#1 2017-02-25 11:49:30

Backtogeek
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Registered: 2013-02-13
Posts: 3,498
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Feedback requested

Hi Folks,

I am getting a little bit tired of people abusing the support system of LES and being frankly very rude about it with a inflated sense of entitlement and having spoke to another host I am not alone in this.

It is getting to be beyond a joke now, the reality is we cant provide servers for LESS than a Doritos dip for an entire year and also provide end user support.

This leaves 5 options as far as I am concerned.

1) Simply remove the ability for LES end users to open tickets at all

2) Double the price and start providing basic support.

3) Start instantly subtracting 6 months of service for every ticket opened.

4) Create a support product for LES and only those that pay for it can use it.

5) Call it a day and let everything run up to the end of its term without renewals


The issue with options 1 and 4 is that they do not address the real root cause which is that many people do not pay attention and expect far too much for nothing, I suspect options 1 and 4 will just result in a rapid increase in PayPal disputes.

I am personally leaning towards something between options 2 and 3.

If no viable solution is found option 5 may be forced.

Feel free to be very open and honest with any feedback or make any other suggestions, what I can say for sure it that the project wont continue if nothing is done because LES is putting to much strain on things now purely because a growing minority of people refuse to follow the basics.


http://LittleHappyCloud.net KVM VPS with 1TB Bandwidth for €3.00

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#2 2017-02-25 12:17:39

Matthew
Trusted Member
Registered: 2016-10-24
Posts: 13

Re: Feedback requested

I feel that option 4 could work if on the sign up page there are 2 options regarding support: 1 where you can tick that you receive no support (and therefore can't open tickets), and another alternative option where an extra amount is charged for the ability to open tickets. Although, I'm not sure whether that's possible to do, or how that would be forced for existing clients (other than notifying them of an addon being available for support). I personally think that if that wasn't possible, out of options 2 and 3, 3 would be the best, as I (and I presume many others) knew what they were buying & therefore haven't contacted support, so therefore the price rise (well, it's not really a rise, but more of the same cost for a shorter period) only affects those that for some reason are unable to read what is on the page before signing up.

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#3 2017-02-25 12:53:56

Backtogeek
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Re: Feedback requested

I can setup a support only product in the LES group and set it up in such a way that you simply will not even have the option to open a ticket unless you have it, but my main concern here is that people also will not use the forum and either bad mouth the service because of their own failings to understand what they bought or just go straight to paypal which creates even more of a head ache... or both.


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#4 2017-02-25 13:17:26

Matthew
Trusted Member
Registered: 2016-10-24
Posts: 13

Re: Feedback requested

That's true - is there any way you could require the user to be signed up to the forums to purchase a LES VPS / create a forum account for them upon ordering an item so that they know the forums are there (although that may not help considering it's clear that there are forums & by the sounds of it people still ignore that and go straight to support tickets)

Or maybe rather than blocking the creation of tickets, when LES customers without support click to submit a ticket, they are redirected to the forums and told to ask for help there instead.

Last edited by Matthew (2017-02-25 13:25:52)

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#5 2017-02-25 13:27:48

cochon
Trusted Member
Registered: 2014-09-18
Posts: 14

Re: Feedback requested

I've had/have 3 LES boxes, each with a different provider, and was always under the strong impression with all of them that support for the service was Forum only unless explicitly invited to open a ticket due to a genuine issue or intervention required by the provider. Has that changed recently?

A hybrid of option 1/4, i.e. remove the ability to submit a ticket without agreeing up front to a notional fee, and urging people back towards the Forum as a free option might be better route. I'm not suggesting you actually implement automated billing, just the thought of a fee should deter most if they're given a free alternative at that point. You have legitimate grounds to manually charge those who take the mick.

However, having never used your ticketing system for a problem I'm not sure how feasible adding a billing element might be, just floating the idea.

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#6 2017-02-25 14:13:45

Bstrobl
Trusted Member
Registered: 2016-06-24
Posts: 42

Re: Feedback requested

Maybe forcing more intelligent sign up challenges that require actual reading rather than a bunch of check boxes might be better. People who go for the cheapest or free thing very often tend to have inflated demands for some reason, and those frequently causes issues for communities like this one sad.

