Web hosting company jokes about downtime and SLA’s

Daniel at Red Sweater (MarsEdit’s new home) has a post up talking about his web host, DreamHost, and some recent downtime. This reminds me of way back, in early 2003, when newsgator.com was running on a shared hosting platform, and the service became more and more unreliable.

But what really led me to comment about this was the seemingly flippant attitude from DreamHost about the outage. Their “apology” jokes about how you shouldn’t be reading your email anyway at 2am, and they make fun of SLA’s that refund a portion of your monthly bill, which they say in this case would be $0.44.

Sheesh. If my hosting facilities sent me a note like that in the morning, I’d be looking for a new partner in the afternoon.

We do have SLA’s with the folks who host our systems. And yes, we do get service credits in the event they are down – after a few hours of downtime, we have a 100% credit on our monthly bill. But does that really do any good?

Well, to me, I don’t care that I’m getting my monthly bill back – I need the site up, I’m paying for it, and I want service, not a service credit. But the part that makes me happy is if they go down, and have to start refunding, it will really hurt them. Say you’re making $5M per month in hosting fees…and you have an outage for a few hours, which leads to you having to credit your customers to the tune of $5M. That’s real money – and because of that, they’re easily able to justify the infrastructure required to stay up and running and meet their SLA’s.

6 thoughts on “Web hosting company jokes about downtime and SLA’s

  1. Brian Reischl

    Wow… that’s probably the worst “apology” I’ve heard since 6th grade. In fact, to me it reads as actively insulting, not to mention childish.

    I thought about using Dreamhost for some throwaway personal stuff, but now I don’t think I’d even trust them for that.

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