phone, you manage to get escalated to some senior member of the support staff who is located in america, and who speaks fluent english. Your issue is dealt with and fixed in 10 minutes. You just wasted an hour of your time.

    The bank which has a branch next door doesn't outsource their telephone staff. Do you stay with your current bank, and go through an hour of pain every time you need to contact them directly, or, do you walk next door, and open a new account where you are able to contact someone who is helpful whenever you need them?

    --HV
    The analogy does not apply. You would not have to repeat your name in an e-mail. The person will understand it the first time. SoftLayer delt with this issue promptly, they explained the cause of the problem as well. Many companies would not even explain in detail why something happened.

    I also don't appreciate the racism in your post towards Indians...being of that race myself I do take offense.

    Besides, all of SoftLayer techs are based in TX, they are NOT outsourced, despite your presumption.

    Learn to stand by your original argument, instead of back pedaling as suggested by e-places.

    Cheers,
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  26. #26
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    When you e-mailed them makes no difference, their sales department doesn't open until 7am. This information is clearly listed on their website, so you can hardly hold it against them just because you didn't read their site.
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  27. #27
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    E-places - why are you taking such offense to what David is saying? If he is the one looking at spending the money and he wants to feel comfortable where he is spending the money - then what does it matter to you? If I have any bad suspesions (spelling i know) about any particular provider, then you better believe that I won't be spending my money there on a gamble.

    Simply put - let David go and spend where he wants. You could defend Softlayer all you want until your blue in the face but attacking david for his decision to switch providers is wrong. So grow up and stay on topic.

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  28. #28
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    Two of our best techs are Asian american and one probably has english more broken than that being criticised in this thread. To criticise his English when I can perfectly understand what he's saying just seems a little ignorant. But all to his own...
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  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by YetiHost-Wullie
    When you e-mailed them makes no difference, their sales department doesn't open until 7am. This information is clearly listed on their website, so you can hardly hold it against them just because you didn't read their site.
    Really? if that's the case i apologizee and retract my statement. Clearly didn't see the business time for sales on their site though.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by PacketGeek
    Really? if that's the case i apologizee and retract my statement. Clearly didn't see the business time for sales on their site though.

    At the very top of their home page, click FAQ.

    What are your hours of operation?
    We offer Support 24 hours, 7 days a week. Our Sales Department is available from 7am-10pm CST, Monday-Friday and 9am-5pm CST, Saturday and Sunday. Our Accounting Department is available from 9am-5pm CST, Monday-Friday.
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  31. #31
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    I've had an 'Accounting Request' ticket open since September 11th, last response was September 13th. Seems to be like getting blood out of a stone.

    I'm requesting credit and a refund due to 30+ hours of downtime with one server after its RAID 5 config lost all hard drive data and did two more times after apparently replacing the controller and hard drives each time.

    I downgraded to 2 drives in a RAID 1 config and everything has been great since
    Its just a shame its taking so long to deal with this credit request
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  32. #32
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    English skill is not the most important thing, but still an important factor for sure - because you type and read english to communicate with your provider. If one possess all the technical skills but doesn't know english, he's useless.

    Those who speak broken english have trouble understanding complex explanations and procedures. I don't want to deal with a host who wouldn't know what I was talking about if I was trying to explain something a little more in detail.
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  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by YetiHost-Wullie
    At the very top of their home page, click FAQ.
    Thanks. I'll go try out Softlayer now; i'm so ready to switch. Hopefully my experience will be much better than my current hoster this time.
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  34. #34
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    To imagine that no company doesn't occasionally drop the ball is madness. A company employs people and people make mistakes, that's a fact of life. The measure of any company is not how many mistakes they make, it's whether they learn by those mistakes and not make the same ones again.

    Having said that, I don't even see the problem here, other than the slight lack of updates during the installation process. We all want blow-by-blow updates of course, but if the tech is by a rack with the server pulled, case off and everything else, their priority is too get the job done as quickly as possible. It is probably not possible, or at least, mighty inconvenient, to stop what you're doing, walk back to a PC and update the ticket with "I'm having problems, sorry".

    When it comes to the English, I do think that the quality of communications reflects on the company. I've had to pull people up over shoddy emails and stuff like that as it just looks bad. It can be argued that it's better to receive a quick response with typos than one 5 minutes later that's been spell and grammer checked, but poor typing looks sloppy. In this case, if I were Lance or someone from SL reading this thread, I'd accept that the techs are trying to do their job, under pressure and as quickly as possible, but it's an area I'd want to improve on.