Requiring forum sign ups along with stating intended use of the machine might be useful (e.g. requesting forum username to be given with LES Order to check). Just enough work so that automated/easy sign ups for spamming/nefarious purposes are better dealt with.

Last edited by Bstrobl (2017-02-25 14:14:55)

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#7 2017-02-25 14:34:27

DavidGestionDBI
Provider-Moderator
From: Montreal, Canada
Registered: 2015-01-10
Posts: 590
Website

Re: Feedback requested

Personally, I would rather choose the following, in that order:

2) Double the price and start providing basic support.
4) Create a support product for LES and only those that pay for it can use it.
5) Call it a day and let everything run up to the end of its term without renewals

The fact of #2 should decrease the number of Paypal dispute/chargeback, since we will answer them. People actually open a ticket, ticket get answered to use the forum, as the user agree during signup and then they simply submit a chargeback since they are not able to read a single email explaining the port allocation.

I found it sad, but people buy this product mostly for the low price and expect the same support and quality as our premium products.
For sure, the fact that other "summer host" provider start to offer NAT VPS even at a lower cost than LES and with support do not help us. However, they will not last long for sure wink

I'm on the side of Anthony on this. We need to find a way to make this project a bit more profitable IF people expect support, otherwise, we may simply drop the whole thing.


@All, we are listening to your input, so do not hesitate to state your opinion! smile


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#8 2017-02-25 14:45:57

Backtogeek
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Registered: 2013-02-13
Posts: 3,498
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Re: Feedback requested

Here is what you are faced with before payment:

hjdhTKp.png

Here is what you get after payment (some might have a slightly different version depending on when you signed up):

It starts with this in bold red: PLEASE PRINT THIS MESSAGE FOR YOUR RECORDS - PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL - not doing so could cost you money or get your service terminated without warning.

If you have this email it means you have agreed to both our acceptable use policy and terms of service, a brief outline of what you have agreed to can be found at the bottom of this email, if you have failed to read any of the TOS/AUP or information below you understand by attempting to use this service regardless you are bound under these terms anyway.

The information in this email may seem concerning or off putting to some however please keep in mind the service is a friendly one but it does run as a none profit currently and as such any wasted time due to unwillingness to help yourself only hurts the long term ability to sustain this project.

The end which are are directed too from the start has the following:

Support

=============================

With this product only support method is via the forums at http://forum.lowendspirit.com

=============================

You are completely responsible for your own data and backups, in the event of a server failure or data loss your data will not be restored for you.

=============================

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

1) If you have set up a paypal subscription this is your responsibility to maintain, and over payments due to subscriptions cannot be refunded and will be held in credit.

2) Please ensure you have actually read the Terms of Service and Acceptable use policy it only takes 5 minutes.

3) You may NOT use your VPS for bulk mailing of any kind.

4) Your root password and server MUST be secure, e.g. password or pass123 is not secure, passwords should be strong as per the AUP, if you server is hacked due to a weak password or using insecure software your service WILL be terminated without any chance of a refund.

5) These packages come with no SWAP/vSWAP/Burst RAM.

6) The processor cores are not dedicated to your server they are based on equal share, you may not have any processes running that require 24x7 use of more than 20% of 1 core equivilent e.g. running 2 processes at 10% use each would be considered 20% of 1 core, you may not use 100% of any core for more than 30 minutes.

7) If you have more than 1 service and any item on your account becomes overdue all of your services will be affected by suspension

8) This is a 100% self managed service without support of any kind except via the forums, opening a support ticket without first attempting to get assistance via the forum will result in 50% of your remaining service term being removed as compensation, this also includes direct emails.

9) We will never access your VPS unless we have valid cause to do so, e.g. suspected port scanning, DOS, cracking, brute force attempts, excessive load or we get an Abuse notification from an external network.

10) If your resource use is deemed to be abusive then we may opt to login to your VPS and shut down the process causing the issue.

11) Your data is your responsibility, and this product does not qualify for free backup space, in the unlikely event of complete and total hardware failure your services will be recreated with the default OS template and your data will not be restored.

12) This product has a zero refund policy.

13) As per our terms your billing information must be 100% accurate failure to comply with this term may lead to service suspension or termination.

14) Your email address must be valid, if we get any none deliverable messages your account will be suspended.

