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  1. #1

    Thumbs down Blacklotus: the other side

    3 months ago we found ourselves, like many others,without a server as we had been with Dinix for over a year.
    Then they vanished on thousands of us and as so many of you did we scrambled to find a new dedicated host.
    We researched on the forums and chose to go with Blacklotus/Staminus. They seemed to have a very good reputation. They offered nice ddos protection and cpanel which we needed.

    I began my communication with Jeff Lyon who owns blacklotus. He was very kind and helpful. He did help me to get
    a new dedicated at an affordable price. He went and set up the order for me with the help of another man named Shawn.
    He then sent me to a link to make a paypal payment. I did this and thought that this was the beginning of a lasting
    relationship with Blacklotus. We were pleased at first.

    Shortly after that we had a few techinical issues come up. Some were handled quite well and others gave us a reason
    to begin to worry. In some cases the server was completly down and I put the ticket in as a 911 and waited 5+ hours for
    a reply. They did not know what was wrong and it took them until that night to get it up and working. It was a miscommunication
    between blacklotus and staminus. This was due to the fact that the bill was due on the 25th of the month and for some reason
    my verizon email account with them was not recieving any emails.I did not realize the bill was due or overdue. I did put in a ticket asking if there was a reason that I was not getting emails and was told that they had no idea but to check my email account which I did but there was nothing there. At any rate, the server was shut off on the 26th because the bill was due on the 25th. I immediatly made the throuh paypal and called Staminus who turned it back on for me. I had put in a ticket with Blacklotus as well explaining the email situation and the fact that I had made the payment. I showed them a copy ofmy paypal reciept. They assuered me that everything was fine. I addressed the
    fact that their company has no grace period and that I would have liked to have known that sooner. Things seemed fine.

    However that night about 1 am the server went offline. This is where trouble began. I issued a ticket and it took them almost 24 hours to figure out that they forgot that staminus had put us in the null route. This was quite a problem but was eventually fixed.

    From this point on we began to have other issues. All of a sudden our cpanel liscences were invalid. I contacted them ad it was fixed in a few minutes.

    Then a week later it happed again. This time they were gone for about 21 hours total. This did upset us quite a bit. Jeff felt that this should not be a big issue as the sites on the server were still functional. We did not see it that way. Without the cpanel no one can work with mail, databases, stats, or number of functions. We as well without a whm could not create any new accounts. Restart our apache, check on the server, unsuspend or suspend accounts. WE could not unban bandwidth exceeders etc. This to us was quite important. Their tech was nice enough to get us a temp cpanel liscence and stated that this woudget our cpanel back up as if we waited for the real liscece it would be at least another day. He said that the temp would be converted to the real one a day or so later. We were annoyed but pleased with the fact that they worked to get us cpanel at the 21 hour downtime mark. I then wrote them and said that I believed
    that we were entitled to a refund for the cpanel for that month. Their employee John spoke said no originally then spoke to Jeff and said that Jeff was issuing us the full month cpanel fee on our next bill due on June 25. We were quite pleased with this.

    Things seemed to be going alright for a bit. Then however, a few days ago we lost our cpanel liscence again. I wrote to them and this is what happened step by step

    Ticket #14828 - our cpanels are gone again. 3 times now! Reload Ticket

    Originally Submitted: 4 days ago Owner: Jeffrey ***
    Last Updated: 1 days ago Department: BLC Support
    Status: Closed Priority: Normal
    Post a Followup

    Client

    Jennifer *****
    ******@****** Received on 06/26/2005 1:57:29PM


    Unactivated License File

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    cpanel.net

    this is the third time in a month that this has happened. I have to have this
    fixed asap. Last time it took almost a full day. I think that you would agree
    that this cannot continue. It is interfering with our business and we cannot
    afford any more setbacks. Please contact me asap about this matter!
    Reply | Reply & Quote
    Client
    Jennifer ******
    ********@***** Received on 06/26/2005 2:02:49PM
    72.20.3.134 using package 15-DAY-TEST and is licensed though: Direct Licenses
    (active on: 2005-06-09 23:25:56, group: Black Lotus Communications) and is
    expired/deactived by unknown on 2005-06-25 07:00:01.


    the last time that we had this problem your tech got us a temp liscense so that
    we would not be down another 24 hours.. however YOUR company was supposed to
    reinstitute our REAL liscence. You did NOT do this. Please fix this
    immediately.
    Reply | Reply & Quote
    Staff

    Jeffrey **** Sent to Jennifer ****** on 06/26/2005 3:06:42PM
    Jennifer,

    We are waiting for NR Software to activate your license on their account, this
    is a maintenance issue and there will be several days of downtime. A
    deactivation of the Cpanel license does not entail a complete outage of your
    server, thus the 911 ticket status is inappropriate.

    Last time I authorized a complete refund for an entire month of the license
    fee. As such, I expect that you will be courteous and understanding while we
    transfer the licenses.

    Best regards,
    --
    Jeffrey *****, President
    Level III Information Systems Technician
    [email protected] | http://www.blacklotus.net
    Black Lotus Communications of The IRC Company, Inc.
    Reply | Reply & Quote
    Client

    Jennifer *****
    *****@***** Received on 06/26/2005 3:20:34PM
    Mr. Lyon,

    The last time that we had this problem your tech said that it would all be
    cleared up within another 24 hours of time. He said nothing about days and days
    of outage. Therefore, I fully expected that the next day as he described to me
    our real liscense would be reactivated to replace the temp one he gave us. I do
    not feel that I am being rude I feel a great deal of frustration with the
    cpanels down and my clients yelling abut not being able to check the error
    logs, stats, scripts and most importantly the databases. For most of the sites
    we run a database error can destroy a site if we are unable to get into the
    cpanel to work on it. This is an important issue. Additionally, if there was
    going to be this outage why were we not informed with an email notice. I did
    appreciate the refund from the last time but i do not feel it was a gift but
    rather a neccessity on your companys part. What is the estimated wait on
    getting the cpanels to work again? You should understand that while this
    downtime is occuring we cannot take on any new clients or adjust bandwidth or
    any of the normal functions that a host does. This is costing us money that we
    cannot afford to lose. I would like to be kept informed and have an estimate on
    when things will be working again.
    Thank you, Jennifer
    Reply | Reply & Quote
    Staff

    Jeffrey **** Sent to Jennifer ***** on 06/26/2005 3:25:56PM
    Jennifer,

    We are having issues with the licenses that will not be resolved for several
    days. You should have been warned of this when the temporary license was
    established, if not, I apologize. You have other options for purchasing a
    license as there are numerous external vendors who would be happy to sell to
    you. We are not your only choice.

    If you choose this route, let me know and I will remove the Cpanel license from
    your account and refund any applicable fees for the license.

    Best regards,
    --
    Jeffrey ****, President
    Level III Information Systems Technician
    [email protected] | http://www.blacklotus.net
    Black Lotus Communications of The IRC Company, Inc.
    Reply | Reply & Quote
    Client

    Jennifer ***
    ******@****** Received on 06/26/2005 3:37:49PM
    warning would have been appreciated. If you look back at my other tickets about
    this you will see that there was no warning whatsoever.
    Reply | Reply & Quote
    Staff

    Jeffrey Lyon Sent to Jennifer ***** on 06/26/2005 3:40:19PM
    Agreed. I was personally unaware that the expiration of the temporary key was
    set for today, otherwise I would have put out a memo last week.

    Best regards,
    --
    Jeffrey Lyon, President
    Level III Information Systems Technician
    [email protected] | http://www.blacklotus.net
    Black Lotus Communications of The IRC Company, Inc.
    Reply | Reply & Quote
    Staff

    John **** Sent to Jennifer **** on 06/27/2005 8:42:25PM
    Jennifer,

    Can you verify that your CPANEL is still down?

    NRSoftware indicates that it should be up.

    Regards
    --
    John *****, Technical Support
    Level III Information Systems Technician
    [email protected] | http://www.blacklotus.net
    Black Lotus Communications of The IRC Company, Inc.
    Reply | Reply & Quote
    Client

    Jennifer
    ***@***** Received on 06/28/2005 10:36:47AM
    Yes, the cpanels are up now however our server is running incredibly slow.
    Is there any reason for this??
    *
    >

    Reply | Reply & Quote
    Staff

    Jeffrey *** Sent to Jennifer ***** on 06/28/2005 2:20:19PM
    No, none that I am aware of.

