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The Joys of Bad Customer Service

For one of our clients, we handle very basic web site maintenance tasks for them.  It's an already existing site (written around 2003 by someone else), so it usually involves very minor text changes and other related matters.

About 3 or 4 months ago, the hosting provider decided to move the web site to a new server.  They never informed the client that they were doing it (since I have in the past done hosting provider type work, I'm guessing it was a server decommission matter), they just did it.  Which would have been fine if nothing was affected.

Some of the admin tools started breaking and we were asked to investigate (which is how we found out about the server move).  Turns out that there was some custom configuration on the site, which they failed to move over along with the site itself.  Great.

Then, it was discovered that another, more significant part of the site was broken, and was actually leading to revenue loss as a result.  After a lot of back and forth, it turned out that on the new server, they hadn't properly installed the JDK.  One would think that would be an important thing to do.

This past week (over the holidays, of course, making debugging and troubleshooting that much easier), another piece of functionality stopped working.  There was no useful error message logged anywhere, just a generic "There has been an error, try again" type thing.  Great.  Consulting with the hosting provider, they decided that the syntax of a certain area of code was incorrect, and needed to be updated.

Okay, let's get this straight.  Site written in 2003.  Functionality unaffected since then.  Until server move.  Functionality breaks.  Hosting provider solution: rewrite code.

Still awaiting resolution of the issue, but it's amazing how much 'red tape' it takes to get even the most basic matters resolved. 

Happy Holidays.

posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 1:08 AM Print
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