Customer Service

July 28, 2010 | categories: Me, Technology

Recently, Linode upped the RAM on all their packages by an average of 42%. My own VPS went from 360mb to 512mb. And yet, the first I heard about it was a RT on Twitter. Considering it's quite a considerable upgrade, almost doubling the RAM, you'd expect them to be shouting it from the rooftops. Most other hosts I have had before this sure would have. Yet I didn't even get emailed about it, so finding out was a pleasant surprise.

This reminds me of a contrasting experience I had on a budget shared host. They were using Apache 1.3.37 and PHP 4.4.7. In early 2010. This host was on a website belonging to a client, and it predated me, so moving them to a new host wasn't an option. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", was their reasoning. And obviously non-technical people don't quite see the problems with having outdated software.

Looking through the knowledge base for the host, as they made it really hard to talk to a real person, found that there was a process to get PHP5. So I emailed tech support. They said that it may take some time as the client was on a "Legacy Web Hosting" package. They also strongly hinted that new customers get Apache 2 and PHP5. But old customers? They already have those, so why would they upgrade them? The total opposite to Linode's attitude of "Oh, hello, we've just upgraded your RAM for free."

To add insult to injury, that upgrade to PHP5 on the old host took over a month, in which time the ticket was closed incorrectly twice and it was twice hinted that new customers get PHP 5 as standard. Finally, the version of PHP 5 I finally got? 5.1.2. Weren't we all supposed to be using PHP 5.2+ since 2008 anyway?

I guess the old saying of "You get what you pay for" is alive and well and definitely applies here.