Much to my chagrin, my blog has been down for five days.  That is five, count’em frustrating days.  I wasn’t notified by my hosting company (ProVim).  There were no phone calls and no emails, yet, they claim to have attempted to contact me.  I worked furiously through the weekend to find answers and only found more frustration.

I did find that my website was being hosted by when I searched whois.  They are now called and ProVim the third party.  In a chat session to Softlayer (a contradiction in customer service terms) refused to help me based on legal grounds.  They wouldn’t even contact the third party (ProVim) to help resolve the issue. I abhor service companies that can’t provide service or won’t do everything possible to help solve an issue.  This thinking is selfish, I would never do business with – they look inside out from their perspective and not outside-in from the customer’s perspective.

As for ProVim, they are a small company and growing by acquisition by what I read.  They are acting like a big company meaning it is hard for customer’s to get answers.  More bureaucracy, they had to open a ticket number to resolve my issue – my issue was labeled “medium.”  Sounds like how someone might order chicken wings then representative of my problem from my perspective – and that perspective would be a customer’s perspective.

Ultimately, I had to rely on the good ol’ boy network to apply pressure . . . are we really in the new millenium?  After a bogus attempt to resolve my issue by an executive, someone with knowledge actually understood the problem and resolved it.  So, five days of frustration ends with someone with knowledge to solve the problem.

A lesson to all of us that value is created on the front-line in the eyes of the customer.  We don’t care about balance sheets and income statements and especially we don’t like our problems labeled “low” or “medium.”  We care about our lives not yours and we hate IVRs, ticket systems and unanswered phone calls.  Try designing a system that serves us and not you.  Revenue and business improvement result and you won’t have to buy businesses to grow.  The management paradox is that customers are dying to do business with organizations that sollve their problems and not those that worry about their own.

Tripp Babbitt is a speaker, blogger and consultant to service industry (private and public).  His organization helps executives find a better way to make the work work.  Read his articles at Quality Digest and his column for  Download free from “Understanding Your Organization as a System” and gain knowledge of systems thinking or contact us about our intervention services at [email protected].  Reach him on Twitter at LinkedIn at