Hostgator.com Support Going Down Hill?

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A few days ago, I forget which post it was but I was giving praise to Hostgator.com in regards to their support. After all I have used hostgator.com, godaddy.com, and a few of the Endurance International Group sites (EIG) and honestly hostgator.com is the better of the hosts mentioned. I do design for a living, and while my rates are not cheap my customers can be. They sometimes think that the hosting should be dirt cheap, as they have no idea what is going on beyond the curtain.

Hosts like Hostgator.com are the equivalent of Panda Express.  

Many customers I have that want cheap hosts like hostgator.com have a mind frame like my nephew.  When he was 12 he refused to eat French fries at my place as he was afraid they were made from some kind of vegetable (Keep in mind I am a strict vegan), soon he got a lesson from his non-vegan grandmother what they were made of. This year he turns 20 and he thinks places like Panda Express offer custom made food. For those that are unfamiliar with what Panda Express is, they claim to sell Chinese food (ok I am no fan). You grab a tray point out what is under a hot lamp and they dish it out to you, not cooked to order in what amounts to a school lunch line.  Personally never been a fan of Chinese restaurant chains and prefer locally own places. If you are ever in the Phoenix Arizona area I recommend a place called Uncle Lee’s and sons.  Granted only been there once but they really know how to cook tofu.

With anything that is cheap you can’t expect perfection. One of my colleagues had an issue dealing with one of their online techs. Well not just one issue but several. This time around hostgator.com went two days without responding to a ticket.

Do you think this personally bothers me that hostgator.com took 2 days to deal with a ticket?

In short no, I actually expect worse.  Apply the whole cheap hosting against the car industry and you will get a glimpse into my thinking on the hosting industry.  Companies like hostgator.com want you to think that they offering you a Ferrari, when truth of the matter is they are offering you a Pinto, Gremlin, maybe even a 1970’s VW beetle.   Don’t get me wrong these are cars that will get you where you want to go (provided they are taken care of), and often they may be the most practical solution given a person’s means. But that does not mean you are going to win any races against a Ferrari. Even if hostgator.com was not to do this, the others would for sure.  After all people generally gravitate to where the biggest perceived deal is.  Hostgator.com has no problem pushing people to buy on such deception especially under the guise of getting your hosting for $0.01.

Overkill verification with hostgator.com

The below is a chat session with hostgator.com to be clear I am not the one named AngryMonkey. Generally I try to remain calm even if things are really slow on the host’s end. The reason being I have clauses in my design contracts that stipulate that I get paid for any time that goes beyond the contract when caused by a third party that was selected by the customer.  Third party in this case is hostgator.com.  Most of my overage fees are with Endurance International Group hosts. The below chat is not something I recommend both for customer or hostgator.com.

(7:12 am) [System] Customer has entered chat and is waiting for an agent.
(7:13 am) [Cody B.] Welcome to HostGator Live Chat. My name is Cody. I’m happy to assist you today.
(7:13 am) [Cody B.] Hey there AngryMonkey, can I have the ticket ID this is regarding please?
(7:13 am) [AngryMonkey]:  *REMOVED*
(7:13 am) [Cody B.] Thanks 🙂
(7:13 am) [AngryMonkey]: Does HostGator still own SEOHOSTING.COM or is it out of business?
(7:14 am) [Cody B.] I assure you nothing has changed about SEOHOSTING.COM.
(7:14 am) [Cody B.] For security purposes, I will need you to verify your identity by providing the PayPal transaction ID of your most recent payment, or the last 4 digits of the credit card on file for the account, depending on your payment method. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. 
(7:14 am) [AngryMonkey]: Unbelievable. One minute. I will log into the account.
(7:14 am) [Cody B.] I do apologize.
(7:15 am) [AngryMonkey]: *REMOVED*is the last transaction ID
(7:16 am) [Cody B.] I’m sorry, it would be PayPal transaction IDs only. I can accept the last 4 of your credit card on file, or the 4 to 8 digit number known as the security PIN number on the account.
(7:16 am) [AngryMonkey]: Jesus Christ. I’m logged into the account, I have given you a ticket number, and I’m complaining with regard to a ticket that has NO response in 2 days. Just a minute. I will log into my PayPal account now.
(7:17 am) [Cody B.] I can send you an email at your gmail account and have you reply if that’s easier.
(7:19 am) [AngryMonkey]: What would be easier if you  just updated the ticket. But go ahead and send me an email and I will jump through your hoops.
(7:20 am) [Cody B.] It is sent, if you could please reply back to me via email I will have you fully verified. I do appreciate your patience.
(7:20 am) [AngryMonkey]: This email is to confirm that the owner of this email, and the related HostGator account, is in Live Chat with a HostGator agent named Cody. You are requesting personal information about the HostGator account. Please reply to this email confirming that you are the owner and that you are currently speaking to this person via chat. 

