The other day I found myself having an issue while finalizing a proof of concept on Windows Azure.
I was unable to deploy my solution. It was staying in initialization / stop / pending cycle forever.
After a while (a few days), having tried different combination of staging / production, manual / Visual Studio deployment, etc., I went to look for help online then support.
I filed a request for support and give all the details I thought were pertinent. I mentioned it wasn’t urgent, ie there was no business process impacted (proof of concepts are pretty low in business processes).
I let it sleep. I thought I might get an email in 1-2 weeks.
The next day in the morning, I got a call from their support! The guy opened a ticket and asked me permission to look at my account. In the discussion I discovered the origin of this code 18: I forgot to copy locally the WIF assemblies, so they were not deployed to the cloud and hence, the application was unable to start (the web.config was unable to load I suppose, since one of the section is defined in those assemblies).
But my point is that the bloke didn’t drop the ball at any time. He suggested a resolution, was ready to open my account and look into the problem himself, followed-up by email, etc. . Just excellent service!
I don’t know if it will continue like that with time, but so far, that just boosted my confidence in the platform. To know that there is such an enterprise-class support as a safety net is quite reassuring! I dealt with third party hosting facilities and I never came across anything like that.
So I gave A+ to Windows Azure support. Well done!