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Thread: Wait time for support

  1. #1

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    Wait time for support

    Hello,
    Does anyone know the average wait time for getting customer support on the phone.
    Just about everytime I call, no matter the time, I wait at least an hour before giving up. Getting someone with the online chat takes a good long time too.

  2. #2
    Former Spam Filter (EU) IanS's Avatar
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    Wait times can vary a great deal and all 'evidence' from these boards would be very anecdotal. Powweb will probably record the details, but of course that would be sensitive business information that they're unlikely to share with us. They'll use the data when negotiating with the 3rd party support providers.
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    Basically, no, an hour+ wait times have been common for many here - you are not alone.

  4. #4
    YvetteKuhns's Avatar
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    I never waited an hour for PowWeb phone support until the December 7th problems started. I don't know if there are more calls than usual or less people to answer them. Or maybe the calls are taking longer than usual to be finished.

    I know that I have spent an hour explaining problems recently, because support needs to replicate problems we describe, even if we do have screenshots and trace routes. There were times where I could reach support in a few minutes and the call only lasted a few minutes. And the problems would be fixed within hours. Those were the days.
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  5. #5
    Custom User Title entrecon's Avatar
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    I know that I have spent an hour explaining problems recently
    Maybe it is people like Yvette chatting up the support reps that is making the wait times so long!
    ________________________________
    Find me on twitter: @entrecon

  6. #6
    YvetteKuhns's Avatar
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    I normally don't spend an hour with support, but sometimes the person will put me on hold a few times. When they told me they could not replicate the problem with the slowness or time outs, they said they would not do anything since there was no problem! We all know there was a problem. I just wanted support to see it, so they would do something to fix it.

    No, I didn't get to chat with those cute Canadian guys lately. I got a woman twice, so I didn't waste time flirting. Hey, I just realized that the phone calls with the guys get faster results! Next time, I will hang up on the women and just talk to the guys!
    Yvette Kuhns
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  7. #7

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    Yep. I'm in agreement.

    An hour is just too long for any paying customer to stay on the phone, particularly when Powweb faces so much competition in the marketplace today.

    I'm hopeful that the higher-ups at Powweb will get this fixed, but it is bothersome at the moment (to say the least).

    Jonathan
    (PW customer since 2001)
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    Have a positive impact and making a difference!

  8. #8
    Just another mook Doc C's Avatar
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    I've spent that long on hold with IBM, Dell, HP, you name it. It's the way of big business. Although today I was on the phone with Verizon support and from first ring to hang up was only 8 minutes to get a new Blackberry sent out.
    "You don't really understand human nature
    unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around
    -- and why his parents will always wave back."

    -William D. Tammeus

  9. #9
    YvetteKuhns's Avatar
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    Doc, you have a point there. I noticed that sales for any business is much faster than support. Companies make money on sales and lose money providing support. Of course, if you don't offer support, you can lose customers and that means you will lose money. Companies need to remember that.
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  10. #10

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    Well here I am on hold listening to the nice guitar music. I hear this in my sleep. Been waiting on hold for quite some time. I only hope I get someone in PEI

  11. #11
    Just another mook Doc C's Avatar
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    We have this annoying on hold music for our conference call system. Only good part is some steel drums that plays for about 15 seconds.

    Funny thing, Yvette is that I was on with tech support for the replacement BB. The user had lost the Q and E keys somehow! We have to ID ourselves using the department manager's name. Hmmm...I could be a jerk to support and HE'D get in trouble.
    "You don't really understand human nature
    unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around
    -- and why his parents will always wave back."

    -William D. Tammeus

  12. #12

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    Actually, companies make heaps of money from good support. It's called loyal customers, customers who make repeat purchases, and the profit per customer per year is higher.

    There's heaps of well-researched marketing articles on this. People buy on low price and claims such as 99.99% up time, but what makes them stay is the quality of support. Bad support and poor service means churn-churn-churn, and your new customers are the disgruntled customers from your competitors. If your support is bad, they leave even faster.

    If you run an advertising campaign, you can increase the total customers and the sales graphs are shooting up, but the profit per customer has declined and you are going out backwards.

  13. #13
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    Support Question?