15) we provide you with the means to cancel your service, please do not just let an invoice become so overdue that your service gets terminated, we retain your VPS offline and reserve resources in-case it was an oversight on your part, if you have no intention of renewing please cancel your service as these resources while retained are unavailable to other users and you will not be able to take any future service until and old outstanding balances have been paid.

16) Abuse of terms which includes running a torrent client, tor of any kind, using the VPS as a proxy to download torrents or anything similar will result in immediate termination of service, no warning will be given and no discussion will be entered in to after the fact, if you have multiple products you will lose them all.

many of which are highlighted in red and bold. ^^

So with this in mind I do not think putting even more verification steps are required, if you don't "get it" at this stage, more confirmations will not help.



If there was a way of forcing payment before opening a ticket then that would be the ideal option and there would be no conversation needed that would solve the issue, I am not aware of any way of doing that, while I have tried the opening an invoice before answering, opening an invoice and requesting payment, opening an invoice after resolving the issue, in every case you are met with insults or a lengthy conversation in any even it takes up way too much time.

LES forum names are requested before being able to open a ticket, people just make it up, some people even answer with things like "Don't tell me to use the fucking forum, I paid for this you must offer at least some support"

So in essence, the human element needs to be taken out of the equation or the costs of supporting this service have to be included in the cost.


http://LittleHappyCloud.net KVM VPS with 1TB Bandwidth for €3.00

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#9 2017-02-25 14:49:56

Backtogeek
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From: ~/
Registered: 2013-02-13
Posts: 3,498
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Re: Feedback requested

I also want to be clear, I am asking here because I believe the users of this forum are collectively the voice of reason, it is very easy for us hosts to live in an echo chamber and not fully understand an end users perspective, so I really, really do appreciate any input, it needs to be a conversation at this stage.

Little bit hard as the people taking part in the conversation are not really part of the problem but it does potentially impact you.

This for the most part is why a lot of my own LES locations were set out of stock for about 3 months, I no longer had time to deal with the 'new user demand'


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#10 2017-02-25 15:03:41

Matthew
Trusted Member
Registered: 2016-10-24
Posts: 13

Re: Feedback requested

I'm not sure whether this is possible or not, but you could charge more for the service to provide basic support for the first year, and if the user hasn't opened any support tickets in that time period then they get to continue renewal of their service at a lower price (& keeping those who use support paying more, so sort of like the 'pay for support' option reversed, so that those who don't use it get discounts rather than those using it paying more). I think that may be able to cover the cost of basic support for the people that struggle to read what they are signing up to, however keeping the service as it previously was for everyone else already using it as intended (although I'd have no objection to higher prices if you felt that was better for the sustainability of the service). However, I feel that a higher price service then may make those people feel even more like they should be getting support for what they are paying, so that may not work out.

Last edited by Matthew (2017-02-25 15:04:45)

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#11 2017-02-25 15:09:11

Backtogeek
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Registered: 2013-02-13
Posts: 3,498
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Re: Feedback requested

Its a good idea, I am not too sure how to implement that in any manageable/scale-able way though.

I will have a think about it though, I had not considered that.


http://LittleHappyCloud.net KVM VPS with 1TB Bandwidth for €3.00

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#12 2017-02-25 16:14:23

Backtogeek
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From: ~/
Registered: 2013-02-13
Posts: 3,498
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Re: Feedback requested

Another option that popped in to my head.

Assume every support ticket is 15 minutes of work.

Grab a count of the previous years tickets, multiply that by 15 then divide by 60 to figure out how many hours have been spent, apply an hourly rate to that to get a financial support total cost, divide that by the current number of servers, change the renewal price to reflect the real cost of providing and supporting the servers, this would possibly have to be reviewed twice a year.

Looking at that now, that would make the new price and renewal price of an LES server (through inception Hosting) €4.44 p/year (rounded down).

If over the next 6 months the tickets are less then the price goes down, if they increase, the price goes up.

Make it very clear that using support tickets instead of the forum will increase the renewal price.

Thoughts?


http://LittleHappyCloud.net KVM VPS with 1TB Bandwidth for €3.00

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#13 2017-02-25 17:34:00

manjana
Trusted Member
Registered: 2015-11-23
Posts: 105

Re: Feedback requested

I wonder what kind of tickets you get... Could you give some examples of topics on which people open tickets?

