So this morning I woke with a start. You know that feeling that you get when you think that you might be late for something? You snap awake and are immediately alert, and force your brain into "fight or flight" mode in order to figure out what you're late for? But then you realize you're NOT late, and that "fight or flight" turns into "oh, crap, I'm really tired." I didn't need to be anywhere until 3:00ish, so all was right with the world, or so I thought.
I got out of bed, put on my robe and glasses, padded towards my door, stopped to wave at my fish, then turned around to grab my cellphone off my nightstand. I really really hate having to sprint through the house when I hear it ringing (if I hear it ringing). But this morning, something was funky with my phone. The flippy uppy part that makes it look more like one of Captain Kirk's communicators than a cell phone had become disconnected from the rest of the unit due to a broken hinge. This made me sad, because the ear piece is in the flippy uppy part, so it really doesn't work right without it.
So I changed my plans, showered, dressed and sped off to the [my phone provider] store at the mall. To be perfectly honest, I'd been looking for an excuse to buy one of the newer models of my phone anyway, so despite the hit my wallet was going to take, I wasn't OVERLY upset. However, [my phone provider] isn't launching the new model of my phone until the fifteenth. Two days from now. And they won't have any in the store until next week. I sighed a little and headed home. No big deal, I can function with the earphone jobby for a week, right?
So I get home, gently set my injured cellphone on the table by my desk and hunker down to read some email. Much to my surprise, there are messages forwarded from the MoronLife webhost about invoices being due, and when I check, I see that the site has been suspended.
Now, normally one would find themselves surprised at an event like this if they paid their bills on time. We did. However, we'd had a problem LAST month with a billing screwup. This should be cause for no surprise then, right? Well, last week we'd gotten warning emails that led me to do a preemptive strike on the billing department, and on Monday (this is now Wednesday) I'd been assured that everything was straightened out and we were in no danger of suspension. But come Wednesday morning, with no notice or warning whatsoever... < strongbad voice> SUSPENDED! < /strongbad voice >
My eyes rolled, and I sighed that laborious sigh that anyone listening would have identified as the "I totally do not want to deal with this right now" sigh. So I logged into the help desk system and submitted a really annoyed ticket, and then for shits and giggles tried to log into the "live support chat" feature that had been disabled since the old webhost had been bought out by the Canadian company. Much to my surprise, it was actually working.
And so I gleefully started talking to James from Billing support. But just as James was going off to research our problem, I managed to get another tab opened in the Firefox window the chat was in. This wouldn't normally be a problem except that when the chat client fired up in the little window, it disabled the tab bar, and me, being a Firefox noob, didn't know how to close just one tab with a keystroke (I do now). So I quickly closed the window and logged back into chat, explaining to Pat, who I got connected to this time, that I'd been talking to James and got disconnected. Pat reconnected me to James, but kept handing the problem as James never spoke once after I saw "You are now speaking with Support - James of billing" come up on the screen.
And so I sat, for an hour, with Pat, who was researching the missing payments that we'd reported as missing LAST month, too.
And after that hour, WHOOPS! I opened up another window in the chat window.
So I quickly disconnected and reconnected again using "Still talking billing with James and Pat... got disconnected again." as my 'Problem' -- and as luck would have it, I got reconnected to Pat! WOO! Here's the conversation that followed:
You are now speaking with Support - Pat of Billing.
Klae: sorry about that
Support - Pat: Hello, how can I help you?
Klae: It's still Klae, still waiting on the Moronlife.com stuff. I keep getting other windows opened up in second tabs in the chat window, but the chat app hides the tab bar, so I can't switch back.
Support - Pat: If you have been dealing with James, I can forward you to him and have him get this resolved for you.
It took me a few moments to stop blinking like Wiley Coyote trying to understand why he wasn't falling even though he'd run off the edge of the cliff yet.
Klae: You and I have been talking about it for the last hour, actually... at least it said it was Support - Pat.
Klae: You connected me to him before, but it kept saying your name as the person I was chatting with.
Klae: Or perhaps I'm slowly going insane...
Support - Pat: One moment while I retrieve your account.
Here there be a VERY long pause.
Support - Pat: If you log into the billing system, you will need to process the payment for the invoice for July and we can unsuspend the account.
Klae: But no one answered my question about the double payment in June, or the subscription payment for July. There should be a credit on the account.
This was all stuff we'd been over in the chat I *DIDN'T* get a transcript of...
