Customer Service Hell in Web Hosting (Eleven2.com)

incredible hulk, angry

Below is a transcript of what I went through today, and the issue is still not resolved. I was trying to let Eleven2.com know that their servers were being blacklisted and they wouldn’t listen to me or even consider adding a ticket to look up the issue.

This kind of thing infuriates me, as a community evangelist.

The background on this is that I had once promoted Eleven2 and told people they were wonderful. Over the past few years, their support has degraded and their commitment to excellence has declined into a horrific experience.

If I ever told you to work with them in the past, I now recant. Please, go somewhere else, like ASmallOrange.com who has the best customer service and services I’ve experienced from a company. ASmallOrange rocks. Eleven2 should be canned.

me: support?
Eleven2: hey, how may we help?
me: Hi, my emails are getting blacklisted for our server: [url] Baracuda and Outblaze are both blocking now. server is the one that holds perfectspace.com on it
Eleven2: have you submitted a ticket about this?
me: I can’t… I don’t have access. does it matter? your servers are being blocked because you have a spammer on one of them
Eleven2: hmm.. shoot an IM to [removed].. he might be able to assist you
me: his IM says Idle. can’t you do something about it?
Eleven2: hmm.. are you being hosted by a reseller of eleven2?
me: yes, i used to own the reseller company, but sold it to someone else. the point is your servers are being blacklisted
Eleven2: okay, you’d have to have the owner of the reseller submit a ticket about the issue. we can’t assist you directly
me: So, you’re telling me that you can’t even research the fact that your servers are being blacklisted, hurting many more clients than just me, because you have a protocol that forbids people who used to have a relationship with Eleven2 to contact you directly?
Eleven2: if you submit a ticket about the issue, we can assess the issue

So, I went to Rodney, the owner of the company when I saw him come back online.

me: Rodney, your servers are currently being blacklisted by Outblaze and Baracuda.
Rodney (Owner of Eleven2.com): can you submit a ticket with the error message and we will look into it.
me: unfortunately i can’t because i sold my reseller company to someone else. I can’t get a hold of them.
Rodney: ok, then i cannot help you. that is the only way we can get that done
me: are you kidding?
Rodney: all of our support is done through VIP
me: i understand that, but your servers are blacklisted. You can’t fix or research that because I’m not your client directly anymore? It’s affecting more than just me.. it’s affecting your whole server with that IP.
Rodney: i understand, we may alreayd be aware of it. which is why i need you to submit a ticket so we can look into it. we have over 600 servers, so we have to keep track of stuff through that, which is why we only provide support to our customers
me: I AM your customer… not directly, but I am still your customer. I understand the workload is not your issue, which is why you have resellers… but this is not a reseller problem. How about you just submit the ticket, since I can’t get ahold of the reseller, and say “thanks for letting us know”? Here’s the link: [url]
Rodney: i understnad, you will need to submit a ticket for that. i cannot even look into that legally or be talking to yuo. and btw, you are not a customer of eleven2, as if you are, you would have VIP access and would be able to submit a ticket, that is all you need todo, we are here 24/7 for you, and i am sorry your hosting company is not, but we cannot assist you as you not a eleven2 customer. take care!
me: Awesome. Nice work Rodney. I wish you the best on your awesome customer support.
Rodney: thank you! if you signup with us, you will get to experience our awesome support!

Again, please, if you’re with Eleven2.com, move away. Don’t use them. Spare yourself the headache. It’s taken me about a year to get to the point of writing this post. But this is the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I’m sorry, but this blog might be down in the next few days as I plan on moving hosts probably tomorrow evening.

Update: I did get a hold of my host, the reseller. They plan on leaving Eleven2 as well because, “eleven2 seems to have gone to the crapper”. See, it’s not just me.

[tags] eleven2, web hosting, hosting, websites, cheap, customer service, service, support, evil[/tags]

Nate Ritter lives in the Pacific Northwest (U.S.), popularized the #hashtag and creates web applications for a living. He also does miles and point hacking to enable cheap travel for his family. More here →

29 Comments on "Customer Service Hell in Web Hosting (Eleven2.com)"

  1. Rodney needs to fire himself. I can understand the low level person sticking to protocol because they don’t want to lose their job over it. But Rodney? The owner of the company doesn’t understand how huge it is to be blacklisted like that? AND he sticks to the pre-written script when he has nothing to lose?

    Sheesh. The picture perfectly expresses the situation. Thanks for the tip on Eleven2.

  2. Mark says:

    Ouch. I was thinking very seriously about switching over.

  3. nate says:

    Daniel and Mark, my pleasure.. er.. sortof.

    Yea, please use ASmallOrange. They are fantastic! I do have an affiliate link, but I decided not to use it here because it’s inappropriate. But, if you feel led, feel free to let them know I sent ya.

    I’m hoping this post gets to search engine love to combat their scale. I was with them when they first started out too. From almost day 1. And this is what I get for that.

    If they don’t respect one of their first customers, I seriously doubt they’ll respect you. Again, don’t bother going with them.

  4. Liam says:

    sadly, I think this is the norm now…….

  5. Nate – what do you like about ASmallOrange? What’s their backend like?

  6. nate says:

    Honestly, they have the fastest customer support (via email) I’ve seen in a long time. Minutes sometimes. They run cPanel, which I like. And they support Ruby on Rails, Django (on Python), PHP 4, PHP 5, etc. MySQL databases, etc. Pretty standard stuff and their prices are fabulous.

    In the end, their speed of support and willingness to help is what convinced me over the past year.

  7. I’m going to give them a serious look. Thanks for the tip.

  8. Rich H says:

    I found this article while researching this:

    http://www.invisibastard.com/2007/12/finding-a-good-webhost-part-1

    In that article I write about my experience with eleven2, It wasn’t positive. On paper, they look great and I was excited to join them. Reading that they got blacklisted, I’m glad I got out.

