They send a notice to their entire customer base whenever they have any kind of outage, like this:
There was an outage upstream from our service that interrupted access to Newsguy nntp, web and mail. We understand the problem was caused by a failed router that has since been replaced/repaired. We sincerely apologize for the disruption.
I haven't used my account recently, so I would have never known about the outage if they hadn't told me.
But because they tell everybody anyway, just in case we need to know, it convinces me that they are straightforward, and have confidence in their ability.
They also have a "donate part of your payment to charity" plan which is another great brand builder.
You might not have noticed the outage, but 1000s of other customers certainly did. Rather than answer 1000s of support tickets that will come in if you keep silent, just send out a mass email letting everyone know what's going on. It just makes sense and we do the same thing.
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I agree with Tina. We do the same thing with our own "per server" announcements lists. Customer can sign up for their server's announcement list, and stay notified about anything that effects them. If they don't care, then they just don't subscribe.
A good web host will be pro-active with information concerning their customers. That's just smart business since it results in happy customers, and less work for the host.
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Thanks guys, you are restoring my faith in the industry.
Yes, these notices seem like just plain old common sense, but in my experience few hosts bother. So, one more way to be competitive.
Mr. Zippy, your "per server" point was a very good one, plus the optin angle. I like it. Oh, and I just discovered your site, and enjoyed your cleverness and wit. I am carefully weighing the big decision. :-)
Jim2Macs, yes great customer service, and great sales also. Witness this thread, here I am, an impressed customer, doing free word of mouth advertising for Newsguy.
In this notice, Newsguy alerts us to a problem upstream. I'll have to watch more carefully, and see if they also send notices when they themselves make some kind of mistake, as we all do from time to time.