Originally Posted by purple
I know godaddy's hosting is pretty good about talking people through everything if they need to, but are most hosting companies willing and able to do the same? I'm not and idiot, but I know the minute I buy hosting its going to seem impossible to me.
In my opinion, size of the company and quality of support staff determine how much they'll help newbies in the beginning. Many larger companies have several levels of support, so if you create a help desk ticket it goes to level one, which is many times just a filter and you'll receive only stock answers such as a link to a tutorial or a statement that your inquiry requires paid support. Smaller companies tend to have a smaller staff, so each tech supports all types of requests. In my experience these techs will walk you through a fix or give you pointers to do it yourself.
Sometimes it's a function of cost. Bargain hosts (1 Gb for $1 per year) may not be as likely to spend time with clients as hosts which charge more realistic fee's.