    Best regards,
    --
    Jeffrey ****, President
    Level III Information Systems Technician
    [email protected] | http://www.blacklotus.net
    Black Lotus Communications of The IRC Company, Inc.
    Reply | Reply & Quote


    ------------------------------------------------- this is when the ticket was closed and the issue was resolved. But then John Felt the
    need to make this a personal attack upon me and he reopened the ticket



    S
    taff

    John *** Sent to Jennifer **** on 06/29/2005 10:00:51AM
    Jennifer,

    To follow up on your CPANEL license:

    1) Our license vendor has contacted CPANEL to arrange for the license
    activation.
    2) Cpanel had already been contacted and was in the process of filling the
    request when your temporary license expired.
    Cpanel knew you had a temporary license, they knew it was going to expire,
    they knew when it was going to expire and they knew that the license was being
    renewed.
    They allowed it to expire anyway.
    3) Cpanel should have your 'REAL' license activated shortly.

    We did our job. Our vendor did their job. Cpanel let your temporary license
    expire. Yet you blast us for not doing our job.

    Claiming that our company was 'supposed' to get a real license is accurate.
    Claiming that we did not do it implies that we just sat around and watched your
    cpanel expire without lifting a finger, which simply isnt true.

    As to the 'refund' which you claim was a necessity on our part; I'm sorry but
    that is absurd.
    Your outage cannot be attributed to any neglect or misconduct on our part. We
    offer CPANEL as a courtesy and we do not make any money on it. Our web server's
    cpanel license was turned off along with yours and our temporary also expired.
    Our license has yet to be re-activated.

    Jennifer, one fact of life is that "perception is reality."

    You perceive that we are not doing our job, and therefore that is reality to
    you.
    You perceive that we owed you a refund for a full month's service when your
    outage, which was out of our control, only lasted a day or two, and therefore
    that is reality to you.
    Your perception is that you are patient, understanding and polite, and
    therefore that is reality to you.

    Suffice to say, our perception of the situation is slightly different.

    I will let you know, as soon as I have confirmation, when your perm. cpanel
    license is activated.

    Regards,

    --
    John ****, Technical Support
    Level III Information Systems Technician
    [email protected] | http://www.blacklotus.net
    Black Lotus Communications of The IRC Company, Inc.
    Reply | Reply & Quote
    Client

    Jennifer ***
    ******@******* Received on 06/29/2005 10:33:41AM

    For the record in this ticket i NEVER indicated that I expected a refund. I only
    asked for a refund last time and was pleased with the cpanel refund. I have been
    very patient with your company and as polite as I could be. You blame the outage
    on cpanel which is fine and most likely true but, How was I supposed to know
    that ??????????????? With no communication from you. I expect that you as our
    datacenter would be on top of these things. Jeff **** himself in this ticket
    stated that if he had realized that the temp liscences would be expiring on
    that date he would have sent out an email the week before. I do not appreciate
    the tone of your email to me at all. I feel that it was very out of line, I was
    as patient as possible. In my last ticket about this you , yourself, clearly
    stated that you got us a temp liscence and that a real one would be issued a
    couple of days later. That is the information that I was going off of. Perhaps
    if you had been more clear this situation would have gone more smoothly. I
    would appreciate less accusation in any further emails from you. Mr Lyon was
    decent to me during this ticket and I feel that your email was a bit of an
    attack. The cpanel situation seems to be under control now. I did not ask for a
    full months refund or any at all. I have tried to be polite and expect the same
    in return.
    Thank you

    Reply | Reply & Quote
    Staff

    John *** Sent to Jennifer ***** on 06/29/2005 12:25:33PM
    Jennifer,

    I'm sorry that you perceived my email as an attack. I was simply telling you
    how I feel when I read your communications.

    You wrote: "I did appreciate the refund from the last time but i do not
    feel it was a gift but rather a neccessity on your companys part."

    Generally, in my experience, if the appreciaiton is genuine, a "thank
    you" is not followed by "but". You used not just one, but 2 buts
    which doubly emphasized to me that we 'owed' you the refund and you appreciated
    that we did what we were supposed to do. To me that is rather paradoxical.

    It takes you only moments to contact us with a problem, yet when I issued you
    the refund, it took you 5 days and another email from me to even acknowledge
    that you were getting a refund. Then you stated you thought you had responded.
    Well, perhaps I thought I had responded to you regarding your Cpanel license.
    Would you accept it if i said "Sorry jennifer, I thought I had told you
    that your license was going to expire again"? I suspect not, yet you
    clearly expected me to accept your belated 'thanks' as sincere.

    Personally, I have perceived almost every one of your emails to have underlying
    hostility, anger and attitude. You very carefully add 'nice' words as if to add
    a bit of sugar to the spoonful of caster oil you are about to demand that we
    swallow.

    That is my perception. It is NOT an attack. It is how I interpret your
    communications. If you believe all of your commuincations are done with love
    and warmth, then we clearly see things differently. Maybe I am seeing it
    incorrectly? Perhaps you are more caustic than you intend?

    You have been late on every single payment to date. Perhaps only 1 day, perhaps
    3 days, but you have not made a single payment on or before the due date of your
    invoices. That is your responsibility, yet when I remind you that you are past
    due, you reply with indignant emails as if to say "how dare you ask me to
    pay on time!".

    You always have a good reason for being late, yet you do not seem willing to
    accept our 'reasons' when you are demanding service and satisfaction.

    To me, there is a huge difference between a request and a demand. A request is
    polite, a demand is closer to hostile. Am I misinterpreting your intentions
    when I perceive you are making 'demands' in your emails?

    Again, these are my perceptions and I, like you, am entitled to them. If you
    want my perceptions to change, perhaps you could reflect on the events and
    communications that gave me these perceptions. You are responsible for half of
    the communications between you and me. And that half is the half which gives me
    the basis for my perception. I am responsible for the other half of the
    communication and that half gives you the basis for your perception.

    Jennifer, you may send any email, with any wording you wish, but you may not
    insist that I interpret it in any way other than the way in which I choose to
    interpret it. If you wish to change my perception, then I submit to you that
    you might consider changing your wording.

    In the same manner that you are free to interpret my emails in any way you
    choose.


    Regards,

    --
    John *****, Technical Support
    Level III Information Systems Technician
    [email protected] | http://www.blacklotus.net
    Black Lotus Communications of The IRC Company, Inc.
    Reply | Reply & Quote
    Client

    Jennifer *****
    *****@**** Received on 06/29/2005 2:03:44PM
    I believe that communication between you and I should cease. Perhaps another
    employee would be better suited to deal with me in the future. The only comment
    that I have for your very caustic last email is this. I have been late paying
    the bill by a day or two. I was not aware in the beginning that there was no
    grace period. I then immediatly made the payments. You say that I always have
    an excuse for the payment being late which is not true. I only did that the
    first time that it was an issue as I did not know that it was of urgency and my
    original email account with your company was not recieving any emails from you.
    I still am not recieving an invoice saying "your bill is due in 5 days or
    anything similar" I did however get the one that said that it was overdue
    by a day and I immediatly made the payment. I will be certain that from now on
    the bill is in on the 25th of each month not the 26th. I would greatly
    appreciate you not contacting me again. Thank you.
    Reply | Reply & Quote
    Post a Followup


    Obviously at this point I was quite upset so I contacted Jeff Via email

    On 6/30/05, **** <****@*****> wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > Jeff,
    > > I have recieved two , in my opinion, caustic and unneccessary emails
    > > today
    > > from your employee John Blazek. I would appreciate if you would look over
    > > the ticket for me. I have written him back asking that he not contact me
    > > again. I feel that someone else on your staff would be more suited to deal
    > > with me. I would like to know why he reopened a closed issue just to
    > > attack
    > > me. The reasons should be obvios when you read the tickets. His emails are
    > > not an effective or professional way to deal with clients. I would like to
    > > stay with your company however I will not be spoken to or ridiculed this
    > > way. If you feel the same as your employee we will seek a new datacenter
    > > before the next payment is due. Please let me know.
    > > Thank you, Jennifer ******

