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  1. #1

    Pre-sales service, am I expecting too much?

    I'm hunting for an EU-based VPS, and (sadly) moving away from ServInt. For the record, I've not got a bad word to say about them; their hardware and support has been excellent, but a combo of 90% of my users being in the UK and wanting to bring my entire operation under the Data Protection Act necessitates a server move to the EU. Anyway...

    I'm after some opinions from the wise people at WHT as to whether my pre-sales support expectations are unrealistic...

    - I've exchanged 3 pre-sales email queries with one provider and the response has got worse and worse (20mins, 1.5hrs, and now 19hrs and rising). Now, I'd much rather a stretched support team be fixing issues than pandering to pre-sales, but surely simple pre-sales questions should be getting a better response time than that?!

    - One line in their ToS (with regards to refunds) mentions support paid for at an hourly rate not being refunded. Fair enough, but nowhere else on the site is paid-for support ever mentioned, so I wanted some clarity regarding what sort of support request would cost me money, and what that costs (hourly rate) would be should I incur them. The response was;

    "We offer support on a best effort basis without charge most of the time although this is not guaranteed."

    Despite pressing the issue with another email, my query regarding the costs has been completed ignored. My concern is that their response (+ not answering the cost question) leaves them open to decide which support queries will cost, and how much they will cost, on a whim. That makes me nervous.

    Am I being unreasonable in asking these questions? Or is this the sign of a badly supported VPS?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Manila
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    958
    Quote Originally Posted by mookle View Post

    "We offer support on a best effort basis without charge most of the time although this is not guaranteed."
    My Suggestion:
    Find another host.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    314
    You can ask any questions you wish - and rightly so, but do bare in mind - support / service comes at a price. Therefore, do not expect the world, at bottom-out prices ... it looks good in sales pitches, but doesn't work in reality.

    After your experience, you definitely have to exercise your due-diligence, albeit, within reason.

    VPS's generally would be a month-to-month contract, and in todays' pricing, the market is very competitive and I'm sure you'll find something - just ensure you manage your client's DNS (domains) seperately from your hosting provider, as I'm sure you will have seen, some providers "hijack" the domains when the client considers a move ...

    Good luck.
    Intellitech I.T. Solutions Ltd.
    Intellitech Hosting - Dedicated Servers in Atlanta, Tampa, Dallas, Washington, Seattle (USA), London (UK) & EU
    Server Load Balancing, Hardware Firewalls, MPLS Connectivity

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by intellitech View Post
    You can ask any questions you wish - and rightly so, but do bare in mind - support / service comes at a price. Therefore, do not expect the world, at bottom-out prices ... it looks good in sales pitches, but doesn't work in reality.
    Agreed. The server in question is unmanaged, so I'd expect to pay if I borked the php.ini, couldn't fix it, and needed them to get the server back online in 15mins at 4am. But to not say how much it'll cost per hour and to not give a *soild* indication of what constitutes a invoiceable support ticket is evasive, surely?

    FYI, we aren't talking a cheap 'n' cheerful 5/pm VPS here, but (addons etc inc) more like 55/pm.
    Last edited by mookle; 07-10-2009 at 07:16 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    314
    Fair enough .. I get your point, and agree with you .. but some DC's (and very goods ones too) do mention that just to ensure they do not receive "petty" issues - i'm sure that wouldn't be your case ... perhaps you need to get a recommendation or an introduction on a personal level to a DC / provider ... I would recommend Clara.net
    Intellitech I.T. Solutions Ltd.
    Intellitech Hosting - Dedicated Servers in Atlanta, Tampa, Dallas, Washington, Seattle (USA), London (UK) & EU
    Server Load Balancing, Hardware Firewalls, MPLS Connectivity

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Luxembourg
    Posts
    169
    IMHO, unless you really want to stick with your actual investigated solution, have a look elsewhere as you are not feeling quite right already before the mutual engagement - the chemistry does not seem to work.

    Re pre-sales questions, of course any question can and should be asked and answered.

    best,
    Datacenter Luxembourg
    sglange AT dclux DOT com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Luxembourg
    Posts
    169
    Another point, your budget seems normal and acceptable hence do not go with the cheapest.
    Datacenter Luxembourg
    sglange AT dclux DOT com

  8. #8
    I would expect top notch pre-sales support from any host i would go with.

    After it IS my money they want in the end, i am their business, it is in a hosts best interest.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Atlanta, Jawja
    Posts
    3,066
    If there's one thing my decade of experience in the hosting industry has taught me: Your first gut reaction is usually the correct one.

    If you're left dissatisfied with even the most basic of pre-sales inquries, that's a potential sign that support may not be much better.

    Always trust your first instinct... it's usually correct. "Look for another provider" would be my advice to you.
    Douglas Hazard - Certifiable Sports Junkie and Sports Community Enthusiast

    Host of Two Cents Radio - Follow @TwoCentsRadio on Twitter (@BearlyDoug on Twitter)

  10. #10
    After sending a second (polite) follow-up that has also been ignored I've decided to go with the advice, follow my gut instinct and move on...

    Cheers for all the advice guys!

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by mookle View Post

    - I've exchanged 3 pre-sales email queries with one provider and the response has got worse and worse (20mins, 1.5hrs, and now 19hrs and rising). Now, I'd much rather a stretched support team be fixing issues than pandering to pre-sales, but surely simple pre-sales questions should be getting a better response time than that?!
    While I'd trust my instincts, in a large operation, pre-sales is different than tech support in hours, staffing and capability to answer questions. So I wouldn't consider it indicative of overall responsiveness.

    Paul

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