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Aside from requests to include insert your favorite VPS here, the top request I receive about these VPS Showdowns is to compare the support of each provider.
I’ve always hated this idea for a few reasons. First, I think it’s a pretty hard to quantify metric. What is being compared? The support’s response time? Their technical savvy? Their friendliness?
The other reason I’m not a fan is because I think it’s kinda crappy to email support when I don’t actually have a problem.
With that, I figured if I’m going to send in some erroneous support requests, I may as well do it on Christmas Eve. And not just on Christmas Eve, either. I shot off my support requests at approximately midnight Eastern time on Christmas Eve figuring it would be a good time to see what sort of late night coverage was in place.
Because I wasn’t going to make up some crazy technically issue to see if they could handle it, I sent in a simple inquiry with the subject line “Happy Holidays” and I explained what I was up to and some holiday well wishes.
So after the children were nestled all snug in their beds, I kicked things off and here’s how it played out:
Coming out of the gate amazingly strong was Vultr with a response time of 1 minute and 35 seconds.
Yes, you read that right, sub-2 minutes.
The systems administrator on staff was not only quick, but friendly and let me know that Vultr’s support staff is available 24/7 365 (and a quarter ;) days a year.
Not nearly as quick on the draw, but still impressive nonetheless was Linode with a response time of around 13 minutes.
The support person was also friendly and let me know about their 24/7 availability.
What was a bit of a surprise, at least to me, was that they mentioned that Linode not only offers email support, but also phone support. Seems like these days phone support is either non-existent or a premium upsell.
They also wished me a Happy Festivus so +100 right there ;)
Rounding out the batch that responded in under an hour, DigitalOcean’s platform support specialist responded in roughly 44 minutes.
Pretty in line with the other providers, they were extremely friendly.
As mentioned, the other providers all got in touch within an hour and at some point we were done making Christmas and crashed out.
Full disclosure, I absolutely expected a slower turn around from Lightsail since it’s a part of Amazon Web Services and presumably the largest customer base and thus, the largest support volume of the bunch.
Still, in my personal opinion, the turn around of about 15 hours, on a holiday, wasn’t too shabby at all.
Even still, the AWS support representative was friendly, gave me some additional insight to turn around times for their different tiers as well as how their billing cycles impact support (bills go out, support volume goes up).
For me, friendliness is always an important trait when dealing with support folks, and everybody I dealt with this holiday was top notch friendly.
Since I didn’t send in a true technical request, the only real metric to compare would be the response time on the support requests I sent.
Even though Vultr’s support turn around was so absurdly quick, I still think that that Linode’s additional offering of phone support makes them the better support play.
That mention of Festivus didn’t hurt either ;)
Kidding aside, I was thoroughly impressed with everybody that I interacted with for this VPS Showdown.
Since Amazon doesn’t do any sort of referral stuff, if you happen to end up going with Lightsail, or maybe signed up without using one of my links, please consider donating to the Wounded Warrior Project instead :)
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and of course, Happy Festivus!!