    He then replied to me with the following

    Jennifer,
    >
    > He specifically asked me to review your ticket and I am aware of his
    > response. Him and I addressed the issue, specifically how I felt it
    > was unnecessary to continue to discuss the issue after you and I had
    > wrapped it up.
    >
    > I would not expect communication to continue in that same tone,
    > however, if you wish to not be contacted by John it can certainly be
    > arranged. My only concern is the impact that would have to our
    > response time in situations where John is the on-duty manager.
    >
    > Best regards, Jeff
    to which I replied

    On 6/30/05, **** <***@*****> wrote:
    > I feel that in his two emails to me yesterday he completely attacked me as a
    > person. There was no reason for it other then his obvious dislike of me for
    > whatever reason. I will not be insulted like that by someone who is supposed
    > to work for a company that I pay good money to. He was out of line and the
    > only way that I could concievably deal with him again without feeling
    > attacked would be if he issued me an apology. You have to admit if you read
    > BOTH of his very caustic emails to me yesterday that we are not suited to
    > work together. I would hope that you have another tech who would treat me
    > with respect. Please let me know.
    > Thank you, Jennifer
    He then replied with

    Jennifer,

    Per my previous communication with you, I do agree that the tone of
    the ticket reply was a bit over the top. If you have a future
    emergency issue and John is the available manager at the time, it is
    likely that he will have to respond. Otherwise, we can put it on hold
    and have it assigned to myself or another tech when convenient.

    Best regards, Jeff

    I did not feel that after this it would be possible for us to work together anymore after this. It was clear that my support would be greatly impacted with cutting John out of the mix. I therefore discussed the situation with my partner and my techs and came to the conclusion that we needed to move to another datacenter.I wrote to Jeff to explain things to him with the following

    On 6/30/05, **** <****@****> wrote:
    >
    > Jeff,
    >
    > I have discussed the current situation with my partner. We are both in
    > agreement that we have been offended and continue to be with no form of
    > apology for the unprofessional actions of your employee.The current support
    > issues have also greatly influenced our decision. Due to this and the few
    > issues we have had with your company since we signed up we have decided not
    > to renue at the end of the month. We will be moving our sites off of your
    > server before the next payment is due on July 25. I am sorry that things
    > have not worked out between our two companys. Please email me with any
    > questions you may have.
    > Thank you,
    > Jennifer******
    To which he replied


    Jennifer,

    An apologize has been issued by myself two times this morning.
    If you choose to proceed with the cancelation, we will need 60 days
    notice per the Order Form that you submitted when purchasing. The
    request will need to be faxed to us at ***-***-****.

    Best regards, Jeff
    I then replied with

    On 6/30/05, **** <****@****> wrote:
    > I never ordered with an order form and therefore knew nothing of your
    > policy. Under the current situation we will be moving on at the end of the
    > month. If you remember correctly you set up the entire order along with a
    > man named shawn. You then gave me a place to login and make my payment.
    > Given the fact that we will not be receiving all the benefits of your
    > support team without John we have decided to go. In your emails earlier I
    > saw nothing of an apology other then that you though his emails were "a bit
    > over the top". Please try to understand that we feel that this is best for
    > everyone. I do not have access to a fax. But this is 30 days notice.
    > Thank you, Jennifer

    He then replied


    Jennifer,

    We cannot continue to maintain service for a server without an order
    form. Since you have announced intent to leave (and presumably won't
    be faxing us an order form to make up for this lapse in our record
    keeping) we will be terminating your service and issuing a prorata
    refund.

    Best regards, Jeff

    I was of course shocked by this as it seemed very spiteful and unprofessional as at that time
    we had no place to go or our data. I replied to him with this



    On 6/30/05, ******* <****@*****> wrote:
    > I will also not have access to a fax machine until tomorrow. I would hope
    > that you will allow us to get all of our data. Thank you

    he then said

    Jennifer,

    You should have roughly 24 hours. I set it to be reallocated to
    Staminus' inventory, but Staminus has not processed that request. You
    have time, but please do not take it for granted.
    Best regards, Jeff

    We were shocked by this and began franticly trying to remove our data from the server.
    This was already at 10:08 pm. We were in the middle of transfering data when at 12 noon the
    following day the server was terminated. We were once again shocked! Still waiting for our refund
    as well. Considering that the server was mostly unused for the time we had it.

    I then attempted to get my refund which I feel was due at the time they rudely disconnected us.
    I wrote several emails to no reply. Today I finally contacted blacklotus support to try to get
    the money that was due to me.

    These were the events of today

    Jefff,

    I have written to you a couple of times. I need for you to get ahold of me so that I know you
    are sending my paypal refund today. I MUST have this money returned. The refund and disconnection
    were your choice not mine. I will continue to try to contact you until i get a reply. Please send my
    money to ***@******* via www.paypal.com asap. Also, as I noted before you said we would have 24 hours
    to get our data and it was disconnected on us at noon yesterday instead. I do not feel that was fair at all.
    If you will simply refund my full payment for July I will not bother you any further.
    Thank you in advance, Jennifer
    I got this reply from their tech who was very nice

    Dear Jennifer,
    Unfortunately, Mr Lyon is out of town until Tuesday.
    The only other person who has any access to the PayPal system is Mr **** and you have specifically requested that he not communicate with you in any way.
    I will assign this ticket to Mr Lyon and he will respond upon his return Tuesday.
    Thanks,
    --
    **** *****, Technical Support
    I then replied


    Tuesday is far too long to wait for my refund. I am sure that you could
    contact mr john ****** and ask him to issue the refund. Please let me know.Thank
    you.
    He then again nicely wrote back

    jennifer,

    I am very sorry.
    I understand your situation.

    However, Mr **** has been forbidden to have anything to do with your account. This was
    per your request.
    We will attemt to get in contact with Mr Lyon but he is out of town for the holiday.

    Thanks,
    --
    **** ***, Technical Support
    I then was frustrated and wrote this reply


    I understand what you are saying however. My request was to not have to work
    with Mr **** as a client. I am no longer a client and it is irrelivent who
    issues me a refund.I MUST have my money returned to me today. I do not have
    to have much interaction with him for him to issue the refund. I was told on
    Thursday night that I was going to be disconnected and have a refund
    issued. I HAVE to have this money in my paypal tonight. I suggest that
    somene at the company simply issue the refund .Since I am no longer a real
    client I see no reason that Mr. *** cannot push the button to send my
    money back! It is bad enough that your company disconnected us 12 hours
    early and cause us to lose data but now to get the run around about the
    refund that is rightfully mine is more then enough. I simply ask once again
    that it be issued to my paypal account of ***@****** Thank
    you in advance, I will wait for your reply that my refund is coming today.
    Best Regards,Jennifer

    Then John wrote back to me with this very out of line email

    Jennifer,

    Now you have gone entirely too far. Insulting my technicians is unacceptable and I expect an apology from you for Mr ****.

    You specifically requested I not contact you.
    Mr Lyon specifically instructed me to have nothing to do with your account.

    I am trying to honor that request, but I will not stand by while you insult my technicians.

    As for the 24 hours, we have no control over when staminus formats a drive. You were told you 'might' have 24 hours but that
    you should hurry and use the time wisely.

    I have no access to issue refunds via paypal and I have no idea what amount Mr Lyon intends to refund.

    Please do not communicate with us again except to apologize to Mr ****.

    Mr Lyon will be in contact with you by Tuesday.

    Have a nice weekend.

    Regards,
    --
    John ****, Technical Support

    I find it outrageous that he demands that I apologise to a man whom I never even insulted but
    he cannot apologise to me for openly attacking me.

    I replied with

    I have read over my last reply and I have written nothing insulting your
    tech. I did not even insult your company openly. As for apoplogys you owed
    me one days ago. I will not contact this company again.

    John then replied with this

    Jennifer,

    I have read over my ticket from days ago and I do not see where I insulted you openly.

