Well, that went swirling down the ol’ poop catcher. I paid good money ($1) for a beautiful Puke Legend! logo, registered a corresponding domain, and launched the big international database of vomit stories. And all was going well… until my hosting company torpedoed the whole thing.
Some of you old-timers might remember that I’ve had my share of problems with hosting companies. There was the Earthlink debacle, involving Dave Barry and a Neti Pot instructional video, from a million years ago. And. more recently, the serial Russian hacks while I was with Hostito. When I finally pulled the plug on that disaster I went to HostGator, which I loved for a while. Then they went full-shitty, took my sites down, and said they’d only reinstate them if I agreed to move to a higher-priced plan.
That last one confused me, because HostGator was one of the best hosts in the world, with a great reputation. The way they handled that deal was sleazy and out of character. So, I did some research and learned that they’d recently been acquired by a giant multinational corporation. This company was buying up hosting companies all over the place, including some formerly great ones like HostGator and BlueHost.
So… I went in search of a good host with no connection to The Corporation. I settled on Site5, and even had a Twitter conversation with the founder. I wanted to get some reassurance that they wouldn’t sell out in a month or two, and put me right back where I started. He couldn’t promise anything, of course, but told me that certainly wasn’t the plan, etc. etc.
And I’ve been happy with Site5. It’s not super-cheap, but it’s been solid. I never even think about them, which is what you want. If you’re thinking about your webhost, something is askew. And yesterday I was thinking about them.
When I logged onto the website, in the morning, it said there were only two comments on the Puke Legend! post. The night before there were 21 (or thereabouts). So, what in the hand-tossed hell?? I checked the trash file, the deleted file, the pending file… Nothing. It’s as if those comments never existed.
I asked the guy who does technical work for me to check into it, and he was stumped, too. Said he’d never seen such a thing. I forwarded him email notifications I’d received of comments that completely disappeared, and he had a big cartoon question mark hovering above his head. It was a real mystery.
Then… I got an email from Site5 telling me my sites had been successfully migrated over to a new server. Why? Because they’d been acquired by The Corporation! And somehow, during the process, they lost the most recent 20 or so comments from the Surf Report. They’re just fucking gone.
You see? If they’d simply maintained the same level of service as the businesses they acquired, as I’m sure was promised, I wouldn’t have even noticed. Or cared. But both times I’ve bumped up against The Corporation, I’ve noticed real fast. Almost immediately, in fact. And that’s no good.
I have a support ticket open with them, but there’s no satisfaction to be found at this point. I’ve been around long enough to know this. It’s disappointing.
And so, I guess I’ll delete the Puke Legend! post, and maybe try it again later. You know, after I decide how to proceed.
The good news? This kind of crap would’ve caused me to have a full-on stroke five years ago. Today I just roll with it. Being burned-out has its advantages.
For a Question I’d like to know about your memorable encounters with customer service. Who has great customer service, in your estimation? And who has the worst? Please tell us about it in the comments.
And I’ll see you guys again soon. Unless, of course, my shit gets held hostage again.
Have a great day, my friends.
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When I moved several years ago I decided to do away with DSL and a landline. I went with cable internet and a cell phone. This was during the time when Frontier had recently taken over phone service in WV. I asked them if there would a charge for getting rid of DSL and my home phone. I was told no on the phone. And then a month later I got a bill for 100 dollars. I think they also did that as I kept my number and had it transferred to a cell phone. I recall they gave my shit about that.
Bad that went Good:
I tried to get some help for internet connection problems a while back. I guess they only way to talk to Comcast is to talk to whoever it is from another country. When the service guy came to my house he had an order to install a phone, higher cable channels, etc. He said I bet you didn’t order this? I said no – I just have a problem with the cable that runs from the house to the pole. He fixed that and did not make me take all that other stuff.
Surprisingly enough, my local county government offers great customer service. Until about thirty years ago, it was typical government/corporate shit with long lines for auto license renewal, property tax business, marriage licenses, then genuine fuck-you service when you finally got to the window. Then we elected a new County Executive who promised to make government work better. Yeah, they all say that, but this guy had a pretty good history of getting things done when he served in the state legislature, and he actually reformed the way county government serves its taxpayers.