    On average, how long does it take support to get back with you once you file a support request? I sent one in, the rep answers the same day, but his answer didn't resolve the problem. I sent a follow-up request, but didn't hear anything for three days. I send another follow-up, nothing again. I cancelled the first ticket and filed a second. Haven't heard anything all day. How long does it usually take to get a response?

  14. #14

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    The fact that many other big companies also have horrible support doesn't make
    Powweb's poor support any more acceptable though.
    I generally choose the businesses that get my money based on whether
    their products are so good that they don't require support, or if they do, it's
    good support. I'll pay a premium for it too.

    I didn't originally choose Powweb because it was low cost. I chose it because
    it came recommended, was known for being reliable and had good creative
    support (The IRC chatroom support was extremely efficient and effective and
    it rarely took longer than 5 minutes to resolve a problem there. Users also
    helped each other there).

    Now that quality of service and support has tanked, again it's not the low
    cost that's keeping me here, it's the hassle of moving all my stuff to another
    provider, and not being able to really judge other people's perception of
    the quality of service and support of other providers. But if things don't get better
    (and so far I haven't seen anything getting better in the last year or so) then I'll have
    to go, and take my two accounts, and the three more of my family members with me
    (all joined Powweb based on my recommendations back when it was still good).

    ian

  15. #15
    YvetteKuhns's Avatar
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    I also joined PowWeb when the service and support was good. I didn't contact them much at all at first, but over time I managed more accounts here. With more accounts come more potential problems. Still, I didn't have to contact PowWeb often until a year before the big migration.

    The legacy servers needed upgrading and new customers shared servers with us. The average customer used to have one static website per account, but now many have at least one php/mysql website such as a forum or gallery which uses more resources. Customer needs change and support has to deal with an increased number of customers and issues.

    Even during the migration, I don't recall ever waiting an hour for PowWeb support. That only started this month. One way to reduce phone support calls is to resolve a problem faster. Another way is to post an announcement for customers to see that explains the problem and that someone is working to fix it. Had someone from support posted something in OPS and/or the forum, customers could have seen that and not felt the need to call support for that specific problem.

    Well here I am on hold listening to the nice guitar music. I hear this in my sleep. Been waiting on hold for quite some time. I only hope I get someone in PEI
    The music is okay for a while, but you can get tired of it. The PowWeb commercials annoy me. I am calling support for a problem and I am not in the mood to give them more of my money! I like to get PEI or New Brunswick for support. My connection with Manila seems poor and I always have to spell everything repeatedly. It is difficult for us to understand each other, so I don't know if my message is understood.
    Yvette Kuhns
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    Is that guitar music by Estaban? I have been listening for more than an hour now. I think if I picked up a guitar I could probably play most of that song.I am not calling about the outage last night but do have a question why my site scripts timeout, then run like lightning, then timeout.
    How many people work in tech support during the weekend?
    Must be "bad weather" again. I will try them in the morning as they usually answer at 4:30am.

  17. #17
    Former Spam Filter (EU) IanS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swpowell View Post
    Must be "bad weather" again.
    Are India having snowstorms as well?
    This is a Powweb customer
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  18. #18

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    Hi, IanS you crack me up. It might snow in India?

  19. #19
    Former Spam Filter (EU) IanS's Avatar
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    It does snow in India - but not in the SillyCon valley part!
    This is a Powweb customer
    helping Powweb customer forum.

    I am a customer just like you!!

    Some matters can only be answered by staff or support.
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    Well, I have just spent the last 4 days with support. Each time I've had to endure long wait times for someone, and then slow responses.

    Without getting into details about the support issue (still in progress), don't expect a whole lot from them. Like most big companies, they operate a tiered support system. You can only deal with lvl 1, and they will NOT hand you off to lvl 2 except for "someone will work on your issue and will get back to you in 24-72 hrs".

    I am at the end of my rope with these guys!

  21. #21
    YvetteKuhns's Avatar
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    You can only deal with lvl 1, and they will NOT hand you off to lvl 2
    This part annoys me, too. I already called and asked to speak to an admin after I felt that the level 1 support person didn't understand our problem or didn't satisfy me with his/her answers.
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  22. #22

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    Do you know if there is a non toll free number for support. I would not mind paying for a call if I could just get someone on the phone.