    Even still, I was unable to issue an apology, you forbade my communication.

    Mr Lyon will be in contact.

    I trust you will honor your word and not reply.

    Regards,
    --
    John ****, Technical Support

    Then I decided to file a claim with paypal to get my full refund which I feel that I am
    entitled to.

    Not too long after that I recieved this email

    Jennifer,

    I am currently out of town. I apologize that I did not get to the refund before I left.

    I just tried to issue the refund via paypal, but there is a dispute lock on the payment and I cannot issue a refund.

    If you will kindly remove the dispute then I can issue the refund.

    Regards,
    --
    Jeffrey Lyon, President


    to my dismay he deducted 30 dollars from the amount that I had paid. I find this to be unacceptable. I believe we were entitiled to the full amount we paid for this month.

    I am writing here so that other people can see both sides of Blacklotus.
      0 Not allowed!

  2. #2
    Jennifer, it looks like customer service isn't one of their strengths. Thakns for sharing your experiences.
      0 Not allowed!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
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    If these emails are authentic, then this company has handled the situation very poorly. What they're doing is completely unprofessional, and I even sense a hint of spite in their email.
    Scott Burns, President
    BQ Internet Corporation
    Remote Rsync and FTP backup solutions
    *** http://www.bqbackup.com/ ***
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  4. #4
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    I am waiting to see what Black Lotus has to say before making any comment.
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  5. #5
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    All I can say is... wow. That's... crazy.

    I have to agree with bqinternet... provided the emails are authentic... ...

    With vendors like these... who needs enemies?

    You were never given a link to their TOS/AUP in the process of signing up with them?

    Though the situation on their end is somewhat understandable, it was poorly handled in this case. Their tech entered into the situation that made you feel offended, which as a result made you not want to communicate with that tech.

    Reputable companies will make compromises difficult situations, and this would definitely qualify as one.

    I am sorry to hear about the troubles you have been having, and hope that, in the event that this is a 100% accurate depiction of the events, maybe Blacklotus will re-think how to handle their customers in this situation.
    Jacob - WebOnce Technologies - 30 Day 100% Satisfaction Guarantee - Over 5 Years Going Strong!
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  6. #6
    Webonce asked
    You were never given a link to their TOS/AUP in the process of signing up with them?
    Unfortunately I heard good things about them. I was going to use staminus but i needed cpanel and blacklotus was willing to give me cpanel.

    I signed up with blacklotus via jeff through email. He set up the entire account in conjunction with another man named shawn. He then gave me a link to login and pay with paypal. If you can imagine with the dinix/whp situation we were in we were thrillled to find somone helpful to get us online as fast as possible. I truely do wish that this situation had resolved differently. However, I felt offended by their employee and then being terminated that way enough to post here. They may be a good company but my situation also shows the other side.

    there is not even a tos on their website

    http://www.blacklotus.net/
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  7. #7
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    Wow, I'm bewilded. I think Jeff will have something to say about this. But John has been real rude or no quality.
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  8. #8
    Talk about an email history, Jennifer. I should be so organized.

    But this whole charade rings strangely familiar. As they say - if you listen to those who have stopped using a service, you can get a WHOLE different side to any story - regardless of the praises you see by the same crowd time and time again.

    Better luck with your next provider.
    Adam Lawson - AQORN
    OpenStack Professional Services. Commercial Support. Open-Source Cloud Management
    Official OpenStack Foundation Member & Corporate Sponsor
    Our Clients: AT&T | Cisco | Juniper | SAP | Autodesk | SUSE | Ubuntu
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  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Well thats pretty sad. Jeff has always seemed to be a decent fellow from his posts but I think he is backing up a rogue employee too much. That being said, and no offense but thus far we have only your side of the story. When Blacklotus is available we can see his response, which if this is authentic should just be.

    We are sorry, we messed up and here is the balance of your money.
    André Allen | E: aallen(a)linovus.ca
    Linovus Holdings Inc
    Shared Hosting, Reseller Hosting, VPS, Dedicated Servers & Public Cloud | USA, Canada & UK - 24x7x365 Support
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  10. #10
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    Hm, you could go to staminus directly anyway, get external cpanel license or trustix cpanel.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    42
    I was half way into this and siding with blacklotus. With all due respect, I do tend to agree that some of you earier emails to them were laced with a demanding and entitled attitude. I see very often people be awfully rude to their providers and expect humble apologetic replies.

    Try to look at it from their point of view, if theres nothing they can do there is no reason to yell at them.

    Things changed at the point where they told you they were going to terminate your server right away. That was ABSURDLY SPITEFUL I couldnt believe it. I can imagine they were very frustrated but that was sooo unprofessional! And then the OBVIOUSLY deliberate BS about "well you told us you didnt want to speak with him, so he cant give you a refund!" Comon... they were clearly trying to get revenge.

    And then not giving you the 30$ - more petty vengence

    I personally think they need to refund ALL of your money and leave it at that.

    I do, however, believe that customers should be respectful and curtious of their hosts, and then they can expect the same treatment in return.
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  12. #12
    Yes, flameboy, I think at the point where this was the third time that this happend in a month with no warning I did demand that it be fixed as the second outage had lasted 21 hours and at the end of that ticket I was assured that the real liscence would be in effect from that point on. Therefore, I was under the assumption that the company had taken care of it on their end. It was greatly effecting my small business.

    I do not feel that I was rude, I was very understanding when things were explained and the subject was dropped and the ticket closed. After that is where their employee allowed his person feelings to overshow the professional job he needed to do. As a paying customer I expect that things will work or be fixed quickly if possible.
    Last edited by jennifer2; 07-02-2005 at 11:27 PM.
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  13. #13
    I'm not sure how to respond. In fact, I'm not even sure I should respond.

    First of all, I was unprofessional and I apologize to everyone for that.

    My conduct in the final few email communications between her and I was wrong. I allowed her endless stream of gripes, whines and unreasonable demands (which she forgot to post) to finally goad me into an unprofessional response. I accept full responsibility for that.

    For the record, the cpanel issue was as much of a suprise to us as it was to her. We had no idea that our vendor had not properly transferred the licenses. As soon as I was aware that the licenses were disabled, I reported it to our vendor and gave them time to solve it. When I saw they were not solving it, I went directly to the cpanel website and activated a temporary license for her server. (I find it interesting, that she left out the countless hours I spent working on getting the cpanel license restored and the numerous communications I sent her keeping her up to date on the progress.)

    As to her refund, Mr Lyon can address it specifically. But, she received a FULL refund for ALL of her unused service period.

    I will not get into a mud slinging contest and debate each of her claims. There was (and is) clearly a personality conflict between us and I handled my side poorly.

    Regards,
    John Blazek
    Auroralink Communications
    Shell & Web Hosting
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  14. #14
    I allowed her endless stream of gripes, whines and unreasonable demands (which she forgot to post) to finally goad me into an unprofessional response.

    In reply to you. I did not post the other cpanel tickets (email replies) as that was before the big problem started. I did however say that you all did resolve them and that was why I became so upset about the 3rd time it went down. I could however, if needed post all the tickets we had with your company. I find that to be useless unless needed by someone to see that the other communications went well for the most part. Had I done this the post would have been 2 pages long in and of itself.
    My only tickets with you were about the following issues as the titles

    1: 3 months ago server down?
    2: 3 months ago request
    3: 3 months ago apache down?
    4: 2 months ago billing issue ( discussed in my first post)
    5: 2 months ago billing question?
    6: 1 month ago server down?
    7: 1 month ago billing issue
    8: 1 month ago server issue
    9: 1 month ago server down again
    10: 1 month ago once again our server is down ?
    11: 3 weeks ago cpanel issue urgent
    12: 3 weeks ago cpanel issue urgent #2
    13: 5 days ago server payment
    14: 4 days ago our cpanels are gone again. 3 times now!!!
    15: 3 months ago backups?

    as I said i can post each ticket from start to end if needed. I keep meticulous records.
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  15. #15

    edit took longer than 15 minutes. board would not allow saved edit.

    I'm not sure how to respond. In fact, I'm not even sure I should respond.

    First of all, I was unprofessional and I apologize to everyone for that.

