An Open Letter to ASmallOrange: How you are Ruining My Business, My Marriage and my Life….

I don’t usually use social media to bash companies — hey every company makes a mistake and as a business professional I don’t think it looks good to publicly trash companies.

Today is an exception.

My goal is for them to feel the business impact of ignoring their customers the same way I feel the business impact of my websites being down for almost a week.

My business is my livelihood, and when my sites are down for long time period there are real costs — to my wellbeing, my personal life, my family and my business.

I signed up for hosting with ASmallOrange 2 years ago, and while we always had a few issues they were generally responsive with customer service.

Not any more.

They were purchased by EIG and since January things have gone off the rails. They had a huge outage over the holidays, and downtime on my sites went way up.

They have now cut off their phone lines (you can’t actually call and talk to anyone), removed Facebook reviews and comments from their customers and changed their LiveChat (the only way to get in touch with them) to be desktop only and basically went into hiding.

They HIDE from their customers. That is why I’m writing this article here. Because they don’t care. All I want them to do is fix my websites which have been down since Saturday. I’ve tried everything — chat, opening tickets, twitter… anything to get them to treat this as urgent. They really just don’t seem to care.

I also want to sincerely apologize to our customers for not meeting their expectations — we’d email you or write a blog post but neither are working because of A Small Orange.

The Impact to Small Businesses of Website Downtime

Here is what happens when a shady hosting company like ASmallOrange doesn’t provide a service to their customers and my websites go down:

  • My business loses sales
  • We look really bad and customers get mad
  • Our customers who are awesome can’t access the training they pay us for
  • My email doesn’t work and I can’t send out proposals or respond to customers

When I don’t make money, here is how my life is impacted:

  • My stress level goes up to the point where I can’t get anything done because my business is basically not functioning
  • My amazing husband spends time trying to calm me down
  • I don’t make money, which pays for my new babies daycare
  • I don’t make money, which pays for groceries my mortgage, etc.
  • My employees stress — because while I’ll make sure they get paid they are just as passionate about the business as I am

Look at my sweet 6 month old baby who I should be providing for and spending time with instead of dealing with this for 5 days. This is the impact of website down time.

As a small business owner I work really hard to build a business that exceeds customer expectations, and my business means a lot to me. It drives me insane that a company that I pay is essentially destroying things that I work so hard for.

Krista, if you hate them so much why don’t you switch?

I am trying, but I can’t actually access my data to load it onto a new server when my sites are down. I signed up for a new service but they can’t keep my site online long enough or fix corrupted databases long enough to fix it.

THEY ARE HOLDING MY DATA AND MY BUSINESS HOSTAGE!!!!!!

How can you help?

  • Share this article
  • Tell them how their terrible service impacts businesses, business owners
  • If you know people on their executive team — Jen Lepp Director of Customer Service, Ryan Macdonald Director of Technology, Zach Kwarta Director of Sales and Marketing — tell them that they need to do better and that this has a real cost to real people.
  • Contact them on Facebook, Twitter or wherever else to let them know that it isn’t ok to ruin businesses.
  • Contact the parent company EIG and let them know that it isn’t ok to treat business owners this way.

Any ideas that you have that will either:

  1. Prevent others from making the mistake of using this company or
  2. Help them understand how website downtime can actually impact someones life

would be very helpful…..

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