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…

Frustration

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…

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Be Sociable, Share!
Tags: , , , , ,

5 comments
Leave a comment »

  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.

    Thanks,

    Shashi Bellamkonda

    [Reply]

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

    [Reply]

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

    [Reply]

Leave Comment