Where’d I Go?

Posted on Tuesday 23 June 2009

So as you may, or maybe not, have noticed. I was off the air for a few days…. almost a week…

The short story was, I didn’t pay my bills on time…. and if that were the only reason I wouldn’t be writing this… so…

The rest of the story is my service provider ( the company that actually sells me server space for my, and other websites that I maintain ) locked me out of all my websites, because I hadn’t paid. Unfortunately, I never received any notice of any renewals due, or pending lockouts.

I’ve had an ongoing “discussion” ( albeit it seems one way ) with my provider regarding the fact that NONE of their notification emails ever get to me. I check my spam filters carefully and trust me if they had fallen in the cess-pool I would have found it, but they don’t. They just “kind of” disappear…

They seem to have an aura about them that, they know what they are doing, and obviously “I” don’t ergo, it’s my fault and I have to fix it…. or the customer is always guilty… finito.

Well the rest of the story, and why it took so long to get back up and running is… my service provider is based out of Australia. Which I usually don’t have a problem with, it’s like dealing with a cousin and besides, the Internet is a global phenomenon and not restricted to any borders. The biggest problem was…. They only posted their toll free support number…. for Australia. Which doesn’t help me one little bit here in Canada!

Yes, their trouble ticket department worked beautifuly, even my emails that I sent about my problem got dumped into the trouble ticket bin and I had dropped off a few tickets of my own, tagged ( I might add ) at the “Critical” level… but no one responded or even bothered to comment on them ( even a “hey we’re busy but we’ll get to it soon” would have been nice…)

I even used whois  ( neat little tool that lets you actually look up an individual internet address to get further info on the company. ) I found a local Melbourne Australia phone number for the company, and called and called and called and all I ever got was a busy signal…

I even crawled the Internet looking for more contact information and found an email address for the CEO asking… are you ready for this…. “Hey, how are you doing? Got any comments for me? I found another email address of one of their marketing people who actually writes a blog supporting this company and had written an article about how important it is to be easy to get hold of your support people ( a little bizarre that – since that was exactly the problem I was having with THAT company! ) and again emails went out and nothing…. absolutely nothing came back, or changed. It was like they never existed…

In desperation, I sent a trouble ticket two days ago saying basically, “Are you still there” “Does anybody care”? And guess what?! Someone responded! I recieved an actual email and trouble ticket response from their first line of technical support saying basically. “We’re here 24/7 to help you, just give us a call….. with a different phone number….. O.M.G.!!!!

So I called, it rang, and I got someone!!! ( At this point the angel choirs broke out  in full chorus. ) They did a quick Hmmmmm let’s see and voila there it was, I didn’t pay my bill! They even walked me through my account to find the same entry ( 4 layers down ) telling me that my service had expired at the end of the month… I was informed, that I had been informed by email ( remember the beginning of this mess ) that I needed to renew…. and that I should do that to avoid such outages….. sigh.

Amazingly I have changed my contact email address with them ( the old one still works for everyone else though ) and the new one, upon testing, seems to work fine…. time will tell.

Unfortunately, once access was given, I found that all my websites were back, except my blogs… To make a long story short, somewhere in amongst this process all the blogs database passwords had been changed and it took 12hrs to get them all changed back…. with a little ” You must have changed them yourself”/”You have to watch out for hackers and keep everything up to date” comment ( remember their “customer is always guilty” stance. )

So aside from the inane lectures and guidance on how “I” have to be “more” proactive in updating, reading emails etc etc etc, my sites and back and I’m “somewhat” happy… Oh and the provider?


And if you are interested in their own article on how to better support your client  or  “How to Lose a Business On Line” here it is….. blog.planetdomain.com/2009/03/30/how-to-lose-business-online/

Looks to me like maybe they should follow their own guidance…..

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