    My conduct in the final few email communications between her and I was wrong. I allowed her endless stream of gripes, whines and unreasonable demands (which she forgot to post) to finally goad me into an unprofessional response. I accept full responsibility for that.

    For the record, the cpanel issue was as much of a suprise to us as it was to her. We had no idea that our vendor had not properly transferred the licenses. As soon as I was aware that the licenses were disabled, I reported it to our vendor and gave them time to solve it. When I saw they were not solving it, I went directly to the cpanel website and activated a temporary license for her server. (I find it interesting, that she left out the countless hours I spent working on getting the cpanel license restored and the numerous communications I sent her keeping her up to date on the progress.)

    The point at which I finally lost my patience with her was when she demanded we compensate her for cpanel down time, claming we 'owed' her compensation. Downtime for which we were not responsible and for which we had absolutely no control. Then, in the interest of good customer relations, when I got her full cpanel fee refunded, she didnt have the courtesy to acknowledge my communication. I had gone above and beyond and bent over backwards to help get her back online. I had spent hours of my personal unpaid time to help her. I had gone to bat for her with Mr Lyon and gotten a FULL refund of her cpanel payment, even though she was offline less than 24 hours total. I waited 5 days and sent another email asking if she had received my first one. Only then did she offhandedly say 'oh i thought i had responded, thanks'.

    I was offended and I let it color my future responses to her. I was wrong and I apologize.

    As to her refund, Mr Lyon can address it specifically. But, she received a FULL refund for ALL of her unused service period.

    I will not get into a mud slinging contest and debate each of her claims. There was (and is) clearly a personality conflict between us and I handled my side poorly.

    Regards,
    John Blazek
    Auroralink Communications
    Shell & Web Hosting
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  16. #16
    I waited 5 days and sent another email asking if she had received my first one. Only then did she offhandedly say 'oh i thought i had responded, thanks'.
    this is ACTUALLY what I wrote to him

    I am very sorry. I thought that I had responded. Thank you very much for the
    credit to our account. I truely appreciate your efforts.
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: <[email protected]>
    To: "Jennifer ****" <***@****>
    Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2005 10:38 AM
    Subject: Re: [#12507] cpanel issue urgent # 2


    > Jennifer,
    >
    > Did you receive my communications from 5 days ago?
    >
    > Regards,
    > --
    > John ****, Technical Support
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  17. #17
    Join Date
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    Re: edit took longer than 15 minutes. board would not allow saved edit.

    Originally posted by DiverGuy
    I'm not sure how to respond. In fact, I'm not even sure I should respond.

    First of all, I was unprofessional and I apologize to everyone for that.
    I would like to aplaud you for owning up to that publicly. That takes a lot of guts.

    Not to belittle this, but I think the thing we are most interested in is Mr. Lyon's immediate cancelation of her server. Expecailly as the client was not provided (as she says, feel free to prove otherwise) a TOS/AUP stating any cancelation "at will" was possible. I personally feel that even with the worst of clients, such action is reckless, and does not speak well for one's company.

    I would be very interested in hearing Mr. Lyon's side of this story when he returns on Tuesday, and why he felt this individual deserved such measures taken against them.

    Keep in mind, I am not badgering your business, but only asking what I believe, the sensable questions would be here, and giving ample opertunity for Blacklotus to respond to, what I feel, are the most problematic parts of this situation.
    Jacob - WebOnce Technologies - 30 Day 100% Satisfaction Guarantee - Over 5 Years Going Strong!
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  18. #18
    The point at which I finally lost my patience with her was when she demanded we compensate her for cpanel down time, claming we 'owed' her compensation. Downtime for which we were not responsible and for which we had absolutely no control.
    I would think that this being yur choice to pick the CPanel vendor that you are responsible for all the down time. You are offering the license you are responsible for issues caused due to maintaining a activiating license.
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  19. #19
    Sir,

    I trust that you also noticed that I spent many hours, on the phone and via email, contacting net-sentry, nr-software and cpanel to get this issue resolved. We were not responsible for the downtime, but we made every effort to get the license reactivated.

    We are not a cpanel reseller, we obtain the cpanel licenses from our vendor as a courtesy to our customers.

    The vendor we were using, Net-Sentry, was supposed to transfer all the licenses to NR-Software on our behalf. Per communications with NR-Software and Net-Sentry we assumed this had happened smoothly.

    As several months had gone by, with no license deactivations, it seemed reasonable to assume that everything had been transferred as planned. We assumed incorrectly.

    At this point I do not know who dropped the ball and honestly, I do not think it would serve any good purpose to attempt discovery or place blame. The customer was offline less than 24 hours and was given a 100% refund for the entire month of cpanel service. Then Cpanel allowed the 15 day temporary license to expire while they were processing NR-Software's application for license transfers. Like the customer, we were under the impression that everything had been taken care of.

    We were told it was being taken care of, we passed that information on to the customer.

    Could I have checked the cpanel website to see if it was still a temporary license? Certainly. But, the customer also knew it was a temporary license and could have checked herself.

    The point is, neither of us should have had to check to see if the temporary license had been converted.
    Last edited by DiverGuy; 07-03-2005 at 01:42 AM.
    John Blazek
    Auroralink Communications
    Shell & Web Hosting
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  20. #20
    I think the point he was trying to drive home was that regardless of which vendor you use for CPanel licensing for whatever reason, the responsibility is squarely on YOUR shoulders to check when necessary, fix when necessary, follow-up when necessary and take responsibility when necessary. We all have to. Insinuating the customer has some level of responsibility to double check your work shows me a mindset looking for an excuse.

    This isn't meant as a swing at you personally or the company either. It is just a fact of life in this business that you must support and take ownership of whatever it is you offer. And the fact that CPanel is/was provided as a courtesy is very much irrelevant.

    Remember, these customers entrust us with their business. Plain and simple. A lot of hosting companies are forgetting this fact more and more and it's sad to see this trend developing. If we just valued them as much as they valued their own business, this sort of thread would never need to surface.
    Last edited by AQORN-Adam; 07-03-2005 at 01:59 AM.
    Adam Lawson - AQORN
    OpenStack Professional Services. Commercial Support. Open-Source Cloud Management
    Official OpenStack Foundation Member & Corporate Sponsor
    Our Clients: AT&T | Cisco | Juniper | SAP | Autodesk | SUSE | Ubuntu
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  21. #21
    Join Date
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    Just a note, please read 'you' and 'your' as 'your company'. Writing 'your company' all instances would seem excessive and wordy.

    Originally posted by DiverGuy
    Sir,

    I trust that you also noticed that I spent many hours, on the phone and via email, contacting net-sentry, nr-software and cpanel to get this issue resolved. We were not responsible for the downtime, but we made every effort to get the license reactivated.

    We are not a cpanel reseller, we obtain the cpanel licenses from our vendor as a courtesy to our customers.

    The vendor we were using, Net-Sentry, was supposed to transfer all the licenses to NR-Software on our behalf. Per communications with NR-Software and Net-Sentry we assumed this had happened smoothly.

    As several months had gone by, with no license deactivations, it seemed reasonable to assume that everything had been transferred as planned. We assumed incorrectly.
    If this was a managed server, IMHO, you are paid to verify, and not assume.

    If I ran like that my clients would run like the wind, and I would agree with it.

    If you get no notifications of downed services in 5 days, do you 'assume' your notification software is running and 'assume' the servers are fine?

    Though I guess, if you like to assume, that's fine. I'd rather verify things, as our clients and their businesses are important to us. To each their own, I guess.


    Could I have checked the cpanel website to see if it was still a temporary license? Certainly. But, the customer also knew it was a temporary license and could have checked herself.

    The point is, neither of us should have had to check to see if the temporary license had been converted.
    Incorrect. Your company initiated the change of holders/providers, so it was your responsibility to verify the transfer was completed successfully, not to assume. The customer bought a cPanel dedicated server from you. Why again is it not your fault at all?
    Jacob - WebOnce Technologies - 30 Day 100% Satisfaction Guarantee - Over 5 Years Going Strong!
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  22. #22
    I think, at this point, this is getting petty and has strayed from the original point.

