One web host chose to take flight instead of fight (or in this case, actually face the music when customers started complaining). Freeparking recently underwent migration, which left their clients unable to access websites and domains for more than one week. According to one of many angry customers, Sean Osguthorpe, “I have been without some of mine (emails and website functions) since the 25th of May and every helpdesk request I send is ignored.” Today, Freeparking has a one star ranking on the Serchen review site as the ignored customers continue to spread the word.
Some customers have taken to social media to try to reach Freeparking, but to no avail. However, Freeparking has released a general statement claiming that the majority of problems have been addressed. “As you may be aware, there have been a few post-migration issues, but most of these have been resolved,” Freeparking claimed on their website. “However, because of the huge backlog of tickets, we may not get around quickly enough to answer all of them.” By using the subjective “quickly enough,” it seems Freeparking managers think they’ve bought themselves an unlimited amount of time.
However, customers won’t wait around that long.
Serious Downtime Issues
The majority of customers switch web hosts due to poor service, and that includes a lot of downtime and the actual customer service aspect—two arenas where Freeparking is lacking greatly. It’s unclear how many customers have left the web host, but it’s likely plenty. Downtime of over one week is virtually unheard of in the web hosting industry. Every second a website is down and/or you can’t access your email is money wasted. However, there’s a catch: A lot of people may not have figured out it’s their web host to blame.
Most of these uninformed customers probably have a website, such as a personal blog or other website, that isn’t accessed daily. It’s probably not their primary source of income, and the email address connected to it probably isn’t their go-to personal account. They may have seen that their website wasn’t up, but could assume it was an issue with their internet provider, connectivity, browser or other such problem. It’s only the website owners who regularly access their website and email who have the leverage necessary to actually switch providers.
What if My Web Host Goes MIA?
Every web host should offer support, including the ability to reach a live person, around the clock. If you have a problem with your service, or simply want to talk to a human, you shouldn’t have to wait. If you’ve reached out to your web host to no avail, that’s a huge red flag that you need to switch providers. It doesn’t matter if it’s planned downtime or not. At the very least, in rare exceptions (such as a natural disaster), your web host should be communicating to you what the problem is, how they’re addressing it, when to expect service to return to normal and a genuine apology.
Freeparking finally got on the communication bandwagon, but it was too little too late. This move is costing them many customers who found out the hard way that if a web host isn’t delivering, there are plenty of others who will. Start your web host shopping by knowing what you need in advance, checking out third party review sites and considering a local web host with more customer service savviness.