Here's the brilliant idea for today. Why don't the hosting companies let the right representatives answer their customers' questions, instead of letting customers waste time with their less trained agents? I've been helping a friend setup a site on one of the nationally known web hosting sites, and I must say getting the right answer is an exercise in extreme patience.
My own site (the one carrying this blog) is hosted with one of the smaller outfits and I've been able to get my technical questions promptly and correctly answered most of the time. That doesn't seem to be the case with the larger companies. I don't even think they read the emails. I ask for something to be disabled, they send instructions back on how to enable it. Even worse, after dealing with so many newbies mindlessly spouting techie jargon, they have developed resistance to anyone trying to get technical with them.
It's only after several tries that an issue is escalated to the more knowledgeable staff who can finally help resolve the issue. I'm not sure whom is to blame here. Web hosting must be a cut-throat business and these outfits are just holding the line on expenses. The front-end positions are generally low-paying jobs, so I assume new people are brought in, trained quickly on the web hosting's interface, and then dumped in the call center pool. I wish I could get a sample of the questions these guys field. I can only imagine what absurdities customers throw at them.
The front-end agents are probably fine for the amateur callers, but it’s the back-end guys I really need when I call or email for something. I presume I never quite make it to the back, but I would be quite content with the middle-layer without being hassled by the front guys a few times. People tend to note that smaller hosting companies have more informed support personnel. That's certainly true with my hosting service. Perhaps the bigger guys can learn something from their smaller counterparts.