This is my blog
This article is located at jlrx.org , jlrx.joeuser.com is simply a mirror of my personal blog posts, though it will be behind an article or two-
jlrx.org contains no kind of ads or spam of any kind, just my own personal blog, at the moment.

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As this is my blog, I will let you in on a little bit of anger I have had towards my host recently. Having run an amateurish hosting company with some friends in the past, and a good number of years dealing with "customers" or being a customer myself (and no I am not old, 24 this year, but anyway) I am use to the service providers (for the services I pay for mind you) keeping me up to date on whats going on with said service.

This had to do with downtimes, you know of them, and you know everyone hates them, but I firmly believe the majority of the time the service provider keeps us up to date with whats going on. Whether it be downtime in a game (EQ1, EQ2, SWG, WoW, etc) or an outtage in your cable service, there is always readily available information about the status of the downtime, sometimes what is causing the downtime and even a general idea of when we can expect to have our services back. Is that to much to ask? I dont think it is.

A Standing rule in the area I live in is that if your cable is out for more then 24 hours, you get a free month, and with cable bills running about 100 dollars a month (especially if you've got a cable internet/tv plan), thats a good bit of money saved, and a very good gesture on the part of the provider in making efforts to keep your business. While they dont have to do this, that attitude tells me - We care about you, We want to keep you as a customer, We are sorry!

So all of that to lead to this, this past Sunday my host had a scheduled downtime, it was expected to be half an hour, at 1 AM CST (2AM my time (EST)) , well, as I am awake very late into the night, very often, working on this , that or the other, I saw immediately that it was going a good bit past the half an hour mark. Infact when I eventually went to sleep and tried again the next day, it was still down. More then 12 hours after the scheduled downtime, I was angry beyond my boiling point. So I again looked through their server status page (No info to show things were down) , calls to their phone support gave no results, as it repeatedly asked for me to leave a message for a call back, even though they boast great support. That message also never mentioned the downtime (you might realise at this point, if your cable is out and you call, there is normally a message saying, we are aware of it and working on it)... So finally I resort to going to the live chat support, which is pretty good when it comes to wait times, though the pass few weeks I have been bounced around it more then I was willing to put up with (transfer to billing, to tech, to billing, to tech, etc, etc).

Do you know what the tech support guy told me? Oh, well we had some issues with the new kernel and are working to fix it, we are hoping to get things up and running within an hour or two. However I cant promise anything. That is what he said to me, and that is the kind of info that should have been readily available to me, as a customer. It was not, and about the time things hit the 18 hour mark, I was able to restart my server. You see, the login area was all set, it just stopped my server and would not let me start it again. Quite frustrating.

So anyway, during that downtime I decided to offically complain by opening up a ticket, I knew it would not speed things up, but I wanted my complaint "registered" , in the system, etc.. I will post up the back and forth I have had with my host, and where it is at , at the moment, and going to put it in the comments section, as it is very long and this is long enough. I will say though, that when a service provider (which I pay quite a bit to for this service) starts wrangling over what their uptime guarentee's are, you can start to smell that bad service comming. Dont forget, I am the customer, you provide the service, I dont give a crap about your stupid details, or some bs claim that the downtime was beyond your control, especially when it was because you took the servers down and kept them down, instead of trying again during another early AM hour.

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The back and forth
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As of now, I will remove any indication of what host I have, as I wait for them to make this situation correct, by atleast acknowledging their error.

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message by jlrx.org on Mar. 20, 2005 (Sun 1:19 PM CST)
This is a complaint about ****** being down the last 12 hours+ I have been trying to access my account and work on some projects that I have to have due soon, I understand upgrading and all that, I expected half an hour downtime but this is just too much. Whatever the problems may be , those of us who pay for this service should have atleast been mailed about the situation and any difficulties encountered. I for one would have thought that the plan would have been scrapped until another AM hour instead of keeping them down all day long, is it not possible to bring on a backup of the old kernel or whatever has gone wrong? This is falling far short of the 99.9% uptime guarentee, and though I can not personally make my server come back up, I am indeed offically complaining about this downtime and will be calling tommorow about the issue if I am unable to get access to my vps, as I said before, I understand problems happen, but even the cable company would have a message playing about an outtage and provide credit or something to make up the outtage/downtime.

