Your website is down, you can’t get email, staff and customers are complaining.

You know that a support call is going to cost you money and take a very long time and there is a >50% chance that Fasthosts Technical support will tell you that it’s a known issue, that it was reported on the status page and is now ‘resolved’ so they can’t help you.

Rather than suffer that indignity unknowingly, you decide that before placing that call, you may as well check the fasthosts status page as published on their support site at: http://www.fasthosts.co.uk/rss/status.rss  After all, the technical support contact is going to make you feel like an idiot for not looking there first, so why not get it out of the way to begin with.

The problem is, the status page is blank.  There is nothing there, nada, and when we say nothing, we mean nothing – here is the code for the page:

 <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN”>
<HTML><HEAD>
<META http-equiv=Content-Type content=”text/html; charset=windows-1252″></HEAD>
<BODY>

</BODY></HTML>

So, genuinely nothing.  No information on system status, no history of recent events, not even page formatting.

Don’t bother calling to complain about it, because we have and technical support always seem surprised.  (Two phone calls on the same day a couple of weeks ago and the same contact feigned surprise and said that he didn’t know and had never heard of it being offline)

If Fasthosts can’t keep a simple status page alive and working, what chance have they with your business website?

 Steer clear.

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All Fasthosts Customers affected by the password change received an email this morning thanking them for patience and understanding during this ‘very difficult time’.

While we mull over the content of this letter, there was one statement that stood out, claiming that Fasthosts would “return to providing industry leading technical support as quickly as humanly possible”.

If you have been a customer with Fasthosts for any length of time, this statement is just completely wrong, and more like the sort of statement we expect from a politician, and not from a supplier we are paying to provide a service.

The truth is that Fasthosts support is appalling, and always has been.  With very rare exceptions, support staff talk to you like you are an irritation, or a moron, and always with an underlying sense of ‘Fasthosts Word Is Final’.  Let’s make that absolutely clear – there is no ‘Help’ from Fasthosts Help Desk.

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You have until December 13th to change the email passwords on your account, otherwise Fasthosts will scramble them.  If you have customers with email hosted with you, and their passwords are scrambled, you will receive a phone call for each email address, and will have to change these manually and talk your customers through changing the password in their email client.

Bear in mind that you won’t be able to send your customers an email after this time, because they can’t retrieve it without their passwords.

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You are working for Fasthosts Technical Support, and a customer calls in asking why their website is offline.  You tell them : 

“There is nothing wrong with the server, and we don’t have any issues raised against it.  I’ll pass it onto engineering and they’ll get back to you when it’s fixed.  We can’t say how long that will take.”

Moments later, your customer seems irate.  Ever wondered why?
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