  23. #23
    YvetteKuhns's Avatar
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    The toll free number is the recommended PowWeb support number. We are not supposed to post information about the parent company here. I have reached support on any day at any time of day or night, but there is no way to "choose" where your call is received. Best of luck to you!
    Yvette Kuhns
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  24. #24

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    Yvette,
    You are correct on the problem with reaching support. I call at 3:00am, 5:00am, 7:00am. even late at night and no answer just long Estaban guitar music. Any idea how many people work in support ? Wait times were never this long before.

  25. #25
    Former Spam Filter (EU) IanS's Avatar
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    Unfortunately support is outsourced (outwith the US as well) so the time you ring isn't a reflection on how many staff but how busy the whole of the 'support' company is. They deal with many 'properties' (other hosting companies).
    This is a Powweb customer
    helping Powweb customer forum.

    I am a customer just like you!!

    Some matters can only be answered by staff or support.
    Give it a go - ask here first!

  26. #26
    YvetteKuhns's Avatar
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    I hate to say this, but wait times were not so long before, because there weren't so many problems. There are more customers than before and they are using CMS websites, instant installers, site tools and other things more. Years ago, many people had simple static websites and didn't have to call about CGI or database problems. There were less accounts per server and less usage before. This is not an excuse but an observation.
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  27. #27
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    Unhappy

    In large part, while the hosted website have changed somewhat in features used, it is useful to review the explanation that Yvettes postulates:

    a) "there weren't so many problems" - Response: False, there are actually less problems being reported from Powweb than at any point in the past; both problems/userbase and total problem reports are at a lower point than they have been at any time since the change to the newer platform.

    b) "There are more customers than before" - Response: True, there are more users, but overall problem reports on Powweb are down, even with many thousands of customers joining month over month.

    c) "they are using CMS websites, instant installers, site tools and other things more" - Response: True - the type of problems has changed, and there are more "newbie" users than previously -- even so, total support incidents/month is down.

    d) There were less accounts per server and less usage before. - Response: False, the ratio of users to server resources has been fairly constant; the multi-hosting architecture is designed to keep the benchmarks fairly constant and/or slightly improving. The changes to CGI and MySQL that were done actually lowered the loads for existing users; the final changes in MySQL server environment dramatically reduced problems with slowdown/stalling.

    Additional support resources continue to be added, in fact, we are running continuous training programs that are adding new support agents every few weeks. We are in a major growth/change burst at present, however, so, it is likely that telephone and chat (the more "immediate" methods) will have somewhat longer wait times--- opening an issue in the Support Center is the best method to allow you to present a problem (with adequate description) without waiting online for a telephone/chat agent. Unfortunately, until all the accounts in the system complete the required changes, initial wait times may be longer -- overall, Time To Resolution/Recontact on any reported problems has not been significantly impacted. As noted, that may mean using the Support Center, rather than chat or telephone to save your valuable time.
    Last edited by Doc C; 1-4-08 at 06:26 PM. Reason: Added some spacing for easier reading
    Well, that's the way I see it -- for the moment!

  28. #28

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    Add me to the list. It has been unbearable the last few plus months. When I joined 2 years ago I was enthusiastic and told everyone how awesome the support was and the service provided, now I think I'm in denial because I just can't believe how much it's declined.

    dmacminn, you state that the overall problems are down, the total support incidents are down, and performance problems are down due to server-side improvements. Everything sounds very peachy. So peachy that is sounds like we should be in better shape than when I joined.

    We have overall less problems being reported, yet I can't get someone on the phone to save my life. I can count numerous times that I have called and waited in excess of 45 minutes for help, and then just plain given up after an hour. I've even tried to get help using the alternate method of "live support" but found that completely useless do to the fact that the people chatting with you have no technical expertise and are copying and pasting pre-rendered answers to problems. I don't know how companies like that stay in business. It is a sound idea in principal, but without smart people on the other end of the chat session I'm wasting my time.

