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Needless to say, I regained access to my site, copied my databases to my hard drive, then switched web hosts. Within two days I had moved my site to another, much better hosting service (and, of course, I deleted offending script).
Don't test on your production servers - I know you want to upgrade your Apache to newest version or install new control panel right away, but please don't immediately install anything on your production servers. Believe me, your customers don't care about any of this - they want working sites. Saying "everything is going slow because we upgraded" is not acceptable - host should know ALL side effects of any upgrades from actual testing long before any change, however, small, is made to a production system.
Do what you say you are going to do - I was with a hosting company called Bizland for over a year. They were good most of time except for (a) excessive downtime, and (b) they didn't deliver on their promises. They kept saying CGI will be released in April, then May, then June. Finally, I decided I could not wait anymore (and also concluded host was down too much) so I moved my site.
Free hosting companies seem to have a bad habit of using production systems as test beds. This is one of strong downsides to using free hosts - they really don't care if your site is up or not, as long as advertisements are displayed.
Acknowledge your trouble tickets - One web hosting company that I was with for quite a long time was Addr.com. These guys had easily best support so far. What stands out in my mind is every single message that I sent got acknowledged by a human being.
The sequence was as follows: I would send a trouble ticket and get an automated response. A short time later, I got a note that ticket was handled. I always respond with a "thank you", because I've been a support person before and I understand power of getting thanked. Addr.com even responded to thank you with a "you are welcome" message!
To contrast, another hosting company (hostrocket again), had a nasty habit of just closing tickets. I'd send in a question and get an answer, then ask another question as follow-up. I would never get a response, then check to see that ticket was marked "closed". This is not way to keep a customer happy.
Actually read your trouble tickets - I write very clearly in trouble tickets, precisely because I've been a support person and I know exactly what is needed. I'm constantly surprised at how many times web host support people simply don't read ticket and thus do wrong thing.
One particularly glaring example was a ticket which I sent in which said to set up a certain domain with bigmailbox. The support person (from Hostrocket) changed MX record for an entirely different domain, in spite of my message clearly stating "change it for domain xyz". This caused my site to lose email capability for two days until they eventually figured out what they messed up.
Most importantly, remember where you get your money from - This message is for all web hosting companies everywhere. Your money comes from those people called webmasters. Free hosting companies get their money indirectly via content provided by webmasters. With paid hosts relationship is direct and to point - money is paid by webmasters.
If you annoy your customers or don't provide service, then you will find yourselves out of business. And in these days of a looming recession, good customers are gold. Keep them happy and your company will prosper.
Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at http://www.internet-tips.net - Visit our website any time to read over 1,000 complete FREE articles about how to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge.