Startlogic was the result of my search for a Virtual Private Server (VPS) back in August, when I was looking for a new host for on which to build and eventually release the new website. Although some told me not to bother getting a VPS when standard shared hosting works just fine, I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to have the extra support thrown in as well.

In my searching, I discovered Startlogic, examined their “awards page” and read another page on them winning “Best VPS host” in 2006. They looked promising, so I signed up for their service. Little did I know it would end up being the must frustrating, irritating, horrible support ever.

Although the hosting itself works just fine, their support is, simply stated, the worst I have ever experienced. When my VPS didn’t come with the ability to use email aliases/forwards, the Campus Antiwar Network shelled out the $50 to buy the “Plesk Powerpack” which contained that function (as well as dozens of other useless applications that I knew already I was never going to use)…except the installation didn’t work, coming up with error messages whenever I tried to log on.

I was soothed by their phone support, told that they had “techs working on it” and that I would hear from them soon. For the first few days, I received periodical emails asking me random questions about the problem, then I got nothing. The last email I received from them was on November 30th, 2007, which contained the following:

I have asked a member of our team who specializes in VPS to review your account. You should be hearing from this specialist within 24-48 hours. If you have any questions in the meantime, please let us know and be sure to refer to the ticket number for the quickest service.

That was two weeks ago. After the first couple days, I was slightly irritated. When the first week went by, I was upset and disappointed. When a week and a half went by, I got onto their “live chat” (which by the way, is terrible, glitchy, barely functional in firefox, and staffed by people that I would feel nervous asking to install a USB mouse, much less web-server software) and demanded an explanation for this. I was apologized to, briefly, and told that…

Amber Scott: Thank you.
Amber Scott: Thank you for your patience.
Amber Scott: I have checked the status of the ticket #3715954 and currently, it is open. You should be hearing from our technical specialists within 12 hours.

I sent them a much-closer-to-furious email the next day (17 hours later), and that was last I have corresponded with them. I am writing this now in the hopes that anyone else that reads this won’t buy hosting for so much as a photo blog from them. This is insane. I’ve been in technology and support professionally for three and a half years, and let me tell you, if I ever told a customer I would call them “24-48 hours” later, and didn’t get back in touch with them within a week I’d be in for a lecture, and two weeks? I’d be looking for a new job!

I don’t understand what sort of business they’re running over there.

Ah yes, did I say “the last” I corresponded with them? I just tried calling their 24-hour 800 line about 15 minutes ago, went through the automated-button-pressing dance with the creepy-sounding Microsoft Bob voice, in an attempt to actually hear a VOICE and know that I wasn’t being serviced by complete imbeciles…and I got “All of our staff are currently busy. Please try again later.” – and then my phone promptly disconnected, leaving me staring at it in disbelief that this would happen.

That’s pretty much the last straw. I don’t care how good of an actual hosting job they’re doing (it’s mediocre, really, my email forwards (+$50) obviously still isn’t working, and their back-end GUI is pretty crappy, in fact) but this support is an abomination that I wouldn’t inflict upon the Republican Party, much less my own organization and whoever carries the webmaster title after me.

As soon as this contract is up, I’m backing everything up, migrating the databases, and moving. Don’t know where yet, but anything’s got to be better than this.