The difference in support between customer service hotlines and web hosting forums can vary widely. Visiting the hosting forums for support can get you direct help from users that are, or have been experiencing the same problems you are facing. The support lines are usually filled with inexperienced employees following a strict guide presented by the hosting company. It is normally recommended to get support directly from the users; they can help you from direct experience rather than just reciting the same, stale words from a user manual.
Visiting the web hosting forum can give you a good overview of how the hosting service works under the hood. The users are usually friendly and have faced the same problems you may or may not run into, using the service. Many of the users have their hacks and ways around certain mechanisms put into place by the hosting company. The forums can be an excellent resource for scripts, and settings that only a veteran user can know.
The web hosting support lines are handled by the company to redirect you to an outsourced company representative. This person will lookup your problem in a predefined manual for the solution, not to say that this has any significant disadvantages. It can be quicker than waiting anywhere from hours to days for a reply on the hosting forums. The user has to weigh the disadvantages of waiting on a hotline for a customer service representative or a veteran user to answer your question on a message board.
Both web hosting forums and customer support hotline have their advantages. Looking for the answer to your problem on a web hosting forum can get the solution but, possibly, at a slower rate. The web hosting forum users will have more direct experience with the exact problem you are facing. Using the support hotline may not answer your problem directly, but can be a lot quicker than waiting for the users of a message board. Hotline representatives can pull the answer directly out of a user manual, although they won’t give you the experience brought on by direct use of the service. Check out weakmoves.com for more web hosting related reviews.
Support lines can be intimidating compared to the. Usually, friendly natured veteran users on the web hosting forums, but their response is quicker though less informed. In conclusion, it is you, the user, who should determine what method of problem-solving to choose with the information available. Make an informed decision based on the speed, or permanence and accuracy needed.