Thanks for the info, good to know that in ASO hosting methodology, 1% of their clients are not considered important.
I will be taking my business elsewhere once once my billing cycle is over.
That's not what Dan was saying at all.
There's a number of reasons that things are done the way they are. The first reason is that not every method of alerting people will work for everyone - while many like email, some don't. Some folks are so against hearing anything from their hosting, they filter our emails. By putting it out there publicly, and via RSS, people can get the information any way that they want, in the method they want, and it is entirely transparent - we don't have to worry about one solution not working for everyone since it's a flexible solution that anyone can tailor to what they prefer.
Another is that those 1% are exceedingly important to us. So important that we want to hear from them, immediately, and get to that ticket absolutely as fast as possible. Mass emails, even in chunks, will contain customer response emails asking if this applies to them, contain emails upset that we emailed them, contain responses that it be explained again. We have to get through all of those to get to the people that need help right now.
The forum is more effective and efficient because we can answer once, and folks can read that answer, and groups of customers can even discuss that answer to the benefit of everyone else - while we're always happy to answer any questions you have one on one, for especially high volume situations like server migrations, we try and be as efficient with the information, notices, and use of our admins time as possible, and try to prioritize people that need help.
All of our customers are considered important - it's precisely why we try to insure that the communication is out in the open, available to anyone, and that you can have it sent to find and alert you in whatever *your* way is your preference.
We know we can't make everybody happy, but we do try really hard to do so.
I can assure you the 1% of the clients that did not get the email announcement of the server migration, are not happy. Service level expectations were not met. (That does not represent that service tickets were not responded to, Expectations were not met.) The Forum is still somewhat vague in what the end user needs to be prepared in advance, and post migration. There is only a notation of Server XYZ moving on 08-XX-11 date. ASO's Clients (that is us) were impacted because we were Un-informed in advance, then to add fuel to the fire, it is implied it is our fault that we were uninformed. So, When I can't log into CPanel, FTP is not working as expected, Cron Jobs are failing, filling up log files & Cron sending me email error notifications, Fist thing I thought about is we've been hacked - then Support tickets go in and they lead us down the wrong path as the servers have Changed. Now frustrated, we found out, Oh, yea the servers were migrated.
I am not one to suggest how you solve this issue, but, so far I have not seen a Real plan that sets out to meet the Client’s needs. So, here are a few suggestions:
#1) ASO has the responsibility and do-diligance to communicate to their clients regarding Major changes - that includes email, which may include a link to a forum with Status updated. To communicate to clients ASO needs to use ALL avenues and if someone Opted out of an email that is their choice.
#2) ASO does know who is on each server - Right? that can generate a smaller list to have email sent to. Emails in all cases should be targeted to the Server(s) upcoming migration. Not the total mass of ASO clients that does not care - This seems to be the failure point. Fix this, and things may be better.
#3) Pilot a Server Migration and see how the process of the migration goes, and see how the Client response was. - change process as needed based on Client Experience.
#4) Start out slower to avoid a higher the norm number of support call, and I have no doubt that you are seeing trend on the types of Support issues - very valuable for next phase of Post Pilot migration. Communication to the clients requires Lead Times - Build that into your plan. The Speed (and lack of info in the ticket) by which ASO closes tickets (with no validation) tells me that you are over capacity on Support tickets.
#4B) Slow the number of migrations down (per day/week) so that ASO Support don't become overwhelmed with call volume at one time.
#5) Options / Ideas: use your Billing email to Notify clients of pending Major Changes.
#6) Add an Opt out to having emails sent regarding Major Changes - Setup in Profile as a Check box.
#7) And Most important Better information on what the Major change is, what is the potential impact, what I need to do to be prepared in advance, and post migration.
More often now, I see less and less info about why a server had an outage despite specifically asking for Cause of the outage. Or as I mention above information in the forum about the migration change.