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March 07, 2012

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Tony Ferrini

Wow. Big news. Good luck John, Steven, and the rest of the Modwest team! You've been great to work with and I hope Blackfoot continues the tradition.

Viehdorfer.wordpress.com

I'm not sure if this is good news or bad news. It's a shock, actually. I've grown very comfortable with the high level of customer support and technical expertise that Modwest offers, not to mention their friendly can-do attitude. I'm just a very small fish in the pond, but I have clients that I host with Modwest and am uncomfortable with a change from a small, well-run local business to being part of a telecom, albeit a non-profit coop. I never want to be in the position I was in when I came to Modwest - without someone to call when there is a problem, with overseas technical support that doesn't give a darn, with restrictive technology and outdated hosting solutions. (I'm a bit taken aback that I had to find this out in a blog post and not a general release or an email - had I not happened to stop by to check stats, it might have been months before I knew.) PLEASE tell me that none of that is going to happen and that I won't wake up one morning and realize I'm talking to someone in the Philippines who I can't understand, part of some corporate maze that is more interested in selling me VOIP than in helping me build a web design and development company. I like Modwest the way it is, thank you, and, to paraphrase a certain movie," I know engineers.. they just love to change things". Please don't let that happen.

Modwest, Inc.

Thanks for the well-wishes, Tony! We're excited that both Modwest and Blackfoot have great customer service reputations and anticipate the partnership will continue to support the quality you've come to expect.

Modwest, Inc.

Rick,

Thank you for letting us know your concerns regarding Modwest joining the Blackfoot family. I am sorry that you felt shocked to find out about this transition for Modwest; part of the reason for keeping the ownership change low key was that Modwest anticipates that customers will receive better products and services as Modwest is able to take advantage of efficiencies afforded to it as part of a larger family of businesses while keeping the signature quality service customers have come to expect.

Blackfoot has been part of the fabric of Missoula, Montana since 1954. It is committed to innovation and quality service and its technical expertise is the perfect compliment to Modwest's infrastructure. Blackfoot's 2011, 90% of Blackfoot customers were "Satisfied" or "Very Satisfied" with Blackfoot service, according to an independent survey by The Pivot Group.

Blackfoot does not utilize overseas technical support so you will always connect with a native English speaker and the live voice of an experienced Customer Care Consultant as you have with Modwest. Blackfoot and Modwest technical teams are working closely together to cross-train and share critical knowledge to ensure quality customer service now and into the future.

Blackfoot also shares Modwest's commitment to community. As Modwest has sponsored various community events such as Sunday Streets Missoula (http://www.sundaystreetsmissoula.org) and Missoula Barcamp (http://www.missoulabarcamp.org), Blackfoot has contributed more than $425,000 in financial and in-kind support during the past two years to the communities it serves.

We appreciate you taking the time to voice your concerns as we appreciate your loyalty as a customer since 2006; customers like you have made Modwest into the success it is today.

Please feel free to contact us at any time if you have additional questions or concerns about this transition. We'd be happy to address them for you!

Cyndi Lovell

This morning, March 23, 2012, we attempted to get our email and the server was down.
All phone numbers were routed to Blackfoot. The Blackfoot employees did not know ANYTHING about Modwest and, in fact, did not know there had been a merger with Modwest.
So Viehdorfer it is worse than you could have imagined. It was not someone in the Philippines who could not understand what was going on. It was someone in Missoula!

Modwest, Inc.

Hi, Cyndi. Thank you for writing in about your experience. I apologize for the poor phone support you received this morning. As Modwest integrates parts of its infrastructure into the Blackfoot system, we are making every effort to avoid and minimize service hiccups to Modwest customers. Modwest's web hosting and customer service will improve over time by tapping into economies of scale available through sharing Blackfoot's technical and support resources. Modwest is at the beginning of this process and is well on the way to improving technical service. Cross-training customer support will occur as well, but has not yet been completed. The unfortunate response you received today was caused by a phone system misconfiguration along combine with lack of training. The phone system issue has been resolved and you should never again be routed to personnel unaware of how to assist you. Modwest appreciates your patience and continued loyalty through this transition; you've been with us since 2001 and have seen Modwest emerge and grow over the years. I hope that Modwest's addition to the Blackfoot family is something you look back on in the future as a turning point in Modwest's success!

Del Felden

I can relate to Cyndi's concerns. I was a hosting customer with ICS, a company that would do everything in their power to help a customer. All of that changed when Blackfoot took over. Personal, friendly, instant service became institutionalized service with "we'll call you back within 24 hours" responses, from a tech support team that had no power, authorization, or even knowledge to help.

I came to Modwest looking for a local solution only to find this sad news!

Francois A

I couldn't agree more. This is sad news. Very surprising also to find out only now, because of a new "Powered by Blackfoot" button on the Modwest homepage. I was as much disappointed to see the death of the Modwest Community Website without an email either.
I am certain that Modwest really took time to choose and select who to sell the company to, but in these cases, it's always almost the same that happens: bigger company is poorer customer support and bigger appetite for profit.
It's just a matter of size, not how carefully you choose. Of course a company has to grow and expand, but for how long a large corporation yet with service and community values in mind will stay a utopia?
I'll stay at Blackfoot/Modwest, but the day I get a crappy support, I will quit.
Last week I had a friend of mine to signup for a new website and he was requested to send a scan of his ID card before processing his subscription. Not a very good sign.
Anyways, that's life. Good luck to ALL of the Modwest founders (John, thank you!), employees and friends, and a giant THANK YOU for all these years of spectacular service.

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