I know I’ve been ragging on [Dreamhost](http://www.dreamhost.com/rewards.cgi?momathome) a bit lately. My main beef with them has been with their customer support. The email has been a little spotty and opening a ticket may get you an answer in 15 minutes, 15 hours or 2 days. You never know, and there’s no phone number.
They’ve put in a new feature that’s working very well and is easing a lot of the stress.
On the [support section](https://panel.dreamhost.com/index.cgi?tree=support.msg&) of the control panel you can select exactly the situation you’re having trouble.
The control panel will report whether it’s a real problem or not. If you are the first one to report a problem it shows in yellow (unverified). A few minutes later, the issue will either be green (resolved) or red (verified). Red means that they now know it’s a problem and they’re on it. Quite often, I’ll have a problem with email and by the time I’m at the control panel checking it’s already red, showing me that someone else on my shared machine already reported it and how long ago they first heard of the problem.
This is great on many levels. First, I’m sure the tech support guys are tired of answering endless emails with the same information. This will hopefully free them up to answer the more unusual/specific questions. Second, it gives me immediately feedback, which aside from fixing the problem is what I really need. I can handle the fact that I haven’t been able to check my email for the past 27 minutes and 3 seconds and counting. What’s difficult is when I can’t check my email and I have no idea if anyone at my host knows that I can’t check email.
I can say from personal experience that the worst part about being stuck in an elevator is not about being stuck in an elevator. It’s being stuck in an elevator that doesn’t have a working phone and you have no idea if anyone in the world knows you’re stuck in the elevator. Once you hear that intercom voice saying “We know you’re there, we’re working on it” you feel much better.