Posted on May 7, 2013 by

SurpassHosting (HostDime) Support Quality is Deminishing

Oh, Surpass, why must things be this way?

I have had a co-located server from SurpassHosting for several years. In my time there, I would have gladly recommended any one to use them (or their parent company, HostDime for that matter), but as time goes on, and as they continue to grow (I’m assuming here), their support is getting much less helpful, quick, and efficient.

There have been several support cases that I have had with them where they have shown a very lackadaisical approach to support. I think it’s pretty clear that their left hand isn’t talking to their right, and they are having their level one tech spend more time troubleshooting issues that are out of their realm. These cases went on for a very long time with very little progress being made. It wasn’t until we tweeted about them, that we started going any sort of help assistance. Even then, they started doing “troubleshooting” that they had already previously done. I finally tweeted that I was done with @HostDime and this is when they asked to help. I sent them a message that contained this:

The issue is not one ticket in general. It’s the overall view of the support and your support staff. They don’t seem to care, nor do they seem to be operating as they should.

They are unable to explain why anything happens, why anything is wrong, or why anything magically occurs. Granted hardware is a slippery slope and CAN be very difficult to work with. Especially when you deal with virtualization and servers that other people manage. I get that. I am a senior support engineer for IBM and work with all OSes on very complex applications. I know what it’s like to work on these types of issues so I sympathize, but when the issues you are dealing with are very complex, you need to make up for that lack of “knowing whats wrong” with the customer by making them feel like you are organized, structured, and are on top of the issue. This is where you have fallen short. If I were to support my customers anywhere near the way you guys have, I would be without a job.

The real trouble comes from the lack of mannerisms and management of the cases. Let’s take a look at a few examples for you to find my frustration.

1.) My current issue: 682905 – This issue could have been simple. The server halted for whatever reason. I opened a ticket for the issue as when I tried to trigger the restart from the core panel, I received an error. It took an hour and 15 minutes for your level one tech to tell me that the server had been “restarted” by him and that I could have done that myself in my panel. An hour and 15 minutes….. At any rate, after I replied to this, the case was escalated to level 2 and they found that my BIOS settings had magically changed, because ya know, those values stored on CMOS always magically change. Now, I have asked for what I need to get a minor refund on this issue since your SLA was not met. Since that request is has moved from Accounting to Client Relations, no less than 3 times. People must not think that gets paid attention to. Here we are, past noon Eastern Time and they still haven’t replied but it has been “actively viewed” several times throughout the day….

2.) [Name Redacted]’s issue 645984 – Now, while I am sure that you can’t talk to this one since I am not on his account, I can assure that I was involved in every piece of it and most of those replies were from me. There were SEVERAL instances where your support staff couldn’t even tell us what had changed from the last technicians post. This in itself is asinine. If they make changes, they need to be documented! Additionally, they spent 2+ weeks chasing a rabbit down the rabbit hole and they weren’t even close. Which I pointed out to them several times. It wasn’t until we tweeted we started getting someone that was competent to look into the issue. At that point we had to go down the route of several things we had ALREADY TRIED. I am not sure whether this is because we were lied to before, whether it wasn’t done correctly before, or what, but this type of stuff should not happen.

These are the kinds of things that have been rampant in the more recent cases that we have both had on our accounts. It is becoming more of a burden then we can afford to have at this point in time. The 3rd account is a startup company which promises to grow very large, very quickly. We CAN’T afford to have improperly supported servers when that time comes. We have been exploring our options and you are likely going to lose 3 accounts over this. My goal is to not hurt you, or make you afraid, as I am sure that we are merely a drop in a bucket for how many clients you have, but you should know I do have some resentment over this though, as I used to love hostdime and would recommend you to anyone in a moments notice. I now feel like I would be doing that person an injustice if I recommended your services.

We never received a reply from anyone, or any kind of sign to show us that they would do their best to prevent these issues from occurring again. At this point in time, I am looking at my options to move to another host as soon as I find the right price/support/reliability ratio.