I’m not sure if anyone has noticed recently, but my blog (and a few other websites I have on the same server) has been running slowly…so I decided to change from a virtual dedicated server (VDS) to my own dedicated server with the same hosting company. The company, Godaddy.com, prides itself on providing ‘excellent customer service‘ but I think they are confused as to what the word ‘excellent’ means.

I’ve been using Godaddy as a domain registrar for more then 3 years and as the host to my VDS for a little over a year without any real problems…other than some speed issues. After seeing my blog running slowly, I took a look at the statistics and decided that it made sense to upgrade to my very own dedicated server. The cost of the dedicated server is roughly twice the VDS, but I figured it would be worth the money since I’d have my own server with only my websites loading it…plus I’d have some bragging rights with some of my friends 🙂

I placed the order for the dedicated server and expected the migration from the VDS to the dedicated machine to be painless both were using Plesk 8.x and I could take advantage of the Migration Manager to move all of my websites over to the new server. If everything had been painless I wouldn’t be writing this blog post.

After the new server had been setup (12 hours later) and I was able to login, I started the Plesk Migration Manager only to find that I didn’t have the necessary permissions on my old virtual server to run the migration. I decided to contact the the company’s technical support group for help. Big mistake.

After surfing over to their Tech Support page, I realize that they don’t provide a toll-free number for their clients. This isn’t that big of an issue for me, but should have been a sign of things to come. (Note to Godaddy – Toll-Free #’s are CHEAP these days). After calling the long-distance number I waited for about 15 minutes (even though the automated attendant told me that it would only be six minutes) before anyone came on the line. Once connected, to a helpdesk representative, I was immediately disconnected before I was able to say ‘hello’. Strike one.

After the connection was lost, I decided to email their support group using the email provided on their website. I put together a nicely worded email with my account # and pertinent information and then stepped away from the computer for a few hours to do a few other things around the house. After approximately 4 hours, I checked my email and found a response from Goaddy Tech Support. Good News? Nope. The email was an automated response saying that they had received my email query and that it had been assigned a help desk ticket #. 4 hours to get a ‘thanks for your email’. At this point, I decide to relax and hope to have a response the following morning from the tech support team. The next morning I check my email and see nothing from Godaddy Tech Support. 14 hours have passed with no response. Strike two.

At this point, I decide that perhaps there are other, more important issues affecting GoDaddy clients and my issue may not be considered ‘critical’ to them. If that was the case, fair enough…but an email to state that would have helped calm my rising annoyance with them.

So…I started to brush off my old Unix skills and start playing around my old VDS to change permissions to allow me to run the migration. After a few hours of trying to remember VI and how to change passwords and permissions and how to change user groups and other forgotten Unix commands, I finally figured out what needed to be done to allow me to run the migration manager and began to migrate my data to the new server.

The final straw for me (and strike for Godaddy) came at 9:33PM on March 12 2007….32 hours after I tried to contact Godaddy Tech Support. I received an email from their tech support group asking for root access to my VDS so that they could ‘log-on to the server and troubleshoot the issue’. Now, if this had been their response after a few hours, I’d be happy…but after 32 hours…I wasn’t happy. Strike three.

I am now looking for another dedicated server (I think I’m going to go with Superb Servers). I’ve looked at A-Plus, OLM, Superb Servers and a few others…if anyone has any other ideas, let me know.

What could Godaddy have done differently? I have a few suggestions:

  1. Provide a toll-free number. I know this is petty, but some people really don’t want to (or can’t) use their own dime to get help from a tech support group.
  2. Answer the call within the timeframe that is provided by the automated attendant. If you say it will be ‘six minutes’ then answer the phone within that timeframe.
  3. Respond quicker than 32 hours. This is a no-brainer.
  4. Update client on status regularly. If my issue was a non-critical issue and Godaddy had many more critical customer issues in front of me, a simple email (or phone call) stating this would have made me less anxious.
  5. Provide Self-Help guides – An FAQ or other self-help system at Godaddy might have helped. They do have FAQ’s, but none that provide detailed outlines like I needed to solve this problem.

[tags] Bad Customer Service, Godaddy.com, Poor Service [/tags]