Poor handling of outages @ Bluehost.com

I hate to write a complaint about Bluehost.com as I have been more then satisfied with their price, services, phone & web support and overall hosting experience.  Unfortunately after nearly 3 years of using their service I have finally found something to complain about.  Bluehost.com seems to have no process for scheduling upgrades or informing its customers of downtime.

I will eventually post the chat that I just had with bluehost support once my server returns online.  During the chat I was informed that 1.  There is no outage calendar,  2.  There is no notification, 3.  There is no way to display an outage message as opposed to no response.  I informed the support personnel I would do my best to share my displeasure with Matt Heaton and see if anything can be done to improve outage support.

Update:  Chat from yesterday’s support session via online chat

Jake [12:45:52 AM]: Hello and Welcome to our real-time chat. I am
answering more then one chat session at once so please be patient.
How can I help you today?
Zane [12:45:52 AM]: box464.bluehost.com down?
Jake [12:46:01 AM]: Whats the main domain on the account?
Zane [12:46:47 AM]: xxxxneighborhood.com
Jake [12:47:07 AM]: Thank You… please be patient and i will look into
the it for you.
Zane [12:47:15 AM]: ty
Jake [12:48:05 AM]: Currently we are performing an operating system
upgrade on your server..
This will accomplish a few issues, Like….
Faster service
more stable operation
and of course.. keeping up with the ever growing IT world.
However, There is No estimated time of compilation
We apologize for the inconvenience
If you are unable to access your account after about 3 hour please feel
free to contact us again for an update. Again we appreciate your
patience and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.
Zane [12:49:14 AM]: ok, do you guys have a calendar or schedule of
maintenance that I can check when this occures?
Jake [12:49:55 AM]: No.
[12:50:12 AM]: Sorry
Zane [12:50:54 AM]: Is there any way to have an outage page show?
Jake [12:52:03 AM]: No, cause you can’t even get access tot he account
from point to point.
Zane [12:52:57 AM]: but you could forward to another server while
it is down
Jake [12:53:48 AM]: No, we dont offer this.
Zane [12:55:07 AM]: This is unfortunate. I will see if there is
anything I can do about changing the way you guys handle outages. Thank
you.
Jake [12:55:34 AM]: Thank you for contacting our Live Chat. If you have
additional questions, many answers can be found through our
Knowledgebase. If you have other issues arise please let us know.
Remember our World Class Support is just a click away!
Have a nice day! Jake.

Jake [12:45:52 AM]: Hello and Welcome to our real-time chat. I am

answering more then one chat session at once so please be patient.

How can I help you today?

Zane [12:45:52 AM]: boxXXX.bluehost.com down?

Jake [12:46:01 AM]: Whats the main domain on the account?

Zane [12:46:47 AM]: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com

Jake [12:47:07 AM]: Thank You… please be patient and i will look into

the it for you.

Zane [12:47:15 AM]: ty

Jake [12:48:05 AM]: Currently we are performing an operating system

upgrade on your server..

This will accomplish a few issues, Like….

Faster service

more stable operation

and of course.. keeping up with the ever growing IT world.

However, There is No estimated time of compilation

We apologize for the inconvenience

If you are unable to access your account after about 3 hour please feel

free to contact us again for an update. Again we appreciate your

patience and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

Zane [12:49:14 AM]: ok, do you guys have a calendar or schedule of

maintenance that I can check when this occures?

Jake [12:49:55 AM]: No.

[12:50:12 AM]: Sorry

Zane [12:50:54 AM]: Is there any way to have an outage page show?

Jake [12:52:03 AM]: No, cause you can’t even get access tot he account

from point to point.

Zane [12:52:57 AM]: but you could forward to another server while

it is down

Jake [12:53:48 AM]: No, we dont offer this.

Zane [12:55:07 AM]: This is unfortunate. I will see if there is

anything I can do about changing the way you guys handle outages. Thank

you.

Jake [12:55:34 AM]: Thank you for contacting our Live Chat. If you have

additional questions, many answers can be found through our

Knowledgebase. If you have other issues arise please let us know.

Remember our World Class Support is just a click away!