    The point of my post was to accept responsibility for my conduct in communicating with her, which I have done.

    Every time I am asked to address or explain a specific point, it will end up diluting my apology further and further.

    Therefore, I will not submit another post after this one.

    ***
    To your questions:

    No, it was NOT a managed server. We were not getting paid to manage or maintain her server or its software.

    As to our 'responsibility' for the license going down, I think we are quibbling about symantics:

    I agree, even if we are only 'passing it through at cost', we are under an obligation to be 'reasonable and prudent' in conducting the transaction. We are responsible to pick a reputable and reliable vendor. We are responsible for submitting the license requests promptly and for following up to make sure that the license gets activated. And, if we fail to do the above, we are directly responsible for any consequences.

    However, I believe we were both reasonable and prudent.

    We chose a reliable vendor. We got her license activated. She was using it, which confirmed that it was activated. Then, our vendor elected to transfer the licenses to another vendor. (I said 'on our behalf' meaning 'in our name', I did not say we initiated the transfers) We communicated with both of those vendors and were given to understand that everything was okay.

    Clearly something went wrong or the licenses would not have been deactivated. (Yes, plural. Cpanel on our webserver also was offline, actually for a longer period than hers, because I was more focused on getting her back online. And, another client, who didnt even submit a ticket, was also delicensed).

    Hindsight is 20/20 and I am sure that we could all find a solution today which would have prevented this problem yesterday (figuratively). But, at the time, we did everything that was reasonable, short of going to the vendor(s) in person and demanding to see the paperwork. So, in that context, I still maintain that we were not 'responsible' .. or if you prefer ' at fault' for her cpanel license being deactivated. There was no 'direct' action or failure on our part which resulted in her license being deactivated.

    But, yes, in an abstract way, the buck stops here, and we bear the responsibility rather than pass the blame. So, we did step up to the plate. We got the license restored and we gave her 100% refund for less than 24 hours downtime. I would say that is accepting responsibility.

    My initial point was that I was annoyed that she demanded a refund for something that was out of our control and for which I had spent hours of my personal time solving, and then she blew me off when I told her about the full refund.

    Yes, I was wrong to be annoyed and I have apologized for it. I should not have taken it personally.

    As to my reference about her being able to check the cpanel website:

    I didn't say that in order to imply it was not our responsibility. I mentioned it because: IF it was that obvious that I should have checked the status at cpanel's website, then (as a providor for her clients) it should have been obvious to her as well. Since she is a reseller herself, and not an end user. And, no that doesnt change our responsibility, but, as a vendor, she has no more right to claim 'I didnt know' than BLC does. If one of her customer's was on this forum slamming her, the same reasoning which holds BLC 'responsible' would apply to her, as a vendor, with respect to her customers. They would have expected her to 'do what was necessary' to prevent the license from being deactivated. And she would claim, as she is doing, that she did what was reasonable and believe what she was told. The license was deactivated through no direct 'fault' of hers, but her clients might see it otherwise.

    The point is that, at the time, it was NOT obvious. It was not obvious to her and it was not obvious to us.

    I was not suggesting she should have checked, I was suggesting that neither of us had any reason to check. If I was unclear, then I apologize.

    ***
    Again, I will not reply to any further posts, as I believe that any further replies would only be quibbling and not serve any constructive purpose.

    ***
    In closing, I regret the way things turned out.
    I am sorry for my conduct in communicating with her.
    I was wrong.
    The customer should always be right, and I let my personal feelings get in the way of professional conduct.


    Regards,
    Last edited by DiverGuy; 07-03-2005 at 03:37 AM.
    John Blazek
    Auroralink Communications
    Shell & Web Hosting
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  23. #23
    Join Date
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    Location
    Lansing, MI, USA
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    1,548
    Just as a preface, this response is taking the whole response in consideration.

    Originally posted by DiverGuy
    I think, at this point, this is getting petty and has strayed from the original point.

    The point of my post was to accept responsibility for my conduct in communicating with her, which I have done.

    Every time I am asked to address or explain a specific point, it will end up diluting my apology further and further.

    Therefore, I will not submit another post after this one.
    I did not mean to dilute your apology, and if you feel I have done so, I am sorry myself. That was very big of you, and I hope when (yes, when. In this industry, everyone is bound to make a mistake once or twice, if not daily...) I am in the same situation, I am able to do the same.

    No, it was NOT a managed server. We were not getting paid to manage or maintain her server or its software.
    Ok, then I can say you've probably gone well above and beyond on this. On an unmanaged server you can, really, only put in so much time. I would have assumed (with the way the OP was handling things) that this was a managed server. As an unmanaged, you (the customer) have to realize that your paying them to rent the server and the bandwidth. Anything beyond reboots you should generally be overjoyed about. There are circumstances where this wouldn't apply though... se below.


    As to our 'responsibility' for the license going down, I think we are quibbling about symantics:

    I agree, even if we are only 'passing it through at cost', we are under an obligation to be 'reasonable and prudent' in conducting the transaction. We are responsible to pick a reputable and reliable vendor. We are responsible to submit the license requests promptly and to follow up to make sure that the license gets activated. And, if we fail to do the above, we are directly responsible for any consequences.

    However, I believe we were both reasonable and prudent.
    Was it made clear to the client that you were merely acting as a 'pass through' and had no direct relationship with cPanel to handle these issues if they arose? If so, then I can entirely agree with the above. Though if you are doing this regularly, and have more than 10 cPanel servers, it really may be in your best interest to become a cPanel partner to prevent these issues from arising in the future.


    We chose a reliable vendor. We got her license activated. She was using it, which confirmed that it was activated. Then, our vendor elected to transfer the licenses to another vendor. (I said 'on our behalf' meaning 'in our name', I did not say we initiated the transfers) We communicated with both of those vendors and were given to understand that everything was okay.

    Clearly something went wrong or the licenses would not have been deactivated. (Yes, plural. Cpanel on our webserver also was offline, actually for a longer period than hers, because I was more focused on getting her back online. And, another client, who didnt even submit a ticket, was also delicensed).
    To be honest, this is moot. Granted this depends upon the comment above, but the cPanel license for any other server than hers means exactly nil to her. But I can appreciate the added frustration this would cause, and can see how this would build into the events that sparked the creation of this thread.


    Hindsight is 20/20 and I am sure that we could all find a solution today which would have prevented this problem yesterday (figuratively). But, at the time, we did everything that was reasonable, short of going to the vendor(s) in person and demanding to see the paperwork. So, in that context, I still maintain that we were not 'responsible' .. or if you prefer ' at fault' for her cpanel license being deactivated. There was no 'direct' action or failure on our part which resulted in her license being deactivated.
    Was the entire situation (or enough feesably possible) explained? I'm not really wanting a reply on this, just something to think of. People tend to be a lot more reasonable when they know what's going on. It's a matter of being able to be accountable to your customers. If your cPanel license vendor(s) had simply given you the run around about the license, would you not feel the same way towards them? Communication is a very powerful thing, and it's easy to forget that.


    But, yes, in an abstract way, the buck stops here, and we bear the responsibility rather than pass the blame. So, we did step up to the plate. We got the license restored and we gave her 100% refund for less than 24 hours downtime. I would say that is accepting responsibility.
    That was very nice of you, and very smart. It wasn't so mucht hat it was down that time, it was that it was down the third time, and while not in your control, which I can completely sympathize with, I think everyone here would agree that was a great thing to do for compensation, and honestly, not too overboard. Perhaps you should have gotten the same out of your license vendor?


    My initial point was that I was annoyed that she demanded a refund for something that was out of our control and for which I had spent hours of my personal time solving, and then she blew me off when I told her about the full refund.

    Yes, I was wrong to be annoyed and I have apologized for it. I should not have taken it personally.
    Welcome to the Internet You were not wrong to be annoyed, but it was improper to actually vent that to the customer. But it happens from time to time, so don't beat yourself up for it too long. You've apologized, and if I have missed her acceptance of that, then I apologize, but it's time for it to come I believe. Apologies and acceptances of such cannot change the past, but they can mend the future.


