It feels rather anti-climactic, honestly, at this point. I mean, I got all of my data back, I’m happily running on a much better server through a company with awesome customer support (Fusix! We love Fusix!), and so maybe it doesn’t really matter that WiredHub fucked up royally last week, at this point.
Except that it does. It matters for a few reasons. It matters because they’re a service provider that failed to provide, you know, basic service. It matters because their customer service is atrocious and in this day and age, businesses simply cannot afford to treat their customers badly and not feel the impact. (Well, unless you have a monopoly on a given service in an area, not that I’m thinking of anyone COMCASTIC in particular.) It matters because I was treated like I’m stupid and OH NO HONEY, I DON’T THINK SO.
And it matters because thanks to this little thing I like to refer to as “free speech,” I’m going to tell you all about it. And you are going to tell your friends about it. And they will tell their friends. And maybe my pals at WiredHub will change their business practices, or maybe they will just continue treating their few remaining customers like garbage. I mean, I suppose it’s their choice.
Let’s start not with what WiredHub did wrong, but with what I should’ve done differently. I’m perfectly willing to take the blame for my mistakes in this scenario. If you’re a fellow online type, listen up here. Although many of my readers know me only through this here blog, the situation I found myself in last week thanks to WiredHub’s outage was critical to my business for several reasons. I run three different web sites—the bulk of my freelance business—as well as my business email through a hosting provider. This blog going down is a pain in the butt, but THIS is not what I was so upset about.
So, my mistakes:
1) I wasn’t backing up often enough. This falls squarely on me and I take the blame willingly. I used to back up my blogs once a week, which I hadn’t even been doing lately. I now know that once a week is not often enough, and I also know that I should’ve had a backup of everything ELSE, as well. 100% my fault; lousy practices, and I have since revamped how I personally deal with backing up my data.
2) I settled for poor customer service before this. Last week’s debacle with WiredHub was certainly the worst outage they’ve had in the time that I’ve been with them, but it’s not the only one. And guess what! Their response to other (smaller) problems was predictive of how they’d respond during a larger crisis. That is, their customer service sucked hairy donkey balls even when the problem wasn’t very big, so what did I expect when things really blew up? The VERY FIRST TIME they had an outage and responded slowly and non-informatively, I should’ve switched providers.
3) I tried to save money. Yeah, you read that right. It pains me to admit this. I’m the bargain queen! I am all about saving a buck! Well, there are some places where you can’t cut corners, and this is one of them. This does not, by the way, excuse WiredHub—their web site boasts a “Rapid Response Guarantee” and “Guaranteed 99.9% Uptime” (both of which are apparently optional, or at least they were last week)—but nevertheless, I am willing to accept the blame of having tried to save some money at the expense of service I needed. Because none of my sites involve a lot of data transfer, I CAN go with a basic hosting package and it will meet my needs in the sense that I’ll have enough storage and bandwidth. But it shouldn’t have taken a crisis for me to learn that paying more for more service is the right way to go in this scenario.
Those are the things I’m willing to cop to in this situation.
Now. Let’s talk about WiredHub.
Back during a previous outage—when I was opening service tickets and pulling my hair out—it did occur to me to ask their customer service if there was some way I could upgrade to a different package. Say, one where they actually responded to problems and had redundant servers and such? While they were very quick to suggest a much more expensive “business services” package for my consideration, after a few questions it was revealed that the difference between THAT package and the one I was already on was mostly that it cost more. So I should’ve taken the clue and run like hell then, I guess. Heck, even the CSR I was corresponding with (via email, always via email, because NO HUMAN BEINGS WORK AT WIREDHUB, or—at the very least—no humans are allowed to answer the phone there) reviewed my usage and remarked that there was really no reason to upgrade, as mostly what the other package offered was more storage.
But I know what you’re thinking. “Mir!” you’re thinking, “What exactly happens at WiredHub when there’s a service outage?”
Oh, my darlings. It’s magical.
First of all, there’s no notification of any kind, of course. Once you open a service ticket, you get to wait hours for someone to respond and say “Huh. Okay, we’re working on it.” And if you are EXTRA SUPER LUCKY, you get to have an exchange like I did last week where first they tell you one thing, then they tell you another, and as the hours tick by and your frustration grows, you ask to speak to a supervisor, and then of course the fine folks at WiredHub ignore that request—and why not, they’ve pretty much ignored everything else you asked for/about—and so in your NEXT response to their non-information (which at this point can be summed up with “blah blah blah not sure blah blah blah working on it”) you end with:
Thanks for letting me talk to a supervisor, by the way. Oh, that’s right—you didn’t. Duly noted. Well, once I get my business back on track and finish apologizing to folks who were unable to access my services for an entire business day, I will be sure to spread the word about the awesome service I received here at WiredHub.
