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I've been building websites since 1995, but I am not a full time developer. However, I have a habitual problem of finding good support from the hosting companies I choose. I get so frustrated I end up moving to a new host that promises they'll be different - and then the process repeats.

I've been with my current host for two years, and I like a lot of what they have to offer, but I am constantly frustrated with the support. Since I keep having this problem I had to consider that I am the problem. I've tried several different strategies of communication, like make my requests shorter, or more detailed, or in point form.

This week has been the worst example with my monitoring service throwing notifications every few hours since Tuesday, but the host has been no help, I feel like that my tickets aren't even being answered by a human. My support requests are being answered with knowledge base cut and pastes and best practices as opposed to helping me with a SUDDEN loss of speed that I can tie to a particular time and is reflected in on certain graphs from monitoring they provide.

Their answers are also accompanied with a patronizing, "you should really ask your developer to help you with that". What makes them think I'm not a developer? I have been choosing some of the most highly rated hosts with recognizable names, but the experience is always so frustrating to the point of being bizarre.

Is there a specific strategy based on your experience as to how I might receive more responsive support from my managed cloud-hosting company? Is it possible that I could be experiencing prejudice, and therefore should approach things differently?

  • You have my empathy. I used to be a web host. When someone called for tech support, the got one of the owners! We were network engineers, system admins, and coders by day so we were able to handle anything. Still, these days, you cannot expect the lower paid employee on the lowest rung of the ladder to know much. Unfortunately, the state of tech support cannot handle all issues. Often, these are people who are just starting out. Well intentioned I am sure. They are just nor sure how to help. Sometimes, asking for a supervisor helps. Otherwise, this question is off topic. I am sorry. Cheers!! – closetnoc Oct 30 '16 at 2:05
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    I think this question can be addressed by sharing experiences versus offering opinions, and edited the question to seek those instead. I'm sure many of us have been in the same boat, regardless of gender or technical experience. Most hosting companies have their eye on the bottom line, so staff "level 1" support with less technical employees or offsite support agencies. If you reach someone who's not understanding your issue or seems to be following a script, don't waste your time. Just ask for "level 2" support or a lead support agent... – dan Oct 30 '16 at 4:56
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    I'd suggest following up any over-the-phone request in writing via email, so you can reference those later if needed. If you reach someone competent, ask them how you can contact them directly in the future. If you don't get any response from higher-level support, then contact a supervisor in their Customer Relations department, who might be able to coordinate better support from a lead in the future, particularly to head-off any complaints (that might need hinting at). What you have described by the way is par for the course, and I wouldn't take any of it personally or as a sign of prejudice. – dan Oct 30 '16 at 5:04
  • Honestly, you are a woman and as such the patronisation is meted out over and over - I have the same problem – zod Nov 1 '16 at 22:02
  • Are your tickets about problems with things the host offers (e.g., the pre-installed OS, a Web interface they offer, offered PHP versions etc.), or about things you installed (e.g., your WordPress/Magento installation)? – unor Nov 3 '16 at 14:25
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I perfectly understand your frustrations. I went through many of your above mentioned frustrations and more myself. After five years dealing with multiple hosting companies in the US, I started hosting for my websites and (some clients) myself in my garage!

A frequent frustration, in my case, being that the support staff unwilling to install some modules I requested/needed.

So, for the last five years, I have been hosting myself and never been happier. I am freeeeeeeeeeeeee.

These frustrations actually led me to start a mini hosting company!

I understand not everyone/many is/are willing/able to do like I did. Nevertheless, that's my story!

To answer your question, you need to get your question escalated from online help or automated answer to a manager or supervisor as noted by @closetnoc if you are not satisfied by the answer.

  • Interesting comment, but does it really answer the question in any way? – Chris Oct 30 '16 at 2:51
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    The question was edited after this answer to focus more on experience than opinions as previously asked (the former being off-topic). I think they're suggesting here that by using dedicating servers and moving towards self-hosting, the dependency on support will be reduced. So it does answer the question (as it is now). – dan Oct 30 '16 at 5:14
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I've had the exact same experiences so it's possible it's not sexim at all. In fact, a lot of articles about networking say that if you are having certain issues, "Ask your network administrator or developer", which is a horrible answer but, when there are far more point-and-clickers answering the phone than there are those with real knowledge, it's hard to fill those seats to answer the phone or email just like a lot of places like utilities that can't give you an answer, or even answer the phone, or cable companies that give you canned responses.

So I don't see anything different or unusual about what you've experienced but you haven't told us who it is you are having these experiences with. Sometimes the biggest and most popular are not the best to do business with.

At least they didn't tell you not to worry your pretty little head and to put your husband on the line.

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