Why I Will Never Use or Recommend Network Solutions

Jan 30th, 2010 | By | Category: Recommendations

Net­work Solu­tions is, I’m sure, a spec­tac­u­lar com­pa­ny to work for, and they have some very sat­is­fied cus­tomers. These facts will not sway my opin­ion of the com­pa­ny, how­ev­er. They’ve been around since the Inter­net world was dank, dark hole peo­pled by troll-nerds in base­ment caves with green and amber mono­chrome mon­i­tors, and mem­o­ry was denot­ed by the let­ter “K” instead of “M” or “G” (which may be the source of the prob­lems I’m about to out­line).

Today, I’m attempt­ing to set up a client with a test site so that they can see the supe­ri­or­i­ty of a con­tent man­age­ment sys­tem over their exist­ing sta­t­ic web­site. It’s a redesign job that, when I took it, looked like a few fun hours at the office. In ret­ro­spect, I’m going to start charg­ing a “Net­Sol” fee…


Cute, huh?

That’s right, they’re host­ed at Net­work Solu­tions (but then, I’ll bet you guessed that already). So, they’ve giv­en me the access­es I need to make the changes I need to make, and all should be well, right? Wrong…

I fol­lowed every link on their site to find infor­ma­tion which should be dis­played on the main account man­age­ment page (even in a lit­tle ajax pop-up would be nice). After an hour, I decid­ed to call the sup­port num­ber which thank­ful­ly is promi­nent. I’m sure I’m not the only per­son who’s had dif­fi­cul­ty find­ing some­thing on their site. Even their site search turns up noth­ing use­ful. Two words, Net­Sol… Usabil­i­ty Study… Per­form one. You have the mon­ey, and the tech­nol­o­gy.

I under­stand, it’s Sat­ur­day, so I can’t expect instant ser­vice, but I spent 27 min­utes on hold, wait­ing for a cus­tomer ser­vice rep. No too awful, except for the fact that the only song in the hold music cue is Pachelbel’s Can­non in D Major. Once through is enough, but as a divorced man I can think of some pret­ty bad punk rock I’d rather hear than that tune.

Here’s a piece of advice for any­one with a call cen­ter. If you are like­ly to have any­one on hold for more than say, five min­utes, try play­ing up Vival­di’s Four Sea­sons. I can’t think of a sin­gle per­son who would con­sid­er slit­ting his wrists to stop hear­ing it, and it like­ly won’t remind any­one of a wed­ding. Not only that, but it’s long if you play the whole thing. It’ll help pass the time for those 45 minute waits. When my tech final­ly did answer, I told her my issue, and her reply puz­zled me. She said, “Oh, your prob­lem is that we do not host that domain.” Real­ly? That’s fun­ny, because a quick whois and tracer­oute says you do. Not to men­tion the account infor­ma­tion I’m look­ing at in your account man­ag­er…

For some com­pa­nies, it seems like all their web­site efforts are aimed at mak­ing a sale, and once the sale is made, you’re on your own. Net­work Solu­tions, GoDad­dy, and pret­ty much all the big reg­is­trars do exact­ly that. The con­stant up-sell attempts and gen­er­al lack of post pur­chase infor­ma­tion on their web­sites is enough to make even the ardent cus­tomer groan. The ben­e­fit of GoDad­dy is, their site is tacky, busy and loud, so you expect it. That and the con­ve­nient “skip to the end” but­ton when you just want a domain name. Inci­den­tal­ly, GoDaddy’s host­ing is ter­ri­ble from a tech­ni­cal stand­point as well (maybe more on that lat­er).

If you have an account with Net­work Solu­tions, please tell me that you’ve had an eas­i­er time find­ing any­thing or reach­ing a tech­ni­cal sup­port rep­re­sen­ta­tive (and I don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly mean on the phone. I mean real­ly reach­ing them and hav­ing them under­stand your ques­tion). If not, it’ll just cement what I’m say­ing here.

I, for one, am tired of con­stant up-sell attempts. I under­stand the need for a com­pa­ny to make mon­ey, but not every­one needs your stu­pid web­site builder, and pret­ty much no one needs 90% of the oth­er use­less crap you try to push on those unsus­pect­ing clients who don’t know the game as well as those of us who are in it.

For prospec­tive clients of any design­er or devel­op­er… Have writ­ten into your con­tract the reg­is­tra­tion of a domain name and pro­cure­ment of host­ing. Make the con­tract say you own it, and can switch it at any time, but let them do the work of set­ting it all up. That way, you’ll get exact­ly what you need, and avoid some­thing you’ll regret lat­er (like a half hour of your life lost to Can­non).

I’m not bit­ter, but I do hope the “let me make a pur­chase and I’ll let you know if I need any­thing else” idea catch­es on. There aren’t enough hours in the day to keep click­ing “no” to oth­er spe­cial offers. As the per­fect top­per to the sup­port con­ver­sa­tion, my tech’s last ques­tion to me was, “May I assist you in adding anoth­er domain to your account?”

No, dear. No you may not…

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  1. Hi Aaron,

    I work for Net­work Solu­tions and want­ed to see if I could help. We seem to have missed an oppor­tu­ni­ty of pro­vid­ing great ser­vice to our cus­tomers here and my apolo­gies. Do you still need help? Would also appre­ci­ate some feed­back /details on the task you want­ed to per­form. email (lis­ten at networksolutions.com. Along with my col­league on Twit­ter — @netsolcares team we will fol­low up on the hold music and hope very few peo­ple stay on hold to hear it 🙂 We def­i­nite­ly want to make sure our cus­tomers get the help they need after they buy our prod­ucts.


    Shashi Bel­lamkon­da



    Aaron Reply:

    OK… As of now there isn’t any­thing you can do. I’ve done it already. Unless you can give me back the near­ly two hours I wast­ed between your site and the tech sup­port line, I don’t see how you can help.

    As a gen­er­al rule, com­pa­nies who spend hours on dam­age con­trol would be bet­ter served to spend it on usabil­i­ty stud­ies and mak­ing sure their sup­port per­son­nel know what they’re talk­ing about.



  2. I’m book­mark­ing your blog and tak­ing the feeds also…


  3. Hel­lo ! Very good post but dif­fi­cult to under­stand cause I’m french speak­er ;-)…bye



    Aaron Reply:

    One day I’ll learn French. For now it’s Eng­lish and Viet­namese…


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