Recently I have had three new clients come to our company for IT support. Each one uses MelbourneIT's domain name services - MelbourneIT hosts the domain name, the registry of that name and the web sites. In all three cases I've needed to make changes to DNS records and have been unable to get usernames and passwords for the managed services from MelbourneIT, despite having the authorised users available and requesting the changes themselves. Emails with reset account details have never arrived and after an estimated 3.5 hours on the phone I've given up. We'll set the DNS records up somewhere else and migrate the domain to a new registrar.
Poor customer service like this is not unusual in the IT world. Often a client will ask who to use for the domain names, where to host their DNS etc. I've always had very good experiences with Westnet and now with iiNET, reasonable experiences with Telstra on the Business Broadband and associated services and good experiences with Netregistry. While my company is a Telstra Fixed and Data dealer, I'm not personally involved in that part of the business and we don't resell any of the other companies services. I've used Netregistry personally for some years now, and I have my DNS hosted with Westnet still. Both organisations have been great to work with and I'm very pleased with the experiences I've had. I recommend them both to people I have as clients and friends. Contrast that with MelbourneIT's apparently poor customer service and I won't recommend them to anyone - not until I see a real improvement there.
I don't quite understand why so many companies - some with great products - skimp on customer service. Most of the time, the client is buying the sales chap or the customer service rep as much or more than the product in question. I always keep this in mind with my own clients - great customer service makes for sticky clients - they won't leave. Admitting mistakes can be seen as very detrimental, but I've always found that the admission, an apology and a plan for reparation have always been very positive. I've read too that in medical circles, some hospitals and doctors are apologising if things go wrong and people forgive them enough to drop law suits. That's a bit off topic, so I'll drag it back. The technical support staff I spoke to at MelbourneIT offered support but have failed to follow through and this is something that is now impacting on my relationship with the clients - they've started seeking a scapegoat for the things that aren't happening in a timely manner and unfortunately we IT people all get tarred with the same brush to a greater or lesser degree. It's been frustrating enough I'll take my business elsewhere and my clients too. Unfortunate for MelbourneIT but good for others.