Technical support team on duty

This is what customers expect their 24/7 technical support team to look like. The truth may be entirely different.

Most of web hosting services providers on the market claim to have technical support team available around the clock. This has somewhat become an industry standard for any reputable hosting company to have. What does 24/7 support mean exactly? Does it always mean you will get support anytime of the day instantly? Nope.. And here are a few examples to be aware of:

1. Only level-1 support available around the clock

This is probably the most common issue with 24/7 support. Some hosting companies claim that they have technical support available outside of office hours and even on holidays. What they don’t tell you is that this covers only level-1 support.  In many cases level-1 staff have very limited knowledge about handling issues. Their capability may be sufficient for assisting you with setting up an email account or pointing your domain to new name servers. However with more complex issues, such as website being down or hacked, the issue would be instantly escalated to a queue for higher levels of support.

Therefore in most cases level-1 is more like a virtual secretary who answers your ticket to let you know that the message has been forwarded to a technician, who will be responding to the matter “as soon as possible”. Worst case scenario you would have to wait for an answer for days, especially if it is holiday season or on weekends. This can be nerve-breaking when you need the issue to be addressed immediately.

2. Outsourced 24/7 technical support

Outsourcing technical support can be an attractive option for a hosting company to save money and resources. Instead of recruiting and training their own in-house staff whom would be on full payroll, many hosting providers take a shortcut and hire outside help. Sometimes if they get lucky they can get a capable team to help their clients but often outsourced help desks lack the quality of service.

The reason why an outsourced support team is never the same as an in-house one is mostly because of communication problems between the owners and support teams. Many times the outsourced support team is located in a different country. This may cause a language barrier and misunderstandings. The owners would never know for sure if the team is always there to perform their duty. The outsourced support team is not only working for one company. They are simultaneously working on multiple different help desks. It is also impossible for the owners to know the credentials of an outsourced technician. Many times they don’t even know their real names. Trusting your data in hands of someone nobody knows seems a bit risky.

3. Understaffed help desk

This is a common problem with bigger service providers. While they have 24/7 support team on duty, they don’t have enough staff to handle the ticket load fast enough. You might have to sometimes wait for hours between responses from the technician. This may lead to days in resolution time. A client of ours told his experience with a previous host of his when his website suddenly went offline:

“First I had to wait in a queue of live chat for 1 hour and 45 minutes to even talk to a technician. Once he confirmed the issue, the support ticket was created and escalated to Level-2 admin who responded next day by email without resolving the issue. All this time my website was down and I was forced to move my site elsewhere!”

It is a valid point to argue whether it is reasonable to call a support “24/7 support” if a customer has to wait for hours or days to even get a response.

4. No 24/7 support in reality

In the online world, it is difficult to know whether the hosting provider is honest about telling the level of support they provide. We have heard quite a few cases about companies claiming to have 24/7/365 support, but when all hell breaks loose, nobody is there answering your support tickets. This can be really disappointing from the client’s perspective.

So what can you do to avoid unpleasant surprises?

This all may sound really frustrating when you are looking for a hosting provider that you could really trust. You can never know for sure before trying but there are a few things you can certainly do to improve your chances of finding the best web host for you.

1. Contact the sales support before signing up to confirm if they also have Level-2 and Level-3 coverage 24/7. In case they do, is it free of charge outside of the office hours? You may also try to ask whether they have an in-house or outsourced support team.

2. See how long it takes to get a reply from a sales representative. It is understandable that with more complex system quotes it may take some time to compose the reply. However if the sales agent takes hours or days to answer to your simple questions regarding the service, you can expect the same from the technical support.

3. Pay attention to communication skills of the support agent. If they fail to answer your questions, don’t understand you at all or in case the reply contains numerous errors, you might be dealing with an incompetent, outsourced customer support agent.

4. Try contacting the technical support on inconvenient hours, in example during holidays or in the middle of the night. If you get swift replies at all times, you can be sure the company in fact has 24/7 support. In case you have to wait for answers for hours or even days, move forward to your next potential hosting service option.

5. Read customer reviews on reputable web hosting review web sites. It is a really good indicator to read testimonials of existing customers of the hosting provider. Google is your best friend when looking for unbiased customer reviews of your potential web host candidate.

If you are tired of looking further, you are welcome to sign-up with our web hosting services. I can assure you that you will be satisfied with the level of support we can provide to you. Our in-house support team has been awarded as one of the best support team’s on market. We provide real 24/7/365 support with unlimited level-3 coverage and guaranteed response time within minutes.

You can view our hosting plans here and in case you have any questions, please feel free to contact our support!

One of Mercedes Benz's hybrid cars.

The E300 is one of Mercedes Benz’s models available with a hybrid engine.

