Even though we investigate all system problem reports sufficiently to understand what the problem is, we provide only generic responses.
This raises an obvious question. If you're reporting a problem and we know what the problem is, whether it turns out to be a system problem or not, why don't we tell you what we found?
We've actually tried that in the past, and it was a disaster.
Like paid support, system problem reports are individual and private and handled by skilled professionals. However, system problem reports have several significant advantages over paid support:
- They are free.
- They go to the front of the line.
- They are handled outside our standard support hours.
Consider two people with the same problem: their site is suddenly offline and they don't know why. For both people, the cause is the same, their domain—registered somewhere else—is expired and they just didn't notice. (An understandable situation, but not anything to do with us.) At midnight, Person A submits a paid support issue and Person B submits a system problem report. Without limits on system problem reports, they get the same response but Person B gets it hours sooner and for free. That creates a perverse incentive to misuse the system.
So we built a third system that charged for system problem reports. That was also a terrible idea. (It burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp.) If you find a system problem, we don't care how much money you do or don't have, we want to hear about it.
As a result of all that, we allow free system problem reports but limit the responses. That has worked out very well for both us and our members. (But the fourth one stayed up!) System problems get fixed promptly, and there is no benefit obtained by reporting things that are not system problems.