As Part Of This Cheap Hosting Plan, We Let Your Server Rest Six Hours A Day

from the the-scary-part-is-how-true-it-feels... dept

The web hosting business is a funny one — as people are basically making huge decisions about who will help keep their servers online without much real data as to whether or not the company is any good. Personally, I’ve had both good and bad luck with various hosting firms — and when you come across a bad one, they can be just awful. Tim “Geodog” Bishop, who has done some work for Techdirt in the past, is apparently experiencing the worst of the worst right now. I’m sure some people can sympathize with the incredible support chat he had with the tech support staff who is supposed to help figure out why his server is down (again):

Darryl : Thank you for contacting Technical Support. My name is Darryl. How may I help you?
geodog : my site, twjb.com
geodog : on echo5 seems to be down
geodog : both email and http
Darryl : Looking
geodog : thanks
Darryl : Yes, it does not appear to be responding; one moment
Darryl : okay I have just been given the following information:
Darryl : Sites on Echo5 are only up 18 hours a day
Darryl : 1.00 a month, special hosting plan

geodog : what the h?
geodog : I’ve been on echo5 for 3 years
geodog : first time I have every heard anything like that
geodog : and i pay a lot more than 45 a month
geodog : than 1 a month
Darryl : sorry
Darryl : the guy I was talking to was joking with me
Darryl : I’m new here
Darryl : looking into the issue…

Just what we all want when machines go down: tech support staff joking around with the clueless newbie who’s supposed to be helping you.


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Comments on “As Part Of This Cheap Hosting Plan, We Let Your Server Rest Six Hours A Day”

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70 Comments
thecaptain says:

cancel.

I wouldn’t take that.

I’d tell the guy to transfer me to the joker, then explain to the joker exactly WHY I’m cancelling, then get transfered…or call back, to the manager to outline the situation.

A joke’s a joke, but we already have to deal with moronic, morose and sometimes cretinous tech support staff for everything else…when my site is down, its a major problem and having that kind of stuff hit me in the face while upset would NOT calm me down.

What WOULD calm me down is getting the sense that the staff is committed to resolving the situation OR finding someone who can (because not everyone can solve EVERY issue)>

Daniel says:

Re: cancel.

>I wouldn’t take that.

Why not? Im sure you took worse.

>I’d tell the guy to transfer me to the joker

There was no 3rd party named joker in the chat conversation.

>moronic, morose and sometimes cretinous tech support >staff for everything else.

That’s why all tech support staff must eat there wheaties daily.

>when my site is down, its a major problem and having >that kind of stuff hit me in the face while upset would >NOT calm me down.

Chill your inner childhood and have some icecream.

>What WOULD calm me down is getting the sense that >the staff is committed to resolving the situation OR >finding someone who can (because not everyone can >solve EVERY issue)>

Icecream normaly works for everyone.

And im pretty sure if i paid only a dollar for my website

i would except jokes like that also.

But that’s not the case here.

If all you do is sit by a computer and take peoples tech support which you have no training of. The repeat of the “jokers” comments where not suppose to be transcribed.

.I.E. Not in his manual. Fact of the matter is Darryl isn’t being properly trained. And don’t ever forget its up to you who you do business with.

So the poster of this article needs to be aware of who they do business with.

The end of the articles statement.

>Just what we all want when machines go down: tech >support staff joking around with the clueless newbie >who’s supposed to be helping you.

Wrong Sir Wrong.

How can a newbie help you?

Not Daniel says:

Re: Re: cancel.

Re: cancel. by Daniel on Mar 30th, 2006 @ 5:45am

>>I wouldn’t take that.

>Why not? Im sure you took worse.

>>I’d tell the guy to transfer me to the joker

>There was no 3rd party named joker in the chat conversation.

What kind of moron are you? Did you not see :

“Darryl : sorry

Darryl : the guy I was talking to was joking with me

Darryl : I’m new here

Darryl : looking into the issue…

Looks to me like there WAS a 3rd party. While not in on the chat, the tech support rep didn’t just pull that bit of funny out of his ass.

Adam says:

Re: cancel.

How about us proficient tech support guys who have to deal with idiotic, inane, and sometimes completely inept users who don’t understand simple terminology like window, icon, or menu? I’m not having them dig into their registry or anything pseudo complicated like that, I’m telling them how to change their options under the tools menu. While I don’t insult them to their face, there’s a lot of jokes that go around about the nut behind the keyboard, 1d10t errors, and PEBKAC errors.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: cancel.

