Silence is Never an Answer


A data center migration has gone completely off the rails at ValueWeb, which was recently acquired by Hostway. It appears several thousand servers were to be moved from Miami to Tampa Bay this past Friday, and was to only take less than 15 hours. Instead, many sites were knocked off-line right up to Sunday afternoon. Server migration is not an easy task, and I feel for both the vendor and customers. We’ve been through a couple of migrations ourselves in the last year and a bit and they’re not easy to say the least. What I’ve always been impressed with is the active voice we maintain in our forums to give customers frequent updates on the migration status. We received extremely positive feedback from them as a result. And it’s not just our customer service people posting to it. Our executive team gets involved too. Our VP of ServerBeach, Robert Miggins frequently participates in the forums. I think it helps to put customer anxiety at ease when their provider is being transparent and engaged. Silence usually leads to fear, so its always better to just be honest and communicate. If they like you overall, customers will forgive you.

The lack of communication during the extensive outage seems to have pissed off a lot of customers. Not delivering updated statuses by email, phone or forums will usually do that when downtime is dollars out the window for many online businesses. And as I write this, I’ve just gotten word from the ServerBeach team that they will give 10% OFF ANY SERVER WITH NO SETUP FEE to anyone caught up in the outage. Not bad.

10 Comments

Filed under Business, Communications, data center, Hosting, Internet, Managed Hosting, Sales, Selling, ServerBeach, Technology, ValueWeb, Web Sites

10 responses to “Silence is Never an Answer

  1. Matt

    Actually, there are still approximately 200 dedicated servers still down. Ours is one. It’s now 9:30 PM Tuesday night, and the only information I have is that it may take another 12-24 hours before issues are resolved. I have very little faith in this timeline as I’ve been told this now, each day, since the server has ben offline.

  2. I do believe a lot of their negative publicity could’ve been avoided had they just kept the lines of communication open with their customers. Communication is the key. So many companies today do everything they can just to try to keep up in the game of doing business online and so many companies find themselves drowning because of just one little mistake…and that’s all it takes…just one, and you either have the key to success or you don’t. Judging from this, it seems ValueWeb hasn’t quite found their key yet. No matter the disaster, communicating (honestly) with your customers will _always_ , and I repeat will _always_ help in one way, shape, or form in the end.

  3. Antioch

    Our server is still down as well. While the past few days have been difficult, the worst part of this fiasco has been the miscommunication and the silence of the ValueWeb/Hostway team as the situation worsened. Despite claims made on their BB by their VP of Hosting Services, I nor anyone else I know or have been in contact with since the event started has received a call from either ValueWeb or Hostway regarding the situation.

  4. Wednesday morning and my server is still down since Friday. Repeated emails/phone calls have gone unanswered and the no real ETA provided yet on their recorded messages. I gave up listening to the lies Monday and set up another server with theplanet.com. How do I get back the wasted hours/money/reputation caused to me and my hosting clients due to this???

  5. Randall Morgan

    Thursday Evening and our server is still down! What a mess! We have lost money, our members have lost service!!! We will loose not only new sales but existing customers as well! Valueweb has lost us!

  6. I’m really sorry to hear that. If PEER 1 or ServerBeach can assist you in anyway, let me know.

  7. We are still down and today is Friday August 3rd. This company has acted completely unprofessional. They are a true example of where businesses are going to today. No customer service. What I and many others do not understand if it were them they would be DEMANDING something be done at once. HostWay used to be a power player, what kind of power do you have now?

    CQuin
    http://www.cowboydate.com

  8. We can feel your pain. After similar experiences with other web hosting companies in the past, we finally signed with Server Intellect – and have never been more pleased.

  9. Kate

    ValueWeb has gotten no better in its service than last July. It will not communicate any problems, has no customer representatives and puts everyone on hold for 1 -2 hours. This is of course not acceptable for companies who depend on web business.

    They are migrating our website to a new server today, during business hours, without telling us. Anybody have a recommendation for a better company?

  10. Hi Kate. I’m sorry to hear that you’re still experiencing issues with your current provider. If you will e-mail me or give me a call, I’d be more than happy to discuss your situation and provide a cost effective solution for you and your business. You can also just shoot me an e-mail with your contact information and I’d be more than happy to discuss this with you today.

    E-mail: cpugsley@serverbeach.com
    Toll: 1-800-741-9939
    Direct Line: 210-798-4413

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