Media Temple Customers

A blog by (mt) for (mt) customers

A New Era In Customer Relations

with 6 comments

I think this Media Temple debacle of downtime is really interesting and the amount of Twitter buzz about it is great. I am really curious as to what kind of compensation Media Temple is planning to offer the numerous people who have been hit hard by this downtime. I took the task to write them a detailed message about my frustrations with my hosting over the last year and what my demands to stay with them are. I’m sure other people are doing this as well.

The fact is, I like many things about Media Temple. Their customer service is very competent and  is based in America. Their AccountCenter is beautiful and a joy to use. The specs they offer for the price they charge is reasonable… the only problem is the end product is very unreliable. I would rather not waste a week of work migrating my 60+ sites spread between 2 Gridserver accounts to a new company…. but I do have demands for all my loss of business and time, below is the email I sent through Media Temple’s Account Center. I am very curious to see how they handle this as we are entering a new era of corporate responsibility and customer relations thanks to social media. 

Cluster 2 Is A Complete Joke of a Hosting Solution

This is a well known fact. The Twittersphere is a buzz with disgruntled (mt) customers- some confused and many looking for alternate hosting solutions: http://search.twitter.com/search?q=mediatemple

In the last 10 months, I’ve spent countless hours explaining to clients why their websites are down, why they’re not receiving emails, etc… I spent hours debugging code that worked on my testing environment, then worked on my (gs) server, then suddenly stopped… why? Because my php5 settings were randomly getting switching to php4 (End of Jan) due some problem with Cluster 2. I lost a large design job because while I was at the clients office Cluster 2 randomly went down (End of Oct) and the client did not trust my competence. I’ve had numerous frustrations with emails not getting sent or received due to downtime… I don’t need to go into details of 100s of other headaches, frustrations, and revenue loss I’ve experienced all due to the complete lack of stability of Cluster 2 that has been happening ever since I signed up last April.

I was told that a (dv) server was the answer to my problems…. In Jan I wasted a week of work learning how to use Plesk and migrating my sites only to learn I can’t have more than 30 domains… This was misquoted to me by 2 x (mt) sales reps. I had my suspicions about the (30 Domain Limit) they assured me that means “accounts” not “domain names” and “the (dv) is awesome it can totally meet your needs and host all your sites.” Obviously not the case!!!!

The Cluster 2 downtime in the end of Jan forced my largest client to absolutely insist on moving his sites to a new hosting company or Cluster. We did. Last Friday (02/27) Cluster 4 had downtime on the database connectivity… perhaps a MySQL container could solve that… but that’s $20+ a month… https://ac.mediatemple.net/support/viewrequest.mt?id=530903 Sooo wait I’m supposed to pay extra just so my sites stay online? “You just wanted stability, but felt cheated. I assured that we were in no way trying to cheat you.” That is an unacceptable response from tech support. Sure it’s good customer transparency, blah, blah blah… cut the bull- the Clusters are far from as stable as (mt) makes them out to be- in fact the one selling point that made me sign up with (mt) was the “on-demand scalability means you’ll always be ready for intense bursts of traffic” which appears to be the exact opposite of how it’s actually working… There is obviously a high level storage problem with Cluster 2 perhaps the disk arrays are bad. Perhaps the routers… who knows? @louisgray from @bluearc has been Twittering me saying “For an env. like this, redundancy is needed. But due to $, drive is to cheap SATA w/higher failure %. We’d never throw MT under the bus.” So is it (mt) to blame for not paying for enough redundancy? And Cluster 2 by fluke has more errors?

The one saving grace for me staying with (mt) through all of this has been that MediaTemple has had the most competent (and American based) tech support I have ever dealt with period. For that reason alone I have not left long ago. I really do not want to move to another hosting company… but I’m at the end of my rope with (mt) and Cluster 2

What are you going to offer as compensation? I would need at bare minimum

 – You handling the Migration of my account on Cluster 2 to another Cluster

 – At least 1 additional month of hosting credited to my account

Additional compensation that would steer me towards singing praise to my social media + design friends about how rad (mt) is during a crisis would be:

 – A free MySQL container (so my sites on Cluster 4 are stable)

 – Perhaps more months free? I dunno…

Sincerely, Brennan

 

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Written by bnvk

March 2, 2009 at 12:39 am

6 Responses

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  1. I second this request. You have said everything I wanted to say in a very well made and clearly thought out statement.