    As to my reference about her being able to check the cpanel website:

    I didn't say that in order to imply it was not our responsibility. I mentioned it because: IF it was that obvious that I should have checked the status at cpanel's website, then (as a providor for her clients) it should have been obvious to her as well. Since she is a reseller herself, and not an end user. And, no that doesnt change our responsibility, but, as a vendor, she has no more right to claim 'I didnt know' than BLC does. If one of her customer's was on this forum slamming her, the same reasoning which holds BLC 'responsible' would apply to her, as a vendor, with respect to her customers. They would have expected her to 'do what was necessary' to prevent the license from being deactivated. And she would claim, as she is doing, that she did what was reasonable and believe what she was told. The license was deactivated through no direct 'fault' of hers, but her clients might see it otherwise.

    The point is that, at the time, it was NOT obvious. It was not obvious to her and it was not obvious to us.

    I was not suggesting she should have checked, I was suggesting that neither of us had any reason to check. If I was unclear, then I apologize.
    Entrely understanable... it just sounded (to me) a little like someone saying 'If they'd done my job! None of this would have happened!' But I can agree that, as an unmanaged server, accepting a known(?) pass-through service, that she could have 'possibly' taken some initiative, as it was aparently 'that' imperative for cPanel to function. I know I would have, and as an unmanaged dedicated customer, I have. Though in those situations it was never needed for me to do so, but I did so anyway, just to be able to tell my clients I had done so incase something had gone wrong.

    I don't believe we are trying to beat you up over this. As I said before, everyone makes mistakes and nothing on this board (or anywhere online, or in business) should be taken personally. If you felt anything I said was an attack on you, then please, just ignore that portion.

    The only real thing I am concerned about, and would, as a potential client (we lease dedicated servers at the moment for our dedicated clients,) possibly deter me from your company in this thread, would be in reguards to the server cancelation, but you can not address that properly, as that was not your action.

    Really, relax, calm down, don't let us WHT users stress you out or anything. It's like the tabloids... everything seems extreme and very important, but for the most part the board can be taken with a grain of salt. You've recognized the problem (which alone is more than SOME hosts do here), and you've apologized for what you felt you had done inappropriately. Go have a beer or whatever you enjoy.

    Will be looking forward to hopefully hearing from Mr. Lyons after this fine holiday we're having over here. Have a great weekend yourself, and just remember, when customers make you mad, just let that fuel your fire to satisfy them.
    Jacob - WebOnce Technologies - 30 Day 100% Satisfaction Guarantee - Over 5 Years Going Strong!
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  24. #24
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    42
    I think that after reading this whole thread that I would have no problem doing business with Black Lotus.

    It seems like John is very in-touch with his behavior, fair, and articulate and although some mistakes were made, it seems like all parties involved have learned from it.

    The *only* issue that makes me think twice is the sudden termination of the server. That's kind of like homicide in the dedicated server business. It makes me shudder thinking about it.

    Good luck with your next host, Jennifer.
    And John, I think you have handled yourself well and there probably isnt anything else to worry about.

    Thanks for the very interesting thread. It was a cool sneak peak into the provider-customer dynamic.
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  25. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Zurich, Switzerland
    Posts
    770
    Well Jennifer seems to be 100% right on one point: the TOS. When she said there is no link to a TOS on the website, I went checking it and found it to be true. I went further, downloaded and opened their official order form and found the TOS URL there: http://www.blacklotus.net/tos/ --- well you don't need to click on it because all it says is "Under construction."
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  26. #26
    Originally posted by jennifer2
    Yes, flameboy, I think at the point where this was the third time that this happend in a month with no warning I did demand that it be fixed as the second outage had lasted 21 hours and at the end of that ticket I was assured that the real liscence would be in effect from that point on. Therefore, I was under the assumption that the company had taken care of it on their end. It was greatly effecting my small business.

    I do not feel that I was rude, I was very understanding when things were explained and the subject was dropped and the ticket closed. After that is where their employee allowed his person feelings to overshow the professional job he needed to do. As a paying customer I expect that things will work or be fixed quickly if possible.
    Ok for the record i am jennifers business partner and i just wanted to also mention that blacklotus also is has left out our 18 hour down time the week before we even had the cpanel issue ...so iam sorry if her or my words came across a little harse fror you... and @ that point i think a customer is intilted to demand that what they are paying for be working properly...And all this talk about "sugar coating her caster oil" the only thing i have to say about that is...if the server was free then i would ask please with sugar on top or get to it when you have time no hurry...but it wasn't free we were paying customers that in my opion got the short end of the stick in every way that you people @ blacklotus could think of all the way down to the last stands of only giving us 12 hrs to get all our client back ups tothe run around about refunds.. I am just thankful to actually not have to deal with your company again...God i miss compaies like Dinix
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  27. #27

    Re: edit took longer than 15 minutes. board would not allow saved edit.

    Originally posted by DiverGuy

    The point at which I finally lost my patience with her was when she demanded we compensate her for cpanel down time, claming we 'owed' her compensation. Downtime for which we were not responsible and for which we had absolutely no control.
    See this is where i feel you are wrong it in fact was your RESPONSIBLITY because we purchased our cpanel lisense thru blacklotus .. that's like saying that if i went to go get a oil change and they forgot to add the oil and my engine was deystroyed then the company saying it's not there fault..i mean come on we paid you for a service that that all of a sudden was gone 3 times in one month??? we NEVER once had a problem like that with dinix ..... god i miss dinix#2
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  28. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Posts
    4,974
    Dinix has gone down the hill too. Perhaps you can check out liquidweb / sagonet / cyberwurx, they are pretty top notch
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  29. #29
    Originally posted by DiverGuy
    We were not responsible for the downtime, but we made every effort to get the license reactivated.

    We are not a cpanel reseller, we obtain the cpanel licenses from our vendor as a courtesy to our customers.

    the fact remains that we paid blacklotus for this service not your vendor therefore OUR downtime falls on darklotus...if we paid your vendor direct then it would be there's and so on....i don't think DriverGuy understands this...if you recieve money for a service then you are reponsible for maintaining it, and if you continue on your stance with "We were not responsible for the downtime" then blcklotus costomers BEWARE because it sounds like they will make up rules as they go along..I don't know that might just be my personal experience
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  30. #30
    Originally posted by MrManager
    Remember, these customers entrust us with their business. Plain and simple. A lot of hosting companies are forgetting this fact more and more and it's sad to see this trend developing. If we just valued them as much as they valued their own business, this sort of thread would never need to surface.
    I agree 100% and companies with this mind set will go far even if they have high nunber of outages... I almost feel in some of the replies that we recieved from blacklotus that they were actually scolding us for being upset for services we paid for not being avalible to us and our clients, and that is no way to treat customer or run a business
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  31. #31
    Originally posted by DiverGuy
    Every time I am asked to address or explain a specific point, it will end up diluting my apology further and further.
    my response to this comment...Jennifer might except you apology I on the other hand will not for the reasons that blacklotus (in my personal experience) in the last month did everything to belittle us with there under tone digs and telling us there personal feelings about us in support tickets (that had been closed for 24+ hrs and reopened for this sole purpose), terminating us because we told them we would be leaving before the next billing cycle, telling us we had 24 hrs to get all out data and actually shutting off the server within 12 causing data loss and finally giving us the damn run around about a refund that you your company knew was due to us 2 days prior to this thread.. Oh and the $30 deduction was cute too!!!
    Last edited by Dr Pepper; 07-03-2005 at 07:49 AM.
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  32. #32

    Re: Re: edit took longer than 15 minutes. board would not allow saved edit.

    Originally posted by Dr Pepper
    See this is where i feel you are wrong it in fact was your RESPONSIBLITY because we purchased our cpanel lisense thru blacklotus .. that's like saying that if i went to go get a oil change and they forgot to add the oil and my engine was deystroyed then the company saying it's not there fault..i mean come on we paid you for a service that that all of a sudden was gone 3 times in one month??? we NEVER once had a problem like that with dinix ..... god i miss dinix#2
    yeah i actually ment Dinix prior to the change over.... the A+ Dinix
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  33. #33
    reading through this, i do feel that Jennifer and Dr Pepper have being screwed over badly. I just hope that i won't be put in this position myself
    ozdoc.com
    Taiwan independence!!!
    Go Sydney Swans!!!
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  34. #34
    I personally was shocked to see John take responsibility for some of the issues. That is more then I got the several times that I asked about it. I knew he was personally attacking me, but he refused to just say the words. It would have gone a long way to smoothing things over on my end.

