After a few years of “like it / hate it” service with my web host, named Bluehost.com, I have decided to move on. It wasn’t just one incident or issue that pushed me to leave, but a steady and seamingly growing lack of interest from the company to find and fix the issues that arose.
I had a few sites and about 5 gigabytes of data sitting on this host, so moving isn’t trivial. That’s what makes the decision to leave even more instructive to others: if I have to put up with the serious pane of moving my site, email and data plus that of other friends and colleagues to another provider, something must be really wrong.
Over the course of my time with them, Bluehost.com steadily worsened in the support department. It seemed that each month brought some new problem or distanced the customer further from their support staff. Just last week on a support call I had to wait nearly 45 minutes on the phone for answers, only to have my call dropped. When I called back I got the now-standard line from them:
We don’t know what the problem is, but we are looking into it. No, we can’t tell you when it will be fixed or what caused the issue. We have tens of thousands of customers and it would be too difficult to find out what the issue is each time this happens.
It’s not too difficult for them to take my money but it is too difficult for them to explain why they can’t provide the service that I paid for? Along with complaints from folks who simply couldn’t reach me or had their emails bounced, this explanation pushed me to move to a new host, Arvixe.com. Will they work out any better? Only time will tell, but for now anything is better than what I am leaving.
I’ve had people accuse me in the past of acting impulsively or overstating the situation when it comes to customer service and bad company behavior. Luckly, on the Internet the service you pay for can be monitored and quantified, and what I will show below is just a snapshot of the service, or lack of it, that I suffered over the past few months.
What should be noted is that this is a snapshot of the overall service reliability, with 100% being the best case scenario. Whenver there is a dip on the chart, web, email or DNS service was impacted for some period of time. The further down the graph dips, the more issues there were on that date. This isn’t some arbitrary graph, this is hard data provided by Basicstate.com, thanks to over a year of service monitoring of my account every 5 to 30 minutes.
In closing, I cannot recommend using Bluehost.com at the service level I paid for. They may offer better service for higher paying clients, but as I found when I moved to my new host, there are plenty of other companies out there providing better service for like-or-lower prices.