Best Regards, 

Cody B. 
Phone / Chat Support Technician 
HostGator.com LLC 
http://support.hostgator.com
(7:20 am) [AngryMonkey]: Happy?
(7:20 am) [Cody B.] Can you please send me a reply via email?
(7:21 am) [AngryMonkey]: I just replied via the ticket
(7:21 am) [AngryMonkey]: Now, do you want to tell me what’s going on? I have other HG accounts, but not purchased via SEOHOSTING.COM — and I am already regretting my decision.
(7:22 am) [AngryMonkey]: I understand you need to verify my ID, but that has NOTHING to do with getting adequate response to a ticket.
(7:23 am) [Cody B.] I just need to fully verify your ID so I can give the ticket to my supervisor and have someone take care of it right now.
(7:23 am) [Cody B.] I’m just trying to help but in order to put in the request I need full verification, I’m not seeing a reply to the ticket at this time. I know it seems kind of silly and I do apologize.
(7:24 am) [AngryMonkey]: Well, congrats. You’ve covered your ass. But if you just looked at the ticket, you would see it has nothing to do with security or access and everything to do with getting a response.  It’s absurd. Seriously, when a customer is inconvenienced due to a lack of support and/or response, to inconvenience that person further is just absurd.
(7:24 am) [AngryMonkey]: Is there anything else you need from me at this time?
(7:25 am) [Cody B.] I need you to send me a reply to the ticket please.
(7:27 am) [AngryMonkey]: Sent.
(7:28 am) [Cody B.] Thank you so much. I have you fully verified. I’m going to get with my supervisor and get this ticket taken care of for you right now.
(7:29 am) [AngryMonkey]: Great. Wonderful.
(7:32 am) [AngryMonkey]: Anything else I need to do at this time?>
(7:33 am) [Cody B.] If you could just remain in chat for a moment just in case there’s anything the migrations team needs from you that I may be missing. 
(7:35 am) [AngryMonkey]: Cody, I’ve been waiting TWO days. I’ve jumped through your employer’s silly hoops. IF you and HG haven’t figured out by now that making a client wait for support is a bad idea, then I’m out of here. If I don’t get a response to the ticket within 12 hours, I will simply cancel. I’m not waiting any longer. Sorry. I do apologize. I know you don’t make the policies, but no… I’m not going to wait any longer. I’ve been on chat for 23 minutes.
(7:35 am) [System] Chat closed by customer request.

Don’t get me wrong there is a point and time to be secure and ask for things that identify a customer as who they are. But I think a big identifier is when a customer points to a hostgator.com ticket that has not been dealt with for 2 days.  Frankly security is the last thing hostgator.com  should worry about here, as who is going to know that ticket has not been dealt with for 2 days aside for Hosgator.com? Seriously the hostgator.com tech spent too much time trying to verify who a customer was rather than looking to see that a ticket was dealt with.

But that is beside the point; we are talking about cheap unlimited hosting offered by hostgator.com. Customers are not individuals in this market they are numbers.  What can you expect from a company that charges as low as $3.96 a month?

Since my friend has had other issues with Hostgator.com he has noticed a few other problems with chat. First is it seemed the line on support was getting longer. But a change happen this month where instead of showing a place , a time with a really long decimal point was coming up. Personally not a bad touch if only they would change it to two decimal point. But here the second problem and it’s a real kicker they answer the chat and find some reason to “look at the issue” to take another 15 – 20 minutes.

Hostgator.com chat Before

Hostgator.com chat After

Normally I try to refrain from profanity being posted on this site. By my friend (aka AngryMonkey) had this to say about Hostgator.com:

Comment retracted at author’s request

I don’t quite see the same thing, but perhaps a clue to the server’s problem may be that servers should not be in a swamp. Look down mister hostgator.com, look down.

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