Uh the point is you are PAID to deal with inexperienced people, that is the crux of your job, If you have a problem with dealing with morons and irate people you shouldn’t be doing tech support. I work for Verizon, I deal with 60-70 customers a day and over half of them barely know how to use the computer. We DO laugh and joke about inept customers (IE the ones who have no DSL because the modem isn’t plugged in) But actually joking about their problems on the phone with them is not only unprofessional, but just plain stupid. Techs that think that customers are the problem because they lack knowledge are just not suited to the job, because if it wasn’t for those customers you wouldn’t even HAVE a job.

Shohat (user link) says:

Horrible

People like the one that posted this story on techdirt are the root of all that is wrong with this world .

Mean humourless uptight penny-pinching “I deserve the best couse I pay you” type of bitter fucks .

Its a newbie , someone made a joke , and it wasted 2 minutes of your time OMG ! Oh fucking NOES ! A joke ! In an IT department !

As N0hope said it

“fuckin Amaerican , Die in Twintower Fatburger !”

jimbo says:

Re: Re: Horrible

I”m not an unemployed asshat myself, but I have been, and you deserve a hearty thanks for making wise decisions and considering us when it comes to your hosting decisions.

wait a minute…what the hell are you doing reading techdirt when you’re supposed to be generating income tax to support asshats everywhere?

get back to work.

slacker.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Horrible

I made a comment a few days ago about receiving spam because I entered my email address here. I apologize for making an uninformed assumption public, though it seems to be quite common here (my comment just happened to badmouth Techdirt instead of someone else). Regardless, I apologize and retract my comment.

I educated myself on spammers’ techniques for retreiving email addresses and did some further investigation of the mail I receive. I believe the credit for my overstuffed inbox should go to my ISP instead of Techdirt.

RE: ” I’m not sure if I’m coming back after reading comments like that. I’ll stick with Slashdot”

Is Slashdot any better? I visited once and the post I read was worse than this site. This site introduced me to blogs ( aliitle behind-the-times); now I’m on an endless quest for a GOOD blog – one with logical, intellectual debates on substantial topics…do they exist?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Horrible

uh yeah if some tech guy wants to have some fun, he can do it on his own time, I work tech support and if I was recorded on a call like that I would be looking for a new job. Having a sense of humour is NOT something you can ask of a paying customer that is already using some of their time to have tech support fix an issue, it is not appropriate for tech support to be anything other than efficient and polite to a customer while on a call, anything else is just unprofessional, and in fact two minutes of my time IS valuable,And you DO have the right to ask for reliable service, things break and go down yes, but thats what backups are for.

Shohat says:

Re: Re: Horrible 2 mike

I agree . But it is clear that the Newbie went to ask a more qualified person(and not wasting time guessing) , and immiedatly said that he is looking into the issue .

Had this been a truely important site and a serios hosting plan , it’d have a SLA that states what kind of compensation a customer deserves for downtime that exeeds the maximum downtime stated in the SLA .

With all due respect , this is NOT customer abuse , but a silly joke that was made WHILE the problem was taken care of . Not every whiny blogger deserves Techdirt’s stage .

Brian Mason (user link) says:

hosting

Hello,

I can understand the frustration with the customer. I used to work for a web hosting company whos’ network department didn’t have a clue. So after they sold their business and sold all the employees jobs me and two other coworkers started our own webhosting company and website design business. With this business we are gearing towards customer service first not what excuse we can give the customer for something failing for the 10,000 time.

Anonymous Coward says:

Some people seem to think if the computer’s don’t work 100% perfectly well the whole damn world’s going to end. I used to work for a bunch of lawyers like that. They’d complain and whine about the DSL being slow, but they didn’t want to spend a dime for a secondary connection..

Oh well, live with it. Computer’s break – doesn’t matter if you make your living off them or not – if it’s that critical, run your own web servers…

And learn to take a joke, geeze..

JBB says:

Any tech supporters angry with this exchange?

Having worked in tech support for a long long time, I’d wager that as soon as the newbie mentioned the problem to the 2nd tier guy, the 2nd tier guy set the newbie up for the joke AND IMMEDIATELY STARTED WORKING on investigating the problem.

Granted it wasn’t the best joke, because it impacted the customer by upsetting them further. But no time was lost in the making of this humor. If it’d been followed up with ‘I’m just yanking your chain, newbie. I’m already looking into it,’ and the newbie had apologized to the customer and said that the tech guy was already looking into it, the customer should be allowed a morose chuckle or a grim “I see.” But y’all are overreacting.

Chuck says:

I agree with Adam

I’m a the manager of a Tech Support Depart and I agree with Adam…we deal with stupid, idiotic, inane and often very inept users who are pissed because they cant figure out why when their internet goes down they cant get email.