    Point of fact even YESTERDAY he still denied saying or doing anything inappropriate to me. This was the type of behavior that led me to post here. This is a copy of his email to me just yesterday.



    I got this reply from their tech who was very nice


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dear Jennifer,
    Unfortunately, Mr Lyon is out of town until Tuesday.
    The only other person who has any access to the PayPal system is Mr **** and you have specifically requested that he not communicate with you in any way.
    I will assign this ticket to Mr Lyon and he will respond upon his return Tuesday.
    Thanks,
    --
    **** *****, Technical Support
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    I then replied



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tuesday is far too long to wait for my refund. I am sure that you could
    contact mr john ****** and ask him to issue the refund. Please let me know.Thank
    you.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    He then again nicely wrote back



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    jennifer,

    I am very sorry.
    I understand your situation.

    However, Mr **** has been forbidden to have anything to do with your account. This was
    per your request.
    We will attemt to get in contact with Mr Lyon but he is out of town for the holiday.

    Thanks,
    --
    **** ***, Technical Support
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    I then was frustrated and wrote this reply




    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I understand what you are saying however. My request was to not have to work
    with Mr **** as a client. I am no longer a client and it is irrelivent who
    issues me a refund.I MUST have my money returned to me today. I do not have
    to have much interaction with him for him to issue the refund. I was told on
    Thursday night that I was going to be disconnected and have a refund
    issued. I HAVE to have this money in my paypal tonight. I suggest that
    somene at the company simply issue the refund .Since I am no longer a real
    client I see no reason that Mr. *** cannot push the button to send my
    money back! It is bad enough that your company disconnected us 12 hours
    early and cause us to lose data but now to get the run around about the
    refund that is rightfully mine is more then enough. I simply ask once again
    that it be issued to my paypal account of ***@****** Thank
    you in advance, I will wait for your reply that my refund is coming today.
    Best Regards,Jennifer
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    Then John wrote back to me with this very out of line email


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jennifer,

    Now you have gone entirely too far. Insulting my technicians is unacceptable and I expect an apology from you for Mr ****.

    You specifically requested I not contact you.
    Mr Lyon specifically instructed me to have nothing to do with your account.

    I am trying to honor that request, but I will not stand by while you insult my technicians.

    As for the 24 hours, we have no control over when staminus formats a drive. You were told you 'might' have 24 hours but that
    you should hurry and use the time wisely.

    I have no access to issue refunds via paypal and I have no idea what amount Mr Lyon intends to refund.

    Please do not communicate with us again except to apologize to Mr ****.

    Mr Lyon will be in contact with you by Tuesday.

    Have a nice weekend.

    Regards,
    --
    John ****, Technical Support
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    I find it outrageous that he demands that I apologise to a man whom I never even insulted but
    he cannot apologise to me for openly attacking me.

    I replied with



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I have read over my last reply and I have written nothing insulting your
    tech. I did not even insult your company openly. As for apoplogys you owed
    me one days ago. I will not contact this company again.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    John then replied with this


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jennifer,

    I have read over my ticket from days ago and I do not see where I insulted you openly.

    Even still, I was unable to issue an apology, you forbade my communication.

    Mr Lyon will be in contact.

    I trust you will honor your word and not reply.

    Regards,
    --
    John ****, Technical Support


    Now had he made the effort to apologise at any point things might have gone better. The fact is he wouldn't and then Jeff explained that we would not be able to get the support we needed when we needed it is John was the only tech manager there. This of course was a big factor in our need to move elsewhere. We all know that having quick tech support is vital to a business. I gave my notice and expected that we could simply work through the next few weeks until the billing cycle was over. They chose to disconnect us 12 hours later. That is wrong in anyones eyes.


    At any rate, I was pleased to see John take responsibility here for how he handled things and I at this time do accept his apology. I think making a public apology is hard to do and he did it so, Thank you.
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  35. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    In My Own World
    Posts
    972
    Originally posted by MrManager
    I think the point he was trying to drive home was that regardless of which vendor you use for CPanel licensing for whatever reason, the responsibility is squarely on YOUR shoulders to check when necessary, fix when necessary, follow-up when necessary and take responsibility when necessary. We all have to. Insinuating the customer has some level of responsibility to double check your work shows me a mindset looking for an excuse.
    Correct. If you are providing the service then *you* have to be accountable to that customer, no matter who else above you dropped the ball.

    Actually, you should not even be placing blame on anyone else.

    Tracy Phillips
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  36. #36
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Richmond, Va
    Posts
    386
    Originally posted by DiverGuy

    For the record, the cpanel issue was as much of a suprise to us as it was to her. We had no idea that our vendor had not properly transferred the licenses.
    Regards,
    Originally posted by DiverGuy

    The vendor we were using, Net-Sentry

    Say what ???

    Black Lotus = Net Sentry


    http://www.net-sentry.net/company/news/

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Shaun Gregory
    Net Sentry Corp, LLC
    V: (804) 723-3813
    F: (877) 840-7671
    [email protected]
    http://www.net-sentry.net
    http://www.blacklotus.net

    Black Lotus Communications Corporation has been acquired by Net Sentry Corp, LLC.

    Richmond, VA, June 24th, 2004 - Net Sentry Corp, LLC has acquired Black Lotus Communications Corp (both incorporated under the laws of Delaware) in a six-figure buyout which commenced on Tuesday, June 22nd.

    Jeffrey A. Lyon ([email protected]) has resigned from BLCC's Board of Directors and accepted a position as VP of Sales and Marketing at NSC.
      0 Not allowed!

  37. #37
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    5,512
    Black Lotus was seperated from Net Sentry several months ago and re-incorporated into The IRC Company, Inc.
      0 Not allowed!

  38. #38
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Richmond, Va
    Posts
    386
    Originally posted by IRCCo Jeff
    Black Lotus was seperated from Net Sentry several months ago and re-incorporated into The IRC Company, Inc.
    Looks like one big happy family to me....

    http://www.auroralink.net/company/tos/

    "IMPORTANT NOTICE: *All Payments To The IRC Company, Inc Are Non-Refundable*

    The IRC Company, Inc ("The Company") agrees to furnish services to the Subscriber, subject to the following TOS (Terms of Service)."

    "17. Indemnification: The IRC Company, Inc wishes to emphasize that in agreeing to the The IRC Company, Inc Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and Terms of Service (ToS), customer indemnifies The IRC Company, Inc for any violation of the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and Terms of Service (ToS) that results in loss to Net Sentry Corp, Inc , Inc or the bringing of any claim against The IRC Company, Inc by any third-party. This means that if The IRC Company, Inc is sued because of a customer's or a customer of a customer's activity, the customer will pay any damages awarded against The IRC Company, Inc, plus all costs and attorney's fees."
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  39. #39
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    5,084
    Ok Jennifer, you had some valid points notwitstanding that a cpanel error does NOT equal server downtime, yes it affects your business as you cannot take new signups or change account properties but it doesn't = downtime.

    Also, John did apologize so stop trying to present forensic evidence. The Blacklotus error seems to me to be sudden termination and if you are to be believed also some portion of your fee to be refunded.

    I commend John on apologizing publicly, perhaps he should have done so before but the point is moot. He didnt before he did now.

    Jeff will address it I am sure.
    André Allen | E: aallen(a)linovus.ca
    Linovus Holdings Inc
    Shared Hosting, Reseller Hosting, VPS, Dedicated Servers & Public Cloud | USA, Canada & UK - 24x7x365 Support
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  40. #40
    Thank you for pointing out the typo on the website. I will have that fixed immediately.

    As was stated above, Net-Sentry is not related to Black Lotus Communications which is a dba under The IRC Company, Inc.

    Regards
    Last edited by DiverGuy; 07-03-2005 at 01:02 PM.
    John Blazek
    Auroralink Communications
    Shell & Web Hosting
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