[My favorite part here is how this was after just a day of being down, before I had any idea that when all was said and done we’d be looking at three and a half days of down time.]
And then the next thing that happens is that a CSR SCOLDS YOU for being sarcastic:
We have been very professional with you thus far, and don’t deserve the level of sarcasm that you have portrayed in this ticket because a supervisor wasn’t available at the time.
Poor WiredHub! They do not deserve my sarcasm after an entire day of basically telling me to go pound sand while they finish playing Halo! And it’s funny, because I never thought of myself as particularly psychic, but apparently their failure to even ADDRESS my request for a supervisor in any way meant that golly gee, honest, we looked for one but one wasn’t available, and I SHOULD’VE KNOWN THIS despite their not having SAID A WORD. Yep. That’s professional.
And then you might respond thusly:
No, the support team has been polite. And at this point I suppose I have ceased to be, owing to the huge frustration I am experiencing. Professional would be responding to my ticket in a timely manner (no), giving an estimated uptime (no), and fixing the problem within a reasonable period of time (also no). I am not asking for the moon here; I am asking for the service promised to me in return for my payment. WiredHub has failed to deliver on all counts, and while I suppose I could be silent or pretend that this is okay with me, I am quite simply appalled.
I’m sure that everyone on the support staff who responded to me today are very nice guys and good at their jobs and kind to small animals and all of that. I am not angry with THEM (or you). I am quite upset with the service model here, however. I cannot conduct business with an unreliable hosting service. Not only has the service been unreliable but the reaction has been lackluster. Neither of which falls under the definition of professional.
The response to your clarification in this matter will be… deafening silence.
I waited another twelve hours before sending in another ticket to note that HEY WIREDHUB, YOU SEEM TO STILL BE DEAD HERE, and in a super-timely response (over three hours later) was told quite cheerfully that “this is definitely not a normal situation” (gee, YA THINK?) and they still had no ETA on a system restoration, but that I would be receiving a full credit for this month’s service charge! All I would need to do would be to OPEN ANOTHER GODDAMN TICKET to request it!
It was right around here that my head exploded.
At this point I went and breathed into a paper bag for a while before responding, and when I did finally point out that nothing seemed to be happening, I was told that things would be up that night or the next morning at the earliest.
The next morning everything was still dead. So I responded to the original ticket (because I am a glutton for punishment, and no matter how many times WiredHub responded with nonsense, I just felt deep in my hopeful little heart that EVENTUALLY they’d have to say SOMETHING that made sense), and I also went ahead and opened a ticket directly with management at WiredHub.
I detailed the saga thus far, pointing to the open tickets so they could read the previous conversation, and closed with:
I am addressing this ticket to management as I find it incomprehensible that you are aware that this is how your service is being run. First I was scolded by your technical staff for being sarcastic (which, funny, is a side of me that comes out when my entire business is taken offline by a company promising 99.9% uptime), then I was lied to by your sales staff. Is there anyone at WiredHub who will actually help me fix this problem?
The response was just as awesome as everything I’d been told previously, and it was delivered with the LIGHT SPEED PROMPTNESS that only WiredHub can offer, which is to say that it arrived THREE DAYS LATER:
I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused. This was probably one of the worst issues we have had with a server and it was not a pleasant experience for any of us. I can assure you however, that our staff would have assisted you and provided you with an ETA if they could.
We are working on a new website design which will allow server updates and information right on our website for better communication in such instances.
Dontcha just feel all warm and fuzzy inside, after reading that? I know I did. I mean, hey! They apologize for the inconvenience!
The next time I completely fail to deliver on the services which I’ve promised a client, I am going to apologize for the inconvenience which this has caused. I think that’ll go over really well.
Interestingly enough, the ONLY ticket I opened during this ordeal (and there were, I think, six total that ended up being part of this) that was responded to in under an hour was the one where I let them know that they should cancel my service. That one they hopped right on, although of course they completely ignored my lengthy explanation of how disappointed I was in WiredHub’s service. There was no apology, no acknowledgment of the fact that I am leaving them for another service provider because they completely failed to do what they were contracted to do.
WiredHub does not keep their word.
I, on the other hand, do. I told them I would be sharing their awesome customer service with the world, and I am. That’s WiredHub. WiredHub. Share the love, people.
