I wanted to avoid a disgruntled rant about JustHost, the company that (still for the time being) hosts the blog and is about to be deprived of its chance to host the new member site. It was enough to say JustHost was a bit slow, error-prone, and lacking in customer service. Enough to say that, since being acquired by some host-devouring conglomerate, it was getting a shocking number of bad reviews.
I wanted to be discreet. Polite. Didn’t want to come across as some crazed former customer, brimming with self-righteousness and out for revenge. You know the type. The weirdo who goes rampaging across Yelp, Angie’s List, F*c*b**k, and every other available venue, raging at fantastic lengths about slights, perceived or actual, committed by some hapless business. Assuming every decent reader is on his (or her) side. Assuming her (or his) side is the side of heaven’s most righteous avenging angels.
No. Did not want to be That Person. Anyhow, I chose JustHost in the first place. Its failings are at least partly my own doing. And as a general rule, I believe in giving benefit of doubt.
But seriously, JustHost. You guys are begging for that treatment.
Besides, what happened last night is kinda funny.
So yesterday afternoon (on Brad R’s recommendation), I signed on with HawkHost. I immediately put their customer service to the test. On a Friday night. Opening one help ticket for their sales department and another for their site-migration mavens. They offer free site migration, handled by them. And they mean it.
Both queries were answered within half an hour. And when it turned out the site-migration people couldn’t do their thing without the present host company first making a full cPanel backup*, we had a rapid dialog about that via trouble ticket. The HawkHost tech support people simply couldn’t have been better to deal with. If it’s always like this, I could fall in love with HawkHost.
But. It was then off to JustHost. Mark that name: JustHost. Which also claims to have 24/7 tech support. They got rid of their online support after being assimilated into the Borg. So it’s just phone and chat. But it’s 24/7. So they claim.
After allowing what I consider to be a dangerous number of scripts and cookies, I was able to open a JustHost chat window. I got this far:
Yes, you should be right with me, JustHost. But the reality did not quite live up to the promise.
There the alleged “chat” stood for 15 minutes. Figuring something was technically wrong, I switched browsers, opened another chat window. And got this far:
Yes. That far. Again. And I waited.
I eventually closed out one of the two chat windows. Forgetting the other was still open, I then pulled out the phone (invention of Satan) and called the alleged toll-free number (something that’s as useless as tits on a boar hog in this day of cellphones).
And I was entertained by a selection of ghastly music until I finally hung up.
So, I wondered, how am I going to reach them to ask them to make that backup? And worse, when it comes time to cancel the hosting account, how am I going to reach these people within the remaining moneyback time? Certified letter? Carrier pigeon?
Oh well, I thought. That’s not fair. It’s Friday night, after all. They’re probably on a skeleton staff. You’ll have better luck next time.
Or perhaps it was Boop!
But a little sound came from my computer. It was the forgotten chat line alerting me that somebody was ready to talk! Half an hour, or maybe 45 minutes, after I tried to open the chat, I heard from Pramod, who wrote (click if you need to embiggenate):
I responded with the requested information:
And I swear to you that this is the very next thing Pramod said to me. You can see by the time stamps I am not leaving one line out. This was what followed the beginning of our dialog:
Yes, Pramod said hi, then immediately announced his shift was over. Tough luck, baby. But no worries, ’cause it’ll just be a “sec” before the next wonderful, on-the-ball chat staffer steps in. …
And those, dear friends, were the last words ever spoken to me by JustHost tech support. I wished Pramod farewell, waited for his replacement, and the remainder of our “dialog” looked like this:
After that, the chat window entirely quit responding. It would accept no further input from me, but at the same time, it wouldn’t allow me to end the chat, other than by closing the browser window.
For a while, hoping somebody would turn up, I hung around and entertained myself:
Pink Floyd played in my head:
Lewis Carroll made more sense that Pramod, JustHost, and company:
Of course, none of this had any point, other than to amuse myself, because they weren’t accepting any of this as input from me. I was just typing and erasing as I sat around hoping against hope that something would happen.
And at that point, something did happen! The power blinked out. Desk light died. Router and modem went dark. Refrigerator quit humming. Freezer quit freezing.
So I shut the computer down, ascertained that the power outage wasn’t “just me,” and wandered into the street with a flashlight, where neighbors were conferring. Something was said about “smoke pouring from the substation on the old road.” This did not bode well for a quick power-up. So we discussed what to do if we needed to keep food frozen, whether we had sufficient lanterns and candles, and suchlike. Everyone was covered, one way or another.
Sometime in the late night, the good old PUD (which really is very good) restored power. But by early a.m. I’d already heard from Bill St. Clair (who knew about the situation from my posting in the forums-to-be, where three of us are alpha testing) that he’d handle site migration on his own.
Now the only question is: How do I reach those silent Friends of Pramod when it’s time to shake the dust of JustHost off my boots and demand that refund?
* JustHost customers can only make full cPanel backups for themselves if they first buy a software license: two years, $70. Bill later tried doing it by other means, but it proved impossible.