Now, you walk in and take a single number from an automated system for all the business you have to do that day, wait a very short time, and end up dealing with a helpful person who actually smiles and gives a shit. License tabs in ten minutes. They actually celebrate with you when you get a new boat or get married (close call, but I recommend the boat).
The guy we elected thirty years ago was gone after two terms, but county government somehow decided that it was easier to keep being helpful than to return to their fuck-you ways. It’s a fucking miracle, but it’s actually a pleasure to renew my damn car license.
Don’t know what they did with all the old employees who took pleasure in reaching out and snapping your suspenders, but I suspect they went en masse to the local cable company.
Jeff, I’m sure you’ve thought about this, but yesterday was also the day you installed the feature that allowed Reporters to edit our comments within five minutes of posting. Probably just a coincidence that all those comments vanished, but it’s worth considering as a possible contributing factor in the disappearance of the Puke Institute comments or whatever they were called.
And, Mercury’s in retrograde.
Every event has a cause; the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves…
I used to work for a cell company that was known for having the worst customer service anywhere. For real. There were actual articles written in legitimate national publications.
I was a corporate rep at the time, selling into Fortune 500 companies in my local area. There were times when I’d have to call our own customer service to get stuff done. I’d be just short of homicidally angry after about 10 minutes on the phone trying to get something done that I knew was both possible and simple.
Since I’m here and I just happen to have my soapbox with me…
I now work in healthcare, and some lawyers and MBAs who’ve never seen the inside of a hospital have decided that whether or not we get paid for services will be partially based on customer satisfaction surveys. I personally heard one executive say that they wanted patients to have a Disney-like experience.
I have news for you. No Disney employee will ever stab you with needles, put tubes in your body or deny you food and water for days at time in the name of your best interests. If you’re hungry, someone with a brightly colored shirt will happily take you somewhere nearby and help you get a sandwich and a drink. And they won’t stab you while they’re at it.
In the meantime, hospitals keep nurses short staffed (sometimes with double or more what research says is a safe patient load) and blame them when these surveys come back shitty. Hey, you suit wearing bastard! How the F^$@ am I supposed to give you a Disney-like experience when I have a total of 7 minutes and 30 seconds to spend with you every hour (or a total of 90 minutes every 12 hours)? Oh, and I might not have that much time if the inconsiderate asshole next door does something stupid like tries to die. You can’t swing a stroller around at Disney without smacking a college intern in the shins.
So the next time you’re hospitalized, the best thing you can do is ask how many patients your nurse is covering. For every patient over 4 (if you’re not in the ICU or on a heart monitor) you’ve got a 7% greater chance of dying than if they were staffed safely. For a nurse with 8 patients there’s a 28% greater risk of death. There’s research backing my numbers here.
Oh, and guess what? In places that are staffed safely, customer satisfaction scores go up and deaths go down.
But even better, more research says that high patient satisfaction scores are associated with higher mortality. Because instead of giving you what you need, your doctor just gives you what you want until you die.
While we’re at it, what the F#^& to doctors and nurses know? Because you have WebMD or a naturopathic shaman or a sound healer who was a valet parker at another hospital and they say you don’t need a heart catheterization! just rub some of these essential oils on your feet any you’re good to go. All that expensive treatment is just to make some doctor with student loans bigger than your mortgage rich.
You should absolutely ask questions and get a second or third or fourth opinion from qualified professionals. But when we all agree and we’ve answered all your questions to the best of our ability then shut the hell up and take your goddam medications!
Hallelujah, holy shit! Where’s the Tylenol?
The Tylenol is over there, in that bottle that reads “bill $100 per pill” 😉
Ferd Berfle says
to the uninitiated, Jorge was channeling Clark Griswold from Christmas Vacation.
Migrate everything to SiteGround. I’m a web developer, I’ve been hosting myself and my clients with them for give or take 11 years now. Rock solid, reasonably priced, and I’ve never had a serious issue. They’re constantly improving their services and solidly independent. They’re rated well and they actually care about customer support.
The “multinational” is a nightmare, they’re swallowing up everything good and grinding it into dust in the name of growth and profit.