Have a nice day! Jake.

Update:

After reviewing my emails from bluehost.com I found an email 7/30/09 stating.

In the next 72 hours we will be upgrading the server xxxxneighborhood.com is hosted on from CentOS 4.7 to 5.3. We expect for the upgrade to take approximately 1.5 – 2 hours to complete. Most users will not be impacted by this upgrade, however several key items will be updated:

Unfortunately the current outage is not within the 72 hour warning.

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Comcast Relocation Request

For my first review lets do Comcast Cable Television.  I am sure many of you have had to deal with Comcast Television support before.  The attempted transaction I will try to accomplish is a simple “Move” notification which would require Comcast to receive input of a date, account information and a new location.  They should then check services available in the new location as well as current service technicians in that area’s schedule.

 Step 1:  Call 1-800-Comcast

Dialed 1-800-Comcast.  Select English.  Select change account or services.  After a few rings I am disconnected.  Not going to try that one again.

Step 2:  Try online support.

Opened http://www.comcast.com/Corporate/Customers/contactus/ContactUs.html

Selected Live Chat.  After a few failed recommendations I open a chat (this one was unfortunately not captured for your entertainment.  I closed it before I started this blog.  In summary, after 30 mins of telling the technician details about me and my account the technician fwd me to http://www.comcast.com/move .  I filled out all forms and found that this section put me in line to chat with another technician.  Place in line, 30.  I tried to explain how asinine this was that I would be placed back in line to talk to a technician but eventually sensed the communication capabilities of the technician at hand was limited.

I close said chat window and wait an hour for the new technician to arrive.  This conversation flows as follows…

user Zane has entered room

Zane(Tue May 27 11:11:21 EDT 2008)>Order Information

analyst Emerjoy has entered room

Emerjoy(Tue May 27 11:47:32 EDT 2008)>Hello Zane, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Emerjoy. Please give me one moment to review your information.

Emerjoy(Tue May 27 11:47:34 EDT 2008)>Welcome to the online chat portion of the Comcast Transfer of Service order system.  Let me take a few moments to confirm the serviceability of your new address.  Please feel free to ask any questions you might have as we work through this process.

Zane(Tue May 27 11:48:06 EDT 2008)>Hello

Emerjoy(Tue May 27 11:48:39 EDT 2008)>Hello Zane, how are you today?

Zane(Tue May 27 11:48:41 EDT 2008)>Good

Zane(Tue May 27 11:48:44 EDT 2008)>so how does it look?

Emerjoy(Tue May 27 11:49:25 EDT 2008)>Your new address is serviceable Zane, we can proceed with the transfer process.  In order to do so, I must verify security on your existing account.  Can you please give me the account number or the last 4 digits of the account holder’s SSN?

Zane(Tue May 27 11:49:35 EDT 2008)>xxxx

Emerjoy(Tue May 27 11:49:42 EDT 2008)>Thank you. I understand you are interested in transferring Digital Package; High-Speed Internet to your new address. Is this correct xx Xxxxxxx,xxxxx?

Zane(Tue May 27 11:50:32 EDT 2008)>yes

Emerjoy(Tue May 27 11:50:46 EDT 2008)>Please provide the nearest Cross intersection to your new home, so that the installer will have an easier time of finding your residence and we can ensure a punctual appointment. Thank you.

Zane(Tue May 27 11:51:19 EDT 2008)>Xxxxx and Xxxxxxxx

Emerjoy(Tue May 27 11:51:27 EDT 2008)>The technician may call approximately 15 minutes before arrival to your installation appointment. Please note that in the event that the technician does not receive an answer, the appointment may not be honoured. Is this the telephone number you would like the technician to call xxx-xxx-xxxx?

Zane(Tue May 27 11:51:37 EDT 2008)>no

Zane(Tue May 27 11:51:43 EDT 2008)>xxx-xxx-xxxx

Zane(Tue May 27 11:52:04 EDT 2008)>xxx-xxx-xxxx is my house phone number and I am not sure they will successfully transfer the phone in time

Zane(Tue May 27 11:52:25 EDT 2008)>I need to have the transfer done on the 21st as My wife and I work from home and need internet Monday

Zane(Tue May 27 11:52:47 EDT 2008)>is that a problem

Emerjoy(Tue May 27 11:53:01 EDT 2008)>I apologize, but we ask that you chat back with us closer to your move date.  The schedule has not yet been updated on our online chat system and we are not able to view available time slots for disconnection and installation as of yet.