Ugh, despicable. There is never any excuse for poor customer service. Even if they were unable to fix the problem right away, they should have been responding to your inquiries immediately, apologizing profusely, and keeping you updated on all the things they were doing to get you up and running right away. I hope word spreads about their unbelieveably lack of service so that no one else will have to suffer the frustration you did. And so that they see the light.
Oh. My. Gosh. What fun for you. Not. No amount of chocolate – bacon or otherwise – can make that right.
Augh! Is there anything, anything at all more frustrating than computer based crap like this? I have never, ever had good customer service and honestly I think it’s because the reps all believe that they are Computer People with Higher Knowledge and all us customers are dirt-eating morons. Thing is you were, yes, sarcastic in your messages but you were also FUNNY. Damn CSR folks should have been thanking you for at least complaining at them with wit and style.
I admire your restraint on the heels of such a debacle.
Although I have no knowledge of ANY of this kind of stuff, I clicked on their site, just to have a look-see. I find it interesting that (surprise!) all WiredHub’s community forums are currently closed… Why do you suppose that is??? Maybe because their own community (what’s left of it) would be toasting them like flaming marshmallows if allowed to comment!!
Glad you’re back and better off!
I can’t recall any positive phoned in customer service experience, but I think that by what you’ve told, this is by far the worst I’ve heard of. I can’t believe they scolded you.
HA! Because I’m a geek, I counted 23 times WiredHub was mentioned in this post. This is going to do wonders for WiredHub’s SEO. That’s WiredHub, people, WiredHub.
I love a good story told by you, Mir! WiredHub SUCKS!
I also *pink puffy heart* my hosting company which I picked scientifically based on the fact that they have my favorite color in their name: BlueHost. But they are always really awesome and I have *gasp* a phone number to reach real people. In Colorado. Where they speak English. It’s awesome.
Mir, you’re pretty and funny and we’re glad you are back!
Well, they sound like a bunch of twits, and I’m glad you won’t be dealing with them anymore. This entry would be really funny if it weren’t just so sad – and anger-inducing!
Wow, that just made me love my hosting service even more. That is incredibly bad customer service. Shockingly bad. And I think that they are getting what they deserve in this post!
Uggghhh. There is absolutely no excuse for that sort of customer service. They should have been in constant contact with you, providing updates on the situation and expected uptime, etc. *I* manage to do that much with my customers, and I’m usually the one who’s also in charge of fixing whatever it is that blew up.
I was about to say that sometimes a 3-day downtime can be explained, but you know what? No it cannot. They should have had some sort of DR plan in place to get you back up and running on new hardware or something once it became apparent that they were not looking at a quick fix. Especially when they promise you that sort of uptime. Ass-monkeys all around, and I’m glad you’re now free of them.
Snap, snap! You could start another business wherein you hire out your services as online customer advocate. You’re that good.
Un-flipping-believable. I’m so sorry you had to endure that crap.
::: cheers :::
To better days ahead! :)
This post is already on page 2 when I googled “wiredhub” just now.
So glad you are back!
They sound like a right bunch of eijits.
Glad you are back!
I also admire your tenacity. I have the tedency to sit in the corner and cry during a time of crisis. You seem to have done better than I could have. Glad you are back!
Down with Wiredhub! Yay, Mir, for “speaking” up!
So hmmmmm. When you click on the link for “see what our customers say” you find that the forums are closed. The exact message: “The WiredHub community forums are currently closed. Please direct all quieries to out support desk located at http://www.wiredhub.net/customer-care.html.”
It is sad that their solution to bad publicity is to stifle free speech. (Not that we’ve seen THAT anywhere before.) It is sadder still that they don’t have anyone proofing their messages. Perhaps poor spelling is representative of their general attitude towards details. Details like uptime, backup servers, and test plans…
I’m glad you’ve found someone else.
Good for you! You are so right that good customer service should not be an ‘option’ or hit-and-miss practice. And umm, remind me not to ever make you mad at me.
Interesting on their site they “guarantee” speedy customer service response!! I’ll surely pass the word. Sorry for your pain though.
May I also suggest sending this saga to Consumerist.com if you really want to spread the word?
Someone else who is feeling the love for WiredHub. Teehee. http://edclarke.blogspot.com/2007/05/never-use-wiredhub.html Figured it was worth typing WiredHub again if it means that has an impact on this page showing up on google.
Sorry that they totally screwed up. I’m so happy you are back now. You are part of my morning routine so I’m blaming WiredHub for my screwy week last week (even if it really had more to do with my poor planning). I need my daily dose of Mir.