Thankyou.

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Hello,

We apologize for the trouble you experienced with our VPS accounts. I have forwarded your comments and concerns to our Billing and IT Managers for further review.

Thank you.

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**NOTE: This part is good, as they totally miss the point of my complaint and break it down to some meager credit**
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Thank you for contacting the Billing Department. We regret the inconvenience caused by any down time for your account. ****** *******'s goal is to achieve 100% website availability and uptime for all of our customers. We have refunded 10% of your monthly rate. However, according to our Service Level Agreement Uptime Guarantee, circumstances beyond ****** *******'s control do not warrant a refund. We understand your frustration caused by the outage, and we are doing everything that we can to ensure that this type of issue does not happen again. The refund you have been given is what we are prepared to compensate at this time. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this period. If you would like to review our web site Uptime Service Level Agreement (SLA), you may do so here:

http://www.**********.com/sla.php We apologize for any inconvenience.


If you have any other questions or concerns, please call us or log your new question into our Help Desk located at http://deskpro.******.com/. Our knowledgeable support staff monitor the Help Desk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The support staff responds to Help Desk requests any time, day or night.

Thank you,

Billing Department
********* *******, Inc.
(***) ***-**** Toll Free
(***) ***-**** International
Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm CST


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That is all well and good, and $5 dollars is something, but that is not the
main intent of my complaint.

Whenever maintenance is done on *********, whether it be upgrades to the
HSPC (of which there has been a few these past few months) I receive an
email about it, in fact I get three of them, every time. That is good to
know, because I like to be informed of what's going on with the services I
pay for. I was informed of this downtime, which as stated in the email was
to be half an hour. It was also to be at 1 AM CST, pretty much out of normal
hours for us, which was also a good thing. However many hours later, after
the servers had been taken down for this update, and I had to go and ask a
tech support person what was going on. I was informed of problems during the
upgrade. Fine and dandy, but I found this out after I had become sick and
tired of trying to access my domains and mail and other things.

I never received any emails about prolonged downtime- which I have seen
other hosts provide, even an announcements area, a forum for announcing
these kinds of downtimes to keep me, as the paying customer up to date. As I
previously mentioned, I somehow manage to receive 3 emails every time one is
sent from ******** about VPS accounts, which again is fine, I like to
be informed, but no information was given on the status of my account.

On top of that I continually checked the vaunted server status page, and
while it showed everything as being up, as it always appears to do, and
while I could go to *****.********.com and login, I was still unable to
start my server, as it stated it was unavailable. This caused me to have to
continually go back and login and try to start it up constantly, because the
server status page gives no information that I can find, on the status of
*********.

So basically, while I appreciate the $5 you are willing to refund me, that
is not the point. My complaint outside of being upset about the downtime
stems from the fact that even though I was informed of downtime occurring,
there was no simple way to find out a reason for delay. No information on
server status, or sent to emails. Finally, I am just upset that this delay
occurred while what I presume to be a kernel issue was taking place, as I
understood the update was to occur in the wee hours of the morning, so as
not to trouble paying customers was not put off until the following wee
hours.

So I am expressing my opinion to *********, )which I have been using for
years, to the point when you offered a 9.99 **NOTE: Thats more then 5 years folks**
hosting plan, and had forums as
well) that there be a better way of informing people of downtimes or other
issues. While I understand as a company you don't want to show on your front
page "Downtime extended 12 hours!" It is not too much to ask for at least
something in the server status area, or a separate status section located
within this very helpdesk.

Thank you

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