As I was sketching ideas for this post, the headline in my notebook was “MediaTemple vs Engine Yard” but I figured this first part is not a comparison, just two separate stories. Unlike when I wrote my other post about MediaTemple, this time I’m somewhat disappointed. On the other hand, Engine Yard have actually impressed me quite a bit.
Everything okay, MediaTemple?
I’m having problems with my (gs) account at my beloved MediaTemple. I own a (gs) shared hosting plan for less important, lower traffic sites and a (dv) Rage VPS for more important production sites, and software I use when working. I was configuring my (gs) to be a sandbox for learning Ruby on Rails and Spree before an upcoming project, when an essential command line tool suddenly broke and I could no longer use the Rails container.
Naturally I first Googled thoroughly and then I submitted a kind support ticket. I also wrote that if it made things simpler, they could feel free to simply wipe out the Rails container. (mt) support agents usually reply within the estimated response time but not this time. After three days I asked what was up with the expected response time of 20 hours. I got a very short response saying nothing about the delay, only asking a few questions about the issue. It’s now another three days later and I’ve gotten no further response.
The reply (from a senior tech) was: “Have you changed your password recently? Or, have you edited any of your config files manually? Does your password have any possible escape characters, like " ' ", " / ", " $ ", etc in it?” And a signature. No greeting. Call me an ass but if your non-responsiveness has slowed down the learning I need to do for a near-future project you could apologize for the inconvenience you’ve caused. At least it wouldn’t hurt to show some emotion or positivity, instead of acting like a depressed machine.
I’ve never seen (mt) support fuck up like this. Is it because it’s a difficult issue or just a low priority account—it’s only shared hosting? The latter seems likely since I submitted a ticket regarding my (dv) Rage, which was replied to after only a few hours. Are the MediaTemple support guys discriminating against their cheaper accounts?
It doesn’t really matter anymore though. Due to this experience, I’ve decided to shut down my (gs) before the next billing period. I’ve had it for many years and it’s great for off-loading simpler sites from the (dv), but I won’t pay for an account which the support team ignores.
On the other hand we have Engine Yard. I was writing on Twitter the other day, trying to figure out if I should use Mongrel clusters with Apache or just install Passenger, as well as some other questions about Ruby and Rails. @tmornini from EngineYard replied recommending their AppCloud PaaS.
So I ask why I’d go with their solution and told him I’m pretty attached to MediaTemple. He replied, “It’s like getting a new puppy...you’ll always love the old dog, but the puppy is wonderful in it’s own special way. :-)”, which I think is a delightful answer to my question. We continue discussing and he tells me the benefits of their hosting services’I’m actually pretty impressed.
Finally he asks me to accept his gift of some trial time to try it out for myself and see if I like it. I love MediaTemple but since they disappointed me and @tmornini presented Engine Yard’s services so enthusiastically, I accepted his offer. Just a few minutes later, I got a very friendly email from his colleague, containing access details for my new EngineYard account.
Now that’s how I want to be treated. We should learn from Engine Yard’they’ve just shown us a school book example of how to promote services in a delightful manner that people will remember and tell their friends about (like I do in this blog post.)
So how does the story end? Am I actually considering switching to Engine Yard after many years as a loyal MediaTemple fan? That’s something we’ll have to wait to find out.
While I did get an account at EngineYard to trial their AppCloud service, I haven’t yet used it. I’ve logged in and had a look around’the configuration interface is neat and simple’but I need to try hosting and deploying a site before I can draw any further conclusions.
To be continued. Remember to follow me on Twitter to get the test results as soon as they’re published. Until then, have a great week!