Westhost,

I've been a customer for over a decade. I still have a Westhost 3.0 Reseller Account and just purchased a Cloud Reseller Account. Thus, I was involved in the SLC-C debacle.

I was one of the customers who lost all Data. I'm not posting in utter fury since I had only started transferring accounts and I make offsite backups religiously. While I was very angry at the multiple days of down time I know that this kind of stuff happens, however, there are some basic changes that can make it MUCH easier for your techs and customers in the future.

BUILD CULTURE OF EMPOWERMENT w/ CLEAR LINES OF RESPONSIBILITY
The biggest challenge I experienced during this event was that there wasn't anyone I could deal with. Tier 1 Techs were friendly and skilled at common support issues, but didn't know what was happening with the outage, couldn't contact the admins and weren't empowered to do simple things like help me open a new account. I was flat out told that they couldn't help me and didn't know who could unless I used the website to pay for new services! I asked a tech who I should communicate the topics I'm bringing forth in this letter with and he responded that there wasn't really anyone.

Westhost is growing well, unfortunately one of the side effects is that people start to avoid responsibility in larger organizations due to consequences of failure seeming greater than rewards for "breaking the rules for the right reasons." You can solve this by either:
  • empowering everyone and removing a fear of punishment for understandable mistakes by making sure retraining is the most common consequence while rewarding employees for exceptional successes which set the bar higher for your whole organization.

  • Create clear delineations of persons responsible for the unusual and set Clear Lines of communication and empowerment to reaching those persons.


IMPROVE OUTAGE UPDATES
  • Updates at least every 4 hours.

  • Information should include general explanation, tech explaination, best case scenario, worst case scenario and current lead techs "best bet"

  • Honesty is FAR more important than looking good. Better to err on the side of ugly and look good beating the assessment than have customers lose trust that they are being told the truth.


IMPLEMENT SYSTEM FOR RECOVERY
No customer should have lost data... Period. While I get that the SANs are too large for Tape Backup, could you implement some sort of SAN to SAN transfer? I'd gladly pay a small amount to know that my data from SLC C was backed up to SLC B on a daily basis to ensure that in the case of a similar issue we can just activate an account and restore the backup on SLC B to get me up and running again.

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Westhost does a LOT very well. Tier 1 Customer Support is exceptional for common issues and the general systems are astounding. I get SO much for my money! Here's to another decade of being a happy customer.

Thank You,
Scott Reimers
775-722-6317