The guy who called in needs to get a life and a clue and take the corncob out of his butt.

Johan says:

Re: I agree with Adam

Chuck,

From the chat it seems that geodog knows whats going on because he immediately lists important information to get the problem resolved. From that, to me, it appears that he knows what he’s talking about.

However Tech Support managers like you who says that every customer needs to get a life deserves to get their ass fired

Tech Support God says:

Yeah. As we’re outsourcing more and more tech support to India…. and forcing the wages down further and further for hosting time and maintenance… what do you expect.

That’s pretty funny. Either pony up for better hosting, or laugh with the guy. If you know tech, you gotta remember you’re first tech job. That deer in the headlights feeling at questions that you thought college would have prepared you for, but are now woefully inadequate. Makes me want to move to Echo5 actually, I know the guys who can laugh are actually the ones who care. Its the stodgy ones that can’t take jokes, who leave at the stroke of 5:01, and do nothing but play CYA all day, barely ever doing any real work.

>

Thanks for listening

Dude@Home says:

The Real Tech Support

You can joke around with customer’s when it’s on the phone because tone of voice is a large part of communication but if this was a chat window you need to follow a strict code. Always be careful what you put in writing, including in a chat or e-mail. The new guy properly should have state that he “made an error” and appologized, leaving out the part about being new. Yes this customer had a pickle up his ass but guess what? EVERY CUSTOMER HAS A PICKLE UP THEIR ASS. I’ve dealt with them. So a message to all customer: Tech people are not people people. They are not good at dealing with people but they are good at technical stuff so don’t get bent out of shape that they don’t have a good bedside manner. And a message to all techs: Learn to be discreet and professional when dealing with people. So people….no….MOST people have no sense of humor at all so you cannot make jokes unless the customer has started them. How to deal with people in a customer service industry is not something that can be taught or put in a manual. The new guy will, over time, get to know how to tell what type of customer he’s dealing with in the first 2 minutes of conversation.

Justin says:

I agree, it’s a joke, get over it. Like the newbie said “looking into it”. Maybe this would have been a different scenario if it were done over the phone, but on a chat line, the “unknown” could really piss someone off. You never know who you’re dealing with on the other end.

If you look at the situation from both sides, like Adam pointed out the Tch Support side, then your perspective on the situation may change. Users can be the most idiotic people in the world but then again, they could know more than the tech support person they’re dealing with. It goes both ways. Whenever I call tech support, I let them know right away that I know what I’m talking about and not to give me the typical “try this” crap. Usually, I go straight for the 2nd or 3rd tier support since I know I’ll get someone who knows what they’re talking about and not someone who’s reading a checklist to me.

I can see where both sides are coming from, why the guy got pissed, and why tech support says get over it.

As a solution, I’d say…Don’t pull a joke on a customer until you have a feel for their personality and mood. Although the joke was HILARIOUS!!!

Anonymous Coward says:

This is ridiculous. This situation reminds me of those people who think their employees should never look them in the eye. The only words they should hear are yes ma’am/sir, no ma’am/sir. If you want that kind of a situation hire your own techies and make them aware of the situation. Then abuse them all you want. If I was the hosting company I would drop this guy like a bad habit and take the $45 loss and advertise how well I take care of my employees.

catsfall says:

To those who think its a joke

Hey, I’m all for a little bit of humor at work- makes the day go by better and lowers the stress all the way around. But I’ve been on both sides of tech support at various levels for a while now, and I’ve got to say that nothing is guaranteed to torque off a customer- or a tech- faster then somebody joking about a problem that is repeating itself regularly. The customer needs the problem fixed (why pay for a broken service), and the tech hates getting beat by a computer (it’s just in their nature).

And it shouldn’t matter what he is paying for the service- if the contract says good tech support for the $1 tier and doesn’t say anything different for the $1000 tier, then both customers should (and probably do) get the same treatment. If I wanted to pay extra charges for special treatment, I’d host with the phone company or maybe M$.

This case is no joke- looking at geodog’s original post, the problem had been happening “weekly” since a change of management. That would imply that the problem had been going on for a few weeks (duh). I appreciate geodog’s comments- they’ll keep me from using the same hosting service. Next time I’m looking, I’ll try my luck with somebody else.

wolff000 says:

Asshats

I used to work tech support and those kind of jokes would have gotten me fired. I will at admit in my youth doing tech support we did screw with customers but I learned that is no way to do business. A joke is fine but if you are calling about a serious issue and to the custiomer its always serious you don’t joke around.

SippinWhisky (user link) says:

He should be fired.

Joking around has no place in such a customer service call. And as one who has worked in the customer service industry for over a decade, and at only higher levels, that CSR should either be fired or severely reprimanded. I am certain he was *never* told during any training to do such a thing.