Is it people not understanding how a NAT VPS works?
Is it billing issues?
Is it people who don't know how to use Linux?
Is it people who have fucked up their Apache configuration?

And when you refuse to explain to them how to run a web server with Wordpress, they become unpleasant or even file disputes?

I'm just trying to understand the situation as I have no idea what is going on behind the scenes.

I love LES and I love what I get at an extremely fair price.

Make it very clear that using support tickets instead of the forum will increase the renewal price.

Do those people this thread is about usually renew their servers? Otherwise this will mostly impact your long term customers who will cross-finance them.

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#14 2017-02-25 18:33:42

Bstrobl
Trusted Member
Registered: 2016-06-24
Posts: 42

Re: Feedback requested

manjana wrote:

Do those people this thread is about usually renew their servers? Otherwise this will mostly impact your long term customers who will cross-finance them.

Have to agree, most will not even bother signing up on the forum and don't really care if their behaviour affects the price. They will drop this service the moment they find an even cheaper one. You simply have to assume these people are egocentric sociopaths.

I would maybe do a combination, increase prices and deduct service period if the ticket is unreasonable. We want to continue seeing this service succeed and not have it go down because you can't at a minimum break even.

Maybe do a Q&A that has to be correctly answered before they can order a machine (questions like "how many ports does this service provide" etc.).

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#15 2017-02-25 18:42:27

Backtogeek
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From: ~/
Registered: 2013-02-13
Posts: 3,498
Website

Re: Feedback requested

recent examples:


Example 1

hello i'v tryed to reboot several times, the dashboard says is online but from outside no reply from ping ssh whatever. i received a email that says that i have to wait its a long time job, but to today is 2 months of downtime. with this ticket i'm just asking approximately how much time more did u need.

User was emailed about the IP changes in Dallas/Phoenix twice, was again given the forum links, and kept responding to the ticket wanting to know where to find IPv6 info etc in solusvm, how to login to solusvm etc etc, every time he/she was asked to use the forum, they just kept responding to the ticket.


Example 2

before migrating to phoenix, my old private ipv4 is x.x.x.x. after the migration, i refer to the forum, my new ipv4 is x.x.x.x port:x

problem 1: recently, i can use ssh [email protected] -px to access my vps. but today, i cannot do that. it told me permission denied. But I am sure the password for root is right. Please help me fix the problem.

problem 2: i cannot find my new ipv6 address.

WHMCS standard please use the folorum, helpful links etc auto response

followed by (same ticket):

why do you always think i can find the answer from the forum. if i can do this, i won't ask for any support form you guys. this is the second time to get you reply like this. it really makes me upset. i am sure i cannot solve my problem myself, please give my some help.

To which I replied:

You can ask for support on the forum, that is why it is there.

You can reset your root password from solusvm and you can connect to your VPS via the serial console to check your networking settings and sshd settings, also via solusvm.

IPv6 addresses are also available under the network tab in solusvm.

You absolutely can help your self, you are just choosing not too and expecting me to do it for you for some reason, please make some effort to help yourself or follow instructions you agreed to in advance of payment, this is a none profit service if people expect individual support I have to charge more, it is that simple.

Stop abusing the support system you agreed to in advance of paying, further attempts to get individual support will result in being charged or loss of service all together.

Example 3

i invite you to reinstall operation system for me 

Example 4 - in response to being suspended for running Tor

Dear Inception Hosting,

Your behavior is completely unacceptable. The alleged infraction was on one server, not two, yet you have suspended both without warning. Unacceptable on two counts.

As for the alleged infraction, it is common knowledge that "Tor" is not a monolith, there are many different ways of using Tor. I have been experimenting on a couple of servers (one of them was probably this one in xxxx) with setting up a 100% PRIVATE obfuscating proxy that is neither used by, nor relays for, anyone but myself. It is basically just meant to be my first hop into the Tor network.

I will give you 24 hours to AT LEAST fully re-instate my server in the Netherlands. If that does not happen, I terminate my business relationship with you immediately, with severe prejudice. You can be assured in that case your name will be mud in any circles I move in, and I will be sure to publish an account of your high-handed behavior on at least one of my blogs.

Over to you....

These were literally the last 4, it varies wildly though so no standard knowledge flow/base would combat it and the reality if if people do not pay any attention the first, second or third time, I have no reason to believe they would the 4th time.