I am a huge believer in word of mouth and customer service. WiredHub will not receive any business from me or my family. Thank you for saving us the time and frustration of dealing with a company that does not keep their word or deliver professional service!
I’m sure they are nice to small animals. I bet they bring treats for the squirrels on the treadmill that powers their servers.
Your digg it link is not working! :(
Never Mind! I’m crazy!
WiredHub sucks.WiredHub has provided Mir with poor service.WiredHub sucks.WiredHub.WiredHub.We missed you,Mir.I hope anyone googling WiredHub to check out their service gets send to this site.
Yup, you’re still on the second page of Google–Why WiredHub Can Kiss My Ass. Hee!
And you gotta love oday’s new vocaublary word, courtesy of Dawn: Ass-monkeys.
WiredHub still sucks.I do not hope people get “send” to Mir’s site.SENT!I meant SENT!And WiredHub still sucks.We pink puffy heart Mir.
Here’s my 2 cents – their site says “3 hour response time guaranteed” and “99.9% uptime guaranteed” – or they refund you money based on an interesting scale. It looks to me like they may owe you a minimum of 150% of last month’s charges, and then some. Add the stupidity surcharge and I figure they owe you for at least a year.
At least they didn’t say “we’re sorry you’re upset,” which is my favorite non-apology.
I’m glad you’ve found someone who does make you feel all warm and fuzzy and I’ll help spread the word about WiredHub!
stupidity surcharge…that’s funny!
So glad the long ordeal is over!
I can’t stop laughing at this claim on their homepage:
“Extreme reliability! Investing in top-quality hardware and network ensures rock-solid stability and a blazing fast premium network.”
hmmmm, I think they invested too much in their blazing fast, rock-solid hardware and not enough in people to manage/run it. Glad you’re back up and running, Mir!
I don’t mean to alarm you with technical issues, Mir, but this one entry has appeared in my bloglines feed nine times!
Ha! Take that, WiredHub! I am off to broadcast the grand suckitude of WiredHub to everyone I’ve ever met.
WiredHub sucks! Sorry you lost revenue, Mir and stressed out for several days. We missed you here and we’re all happy you’re back – and WiredHub totally SUCKS! (I’ll do my best to make sure that leaks out at the next BlogHer.)
I’m glad you are back. And away from that lousy Wiredhub company.
You know, I went through this, and I did something pretty drastic. I bought my own servers.
I now own two, and run hosting for people, but my huge learning curve meant that I didn’t – really – write for a year. Its been worth it, cause I can handle my own traffic, I’ve hired a great company to babysit my server when I can’t – and it costs me less than buying hosting for each of my different sites now.
Its good to have you back though – I was worried when you vanished.
What IS it this week? See:
We are so glad you are back.
This morning on the way home from the-chaos-called-drop-your-child(ren)-off-at-school-that-means-no-parking-no-drivers-getting-out-of-the-car-how-many-times-do-you-have-to-be-reminded-you-morons, I decided that I want one thing from Santa: A bumper sticker that simply states:
Stupid people piss me off
Should I order one for you, Mir?! :)
I am sure your experience was tough and you were frustrated with your former server BUT it is tough to be a CSR when all hell is breaking loose. I work for an airline and have to deal with customers who have become completely unglued over certain situations beyond anyone’s control. Stuff breaks and sometimes you have no idea when it will be fixed. If your complaint is that you were not getting any answer (and sometimes the only answer is “I don’t know”) then you are correct in slamming the company. But you can not expect them to magically fix the problem instantly because you are frustrated. Glad you are back and hope that you have good luck with this company.
i wonder if you’d be willing to share more specifically how you have revamped backup practices. I’ve got a feeling mine are not nearly vamp-y enough.
Even if they couldn’t fix the problem or give you an ETA, they could’ve been much more professional and sympathetic to your complaints. The fact that they scolded you over your sarcasm made my blood absolutely boil; I can’t imagine how it must’ve made you feel.
Customer service these days is full of nothing but excuses, IMO, for why they can’t be more professional/accommodating/pleasant/fill in the blank. It SUCKS.
I just googled WiredHub, and you are the 5th result!! I don’t even need to scroll down to see it, thats so awesome.
But not really, because they suck so much. I can’t believe that they are still in business if thats how they conduct themselves.
Mir…I know you will appreciate this review of WiredHub.
“Tom Reichert, 17th of May, 2007
WiredHub is the most technically challenged bunch of idiots on the planet. DO NOT USE THEM FOR WEB HOSTING. Very unresponsive and usless.”
I just wanted to second what Rachel said in her comment – you show up above the fold on a Google search for WiredHub. Your title looks almost poetic there.