A funny thing happened the other day while I was conducting research into the very finest reseller hosting companies. I was working on an article that hoped to identify the best ways to research reseller hosting companies. The research was initiated by reseller hosting provider 34SP.com in the UK. Many of the finest hosting providers and vendors participated in my information gathering phase including Microsoft, cPanel, Naviste, MaximumASP and many others.
The funny thing that happened was that in the course of researching reseller hosting providers using the tips and tactics suggested by the participating hosting providers and vendors, I came across certain hosting customers that were quite extraordinary in their dislike of their hosting company. These were not the usual disgruntled customers who complain and then move on, these are customers who have spent considerable time and energies essentially publicly bad-mouthing their hosting provider. In some cases it seems to be a sort of therapy – getting the anger off their chest. In other cases the diatribes are specifically created to prevent others from using the hosting provider.
Case in point, consider this disgruntled customer of Fasthosts. This person spend a self-reported 3 hours of their own time creating a youtube video that does nothing but berate their webhost. Note – whether or not this customer is justified in their anger is actually beside the point. In other words, even if the webhost did absolutely nothing wrong – which is certainly possible – these types of angry customers create a wave of negative publicity. So fair warning – this video is very funny, but contains adult language and themes and is absolutely not to be viewed by children. Since it contains adult themes and language – you’ll need to login at youtube to view it. Here is the link to the angry customer’s Fasthosts video.
These types of customer comments and pages are most often found by searching for “name of hosting company + sucks” or “name of hosting company + problems”. So what is a hosting company to do to prevent these types of pages and complaints from arising? The obvious answer is to strive for the very highest levels of customer support that you can. Happy customers rarely if ever create “hate” pages for their webhosts. In the case that a webhost gets an unreasonable customer, or one who is just plain vengeful – it is best to bend over backwards in trying to placate the customer and resolve any differences. The long-term consequences of having a web page out there – in the search engines – which documents a service slip (or worse) is clearly not worth the small bit of extra effort or refund required to satisfy a disgruntled customer.
So remember to tread lightly if a customer complains and demands that you make good your company’s claims. It is not a matter of right and wrong – it is a matter of bad publicity for a long time to come.