Today web host Server4You announced a new customer service forum. This move follows a long history of lackluster customer service which I believe, with the explosion of blogs and independent web hosting discussion forums, finally began to catch up with the company. Until recently, a Google search on Server4You would yield a mix of canned company press releases and customer complaints of poor quality of service. As a consumer, which are you most likely to believe?
Aimed at do-it-yourself type Linux server admins, the appeal of Server4You has historically been great technical products at low monthly rates. The tradeoff has been a lack of live customer support; instead customers are expected to rely on an email trouble ticket system. The email system generally works with the notable exception of network outages where it can be difficult to determine if a non-responsive server is due to an internal or network based issue. As a side note, Server4You would be smart to create a network health monitoring system for its customers.
The new customer service forums come about five years late but Server4You is smart to begin to host the conversation. Hopefully Server4You can add improved customer service to its otherwise competitive technical product offerings.