Zane(Tue May 27 11:53:26 EDT 2008)>That is unacceptable

Zane(Tue May 27 11:53:32 EDT 2008)>I waited almost an hour for this chat

Zane(Tue May 27 11:53:52 EDT 2008)>You are to contact your manager and figure out how to schedule me for the 21st of June

Zane(Tue May 27 11:53:55 EDT 2008)>I am not doing this again

Emerjoy(Tue May 27 11:54:47 EDT 2008)>I do apologize Zane.  You can contact 1800COMCAST or visit a Local Comcast Office and they will be able to process your transfer immediately.  The Online Chat system does not offer us the flexibility to view schedules that far ahead in time.

Zane(Tue May 27 11:54:57 EDT 2008)>if you expect to type anything but ok please have your manager call me at xxx-xxx-xxxx immediatly

Zane(Tue May 27 11:55:07 EDT 2008)>ok,  have your manager call me

Zane(Tue May 27 11:55:14 EDT 2008)>I called 1800 comcast and it is down

Zane(Tue May 27 11:55:32 EDT 2008)>I chatted with a tech who forwarded me to comcast.com/move which forwarded me to you

Zane(Tue May 27 11:55:40 EDT 2008)>and I am not doing this again

Zane(Tue May 27 11:55:57 EDT 2008)>so you will lose me as a customer if you do not have you manager call me right now

Emerjoy(Tue May 27 11:56:07 EDT 2008)>Let me see if a supervisor is available to take a chat.

Zane(Tue May 27 11:56:12 EDT 2008)>thank you

Zane(Tue May 27 11:59:14 EDT 2008)>What is the ETA?

(about 30 mins past.  during this time http://upportreview.wordpress.com is born)

Zane(Tue May 27 12:08:15 EDT 2008)>FYI,  While I am waiting I am creating a blog to review you and your companies response to this request.  http://supportreview.wordpress.com/

Zane(Tue May 27 12:08:29 EDT 2008)>Everything from here on out is being recorded and is being published.

Zane(Tue May 27 12:08:41 EDT 2008)>I urge you to hurry up

Zane(Tue May 27 12:08:52 EDT 2008)>I am writing

Emerjoy(Tue May 27 12:09:15 EDT 2008)>I’m going to need you to be patient with me while I transfer our chat to a supervisor.  Both accounts are also being reviewed.

Emerjoy(Tue May 27 12:12:10 EDT 2008)>Please wait, while the problem is escalated to another analyst

analyst Eric has entered room

Eric(Tue May 27 12:12:25 EDT 2008)>Hello, my name is Eric and I’m the supervisor on duty at the moment.  I understand that you have questions regarding the disconnection and reconnection process, is that correct?

analyst Emerjoy has left room

Zane(Tue May 27 12:12:44 EDT 2008)>Hello

Zane(Tue May 27 12:12:55 EDT 2008)>are you there

Eric(Tue May 27 12:13:12 EDT 2008)>Yes, I am, Zane.

Zane(Tue May 27 12:13:38 EDT 2008)>can you call

Zane(Tue May 27 12:13:41 EDT 2008)>xxx-xxx-xxxx

Eric(Tue May 27 12:15:30 EDT 2008)>I’m afraid I’m not able to contact you by phone, as this is a chat center.  I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience associated with this process, however due to the inavailability of local scheduling slots, it’s not possible for us to schedule a disconnection and reconnection for you at this time at the national level through chat.  By visiting a local Comcast center in person, you may be able to have an arrangement made for a manual setup, but it cannot be setup through chat at the national level.  My apologies again for any inconvenience this delay may have caused.

Zane(Tue May 27 12:15:41 EDT 2008)>Epic Failure

Chat closed.

To be continued.  I have had enough Comcast for the day.