    Quote Originally Posted by PacketGeek
    Thanks. I'll go try out Softlayer now; i'm so ready to switch. Hopefully my experience will be much better than my current hoster this time.
    I've been with them for a couple of months now, everything has been perfect. I don't think you'll be unhappy you made the switch
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  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by David
    Now perhaps I'm the worst client on earth (all right, I really am)
    That seems like the only intelligent thing you said in that entire rant......


    So wait...you are going back to steadfast? Do my ears decieve me? I thought they were absolutely horrible? You publicly trashed them here numerous times and gave them a less then stellar review on your review site....

    If I were Karl I'd want nothing to do with you as your the type of client who only creates problems *shrug*
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossH
    If I were Karl I'd want nothing to do with you as your the type of client who only creates problems *shrug*
    Phew!
    Glad to hear Karl is Karl and you're not.

    I had my issues with steadfast, yes. I was with them for over a year and there were some issues that I was enduring that I found unacceptable but overall after comparing them to the several other providers I've used I have a newfound respect for the service they do offer.

    I've always been a fairly demanding 'budget' client but even Karl himself made the effort to contact me recently to invite me back: I appreciate what they offer.

    As for my review: It still applies and I'll update it as necessary as time moves forward.
    Last edited by David; 09-25-2006 at 11:00 AM.
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  37. #37
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    1,904
    David -

    I agree with you in many ways. Regardless the issue - you are a client and deserve updates on your tickets. Plain and Simple. Why so many people are attacking you on such minor issues - is a clue. It's your money and you want a particular level of service to feel comfortable about your purchase. It might not be the same opinion others have (obvisously) but you are entitled to have one and move on to another provider if so you choose.

    Everyone has clients that are a bit demanding at times - no harsh feelings there - but normally - those that demand alot - are some of your most loyal clients and will speak the most praise about the company they are with.

    I wish you the best and again - I am glad to hear Karl is Karl.

      0 Not allowed!

  38. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    2,559
    I have had nothing but positivie experiances with SoftLayer.

    When i decided to move to them, because I was ordering two servers and had to move in less than 36 hours due to issues with my previous host (dedicentral), they gave me free set up on both servers and upgraded me to opteron 170's rather than 165's for free. About 5 months later, we had an internal hacking - they helped us. The same person DOS'd us at the same time - they took care of it painlessly.

    they have been more than helpful - WAY more than I ever got with Dedicentral or Dedicated now. With Dedicentral, I just got 6 hour response times because they had to wait on Layered Tech. I would have gone directly to LT. What talked me down from that was "Well, if they take 5 hours to respond to a reseller, what about the standard customers?".

    Softlayer has been great. No complaints what so ever.

    Matt
    Matthew Rosenblatt, and I do lots of things.
    Currently a Master Electrician on Broadway.
    My company, BurstAV, specializes in A/V Systems Design and integration.
    I also own ConcertCables. We build power/data cables for the entertainment industry.
      0 Not allowed!

  39. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    2,559
    Quote Originally Posted by IdleServ
    I've had an 'Accounting Request' ticket open since September 11th, last response was September 13th. Seems to be like getting blood out of a stone.

    I'm requesting credit and a refund due to 30+ hours of downtime with one server after its RAID 5 config lost all hard drive data and did two more times after apparently replacing the controller and hard drives each time.

    I downgraded to 2 drives in a RAID 1 config and everything has been great since
    Its just a shame its taking so long to deal with this credit request
    Give them a call - they are extremely helpful over the phone, especially when you have a pre-existing ticket.

    Matt
    Matthew Rosenblatt, and I do lots of things.
    Currently a Master Electrician on Broadway.
    My company, BurstAV, specializes in A/V Systems Design and integration.
    I also own ConcertCables. We build power/data cables for the entertainment industry.
      0 Not allowed!

  40. #40
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    276
    I have colo at steadfast... They will do about anything for free there. Karl even said it themselves. Go back there if you want free support. These people have to live a little and get paid.. Sorry Karl, however you just go above and beyond, not that its a bad thing, actually its quite terffic.
    Softlayer does ALOT for free don't get me wrong, but where did I miss the unmanaged part of this? Pay $3 dollars and have someone manage it for you. So what will happend to you when Karl does install IMPI on your server, your going to be pissed for the down time?
    Next-Generation Game Servers- www.NextGenServers.com - Play On. Fast, Reliable, Low ping, No Lag, full support servers. Providing Professional, Low Cost, but effective services to gamers like you. Providing the nextgen of gaming services.
      0 Not allowed!

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