In July 2016, Bluehost ended ticket support for technical queries. At the time, it was a significant move as they were suffering from a meltdown in their support systems, where response times were measured in weeks, rather than hours. I’ve gone into the history of this later in the article.
It is not unusual for a large web hosting company to not offer technical support via tickets. GoDaddy, for example, provides an even more restrictive support experience, choosing to rely almost solely on telephone support.
Bluehost, by contrast, now offers technical support by telephone and by live-chat.
Ending Technical Support Tickets proved to be Bluehost’s savior
You can read more about Bluehost’s support in our Bluehost review. This provides a more in-depth discussion on the current levels of support.
On my last test of their services, I found that the support has significantly improved since the diabolical ticket support situation.
Why Bluehost removed Ticket Support
First, a little background. Bluehost used to be good, and by that, I mean superb. They were the “go-to” hosting provider for many years, with their excellent support highly praised by nearly everyone. Then they were bought by EIG in 2010, although this did not go public until early 2011.
EIG, or Endurance International Group, has, for many years, been synonymous with buying up web hosting companies causing those companies to lose the “spark” that they once had.
In some cases, the purchase has resulted in a meltdown of the support and ended up in the sacking of all sister existing staff, as in the case of Arvixe and Site5.
While Bluehost had lost that unique spark within a year or two of its acquisition by EIG, it wasn’t until the last couple of years that things started going wrong.
Many of the EIG brands utilize the same management and support teams, and over the last few years, their online chat support was US-based, but their ticket support was based in India.
It appears to be the ticket support in India that was responsible for all the delays, with their online chat side of things still performing relatively well. With the new acquisitions, and with the transfer of much of their ticket support to
With the new acquisitions, and with the transfer of much of their ticket support to India, it appeared to be the perfect storm, with the long delays in responses to tickets being exacerbated by problematic migrations and follow-up tickets asking about the lack of responses.
Fast forward to July 2016, and the news started to leak (Bluehost made no official announcement) that they no longer offered ticket support, with some users finding a message when trying to create a ticket revealing the change:
The message states:
With careful deliberation, we’ve made the decision to discontinue ticket support and focus our best efforts on providing personal and direct support by phone or chat.
Others, who, having had issues finding out how to create a ticket asked on Twitter:
Hi, yes we've made the decision to focus our efforts on providing timely solutions with personal direct phone/chat supprt.— Bluehost Support (@bluehostsupport) July 8, 2016
January 2017 saw them desperately working to fix the problem. In January 2017, Bluehost announced it would be closing its office in Orem, Utah, laying off more than 440 workers in their accounting, customer support, human resources, and training. It will be consolidating its support staff in its Tempe, Arizona office to improve its customer support. Let’s just hope it doesn’t end in a similar way to the Arvixe debacle.
Forward to 2019, and it looks like this debacle is over. Let’s hope they have learned their lesson.
Jonathan Griffin Editor, SEO Consultant, & Developer.
Jonathan Griffin is The Webmaster's Editor & CEO, managing day-to-day editorial operations across all our publications. Jonathan writes about Development, Hosting, and SEO topics for The Webmaster and The Search Review with more than nine years of experience. Jonathan also manages his own SEO consultancy, offering SEO developer services. He is an expert on site-structure, strategy, Schema, AMP, and technical SEO. You can find Jonathan on Twitter as @thewebmastercom.