Today I'm going to make you feel silly, hypocritical and borderline retarded!
Let's get started.

While I hope you're not too offended by this post... I do hope you'll change your ways.

Before we dig too deep let's get down and do some arithmetic. I'm sure you did this back in Elementary school -- that is if you got past pre-school.

Before starting on your homework -- get out a pen, a piece of paper and jot down the following:

Pay per hour:
Pay per day:
Pay per month:
Amount hourly:

Ready? Not yet? Come on Jonny don't hold up the rest of the class!
All right.. now let's really get started.

Today we're going to teach you a few lesssons.
The first lesson we're going to teach you is:

How much you pay your host (before expenses)

Ask yourself the following questions:

1. How much do you pay per month (if you pay monthly) Let's let this number = X
Now let's do some simple division.

Monthly payment: X / 30 (30.416 is the avg number of days in a month, but forget decimals).
All right you now have the amount you pay your host per day! Fill that into the appropriate slot.

2. How much do you pay per hour?
Let's do some more simple math! Take the number you got in the past box and divide that by 24!
You now have your pay per hour.

You're really getting the hang of this -- you should be a math teacher!

3. So now you have both pay per hour, pay per day and pay per month (X) filled in.
You now know what you currently pay your host per hour for your package - not including expenses (support, electricity, their office, phones, servers, bandwidth, licensing fees and other expenses, and many more).

4. Now let's fill in the amount YOU make per hour in 'Amount hourly:'. Also feel free to fill in your position under 'Job'. Now we have a few details about you and what you make.

We're finally getting somewhere.

Now let's get started on section 2

Section two is going to teach you a little about your hosts expenses.

First off let's make a few agreements: I really like agreements -- ink or sink!

Let's agree that your average hosting technician (he's 12, spikes his hair and loves his girlfriend) gets paid 10 dollars per hour. That's not too much to ask, right? Afterall you expect him to:

1. Know how to code (you ask him questions about html, php and your scripts you setup), manage the server you're currently on, speak proper English and be able to coherently write it.

All right -- so your average tech. is 10 dollars per hour.
There are 24 hours in a day -- you expect your 24/7 support, otherwise you'd switch hosts, right?

So that's 240 dollars in a day (minus office, phones, bandwidth, servers, electricity, licensing fees and other expenses) for your 2 technicians who run the 24/7 support (maybe a few more but they're all 10 dollars an hour, right? ha!).

Let's do some more math (afterall you're really good at it!):

240 (dollars per day) x 30
You now result in: 7,200 dollars per month. Phew!

That's an awful lot, espescially since it only includes the technicians (and ones at 10 dollars an hour who only know how to fling bananas).

Now let's do some math on those expenses.. let's divide what they're paid an hour by what YOU pay per hour.

10 (dollars per hour) / what you pay them per hour
The result? Not pretty, is it?

Now let's do even more math!
Let's take the amount they get paid per month (just for them existing and showing up to work) by what you pay per month.

7,200 / what you pay per month.
Now we're getting somewhere.

See that result? That's how many other clients EACH support representative has to support (and that's not including expenses -- so it's actually a lot more!).

Now you want livechat? phones? 24/7 e-mail? Livechat and phones means 1 representative can only handle 1 client per 15 minutes on average it gets even uglier as they would need more than 1 representative on during a shift.. thus doubling or even tripling the support costs..

Now.. let's forget all of the other expenses: As they're huge and the math would be quite complex.. (I'm too stupid to do it, that's for sure).

But think of it this way:

1. Your host most likely pays 30-150 dollars per megabit (300 gigs of transfer per month). If you have a lot of bandwidth and actually use it: You're probably making your host lose money.

2. You want your host to have an office? Throw on another 650 per month per employee (unless they're in the woods and ask Billy Bob all the "hawd quesshuns")

3. You want your host to have a decent, reliable datacenter? Ha, at what you're paying? Come on! Stop pulling my leg..

You can see where this is going.. we're only digging ourselves deeper.

What support really is:

Support for a host isn't supposed to be questions like "Can I do this in html?", "Can you help me configure phpBB (or any other script)", "Can you help me learn to tie my shoes?".

Support is there to:

1. keep your servers up.
2. keep your servers fast and reliable.
3. communicate during emergencies.

You're expecting an awful lot out of your host. In fact you're expecting the world for nothing.
If you've asked your host a question that's out of the scope of their support (scripts, html, or other stupid random things): Would you be willing to have me or your boss call you up at 3am in the morning and ask you stupid questions about your job for (insert amount you pay your host per hour here) per hour?

Be nice to your host. Thank them once in awhile if they're doing a good job. IF they're doing a crappy job: Find another host, there's a million out there who'll give you the world for less than nothing.

Note: Now post the results of your findings (pay per month, pay per day, pay per hour, your job and what you get paid) so we can compare with everyone else.

And my last and final statement!

Hosting is most certainly a business that companies/people can profit in. I'm not questioning that -- my point is that you're expecting an awful lot for the amount you pay. You wouldn't offer 1 on 1 livechat, phone support or e-mail responses in 15 minutes for what you pay your host per hour. You expect them to. That doesn't mean you're not somehow 100% pure profit to them (in fact you could be if they do things right) BUT you're paying less than nothing. Be nice to the technicians who are helping you, thank them -- and let them know you'll google next time or post on their forums instead.

Just be nice!