    I signed up with Fused Network, and they have been a dream. I was thinking of ASmallOrange as well. It sounds like they are good. Fused, any problem I have had, I typically hear back within two minutes. David at Fused is unbelievable.

    I’m glad you posted this. Solid experience with a webhost, and information based on that experience, is hard to come by.

    thanks,
    Rich

  9. nate says:

    Not a problem Rich. Glad I could help out. Looks like you had similar issues. I am glad Fused works out for you. Good to know.

    Cheers!

  10. How is the spam filtering with ASmallOrange?

  11. nate says:

    Pretty much the same as everywhere else. I use SpamSieve, which blocks it locally, so I don’t see much spam anyway.

  12. Man, glad I found this post. I had been looking at these guys, but had some issues hearing back from them when I sent some emails and when I posted to their AIM account. Also – I noticed they have a 24/7 webcam, but when they leave for the day it’s entirely dark – I understand that’s not the server room, but it doesn’t give me any confidence that they are actually working 24/7.

  13. nate says:

    Brian, I’m glad you found the post too. Trust me, they give off an air of confidence, and they were great in the beginning. I referred them to hundreds of people all the time. But yea, their snazzy looking website is just a front. Don’t believe them. And trust me, I’m not the only one who thinks this.

  14. Yeah, I was pretty disappointed. I was looking forward to working with a local company that had a good reputation. Unfortunately, for the hosting I need, I can’t afford any sacrifices.

  15. nate says:

    Sorry man, as I said, go with http://asmallorange.com. Hands down the best I’ve ever used, including some of the big boys like MediaTemple, and 1&1.

  16. I went with ASO 6 months ago on their tiny plan to try them out – have been happy so far. I think I’m going increase my plan with them and add reselling. Do you resell or just host with them?

  17. nate says:

    Right now I don’t resell, but I’ve been considering doing it again. I had a reseller plan before and sold that company for a decent sum. I’d be apt to do it again sometime in the future for sure, and I’d definitely choose these guys.

  18. rodney says:

    thanks nate for all the great publicity we have gotten man signups from this post!!!! i guess the line “any publicity is good publicity” pays off! send more our way!

  19. nate says:

    Wow, if people actually signed up for your service after reading this post, you have a bunch of really stupid customers. Enjoy that. They’ll probably be your best ones since you can pull the wool over their eyes for years.

    Have fun man.

  20. LOL. Let’s see. CEO of hosting company that gets blasted for poor customer service comes in and brags about the business it’s gotten him. Very professional.

    I especially appreciate the wonderful grammar and typing skills he employs. All lowercase and excessive use of exclamation marks sure makes me want to go sign up today!

  21. Unsatisfied customer says:

    I’ve been on hold now waiting for someone at Eleven2 to answer for almost 20 minutes and counting. I sent them a ticket (just the way they like it) asking them to close my account and issue me a refund, but they are ignoring it. I’ve opened 2 tickets now. I tried to send them an email ticket, but it bounced back saying the email was not from the email address of one of their clients, but it actually WAS sent from the email address I have on file with them. Their website makes them look deceivingly professional. Rodney, looking at your above post, I think you’re a smug bastard. I want my money back!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Unsatisfied customer says:

    Where’s that “awesome customer service” of which he speaks???

  23. nate says:

    Yea, sorry guys. I wish I could help anyone who is with them right now, but unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do except keep talking to people on this blog post, link to this article from other places, etc. It helps get the word out and gets us up in the search engines when someone searches for them. Right now we’re on the 2nd page of Google for “Eleven2”, but we need a little bit more love from folks to get on the first page and actually beat out their own sites and terms.

  24. Darren says:

    I’m pretty amazed no one here sees through the “smugness” of the OP! He was a customer, sold his reseller account (meaning he is no longer an Eleven2 customer, yet he expects the same support as though he was the one paying the bill every month. Go figure.

    Eleven2 may have its problems, but the only problem here is the OP’s expectation that Rodney would jump through hoops and bypass internal protocols setup to track client issues and make sure they are resolved – because he used to be a customer.

    Not affiliated in anyway with Eleven2 or any other provider, was actually researching them for my own hosting.

  25. nate says:

    Darren,

    Thanks for the comment, but “smugness”? I don’t expect the same “support” for me. I do expect a company to look at their own problems whether a customer brings it up or someone outside the company.

    The fact I used to be a customer really doesn’t play much of a part in it except for the part where I could be trusted because I was with them from pretty much the beginning of their existence, referring customers, not complaining throughout the years, etc.

    What really went on here was that this company had (I’m assuming still has) no process for taking help and feedback from anyone other than their own customers (which honestly wasn’t that great even as a customer towards the end of my time with them). They would rather be ignorant.

  26. David says:

    Eleven2, is the worst hosting company that we ever dealt with. We will no longer do business with them. I’m saying this with no hidden agenda, stay away from Eleven2 it’s A BIG SCAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. eleven2 customer says:

    I’ve also had many struggles with the Eleven2 support. Any time I directly address their poor support, they all but ridicule me. A small company should be able to react quickly and provide some level of transparency when extended downtime takes place. Eleven2 has done very poorly at keeping me (a paying, ticket-submitting, reselling customer) informed of the issues, so that I could in turn keep my clients informed.

    Waiting for my current plan to run out so I can switch. Probably to MediaTemple or ASO.

  28. Beyond Frustrated Customer says:

    I have had sooo much trouble with Eleven2 as well. i have had the blacklist issue over and over. And now they take down my whole server to do “Required Maintenance” on a weekday during business hours with zero notice. I host about 10 sites with them as a reseller, web designer… What hell this is!

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