Web Software Architecture and Engineering – Life on the Bleeding Edge

First off, a lot of people like Rackspace. Their website looks very credible, they are publicly traded, and the seems to know what they are doing.
However, my dealings with Rackspace, over the past several years, has shown them to be the opposite. Case in point: PCI Compliant Hosting.
Rackspace offers a “PCI Toolbox.” You can tell right away this is not going to be good. At the bottom of the page is a contact our sales team link, and you have to basically fill out a form, which is what I did.
When I originally did this, I did not hear from them at all. Looks like they were too busy for me. 10 days later, I filled it out again, asking if they wanted my business, and they got back to me in 24 hours. I told them about my needs for PCI Compliant Managed Hosting, and they transferred me to someone, who was supposed to know what I was talking about. That person never responded. Days later, I emailed again, and got a generic response. I told them what I needed a quote on, and was told to wait a couple days. I waited.
And waited. Next I emailed again, and this time got a response from a 3rd person, that my quote was being worked on. I asked about how they met PCI Standards, and got generic responses. Basically, they provide you the tools, but your responsible for self-certification, and they’ll work with you on any changes. It meant, they’ll charge you later if you need more security… yet they sit on the PCI Council.
When I got my quote, it needed revisioning. As you can tell, things moved slowly. I was promised diagrams, which tooks weeks to deliver. In the end, it was an arduous journey.
The cost? They are HIGH. Let’s just say, they are 2.5x what we ended up deciding on with our new host. All with little to medium knowledge, potential long term costs, and a poor sales process. How was I to make a case for their “Fanatical Support” after that?
I may attach some of the quotes, documentation and answers for you to see. Still deciding on that. But let’s just say, my impression of Rackspace hasn’t changed in the past 5 years.
So what Tier would I rank them. Let’s make them a Tier 2.
Let me know if you have any comments or questions.

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