Why do some companies make it so hard to do business with them?

Given the amount of competition within the IT industry, especially in the hosting space, why is it that some companies make it so hard to do business with them? This week (actually last week but it’s still dragging on) I wanted to buy a new VPS in Canada and looking at the different services offerings I decided that OVH provided the best value for my needs (just a POC).

Will OVH make it to 930 001 customers?

Will OVH make it to 930 001 customers?

So, I figure I’ll head to http://ovh.ca and just create and account and off I go, but they only allow sign ups from customers in Canada. So I do a bit more searching and see they also have an ovh.co.uk website – maybe I’ll have better luck there. Once again I find that they limit the location for customers to be either UK or Canada. Thinking it doesn’t really matter where I am as long as I pay my bills, I go ahead and create an account with a dummy postal address, so far so good.

Before my server was ready I was asked to submit documentation to confirm my postal address – so much for that approach. I respond honestly telling the sales person that I live in Australia but want to buy a Canadian VPS from them to which I receive a polite reply letting me know that I’ll need to sign up on their ovh.ie website (Ireland) and they’ll refund my payment (which they did). So now I’m off to their third website (I don’t know how many they have) but at least on ovh.ie it seems they do include Australia (and all other countries) in the list of acceptable countries for their perspective customers to sign up from.

Surely I’ll be on the home stretch now I think and complete my VPS order requirements and use all of my real account details including my mobile number. I then come back to the same account validation hurdle, they require a copy of my driver’s license or passport and a utility bill to confirm my address. No problem I think, I happen to keep a jpg copy of my passport on my computer and a PDF copy of my phone bill is in my email so this should only take 5 minutes. I send my email off to their required email address using the reference they have given me and eagerly await their reply.


As Slowly As Possible?

This was Friday. It’s now Monday evening and I have heard nothing from them. I have forwarded the email again to the email address they supplied and for good measure also sent them a general support email on their website. Like many companies OVH say they provide 24/7 support yet it seems that the turn around time on getting new customers on board is not given the same priority or urgency.

I know this isn’t the first time I’ve run into similar problems when trying to business with companies online and it beggars belief that any company wanting to grow their business should make it this hard for a potential customer to part with their money.

Postscript – I did get my VPS online today and it’s working as expected, albeit a little slow but then it was a very low end server so it’s expected. Whilst the VPS has been provided it seems I still don’t have an active account or control panel that I can log into, the credentials I used to begin with tells me “Error: Invalid Account ID or password” and the Forgotten Password? option gives an equally unhelpful error of “Unable to start recovery procedure”. So once more I need to resort to logging a support ticket just to get my account setup with them. How hard can it be to do business with OVH? Apparently very, very hard indeed.

Further Postscript – Can it get worse? Of course it can. OVH have replied to my support email by asking me to verify my identity bu logging into their OVH Manager Tool by first logging into my customer portal and then clicking on the Assistance link. It seems I am now in a catch 22 situation, unable to login the customer portal and as a result also unable to log a support ticket to rectify the situation.

I urge the reader to draw their own conclusions.

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