    An hour wait time for any paying customer is too much. I've worked in IT for over 8 years and been a part of teams that supported hundreds of thousands of users, and I can't remember the last time I couldn't get to the phone in under 5 seconds. Seriously what's going on?

  29. #29
    YvetteKuhns's Avatar
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    there are actually less problems being reported from Powweb than at any point in the past; both problems/userbase and total problem reports are at a lower point than they have been at any time since the change to the newer platform.
    There seem to be more problems reported by customers, especially on this forum. The forum is popular, because it is difficult to get a response from support or people are not satisfied with the responses.

    Maybe this is just how it feels as I have been more active in the forum in the last few years, but that was due to all of the problems! Maybe it is the same few people with the same few problems or others just gave up and left.

    There have always been problems here (and elsewhere), because the world is not perfect. But it feels like some problems take longer to fix or we are just tired of waiting. I know I can be very impatient.

    I personally don't like waiting on hold for so long just for someone to pick up the phone and put me on hold. If the wait is longer than ten minutes, I would like to leave my name, number and domain name and get a call back. Time is money, for all of us!
    Yvette Kuhns
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  30. #30

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    It would be very interesting to see how many calls are lost (hang up) vs answered calls.
    Just today I called support six times to just give up after 20-30 minutes. I have an open ticket from November 28 with no resolution. I call and can not afford to waste time on hold. Chat is just about useless.

    When I have been able to talk to someone in support, they have replicated my issue and still it goes on and I am losing customers.

    It is a great idea to be able to leave your phone number and have someone call you back.
    I leave my phone number on my updated ticket but no one from powweb support calls back. I will try again at 5:00 am on the way to work. No one else call then and maybe I will be able to talk to someone at PEI.

  31. #31
    YvetteKuhns's Avatar
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    It would be very interesting to see how many calls are lost (hang up) vs answered calls.
    I can admit to hanging up before any calls were answered. I have a headset, so I can type while waiting. I had to make extra visits to the chiropractor to fix my stiff neck from holding the phone between my face and shoulder.

    It is a great idea to be able to leave your phone number and have someone call you back.
    I leave my phone number on my updated ticket but no one from powweb support calls back.
    I have already spoken to support and they claim someone would call back. I think there were two or three times I actually got a call back from PowWeb. Another US web host has called me back on occasion. It makes sense for them to call us at their convenience rather than have us tie up the phone lines or get frustrated with long hold times. They have to pay for incoming calls with toll free (for us) calls and support anyway. Calling us back probably doesn't cost much since they probably have unlimited minutes plans.

    maybe I will be able to talk to someone at PEI.
    They are my favorite support people. New Brunswick has some good people, too. Manila is so difficult since the connection is poor, I cannot understand the person talking to me and he doesn't understand me!

    Good luck in your quest for customer support.
    Yvette Kuhns
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  32. #32
    Just another mook Doc C's Avatar
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    Try and get support from any company to call you back. My new contractor is still waiting for HP to call him back on a problem. Oh, crap...did I tell him he could hang up and go home or is he still there at work?
    "You don't really understand human nature
    unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around
    -- and why his parents will always wave back."

    -William D. Tammeus

  33. #33
    YvetteKuhns's Avatar
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    While I do not expect a reply in the form of a phone call, I would hope that I would get some reply and/or the problem fixed in a reasonable amount of time.
    Yvette Kuhns
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  34. #34

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    Yvette,
    I called support Saturday morning (early) and waited out the guitar music and actually talked to a person in PEI. One of the things that was discussed was the long wait times.
    I was told the long wait times are due to the transition going on right now and the volume of calls is very high.
    Anyhow, on other news my open ticket from November 23, 2007 has been escalated to the engineers in Boston. Maybe my issue will be corrected soon. I was told a level 2 tech support person or Engineer would be calling me back. No one has called yet though.
    Last edited by dmacminn; 1-9-08 at 10:14 AM. Reason: sp.

  35. #35
    powweb staff mjandreau's Avatar
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    Not sure who told you an engineer was going to call you back, but that's not going to happen.

    Engineers don't get phones, to cut down on costs.

    If you can PM met your support ticket number, I can look into it. However, if it's "escalated to Boston", I've probably already looked at it, and assigned it to an engineer to work on.

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