Hostgator Customer Support Info: Unfair Rap

Here’s how to contact Hostgator customer support:

Toll-Free Telephone: (866) 964 2867
Local Calling: (713) 574 5287
International calling: 00+1-713-574-5287

You can also contact them by submitting a ticket or live chat (preferred).

How to Contact Hostgator Support via Live Chat

Personally, I feel that the best way to contact Hostgator customer support is with the live chat option. You can get started by clicking the icon on the top right of all their public facing pages as shown here:

Contact Hostgator Customer Support via Live Chat
Contact Hostgator Customer Support via Live Chat

You don’t even need to be logged into the system for the chat to work. You can enter your credentials into live chat as soon as you click the button like in this screenshot:

Existing Customer Log in for Hostgator Live Chat
Existing Customer Log in for Hostgator Live Chat

Or if you’re not yet a customer, you can just enter your name and you’re good to go!

Why Live Chat is Superior to Phone

I infinitely prefer to contact Hostgator customer support using live chat instead of calling them. There are several reasons for this.

First, we have a written record of everything that was said. In case of a dispute later on, the details of the chat can easily be consulted, thereby rendering trivial, the resolution of a problem.

Second, with live chat, you don’t have to bother about things like not hearing the service rep on the other end, or struggling to figure out their accent. Everything is clear. You can easily provide them the answers to whatever questions they want.

Third is comfort. I don’t know about you, but I always need to “prep” myself before making a call. Have I sufficiently woken up for my voice to sound ok? Am I drunk? Do I feel like responding to someone in real time? A lot of the time, the answer is “no”.

For these reasons, I suggest you opt to contact Hostgator customer support using live chat every time.

Here’s a screenshot of HostGator’s live chat screen with an estimated wait time of 5 minutes:

HostGator Live Chat Screen
HostGator Live Chat Screen

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Review: Why Hostgator Customer Service Gets a Bad Rep

You may have heard a lot of horror stories about terrible Hostgator customer service. The general consensus is that things began to go downhill after their acquisition by EIG in 2012. While there’s some truth to this, a lot of it is overblown.

The low reputation of Hostgator online comes from their large base, and the fact that they provide more basic hosting compared to other providers like NameHero and SiteGround. Because most of Hostgator’s customers are just interested in ordinary shared hosting, they simply don’t have the support problems of advanced hosts. As a result, they get fewer calls, and the ones that they do, are typically ones they can do nothing about.

This is a common problem with commoditized hosting. Short of your server going down, there’s actually very little about which you need to contact customer service. “Boutique” hosting is specialized, and there could be many reasons why customer support needs to get involved. For example, Hostgator doesn’t provide server caching. So they wouldn’t get customer service complaints about caching cookies, or something like that. When your product is standardized, there’s not much that can go wrong.

Low-cost Hosting Generates More Complaints

Look, there’s no beating around the bush. Hostgator’s single biggest value proposition is low-cost hosting. In fact, I very much doubt if there is any other web host on the market that provides comparable service at this price point.

The only way they can achieve this is via overselling. Every single web host does this, but cheap providers like Hostgator need to walk a fine line between too much and too little. So if your website uses up even a fraction more resources than it should, it will slow down when you’re on a basic plan. Many websites use up resources even without knowing it. For example, if they use a backup plugin like UpDraftPlus that sucks CPU power and I/O operations, they can kiss their site performance goodbye!

Customer Support is Expensive!

To top it off, customer support is the single most expensive component of web hosting. Low cost providers like Hostgator have to necessarily keep their costs low, and that means cutting down on training and hiring. Unlike NameHero for example, they have to control their expenses by outsourcing their call centers to other countries. Even SiteGround doesn’t base its customer support in the US even though they’re pricey as hell!

It’s a good thing Hostgator provides only basic services, because they don’t have the customer support system to offer Tier IV support to everyone.

Dissatisfied Customers Make More Noise

Another reason why Hostgator customer support gets trashed online is because the kinds of complaints they get are usually those about which they can’t do anything. Your website is slow? Probably because you’re using too many resources on your WordPress CMS by installing a resource extensive plugin. The solution is a deep dive into your installation to identify the misbehaving plugin. But Hostgator’s customer support isn’t equipped to do that on a daily basis.

Net result? Customer complaints. A lot of them are not about the service as such, but feeling powerless about a situation that Hostgator couldn’t help them with.

So these are some of the reasons that cheap hosting providers like Hostgator receive bad reviews online.

Bottom Line

Hostgator’s customer support is neither worse, nor better than the industry average for this class of low-cost web hosting. A lot of people try and justify their dislike such as their acquisition by EIG, but there’s no logic behind it. The truth is that a large hosting company with cheap services will always have complaints. As long as you understand the reasons why this happens, you’re good to go. The root cause is unrealistic expectations – nothing more.

About Bhagwad Park

I've been writing about web hosting and WordPress tutorials since 2008. I also create tutorials on Linux server administration, and have a ton of experience with web hosting products. Contact me via e-mail!

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