This issue is resolved – yeah right!

January 30, 2008

Consider this scenario.  Your car is having gearbox problems, so you phone the garage to tow the car in for an emergency repair.  You need your car to work, and are delighted when the garage tells you there is a known problem and they’ll will fix it right away.  You call in sometime later and are told that the problem is resolved.  On collecting your car, the problem with your gearbox is still there.  Stunned, you ask the mechanic what is going on but all they can tell you is that the know problem is resolved and that’s all they know.  Would you accept this service? 

Well if you are a customer of Fasthosts, this is normal practise.  Sign up for Fasthosts today and you will soon begin to form the opinion that this is the preferred approach to technical support on all network wide issues.

You might also find that the terminology used to describe issues and their resolutions belongs in Whitehall. 

For example, on 28th Jan “Some customers may be experiencing intermittent issues logging on to their Exchange Mailboxes.”

Read “Many customers are permanently unable to log into their exchange mailboxes.”  There is nothing intermittent about this, and we know of large numbers of customers suffering this problem.

At 18:04, the same problem is described as ‘Resolved’.  Not true you little Fasthosts scamps.  Only one of the mailboxes we know are affected is now able to log in, and then only for a few minutes before the password prompt pops up again, and again, and again…

On calling the technical support line on this subject, the ‘Technical’ support person told us that the issue has been resolved and they can not give any other reason why customers are unable to log on.  No further help available, just raise another ticket and they’ll get around to it when they can.  But with only two engineers answering calls and emails for half a million customers, that may take a while.

A problem is only resolved when you have tested the solution and you have a procedure to give to customers when they are still having trouble.

Now we happened to pick on one recent event, but we reckon that 1 in 5 problems is treated in the same manner.  This behaviour is very typical of Fasthosts and a constant embarrassment to the UK web industry.  If you think this is harsh comment, take a look at the scheduled maintenance calendar.

The latest scheduled entry is dated 3rd Jan, but the most recent maintenance took place on 28th Jan.  This maintenance was planned, but never made it onto the Scheduled Maintenance calendar, leaving many people unaware of the event.  On several occasions we have had the displeasure of being notified by ‘Technical’ support people that there is scheduled maintenance in progress that is not listed on the SM calendar.

If you are looking for a company that cares about your business more than their perceived reputation on publicly available status pages, don’t sign up for Fasthosts.

Please post any similar experiences you have had with problems marked as resolved, or scheduled maintenance that doesn’t appear on a schedule.


3 Responses to “This issue is resolved – yeah right!”

  1. Mark Says:

    Could you stick a review for them in our our website to help inform others?

  2. I am trying to organise some collective action against Fasthosts–anybody want to join in the fun?

  3. Mika Says:

    Hi, I’ve found your blog and decided to leave a comment. Years ago, I hosted my site at FH. While it was my second hosting experience, over time I realized how crap their service was. Pages would load slow and support was ridiculous. Why? Whenever I had a problem, they said everything was fine on their end. It took a few e-mails to get things sorted.

    Their forums were heavily moderated, at first no one could even post a link.

    Their Windows servers were outdated, PHP was at version 4.3.2 – which means phpBB 3 could not be installed. They had a confusing way of communicating with customers. Some said they planned to install GD Library on Windows – which they did for *some* servers (not all!). Then, someone stated they’d uprade to PHP 5, others said they’d not.

    Shortly: I moved my sites away.

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