Same Blog Time, Same Blog Channel

Well it is July 3. It has been 4 days since my shared web host went down leaving my sites down and unavailable. It has been 2 days since a new server was configured partially restoring my web presence. As you know from previous entries the server was misconfigured when it was created and IX Web Hosting failed to load two simple PERL modules for connectivity to MySQL and to SendMail. These are not some obscure module that only I would use; these are standard modules that pretty much everyone on the planet would expect to have loaded. I have been working with the “technical support” personnel for IX Web Hosting to get these modules installed to restore my sites to full working order. There are three ways for you to contact IX Web Hosting technical support. There is phone support, live chat, and by entering a problem ticket.

When I first had the problem I created a problem ticket. I’ve learned that the entire technical support department revolves around these problem tickets. Without a ticket your problem does not exist as far as these people are concerned. Ignore the fact that their technical support site says that any of these three methods will work. If you don’t have a ticket, the phone representative or the chat representative will send you to the web to create a ticket. In fact I am not exactly sure I understand what the purpose of the phone and the chat representatives are since they cannot really do anything other than tell you to wait patiently and quit calling.
IX Web Hosting used to have one of the highest caliber of technical support staffs around. They would respond to you quickly and you could always rest assured that things would be taken care of. Within the past few months I have found that downtime has continued to increase while the level of service and the responsiveness of the service has deteriorated to the point of being laughable. During this particular outage I was told that at a minimum I should expect a 24 hour turn around on any question asked. That is not to say the problem will be resolved in 24 hours, just that it will be looked at within a day. Of course that seems to be just a guideline not necessarily a rule.
The technical support department closed my problem ticket in the middle of the outage because they did not read the details and just assumed that the problem was taken care of after this length of time. I had to reopen the ticket which started over the clock at zero meaning another extended wait. This morning at 7 AM local time after 29 hours my problem ticket moved from technical support to the System Administrative Department. These are supposed to be the guys who actually do the work. Technical support is not allowed to actually touch the servers, only an admin can do that. So when your ticket is drawn in the ticket lottery it should be grounds for celebration. This means that sometime in the next 24 hours you might actually get someone to look at your issue. At least that is how it is supposed to be. Since I had been down for this long I mistakenly thought that I would be moved to a higher spot in the queue and get the problem resolved. I went to the chat client to see if they could give me an estimated time that the admins would fix my problem by installing these two simple PERL modules. I was told they were working to get it fixed “as quickly as possible”.
I am not sure that phrase means what they think it means. I have been told for 4.5 days that my problem would be fixed “as quickly as possible”. I should have then guessed that the estimate for resolution would be in the next week or so. With the Independence Day holiday quickly approaching I wanted to make sure that service would be restored before everyone left for a 3 day vacation. I was told that technical support was based out of the Ukraine so as not to worry there would be someone available. I am not sure if this is a holiday for the Ukraine but I can assume that it must be since no one seems to be available that can answer a question or fix a simple problem.
My problem ticket shows “on-hold” and “processing ticket” when I look at the status. It says that it has been forwarded to server administration for resolution and to please be patient and wait for a response. It doesn’t say wait for resolution, it says wait for a response. It might be that if the admin has a question he will just update the ticket with his question and the game starts over again. The ticket moved to this “on-hold”/”processing ticket” state at 7 AM on July 3 so by 7AM on July 4 I should actually be back fully on line; yeah right.
Update: It has now been 32 hours and the ticket remains in that state. There has been no contact at all from the admin. I have gone back to the live chat and asked for an update. I was told that I needed to be more patient and that they would get to it when they could. They have a lot of problems to deal with and it doesn’t help when I am not patient. Hmm, down for 5 days, no contact with server people, no end in sight to the outage. I guess my impatience is the cause of this problem huh? I asked if there were even any admins working today and after a long delay the chat representative came back with this answer “sure”. I asked for escalation of this problem due to the long time it had been opened and was told there was no such thing as escalation and I needed to be patient and wait. I have contacted the president of IX Web Hosting and complained about their lack of service. One of the managers from the CR department has offered to extend my hosting contract an additional 10 months. I am wondering if that offer came about because that is how long it is going to take them to actually fix this problem.

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