VitalStream/InterNap the brand you can’t trust

I wanted to write up a short and sweet review of an experience we had with VitalStream (, now part of InterNap (, in case someone is doing searching about their CDN (Content Delivery Network) and streaming services before they sign up.

During the spring of ’07 a company I’m affiliated with began to offer flash streaming services for their clients.  We looked at a few companies and in the end choose VitalStream because the quality, service, and products were right up our alley.  They sounded great and and we were off and running with their service in just a couple days.  Responses from the sales rep were always friendly and timely with a thorough answer.  When we received our invoice there was a mistake and made a call to him to get it worked out.  One call turned into two, then three, as well as emails.  We were given the contact information of someone in accounting to help us out and after numerous calls and emails there was not response.  We then in turn contacted our representative again and was given another person.  We promptly received the same treatment when we contacted the first person in accounting.  By this point the problem has turned to be quite annoying for us and unfortunately it was the tip of the iceberg.

Skipping forward to late summer/early fall and the transition to InterNap began and we started to experience random outages, and while the technical support dept was good to talk with on the phone I got the distinct impression they were over burdened and when an email was sent with a question or status update more often than not they never responded to it.  This was even after they asked us to send an email for them to follow up with from a conversation.  At one point the outages became really bad and did receive some great support at that time with phone calls back on status updates.  After some digging with questions the problem had to do with the content not making to all of their delivery servers. The transition as a whole between the two companies for their flash streaming and CDN network was chaotic and were becoming very nervous with them.  At one point while calling about one outage we were told the problem was related to various typo’s on the server which took down part of their service, and was given quick and vague excuses to what we felt was to get us off the phone.  From that point we began to sought out alternate providers we know can maintain a quality service.

Jumping forward again to present day, we’re about to switch providers and still trying to resolve numerous billing issues which we’ve been blown off, passed around, and many ignored emails and voice mails in addition to what was previously mentioned.  It is to the point that we will only get some form of direct answer or progress if they happen to pick up the phone when we call and spell out precisely what they should do while on the call.  The whole relationship has been a nightmare and is the worst experience I have encountered with a company both professionally from another business and personally with a service provider (comcast, verizon, etc).

To be fair to InterNap these dealings have been with VitalStream and their CDN network in particular. InterNap is only mentioned because of the acquisition that occurred.  As far as InterNap’s other services and network I have no comment or opinion on them since they were not used.

  1. John says:

    Hi – I was hoping to contact you about this experience. I’m an investor in the company and not pleased to hear about your experience. Is there a number or email where I can contact you? Thanks.

  2. chris says:

    Hi John,

    I also sent you an email but thought afterwards I would post here as well.

    There has been a fair amount of interest in the article and I will be writing a follow up over the next couple weeks. I’d be happy to answer questions about this and would like to get an idea if I should touch upon something in the follow up people are wondering that I didn’t mention here.

    I can be contacted at

  3. Jason says:

    I too am a former Vitalstream customer who went through the Internap merger. I own a small web hosting business and have a half-rack colocation with VS/Internap. My network consists of about 6 Dell servers and I dread having to deal with their customer/tech support in any way.

    Before the Internap take over there were 24/7 on-site techs that could help out with any issues that would arise with any of my servers. They were very knowledgable, helpful and very nice. Once Internap took over they removed the techs and replaced them with an inempt security attendant who has zero tech knowledge and even has trouble pushing buttons to restart servers. They now contract out any technical support needs to a local company in the area. That change resulted in long wait times to get anything done. It once took 4 hours for them to just arrive at the facility to look-in to a problem I was having. All the while, every single website/service that I host was down and I was just getting pounded with phone calls from my customers.

    I hate Internap with a passion and want to leave desperatly, but as anybody with a hosting company knows, it is difficult to just pick up and move without significant downtime for all their customers.

    Don’t even get me started on billing issues…..

  4. chris says:

    Hi Jason – Sorry for the delay in having your comment posted, I just had a chance to catch up on some items and saw it.

    I completely understand where you’re coming from with this, the months prior to the take over the tech support was pretty helpful, though the billing issues were still there. Four hours just to get to the facility to even see it is completely terrible! We thankfully didn’t have the much invested into the company and was able to relocate the data fairly quickly.

    As a suggestion to perhaps help your plight with Internap, can you have a DRAC card installed to your servers so you can take care of some basic things instead of them? Though if they need to install them that’s another consideration :)

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