The sad truth is that the loud minority are causing the vast majority of the issues, I dont have a perfect solution which is why I am inviting opinions.


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#16 2017-02-25 19:08:43

Bstrobl
Trusted Member
Registered: 2016-06-24
Posts: 42

Re: Feedback requested

Hmmm if thats the case then the idea of having increased prices in the first year and subsequent years at a cheaper rate when no issue occurs sounds like a good solution if it can be implemented.

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#17 2017-02-25 19:29:55

Matthew
Trusted Member
Registered: 2016-10-24
Posts: 13

Re: Feedback requested

The main issue that I see with the pricing based off support tickets is a fair few people who contact you for support are those that are annoyed by the service (as they fail to understand it, not for it being bad), and therefore are unlikely to renew it anyway. Therefore, they aren't really going to be impacted by a price rise from opening support tickets, and will go ahead and do it anyway, and the price fluctuations will only really affect the customers who understand the service in the long term. I also feel that a small price change of one or two euros won't really put these people off signing up, so I'm not entirely sure how effective that would be. (that's just my opinion, I may be wrong on those points)

Maybe you could proxy all support tickets from LES customer over to the forums (when they open a ticket a thread on here is created automatically), and then the community resolve the issue (which go to them as replies) rather than you having to deal with it (again, that's probably fairly complicated to setup & they will still get annoyed at it, but I guess those people are the people who will always get annoyed no matter how it is handled)

Last edited by Matthew (2017-02-25 19:31:54)

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#18 2017-02-25 20:00:42

Bochi
Trusted Member
Registered: 2016-09-05
Posts: 48

Re: Feedback requested

My first thought on the idea about higher prices for the first subscription period and then lower rates for subsequent ones:
If I look at the way I use LES, I wouldn't ne very pleased about it, as I keep "rotating" them in different locations depending on my needs at the point I buy them.
And most of them are idling thereafter anyway, I guess many people around here have the same problem! big_smile

On the other hand, I don't really understand why so many tickets are opened - but it looks as it is not just me that doesn't.
I never had the need to actually open one, as the provided service quality is mostly even higher than expected (Inception Hosting in this case) and everything is running smoothly.
Whenever there were any issues, usually triggered by having to move servers due to "act of nature", everything is communicated in a great way per mail in the first place and frequently updated here on the forum.
Any subsequent problems that arise from those changes, that are hardware/setup related and beyond the control of the end-user, were also dealt with quite nicely.

In regard of the posted examples: I would love to come up with some joke, but it's so sad I nearly makes you cry...

And to provide atleast some minimal feedback (my biased opinion) on you initial suggestions:

1.
As the forum is monitored by you and therefore even "real problems" can be addressed in a timely manner, I would see that as a viable option. I am not sure, however, to what extend that would negatively effect your overview at some occasions. Also maybe adding a dedicated e-mail address instead, could set the inhibition threshold a bit higher compared to just a simple form, but that probably wouldn't change anything about the original problem.

2.
No one likes rising prices, especially if it doubles! big_smile
On a more serious note: I don't think that would solve the problem. Instead maybe people will bother you even more often with the same problems, which they could basically resolve on their own.
This increase would likely eat up all the surplus again and you are left with the same situation as before...

3.
I understand the point. However, this sounds rather problematic to me. Think about all the new problems that arise whenever there are less than the deducted amount of months left on the service.

4.
Intuitively this sounds like the best option in my eyes.
Having a service addon for this very case sound interesting, but I have no idea about the feasibility of a potential implementation.

5.
Shutting down the whole operation due to this circumstances would be more than sad.
Especially if you consider what you have built there and what a great option it is to have for anyone of us.
But at the same time, you are the only one that knows about you numbers, so it must be your decision and we have to live with it! tongue

In a nutshell: This is why we can't have nice things...

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#19 2017-02-25 20:10:12

Backtogeek
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From: ~/
Registered: 2013-02-13
Posts: 3,498
Website

Re: Feedback requested

One more option, I just set a hard limit on the amount of containers, reducing churn will reduce the issues as it is usually <1 month users that are the biggest issue.

Like I said I pretty much put it all out of stock for 3 months as a result of the amount of hand holding time I was having to do and 'these issues' all but vanished, I guess I could have one last blowout sale and call it 'full' only releasing stock as people drop off, keep it controlled.

