Complain - effectively - when they don't have a complaints department?
In short this is my story of why i need to complain.
I took on a webhost that offered a three month free trial.
I was initially impressed and wanted to unlock the full features of my account - so i signed up and paid their fees via debit-card.
The first hurdle faced was getting money to them. my card was rejected, but they didn't tell me this until i submitted a ticket asking them why my account wasn't activated. I then used another card (that wasn't maxed out) and that too got refused - reason unknown. Again, i had to contact them in order for them to tell me that the money hadn't been paid from my card.
after about 2 weeks of emailing (ticket submissions) i finally got them paid and let them know i wasn't happy with their customer support.
Then, i received my statement through the post and saw that i'd been charged twice. I contacted them about this issue and offered 24 hours for a resolve. They replied saying my querie had been raised to a "level 2" (which meant nothing to me) and a manager would be in touch within 5 days.
on the fifth day 'someone' entirely anonymouse (as are all their ticket replies) replied saying they had no record of the transaction and i needed to forward details to them.
this i did.
on the 6th (working) day i contacted them and asked why i hadn't heard back.
cutting a lot of titfortat petty arguing out - they told me now that as i was replied to once, it will take yet another 5 working days for me to hear anything else. this was not mentioned though initially and i strongly feel they're having a laugh. i've asked repeatedly for them to get a move on and at least keep me informed rather than simply ignoring my concerns, but their replies usually have a mocking tone and inferring that i do not know how to count up to five days.
i am extremely disatisfied with their "support" if you can call it that.
They have a picture on their front page depicting a woman using a headset - inferring that they will talk over the phone. but when you call the number listed on their site - it is an answer machine that directs you to submit a ticket or leave a message, claiming they operate a call back service.
Let me assure you - they do not reply to any messages i've left on their answer machine - either as a ticket, email or even a phone call.
I'm kinda at the "pulling my hair out" stage with them and feel extremely let down by their discurt and ignorance.
I've explained i shall seek legal advice and they simply replied "we do not take kindly to threats of legal action".
The service i refer to is known as: ht tp:/ /streamline.net (and co.uk) although i admit what they offer at the price they ask is a good deal (and i've told them i'm impressed with that element), their customer service and aftersales support leaves much to be desired.
I did manage to speak with one employee directly on the phone, but that was because i scoured the actual internet (not their site) for contact details and found a post someone else had made, again similar complaint, and had through their own means found the contact phone number - with a real human!
So folks, please advise - i'm fairly newish to hostings, but my last two did two great things that are severely outweighing the small additional cost:
1) allowed it's users to contact technical support via yahoo messenger
2) answered the phone and gave live support - instead of lying and pretending to have phone operators.
i'm seriously feeling grumpy about streamline.net.
Well. Sorry for the troubles you had with this provider. I do not know what kind of a billing system do they use but it is not normal to have such difficulties unless you trying to sign up from different country and etc.
I can suggest you to go with a host that provide real 24 phone support. Some offers support by icq, yahoo messanger, aol, msn and etc. but I think this is not too serious. If a particular company wants to provide good support they shall keep a history of previous correspondence with their customers. So they need a good customer support system.
Im also not sure what type billing system they use but thats not a legitimate excuse after waiting so long for support anyway.
I would take steps to insure my CC had not been charged or get credit if they actually have charged you and then move on.
Anything over a 24 hour wait on setup would raise that flag for me.
Responses for support tickets spanning in 5 -6 day increments is also troubling. Like Martie said, make sure your credit cardsn't been billed further. As a last resort, I'd consider a charge back, if they don't respond.
I'm pretty sure that your bank will be able to do a chargeback if you go in and talk to one of the helpful bankers. UK banks are closed today though as it's Sunday... unless you have one of those swish 24-7 phone support banks
Thanks for all the advice and support given folks.
i got in touch with my bank last night and enquired regarding a chargeback. As i'd initially contacted my bank when i first realised the error they had dates to see how long i'd been having this issue.
as coincidental as it is, the day after my enquirey to the bank about chargback (and me sending a ticket to streamline telling i'd been here asking advice) - i today received a ticket reply saying i've been refunded and to allow 48hrs for it to show in my bank.
hence, i give you my deepest gratitude gentlemen and ladies.
I shall wait until the refund appears, and then cancel the chargeback through my bank directly - as their proceedings have already began as of this morning.
once again, thanks to you all for some great advice.