Indeed, at the very least he needs a refresher course in who he is and who he is supposed to be assisting — typically stressed-out *paying* customers with problems that need fast remedies. The last thing they expect or need is a sit-down comedian.

Geodog (user link) says:

Background on my experience with Webhostingplus

Who knew that my post was going to be picked up by Techdirt?

People who think I am just a whiny blogger should check out the background at http://www.thebishop.net/geodog/archives/2006/03/05/if_your_web_hosting_company_is_acquired_by_web_host_plus_run_for_the_hills.html, or better yet, check out netbunch’s own customers service forums at http://forums.netbunch.com/index.php

I have as much of a sense of humor as the next person, but after all the problems I have had to deal with since webhosting bought my hosting company, I lost it.

Thanks for all the helpful recommendation people have been leaving me — I’ll try one of them this weekend.

Gerk says:

I'd cancel with them

hah nice pissing match. This site seems to be going down hill lately.

Short story, their techs are not properly trained. If you rely on your site being up then move along.

That’s not the type of joke a tech should share with the paying customer. Both the “joker” and the tech involved are to blame. Personally if I were their boss I’d can them both.

Bob says:

Re:

“If you can’t fuck with company newbies, who can you fuck with?”

This is the problem with most people today. No one thinks outside the box. Oh it sounds cliche, I’m sure. But really, if you can’t find someone else to fuck with, fuck with yourself!

Oh, but do it in private; I don’t want to have to read about it on TechDirt, and you don’t want to mess up their spiffy new GUI.

Robert E Spivack says:

A view from the other side

No excuses for the hoster in the chat you posted, but don’t forget we hosters also get a lot of abuse.

Take this theoretical chat – customer walks into the lobby of a Marriott Hotel and talks to the desk clerk:

Arrogant client: Hi, last night at 2:00am I decided to check-in across the street at the Motel 6 (your competition) because they offered me 5 cents less per night on a $10/night room.

Clerk: I’m sorry you chose to leave us. Is there something I help you with?

Arrogant client: Yes – first, I would like you to pro-rate my bill. Since I didn’t sleep in my room all night long, you owe me a refund. I don’t care that the room was “booked” in my name and you couldn’t rent it to anyone else, since I didn’t use it for the entire night, you owe me a refund.

Second, I left some luggage in my room, but since I moved to another Hotel, I don’t have the room key anymore. I want you to go upstairs to the room, get my suitcase, and bring it across the street, up to the 5th floor, and put in my room on the luggage stand, and open it so when I get back to my new room I can get my toothbrush out easily.

Translation: Hosting customer decides to change hosting companies without any notice. Expects large refund because he chooses to bottom-feed for the lowest price offer regardless of quality.

Second, customer forgot to retrieve all their files and now wants you to drop everything and retrieve his files from backup tapes so he can continue to have his site work properly on your competitor’s service.

John says:

But still...

…a little humor is a good thing. If that guy had followed up with, “My jokester friend and I have had a long day. We’re on the case, though, and we won’t rest until you’re back on track. Sorry for the convenience, and thanks for your patience with our levity on this nightmare day.”

Everyone should be able to have a fun workplace. Plus, you only get one crack at putting one over like that on a newbie. I’m all for the humor. I like to think that even if it was my site, I’d have been able to laugh, then follow with, “Now get you ass to work.”

Andrew says:

meh

That reallt doesn’t sound like one of the worst hosting providers. ya he shouln’t have said that (but supposedly he didn’t know better).

I had a hosting company before that i paid for a full year, it went out of buisiness with no warning about halfway though the year…no refun of my money or anything….the hosting was cheep…but i still should have gotten my money back. their number was even disconnected…so i couldn’t even call and complain

Karl Ream says:

get a sense of humor

No, it was not professional. Yes, it IS FUNNY! Go cry in someone else’s milk. You lost 15 seconds out of your precious life so someone else could laugh. You did not say if they did fix your problem or not. If they came back and fixed your problem in 30 seconds, you are a lucky man and should not complain. If your site is still down, that’s another story.

Anonymous Coward says:

NetBunch is horrible, terrible and utterly disgusting and imcompetent.

August 30, 2006

“We are sorry to inform you that We had 16 servers completely wiped clean of all data. We are working with FBI and other Law enforcement officials at the present time.

At this point all we can do is recreate your account and give you 1 month of credit for the loss. If any data is recoverable, we will restore it.

Thanks,
Jim”

One month free. How generous. 9.95 for months of work. Good thing we had a backup of all our sites.

Consider your self warned.

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