Obviously the down side of this is that is means I will never set up a new location, for now I am fine with that.

Perhaps this is the happy middle ground.

With PayPal fee's increasing imminently the service will likely go up by about 0.35 cents anyway (I forget the exact number) so it would be unfortunate to push the price up to the 5 EUR ball park I guess.


I really do see this service as a community project, I don't want people to feel beholding to me, it needs to be friendlier than that and I dont want people to be terrified of opening a ticket if they absolutely have to either, I am human after all, there is a point where good will runs out though and I think I am fairly close to that point.


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#20 2017-02-25 21:23:12

mikho
Low End Mod
From: Hell and gore == Sweden
Registered: 2013-03-02
Posts: 1,297
Website

Re: Feedback requested

Had to rewrite since I was sure that what I wrote would be misinterpreted. And while doing so, more people replied making some of my points invalid.
The forum hasn't been this active in a very long time smile   


Here comes the short version:

I think that the project LES has out grown the pond it originally was born in. It is now considered (by many customers and non-customers) as a regular product. The low price that it was set to in the beginning is no longer that low, other low end providers offering similar services for the same or even lower price!
 
I can't speak for how other providers handle their support, be it tickets or forums. I'm faily certain that their situation is the same, drowning in tickets.

So what is my prediction on the future?



Backtogeek wrote:

Grab a count of the previous years tickets, multiply that by 15 then divide by 60 to figure out how many hours have been spent, apply an hourly rate to that to get a financial support total cost, divide that by the current number of servers, change the renewal price to reflect the real cost of providing and supporting the servers, this would possibly have to be reviewed twice a year.

If over the next 6 months the tickets are less then the price goes down, if they increase, the price goes up.

Make it very clear that using support tickets instead of the forum will increase the renewal price.

This will probably affect customers that behave more then the ones that you intend to target. It will also add an recurring workload, calculating the price for the next 6months/year.
One, or a few customers could easily increase the price which might end up with customers leaving since the price changes every now and then.

From the original "options", here is my alternative:

Backtogeek wrote:

1) Simply remove the ability for LES end users to open tickets at all
2) Double the price and start providing basic support.
3) Start instantly subtracting 6 months of service for every ticket opened.
4) Create a support product for LES and only those that pay for it can use it.
5) Call it a day and let everything run up to the end of its term without renewals

First of, decide to continue the service or drop it. Sounds harsh but if there is interest to continue you (and we) will find ways to make it work.

My suggestion is a combo of 2 & 4 with a twist. How about doubling the price for the first year, continue to build the know how in the forums/knowledge base.
With doubling the price, support is included (reasonable amount, no hand holding), when the service comes up for renewal, the user can request to have support via tickets removed and at the same time cut the yearly price in half. This would require a ticket, nothing automated.

The initial price was €3/year, over time when more providers joined LES, some set a higher price on their service. The above suggestion might not fit all providers.

All tickets should include the information that support is best when using the forum, not tickets smile


Best of world would be to have a joint ticket system and let moderators of the forum also help out as L1, answering common questions with links to a knowledge base article, forum topic or if needed, escalate to the provider.

Technically this would probably be hard to setup since there are a few providers offering their services in the name of LES.
Imagine one place to order service, independent of the provider. one place to handle all support.

I'm for continue the service, even thouogh most of my servers are inactive at the moment.


Hope this makes sense for someone, I'm tired as hell and semi-drunk.

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#21 2017-02-25 21:42:05

Bstrobl
Trusted Member
Registered: 2016-06-24
Posts: 42

Re: Feedback requested

Looks like I better snag one of them boxes before you choose that last option smile. Can i actually still buy one of the minikvms? They are still in stock on your site, just not easily reachable.

PANIC!!!!! wink

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#22 2017-02-26 10:31:03

oliau
Low End Boss Down Under
From: Planet Earth
Registered: 2014-06-09
Posts: 36

Re: Feedback requested

From my perspective as a provider in perhaps the most expensive location (just a guess), it is making less and less sense to continue offering LES from Ransom IT servers in Sydney. Firstly the small number of users who completely ignore the terms and still submit tickets immediately cancel out the income generated from the other 10 to 20 users who abide by it. The service doesn't make money as it is and is really only a community service so basically any user who cannot read the terms ruins it for everyone.

