You may be wondering why this week’s eletter is a few days late. Good web hosting has been absent from my life this week. You know when I don’t deliver on a Tuesday something is up. Well something was up. And it went from bad to worse to bloody worse than bad.
Kiosk.ws – no good at web hosting
In my courses and this eletter I have mentioned my main hosts www.dreamhost.com numerous times. When I mention them I always get emails from people saying “I could register a domain or get hosting for my web site for cheaper elsewhere. Why should I go with dreamhost?”
My answer? Reliability and customer service. I have registered and hosted nearly seventy web sites with dreamhost.com now in my four and a bit years online. And not once, not once have I had a problem.
I’d heard a lot of gurus, such as Mike Filsaime, mention the web hosts www.kiosk.ws numerous times. They had nothing but praise for them. For this reason last year I decided to set up two new sites with them. Two sites that have been doing very well of late.
On Monday I woke up to have received some emails from members of one of the sites saying the site was down. I went to log into my Kiosk control panel and it told me that the username and password didn’t exist.
I then went to the “support” page to email Kiosk asking them what was going on but the page wouldn’t go anywhere. I’d click on “contact us” and nothing would happen. It wasn’t looking good. Little did I know just how bad it was going to get.
Eventually I managed to email them explaining them what had happened and, seven hours later, received this reply.
“We have been trying to bill you for your hosting since January. I can now see that your card has expired. Your account is therefore suspended until you make payment”.
I immediately emailed them back asking them why I was not made aware that the billing was going through? With every other hosting service if a payment fails you are emailed. Why did Kiosk not let me know? Three hours later…
“Usually we do. I’m not sure what happened there. Must have been an error in the billing department. Make a payment now and we will lift the suspension”.
No sorry. No valid reason for their mistake. I was starting to get angry. Very bloody angry.
After making a payment and sorting it as they requested, I waited for six hours for a reply from them. By two in the morning I was too tired to stay awake and fell asleep. I woke up to find no reply, and my site still wasn’t online.
I sent a terse and to the point email to Kiosk telling them their “support” was a joke and I wanted to know what was going on. Now. Eventually I received this reply:
“I looked for backups on this server and it seems that, during the period that your account was suspended, the server eventually cleaned up the account and it’s backups. Our system does this normally after 40 days of being suspended.
Hopefully, you have generated and downloaded backups from your cPanel. If you provide one of them to us, we will be able to restore the account.”
Erm. No I hadn’t. I assumed they would be doing that for me like their service suggested.
In other words due to their mistake of not letting me know my card on the account had expired they had wiped my server and all of its contents, which included over a grand’s worth of software licences I had bought and added to make it work better.
I’d lost everything
The email I sent back was bluer than a smurf’s butt cheeks. I was tempted to jump on a plane, fly to America where Kiosk are based just so I could give the customer support team the middle finger. I understand mistakes happen. I get that. But it was the way they handled it, or not handled it in this case, that riled me. And this is why I’m sticking with dreamhost.com. Their support is not only extremely helpful (it’s never taken them more than two hours to reply no matter what time of day) and there’s never been any huge mistakes with them like this one.
I’ll be honest with you. On Tuesday I had anger building up in me so went a few rounds on my mates punch bag. Was tempted to pin the words “kiosk” to the bag. But whilst punching ten bells out of it I realised something. “You know what Jon, it isn’t too bad”.
I started to get a little perspective. No one had died. It’s a website going down for a couple of days. Yes I might have lost a bit of money but there are brave soldiers going to war, ill children all over the world and pain and poverty everywhere. So really this was nothing.
I also realised that, in business terms, this is about as stressful as it gets. And that’s why I love this business so much. Offline businesses and marketing have all sorts of problems on a day to day basis, this was my first real big (and it wasn’t even that big) one in four years. That’s pretty good in my books.
The moral of the story? Firstly use a bit of perspective in both business and life in general. Too often in this day and age we moan and groan about little things that aren’t that bad at all. Each day you’re still alive is a new opportunity to do something special. So do it!
The second moral of the story is all Kiosk support team employees need to be kicked in the goolies.
A quick word on Gauher Chaudhry
You’ve probably received a lot of emails from people about www.payperclickformula.com. This is a course on cost per action marketing. As I said last week cost per action is the next big thing online, along with Facebook advertising and twittering. Gauher’s released a new course that costs about a grand on the subject of cost per action.
I signed up to it on Tuesday and for what I have seen so far the information looks pretty solid. The videos are pretty short, longest one so far is fifteen minutes, but that’s ok as the information is to the point.
What I will say about cost per action and marketing in this way, with pay per click traffic, is it isn’t easy. At all. Too often the experts make it sound as though pay per click is easy as pie. It isn’t. And that’s why I respect Guaher so much. He actually says this won’t be easy. And that it will take a lot of time and effort to get right. He’s not wrong.
You’ll have seen cost per action adverts before. Things like “click here to get an iPod” and they have to fill in a few forms and get sent an iPod. That’s cost per action. You’d make money by sending people to the form and if they fill it in you get paid.
There are all sorts of cost per action offers out there in all markets, and it is certainly an interesting business. Do I think it can make you crazy cash? Not without a hell of a lot of effort.
If you’re a member of my monthly Digital Upstart printed newsletter you’re going to get a complete cost per action blueprint where I have incorporated four of the most profitable business models into one business. It is, without blowing my own trumpet, genius. And it doesn’t need pay per click marketing. It’s much cooler than that.
If you’re an Digital Upstart subscriber you’ll be receiving the issue with the blueprint and the usual cutthroat reviews very soon.
I’ll give you a full receive of Gauher’s pay per click formula next Tuesday. Right now though I like the guy’s style and honesty. The course looks good, but I have my reservations about the profit potential using this system.