Bit of an odd blog post, I’m sure you’ll agree. However all I’ve heard this week are new customers on Live Sales Chat or by email, sharing their gameserver provider woes. And I really feel for them.
Those customers that hadn’t heard of us took some convicing we weren’t like some unscrupulous gameserver hosts. Sad really, that after nearly 6 years in business.
The BBC would have a field day. Never mind Rogue Traders. How about Rogue Gameserver Hosts? Unfortunately there are too many!
So even if you don’t rent your gameservers with INX, and you look for another host, I hope these five things to check that will help you avoid being scammed.
1. How long has the host been in business?
Don’t get me wrong, there are many gameserver companies that have only been around for years that are far worse than those only 6 months. However, with a game server company that hasn’t been around long, you’ll struggle to find reviews, so it’s very difficult to know just how good they are. Also, consider a large percentage of businesses fail in the first 6 months. Everyone starts a game server provider believing they will be the next big thing. They’ll offer MSN support and their personal mobile. Wow! But it’s not scaleable. One person cannot continue to look after gameservers if the company is to grow. We’ve always seen it as the biggest failing point for any gameserver host.
2. How easy is it to contact the server host?
We believe any company whether it be game server host or Florist, should be easily contactable. And they should state clearly, their opening hours. That’s what we do. We’re honest about it. And at the time of writing we don’t offer 24/7 support, so we don’t lie about it. Beware, lots do. A host that gives you his / her msn sounds fantastic. But what if he / she is taken ill.
Can you see an address to write to on their website? Any company failing to list an address is breaking distance selling regulations. It seems to be the norm, rather than the exception new hosts do this. Do you really trust a company that breaks such clear trading rules?
3. What’s their Eglish loike?
Seriously, can you trust a gameserver host to look after your clan / communities servers, if there are hordes of spelling mistakes on their front page? It doesn’t take five minutes to spell-check a page. Loads of grammatical and spelling errors, for me, suggest someone that can’t be bothered. How bothered will they be when your servers are down through no fault of your own?
4. Who’s shizzle are they reselling?
I’ve written about this on our about page. No doubt some gameserver hosters are going to be calling me a range of colourful names ranging from dispstick to…er…can’t print that on here
No doubt they won’t agree with me, because they are resellers of resellers of resellers.
Check the about page for a full explanation. But in short, too many middle men, nothing gets done. A simple server reboot can take take days. Do you really want to wait that long?
5. Have they got a clue?
My next blog post will be on how easy it is to setup a game server provider. It’s very easy.
But doing it right, is another thing. I could setup a Chiropodist clinic if I wanted.
I’d get Daddy to give me a loan, I’d get myself a shop…buy all my equipment and wait for the customers to flock in. Ok, without thinking about marketing and advertising I’d not get many customers. But before long, there would be one mug walk in.
Eesha, INX company secretary calls me Propellar Arms. It’s not because I can fly. I believe it’s a lovely reference to my nimble hands. So trust me, you would not want me near your feet with a razor blade.
Similarly with game server companies, it’s so easy to setup. But when it comes to knowing the games, the operating system, the mods. It’s not something you can buy. It’s taken us 5 years + to get where we are knowledge wise.
While what I’ve written is perhaps lighthearted, it should be taken seriously.
When one big name GSP went bust last summer, so many customers were left hundreds, even thousands of pounds out of pocket. With no refunds. Clans died as a result.
I hope my modest nuggets of game server hosting wisdom help you avoid being ripped off.