Regarding point 1, removing the ability for LES users to open tickets: I know Anthony has done some mods to prevent LES users doing certain things, but I can't really be bothered modifying my billing or support system to cater for people who cannot read. Also I have tickets being opened via email piping so it becomes a bit more tricky to do (not worth my time). I shouldn't have to do that in the first place. My time is valuable and I have areas of business to concentrate on that bring in more benefit than anything LES related could.

Regarding point 2, I'd have to more than double it to provide any support at all. To provide any support at all the price would cost what normal services cost - therefore no longer a LES type service.

Regarding point 3, I am more inclined to just terminate immediately services from users who failed to read the TOS. I used to be way too forgiving and generous with this stuff but as my business has grown the priority to look after LES users or even be civil towards those who breach the rules in any way is gone. Recently I decided to just cut those users off and so far have had to do it once only. To save myself the headache of an inevitable PayPal dispute (which in my experience is always something I lose on the seller side with PayPal Australia) I simply refunded the customers 1 paid invoice anyway.

Regarding point 4, not worth it from my perspective, the price would mean users would immediately be better off with the normal plans.

Regarding point 5, this is what I am leaning towards now. I have already had LES out of stock for over a month in Sydney. I am inclined to let existing users continue with the service but not allow new sign ups.

The only alternative I thought of which hasn't been mentioned is to allow LES services with Bitcoin only, that way there's no risk of disputes after users are terminated completely the moment they open any ticket. The issue then is that it only takes one angry user to go and start bad mouthing the entire business because of their own failure to interpret the rules, or to bring on a DDoS or some other problem. Why should I bother risking that? (that's a rhetorical question).

Finally, and I think significantly, now that OVH have launched services in Sydney I expect within a short time there will be a glut of new providers offering very cheap services of some sort (NAT or not doesn't really matter) with specs that any normal provider in Australia will not bother to offer. Since there's no way I am going to bother competing with providers who just rent OVH gear I don't see any really good reason to continue to offer new LES services.

I should emphasise I have no plans to cancel existing services or cut people off who have had LES in Sydney for some time, just that at this point there's an extremely low likelihood of me offering it again to new users - maybe I sound like an asshole but at the end of the day I am not running a charity and if people cannot read the rules they ruin it for everyone. This is why we can't have nice things...

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#23 2017-02-26 13:34:06

Backtogeek
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Registered: 2013-02-13
Posts: 3,498
Website

Re: Feedback requested

Well having slept on it I think for me personally, my way forward will be as follows.

I will limit each location to a set amount of containers.

I will change everyone to pro rate billing for LES (everyone is due on the same day).

I will release new stock once p/year when people do not renew.

All support options will be removed (the forum will stay in terms of community support)

The price will increase but only by about 0.50 EUR to cover the increase in PayPal fee's due in April and WHMCS license costs going up.

That should keep it in order, I will also build up a bigger knowledge base.

This way I maybe have a bit of trouble for a short period once a year and I can just suck it up.


http://LittleHappyCloud.net KVM VPS with 1TB Bandwidth for €3.00

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#24 2017-02-26 14:12:06

Backtogeek
Low End Boss
From: ~/
Registered: 2013-02-13
Posts: 3,498
Website

Re: Feedback requested

I have asked for a quote for a WHMCS add on to change anniversary billing to pro rata billing, when I have that I will start implementing it.

I will do a final stock sale once that is implemented.

Glad we had this discussion, for me at least I feel like I have a way forward.


http://LittleHappyCloud.net KVM VPS with 1TB Bandwidth for €3.00

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#25 2017-02-26 19:44:45

DavidGestionDBI
Provider-Moderator
From: Montreal, Canada
Registered: 2015-01-10
Posts: 590
Website

Re: Feedback requested

On Gestion DBI part, I came to this conclusion about NAT VPS:

- Price will increase a bit. Expect less than 1$CAD. (same reason as Anthony + exchange rate cost due to CAD drop in the last year)
- I will also discontinue some plans.
- Support will offered via forum. Real hardware or performance issues ticket may be answered. Software and "I Don't know what I'm buying" one will be closed.

I think we need to keep this community active and bring more tutorial and software/script ideas. smile

I'm currently preparing an official announcement.


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