Wow...just did a hosting search as 1&1 Hosting just deleted my site after a hardware malfunction. But that is another story...googled across to this Bliksem fallout and had to add my Bliksem story to the mix.
I wrote this a few months back after having enough of BliksemHosting...but did not post it here...guess the following sentiment is just old news now:
Bliksem Hosting Review
I am adding my experiences with Bliksem Hosting...
As a new reseller in the March of 2005, I had researched on various popular web hosting forums to find what sounded like an excellent up and coming year old web hosting company...Bliksem Hosting…one company that was willing to do what it takes for "100% customer satisfaction" (their site mission statement). They were more expensive then some other hosting companies, but as they say, you get what you pay for. So I felt pretty confident in my choice and disregarded the safe monthly fee approach, and signed up for the annual prepay to save a few more dollars.
Initially, I explained to them I had a few questions on how to get started as a reseller, domains, cPanel, Client Billings, etc., and was amazed at the speed of their support replies. It seemed their staff of Christina and Monty had the customer service down to a science. The answers were well written, and to the point. But as a first time reseller, I had a lot of questions, but this is why I went with Bliksem…for their customer service. Things looked good with Bliksem.
After receiving payment, the support team speedily set up my account and after a few more questions had my main domain pointed to their name servers and my first client web site was transferred and up in an hour. The next day I asked for them to set me up with the promised enom reseller account, but wondered how that would work because my current domains were also with enom. That morning their enom account shuffle explanation didn't seem to make sense to me, and I have been with enom since 2000. So I asked a few more questions, and after not getting his point across, asked if he could just phone me. Great I thought.
I received my first call from Jav and then experienced a very condescending lecture on how Bliksem does things…they know what to do and I don't. Obviously they know more than me, but to say it over & over to make his point instead of explaining the transfer process. I was not able to discuss much before I was cut off with much of my domain concerns. I knew Bliksem was a new hosting company, not a Registrar and he was talking about transferring from his account back to mine, etc. It all makes sense now, but what surprised me was the arrogance and lack of customer service that I had previously seen with Christina & Monty (the main support staff). But I took the lecture in stride and after a few hours my enom reseller account was born and I was able to push my domains over. Much easier done than what was explained to me.
Life was good with Bliksem for a few weeks. They installed Client Exec, even helped with a few Fantastico script questions. I integrated ClientExec into my new reseller website by branding and modding the php code. Recently I had added more clients and was looking to utilize the last tab in Client Exec, the Files tab…where my hosting clients could download any helpful utility apps or files. The ClientExec file upload hover instructs the admin to change the php.ini file if you would like to upload more than 2MB and I could post my favorite FTP & compression utilities with that little amount so I again submitted a Bliksem support ticket asking them to please change the max file size parameter on their shared php.ini admin could upload. Well they politely replied they will not make ClientExec changes on my behalf. What? I had paid them to install and set up ClientExec. Why couldn’t they just increase the max allowable file size from the default? Then maybe more admins would use that feature.
Well after a couple requests with only vague answers like… “that can only be done on semi-dedicated/dedicated servers or go to the ClientExec forum …we have over 70 CE users and not one has ever complained about that feature…we do not make server side changes for one domain on a shared server.” All I was hearing was no I will not do it for you. Bad interpretation on my part I agree, but good customer service should at least let me know why they can’t help me with that particular aspect of CE, so anyways after just surviving 3 sleepless nights from our new baby arrival…I “overstepped” and used the “j” word (no excuses for disrespect I know):
I said: “You are right, it should affect all admins as well since only a 2 MB cap on file upload limits what they can post with their CE program. It should be raised for anyone who wants to use that CE file service. No one is probably using that CE service because of this limit. It was set at a default that makes it a joke.” And then again to their no help reply I ended with a frustrated, “Thanks for your customer service. All 70 CE users are now limited to only 2 MB of File space. Unless I have access to my php.ini file your suggestion is also a "joke". Yes I was tired and cranky and had no business being sarcastic and actually felt better when Bliksem Support offered again to call me and explain. Great I thought.
Wrong. It was Jav again the “owner of Bliksem and am about to cancel your account for being abusive to my staff!” I apologized profusely and admitted I was wrong to be sarcastic with his client support. But then when I tried to ask why I had no access to change my php.ini file I was lectured for about ten minutes about how I was favoring one support rep over another-wrong, or accusing me of being the “meanest” and most troublesome client they have ever had-I was never abusive in any other support requests. He said I had asked about 30 support questions in the last 6 weeks since I signed up and the next in line below me had asked only eleven. He told me I did not know how to host a web site and he has over 1000 sites - upping the size of the max file size in CE would put a heavy load on their servers- I couldn’t even ask how that was different than using regular FTP links. For ten long minutes explained he was paged at 1am to reply to my “abusive comments” and it might have affected if the support staff would work with me again after that. And over and over that he might pull a “TOS” on me. Wow. I tried telling him he was being much more rude than my “joke” comments. I could do nothing but try to save my clients sites from being terminated and say I was sorry over and over. I did feel bad if I “abused” Christina or Monty because they have always tried to return support tickets fast, helpful to my questions or not they still tried. But this Jav Bliksem customer service was getting worse and worse.
I was wrong to say those 2 sarcastic comments and wrote and immediate apology to Monty & Christina. I was wrong to consider Bliksem hosting support at 100% customer satisfaction. Those 30 questions I asked Bliksem were in a string of support tickets relating to pertinent initial setup issues and were submitted less and less as time went on. None were rude except for those 2 comments posted above. And all were only submitted after I read through their sometimes contradicting knowledgebase many times (ie Perl bin path told in one location and their support ticket said another path. – They said “if I knew anything about Perl” I would know about the location – (I had Perl, PhP running just fine for 5 years on my IIS home server for 4 years – and yes I did Google the next day that the php.ini file can be located in the local folder – I don’t dare ask Bliksem for a copy of their php.ini settings for recreating my php.ini – at least not yet, I have to wait till his finger is off the terminate button.)
I don’t suggest I know more than Bliksem Hosting, or more than you readers, I am only taken back by their bipolar customer support that can have you quickly solving web hosting problems one minute or wondering if you dare challenge the great Bliksem the next. Needless to say, the next day I “submitted a partial refund request”. But silly me prepaid a year and even had upgraded my reseller hosting account but was just over the 30 day refund time. Jav called back after the refund request ticket and told me they will still give me customer support as long as I behave but he was still debating if he was going to pull a TOS on my account…that I should not leave yet or take it personally. I was to just forget it…and move on he told me. As a 41 year old professional, these are the life changing directions I deserve to hear from paid customer support. (Yes that was “abusive sarcasm”)
Well I decided to wait a few days before writing my comments above so to represent them fairly, but still wanted to let the public know Bliksem Hosting customer satisfaction is definitely not a 100% no matter how fast they can reply to a support ticket (watch out they are counting) or if I am the only client from Bliksem to speak up. I would definitely recommend their services for those that are in the hosting biz or those that can win over Jav by stroking his ego. Yes Jav I did take all your condescending and “abusive” comments personally. I guess the “joke” was on me for signing up with your company.