    If anyone from MediaTemple reads this, pay attention to Brennan’s compensation requests and consider doing that for him and others who have been hit hardest by this downtime.

    Good luck Brennan and good luck Media Temple.

    Aaron

    March 2, 2009 at 12:53 am

  2. In the world we live in your brand/comapny/product is under scrutiny in such a way that most companies can’t even begin to fathom.

    Over the weekend Media Temple who hosts my blog went down unexpectedly (or so I was lead to believe). Now when this occurred I wasn’t notified for almost 4 hours by email that something was wrong. A quick call to tech support (they are so lucky humans run this or it would of been even MORE disastrous that it already is) told me I would be up in about 30 minutes.

    A day later our blog is STILL down and I’m losing traffic and money like it’s going out of style (We’re in a recession people, websites can’t be going down like this). Almost as instant as our blog went down every facet of social media began banding together to exude every frustration they had bottled up. People as far as Australia were contacting me on Twitter to tell me of there woes. Companies can no longer hide the way they used to when things went sour. Back in the day you could quietly make mistakes and no one would be the wiser. Look at Pepsi, they just reverted back to their old tropicana design after hundreds of blogs, tweets, and comments unanimously exiled the new design.

    Like our president companies need to be transparent and allow almost full disclosure when they make mistakes or are in the wrong.

    Gitamba

    March 2, 2009 at 2:11 am

    • Yes! That is exactly why I set this blog up. Life has taught me that as long as everyone is honest, things can work themselves out in good ways for all parties. But without honesty things quickly fall apart and people get angry and frustrated.

      I feel like I’ve been given the run around by Media Temple about the stability of (gs) every since it started having down time last May and today when someone from their vendor “Bluearc” started Direct Messaging me on Twitter, and based on some of his responses… I got to thinking…. who is at fault here?

      brennannovak

      March 2, 2009 at 2:28 am

    • I agree 100%. The fact that it took MT over 24hrs to even let people know is what is frustrating. I hope they learn their lesson and are more open with the community. The longer they stay quiet, the louder their customers will be, especially in today’s world. I wonder if they predicted so much talk and buzz online. In the long run this could very much hurt Mt’s integrity and value. Let’s hope they can clean up the mess, both on the technical and customer service side. Monday will be the day of reckoning as I have a feeling blogs will be on the hunt for fresh blood once their sites are up and running.

      Luis Mendoza

      March 2, 2009 at 3:04 am

  3. Hello to everyone who has found their way to this blog. This site came across our radar today shortly after it was put up and we felt the need to comment on the current status of things. We are on the same page as far as transparency and communication is concerned.

    Our Engineers have been working with the storage vendor in resolving this problem as quickly as possible. In addition, our CEO and CTO are closely overseeing the issue. We are doing our best in providing updates for the ongoing status of this incident at http://weblog.mediatemple.net/weblog/category/system-incidents/2009-02-28-cluster-2-unavailable/. Basically every part of our company has been reacting to this incident since it all started. We have not had much sleep.

    Aside from resolving the issue we are also working on an in-depth post outlining this weekend’s incident as well as the current state of our Grid product. Our intention is to be as transparent as possible. All of these inquiries will be addressed in due time.

    Very apologetically,

    Arman Zakaryan and The (mt) Media Temple Staff
    (mt) Media Temple, Inc.
    System Status weblog: status.mediatemple.net
    System Status Monitor on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mt_monitor

    Arman Zakaryan

    March 2, 2009 at 5:50 am

  4. I’ve given Media Temple so many chances over the years, and after each time they have continued to let me down. I am the co-owner of a web design and development company, and have had many clients impacted by the issues at Media Temple. I used to recommend whole heartedly that clients sign up there, now I can’t even fathom it.

    Given that a simple firmware update can lead to a massive failure that takes a large portion of their user base offline for nearly two days now, you really have to wonder just how shaky the technology is at Media Temple. Nowadays you can get web hosting for $6 or $7 a month, so why is everyone paying Media Temple $20? It used to be because the Grid Server held the promise for shared hosting that finally doesn’t suck, but if that was a hypothesis, then the test of time has proven it an incorrect one.

    Duane Storey

    March 2, 2009 at 7:05 am


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