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Subject: Re: UKNM: [Fwd: email acknowledgement from jungle.com
From: Jon Curnow
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 1999 13:02:35 +0100

> Why do people seem to think it's acceptable to act like rank amateurs
> just because it's online?

I'm not sure I'd use the phrase "rank amateurs" but poor service still
common in many parts of our industry despite the fact most pitches
tell the client how an online presence can help with customer service.

And it's not just customer service. It's the service levels we give
each other.

You buy a service - be that hosting, mailing list management, stats
crunching, ad delivery, product fulfillment, whatever - and in a high
number of cases you get plenty of promises and in reality a 9-5
service. Something goes wrong outside those hours and there's an
excuse. And I suspect many of us are guilty.

I used to work in another media environment where 24 hour operation
was also the norm. And if something went wrong at 2 in the morning
somebody was available - or at least on call - to fix it. In the 3
years I was there we never had a 100% service failure for more than
about 2 minutes. Sure, sometimes small elements failed but tried and
tested monitoring procedures provided backup so that the customer got
70% of the service.

I find this is not the case with online media. Servers go down at 2 on
a Sunday afternoon and it isn't easy to get somebody in to fix them.
Pipe to ISP fails. Sorry they're in a meeting? Somebody messed up the
DNS records last night? Can it wait until Monday? (All 3 responses
happened to me in the last 2 weeks) Where's the backup & redundancy
that's in the initial sales pitch? I find the concept of a Service
Level Agreement pretty hard to swallow - I accept things go wrong and
I'm not in the game of trying to get compensation for every second
over the agreed levels that the service isn't delivered. However I'm
slowly turning that way as it appears to me the only solution to some
basic failures where I believe there should be redundant systems etc.

Now it isn't everybody and as there are more and more online only or
online centric businesses then it will get better but there seems to
me a great reluctance to accept we need the professional service
levels other media already have.

Am I alone with this view/experience?


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  UKNM: [Fwd: email acknowledgement from j, Stefan Magdalinski

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