My concern with SiteGround is there’s a big gap between their highest tier of shared hosting ($15), and their lowest tier of cloud hosting ($60). I’ve been forced out of shared hosting twice, and don’t want to end up paying sixty bucks per month. I’m not Ted Turner. I spoke to a woman there this morning, who kept saying I was coming up with “hypothetical” situations. But they’re not hypothetical, the shit has already happened to me twice. If they had a $40 cloud plan, I’d pull the trigger today. I might do it anyway, but I’m concerned.
We’ve been planning a trip to Disney World and I have to say they have great customer service. Every time I have a question or need to do just about anything, they are always very friendly and helpful. I guess when you’re spending a shit load of money to go see Princesses and Mickey Mouse they better have great customer service lol.
Lew in Bama says
I don’t thin k I’ve ever had a great experience with Customer Service. They are all either mediocre or horrendous.
I get annoyed when “Rachel” or “Ricky” have an accent so extremely thick that I can’t understand a word they say.
If you want to be a cheap company and outsource all your call centers to India, go right ahead, but at least make some effort at hiring folks with the least amount of accent. That fake American name isn’t fooling anyone, especially when I have to ask them to repeat everything 5 times.
Also, if you are a miserable person, don’t take a job in customer service. Nobody should have to deal with your bitchy attitude to get their bill right.
Lee Harvey Ramone says
The Hutzler company has excellent customer service. I have called numerous times with questions about the safe operation of the Hutzler 571 banana slicer, and their representatives have always taken the time to patiently walk me through the process of slicing bananas using their product.
I can’t top the banana slicer.
Today a had a bad experience with the company Legacy Box. They transfer video tape to disc. It boiled down to not reading the fine print, I call them “hidden charges”, and Legacy Box receiving department not doing their job. I don’t know if I’ll ever get my daughters baby videos because they are lost in the mail. Beware. By the way, it really pisses me off that a company can say they use Fed Ex but then use the USPS. Fed Ex drops their load at the local PO and they deliver. sheesh.
Very good customer service: Duracell. Call center is in Wisconsin, and the two calls I’ve made have had somebody cheery to talk to, and I didn’t have to ask what after every sentence. They also don’t give any grief about warranty claims. I had the proverbial battery leak down, and figured what the hell, try the warranty, and after relevant questions (!) I got a cheque for current price of the flashlight that got damaged, and a coupon for free batteries, enough to cover the cost of a bulk pack. It was worth dialing the number.
Terrible customer service & related to todays post, my ISP recently got gobbled up by AOHell… I don’t think I need to say more on that. If it wasn’t for being busier than hell, and not wanting to deal with it yet, they are getting dropped like a hot potato in favor of a still local local isp.
“Oh, your an XYZ customer…” Yeah, I can see already how this call will end… Bastards.
Sometimes good, sometimes bad, where I work. Like Jorge, I’ve occasionally got to call in about something. Listen to the words I am saying, and do that, don’t ask me if it is plugged in…
Unbelievably, my home and auto insurance company is outstanding. It’s New Jersey Manufacturers, a company for employees of select companies in NJ and their families. It’s a little hard to get in the door, you need a three-year clean driving record (took me a while to meet that criteria), but once you’re in, it’s sweet. I’ve wrecked two vehicles (not my fault, no rate increase at all) and both times the adjuster was out to check the car within 2 days and I had a check in my sweaty hands within 3 days after that. Five days and everything done!
Maglite. They sent me a new flashlight when batteries leaked in one. Not their fault, but apparently they have some agreement with Duracell and others that covers battery leakage. And Uline are a pleasure to be a customer of.
Amazon has always been consistently good. Same with Zappos.
Sears sucks monkey balls.
The Qweezy Mark says
Of course, all cable/internet providers are Satan’s representatives, or SRs. I will say, though, after moving from a Comcast area to a Time Warner area, that Time Warner’s customer service is definitely better. Unfortunately, the product is worse.
Other notably good service in a shitty service world: Anson Belts and Great Hills Shell (Austin, TX).
A few times I’ve ordered gifts from Omaha Steaks, or purchased them for myself. I am an internet sale/discount code/miles enthusiast, and with some bit of homework, items can be bought from all sorts of businesses at very reasonable prices. Most company website order forms are less than friendly to legitimate bargain hunters, so I phoned them directly. I have never spoken to anyone who was less than friendly, calm, and helpful. Their customer service is in a Western state, I forget which one, but they are wonderful.