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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