Support - Pat: If you can provide us the transaction ID's for the double payment to billing@HOST_NAME.com and we they can make the appropriate adjustments
This was all stuff we had to do LAST month when this happened.
Klae: Can I speak with a supervisor, please? I've been in chat for over an hour and a half now, and have gotten absolutely nowhere, and I'm starting to get really frustrated. I don't want to end up taking it out on you.
Klae: We supplied transaction IDs for all of this LAST month and we were told it was resolved.
Support - Pat: The 2 payments in june were for the hosting in may and june. The current invoice due is for july.
If they knew this, why did they ask for them again?
Klae: And what about the subscription payment for July?
Klae: It's not showing credited. Yes, it was SHORT, but it's not showing at all.
Klae: There should be $2 due if anything.
Support - Pat: I do not see anything for the july payment in our system.
Klae: And I've been asking for an account audit, so I can show these payments to the client, but no one seems willing to provide that.
Support - Pat: The current balance due is $ 7.95
Klae: I'd like to speak to a supervisor, please.
Support - Pat: You can view all the invoices and payments by logging into the billing system.
Support - Pat: There is nobody I can pass you too at this moment.
Klae: So what was going on for the HOUR I was sitting here waiting for a reply? I was told you were investigating the other payment.
Klae: WHEN will someone be available.
Support - Pat: I am not sure.
Klae: That's an unacceptable answer.
Support - Pat: That's the only answer I can provide you with.
Klae: So we've paid you, but it's our responsibility to prove that to you despite the fact that TWO DAYS AGO someone told me the account was fine.
Support - Pat: I do not see a payment for the july hosting service.
Klae: If the July invoice is unpaid, why is the account suspended if it's not due until 7/26
Support - Pat: I am not sure, that would have to be taken up with our account representatives.
Klae: Umm.... isn't that who I'm speaking to?
Klae: Billing support?
Support - Pat: I am billing support, not an account representative.
What the hell good is billing support that can't make changes to an account that is incorrectly suspended? It's like wearing a bra that has no cups to hold up your boobs!
Klae: Please transfer me.
Support - Pat: You will need to login to the billing system and process the payment for invoice 32244
Klae: It's not due until 7/26
Klae: Why is the account suspended?
Klae: Please transfer me to an account representative.
Support - Pat: The billing system can be reached at: http://billing.INSERT_WEB_HOST_HERE.com/
Klae: Please transfer me to an account representative.
Support - Pat: There is no one I can transfer you to at this moment. You will need to login to the billing system and process the payment for invoice 32244
Klae: It's not due until 7/26
Klae: Why is the account suspended
Klae: Please provide me with a direct dial number so I can speak with someone in your office.
Support - Pat: The number can be found on our website.
Klae: Are you refusing to give me the number?
Support - Pat: No, the number is listed directly on our website.
Klae: And I'm asking you, as a courtesy since I've been in chat for nearly two hours now, to provide it to me so I don't have to look it up.
Support - Pat: 888-255-1007
Klae: Thank you.
Klae: Is there a supervisor available yet.
Support - Pat: Not at this moment.
Klae: Then I'll remain in chat until there is one.
Klae: There is no answer at your offices. So essentially, you've suspended an account that is current, and no one there can reactivate it, and there's not a thing that I can do about it, correct?
Klae: I'm assuming since it's now after five PM EST that I won't get a reply to this.
Klae: As a note for my records, the "no answer" message was sent at 4:45 EST, and the after five message was sent half an hour later.
So after all that, NOTHING was resolved. The chat window is still open as of 11:35 PST, as a matter of fact.
Of course, after nearly two and a half hours in chat with this moron (and not the good kind) known as Pat, someone got to the ticket I filed before logging in and unsuspended the account USING THE SAME CANNED REPLY THEY USED ON MONDAY, JULY 11, 2005!!!!
Needless to say, we're already up and running on another webhost
Oh, and did I mention that I found the direct email addresses for the president and CEO of the old web host? Yeah, they got a rather long, rather unfriendly (yet very professional) critique of their customer support service, along with three copies of a seven page fax detailing my day's activities.
And so all the stuff that I was supposed to do today went undone, and for that I am truly torqued. And my jaw hurts from clenching my teeth.
Oh, and since I didn't mention their name throughout this whole thing, I figure I better do it once so everyone knows to stay away from them...
AFFORDABLE HOST . COM TOTALLY SUCKS MY BALLS!
And not in the good way.