Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Declining Clients that have a High Cost to Serve

Many of you are probably reading this post thinking that it's my company declining clients that cost us too much money to serve.

I actually meant it the other way around - we were declined hosting services because our hosting company didn't charge us for the 90 hours they spent fixing a problem that they caused. They saw that we cost them too much (well if they didn't mess up in the first place we wouldn't have cost them anything more than they expected).

About 2 weeks ago our server was down because of a hardware meltdown. I did mention this in a previous post. We keep backups both at the external host and also internally with our developers. Let's just say it was extremely fortunate that our developers helped us do that (thank you Boris!!! You are our savior!!!) and to our clients - I reassure you that all your information is safe and secure on our backup servers.


We were in the midst of putting together a meeting with the hosting company to get more detail on what happened and discuss a compensation package when we got an email from them indicating that they no longer "desired to provide services to us" and that "I have had my team work about 90 hours for you since the issue arose for a small monthly fee but we did this without complaint or threats of billing you overages typical with any other provider."

I definitely got the sense that I had done something wrong instead of them screwing up the server. I paid for server hosting services and expect it to work. So, if YOU screw up, and need to fix stuff, I am the one to blame? There is no logic behind this since it was written in contract that the down time is a MAXIMUM of 47 MINUTES per year. In our scenario it was more like that multiplied by 100 (yes, really). So, I'm pretty sure this constitutes as a breach of contract, and I get an email saying that you don't want to provide services to me and that I should be thankful you didn't charge ME extra?! My apologies for this post bordering on a rant, but what would you do if this happened to you?

Should all the businesses purchasing hosting services out there be equally afraid that they may suddenly be charged extravagant fees if their server hosting providers fail tomorrow?

If you're reading this and you are a hosting service provider...what would you have done to regain the trust of your customer instead of ending on a sour note?


Dobes said...

Give the guys at a call - they have great service and infrastructure ... you can tell them I sent you :-).

Florence said...

Thanks for this - we are looking at different providers right now and will have these guys on the list.