Concept cars often resemble an engineer’s most incredible daydreams – the end results are mind-blowing, dazzling, and completely unrealistic for everyday use. Although these cars seldom make it to the market for ordinary shoppers, they can still spark the development of innovative technology that can be used in more practical vehicles. New technology is crucial for the development of hybrid cars. More consumers are purchasing hybrid vehicles now that such a wide range of models are available. Options are no longer limited to tiny “clown cars” – consumers can now choose a hybrid option in nearly any size they please, including an SUV. Developing new ways to power these vehicles is essential, and Mercedes is leading the way. Their latest concept vehicle, the Vision G-Code, is an innovative masterpiece.

An article in ExtremeTech outlines the Vision G-Code’s revolutionary design. The car is blanketed in multi-voltaic paint that actually generates fuel from the wind and sun. Although it may seem unbelievable, hydrogen fuel is created by combining thin-film solar technology with wind power. The super-charged hydrogen combustion engine powers the front wheels of the vehicle, burning an energy-efficient fuel that produces only water as an emission. A conventional electric motor powers the vehicle’s back wheels.

The traditional method of generating power from wind resistance wouldn’t work well for vehicles. After all, you wouldn’t want anything on your vehicle creating resistance to wind – that would kill your gas mileage and make for a choppy ride. The engineering geniuses at Mercedes thought outside the box and found a way to apply this kind of energy generation to the vehicle without actual resistance while driving. The movement of the wind over the stationary vehicle creates a charge used for hydrogen production – a process referred to as “electrostatic wind generation.” In theory, when the Vision G-Code is stopped at a red light, the wind creates hydrogen to assist the rear-wheel batteries while the paint job absorbs solar energy for further power generation.

The necessity of the electric engine makes it clear that harnessing enough hydrogen to power the entire vehicle is still not possible. However, the electric and hydrogen engines work in harmony to create a more energy-efficient product. There are still no figures to show exactly how much fuel is produced by the multi-voltaic paint, and research needs to be done regarding its cost and durability. Even if the paint could cut electricity use by 10% per month, it would offer a reasonable ROI. As the article points out, it’s unlikely that the Vision G-Code will lead to extensive green energy-generation technology – but it could at least pave the way toward innovative energy-saving technology.

An image of 3D man thinking about domain name.

Shopping online is more popular than ever before. Choose wisely when selecting where you buy from, and only shop on approved websites.

Online shopping has changed the retail industry by providing customers with 24/7 access to everything they could ever think of purchasing. There’s really very little need any more to go to physical stores. But just how great is that? Here are five pros and five cons of online shopping to consider before you make another purchase:

Pros

  1. Convenience: This is, of course, the main reason people shop online. They don’t need to leave their homes to go to a store (or several stores). They can even buy groceries online. Online shopping means that consumers can buy what they want when they feel like it or when they have time for it.

 

  1. Instant Price-Matching: Instead of going to several stores to find the best deal, consumers can simply open up several tabs and click through the stores’ online sites to see what the best bargain is. Online coupon sites even reward consumers for shopping online with cash back or points incentives.

 

  1. No Crowds: Those of us who are not fond of standing in line or being shoved around by strangers at the mall can appreciate the luxury of shopping in complete solitude without pushy customers or salespeople interfering.

 

  1. Discretion: Shopping online allows consumers to purchase all their more intimate or sensitive items without embarrassment or uncomfortable conversations with the sales staff.

 

  1. Saves Money: That little shopping cart in the corner of the screen lets consumers know exactly how much they are going to be paying. Seeing the total at the end allows customers the chance to review their purchases and put something back. Consumers are far less likely to put an item in a real shopping cart back once the cashier tells them their total.

 

Cons

  1. Identity theft: While most sites are relatively secure, security breaches do occur, which can result in headaches and potentially lost money for the consumer. If you want to avoid this possibility altogether, shopping in stores with cash is your best option.

 

  1. No Fitting Rooms: Buying clothes online is risky, unless you are completely familiar with the particular article of clothing you are purchasing. Without a chance to try something on, you have no guarantee that it will fit you or even look good on you until you receive it in the mail.

 

  1. Returns: If you do decide to return something, you often have to send it back through the mail instead of taking it to a store. While this isn’t an altogether impossible task, it can be time-consuming and aggravating.

 

  1. Quality: Just like size, quality is something you cannot necessarily see based solely on a two-dimensional screen. You cannot see every feature of something like a dishwasher online, and may miss details you would notice in the store.

 

  1. Customer Service: The main thing missing from the online shopping experience is a helpful sales staff who can answer your questions and offer you guidance. Online consumers shop alone and don’t have someone to talk to about a product the way that in-store shoppers do.

So what’s better, online or in-store shopping? Probably neither – it all depends on your personal preferences and what you’re buying. If you haven’t yet ventured into the world of online shopping, it can be a satisfying and easy experience. Yet there are always going to be some items like clothes or appliances that you’ll want to see in person before purchasing.