Internet Marketing Company Hosting Nightmare
This past week I attended the Inbound Marketing Summit in Cambridge, MA (September 8th). It was the first annual event sponsored by Hubspot and co-sponsored by many fine Internet marketing product and services companies. The event was well attended by Hubspot clients from around the world as far away as Israel. There were many interesting sessions on topics ranging from SEO, blogging, viral video, podcasting and social media. I gave a presentation on closed loop marketing.
My week was majorly distracted by an event which I’ll not forget. While it was a major distraction, it pales in comparison to the personal trauma people are experiencing in Texas with hurricane Ike. So, let it be known that I have perspective on the significance (or insignificance) of my personal event.
On Sunday night (September 7th) I was copied on an email from my webmaster to my hosting company. Apparently, the volume of traffic on my blog had grown so much that the load it was putting on the shared server where my website and blog were hosted exceeded my hosting plan limits.
Though I run an Internet marketing agency, I don’t have an advanced degree in data center/hosting management. But, it seems to me that if a client’s website or blog is exceeding its hosting plan, the prudent thing to do is to notify the client and give them a reasonable time period to take appropriate action. The hosting company (Surpass) could’ve contacted me to explain the situation and required me to upgrade my plan. Honestly, even if they gave me an ultimatum to upgrade or move, I would’ve made a prompt decision probably to upgrade my hosting plan. All they had to do was communicate.
But, noooooooooooo! Surpass shut down my webite. They didn’t notify me. They just shut it down! When we submitted a ticket in complete disbelief they wrote a long winded email about how the load from www.findandconvert.com and www.findandconvert.com/blog was excessive and it jeopardized the other websites on the shared server. I repeat, all they had to do was communicate and sell me an upgraded hosting plan. Is that so complicated?
Instead, they shut down both my website and my blog. Over the course of the rest of the week of September 8th, I arranged to purchase a dedicated server plan with another host, migrate the website and blog with the proper set up and configuration. These details took the entire week. I was tirelessly supported by Peter Konstantakos of KDM Consultants through the entire week. My website and blog went live again about 6pm on Friday September 12th resulting in being down the entire business week of September 8th.
As I mentioned previoulsy, I attended and spoke at the Inbound Marketing Summit this past week where I networked with many fine people, some of whom may have attempted to visit my company website or blog this past week. What a great first impression that surely made (NOT).
I’m sure people understand the situation. So, in the grand scheme of things (after all, my family and I are not in the middle of a hurricane) it’s not that big a deal. But, I must admit I am truly amazed at the horrible customer service experience from Surpass. I truly question their business intelligence. In addition to my negative experience, this blog post and whatever viral affect it may have can cost them dearly for being so shortsighted.
I believe there are two lessons here.
1) If you’re blogging consistently, keep a close watch on the affect your blog has on your hosting plan.
2) Consider your communication plan with your customers if/when they have a serious setback with your company. Turn lemon into lemonade by going out of your way to communicate and make the situation right no matter what. Surpass did anything but that. I will forever steer people away from this hosting company as a result of my negative experience.
I truly hope the people of Texas are blessed with safety in the path of hurricane Ike, and that we witness the outpouring of the human spirit for aid and assistance.