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  #1  
Old 10-27-2006, 03:31 PM
Detritus Detritus is offline
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UKHost4U


I've been using them to host a site for a few years now and have occasionally had to deal with their snotty support staff. Well, earlier in the week the site account was suspended with a page instructing the owner to contact them.
I promptly emailed them asking them what the problem was only to be told that one of the scripts being used was subject to an attack that keeps crashing the server. I have to fix it or they'll reset the account, deleting all the databases too no doubt.
So my first reply:
Quote:
Hi Scott,
Is there any information you can provide me with so I can find the problem? There are a number of things that can cause this and I don't have the time to update all the scripts on the site and the last thing I need is the account resetting. Do you not have a log of the attack?
I thought this was a reasonable request. The reply I received was a little unexpected:

Quote:
Dear Steven,

I'm afraid unless you can make time to upgrade your scripts your account will remain suspended. Please take in to consideration you are sharing a server with other people, and your lack of enthuasism to upgrade your scripts only annoys us, and the other customers.

Because you 'don't have time' to upgrade your scripts other customers have suffered because of this. Your account took the server down and caused us and these other customer problems. Just so you have an idea - there are around 150 accounts per server. This means you took down 149 other peoples websites and we had to answer to there complaints.

Unless you can assure me you will do something about this i am not willing to do anything for you,

I do not have any of the technicians reports on what part of your account caused the problems but upgrading the forum, and the blog software would have been my first port of call,

Regards,

Scott Niven
Business Supervisor
This reply has annoyed me off. So my replay:

Quote:
Scott,
I never indicated that I was unwilling, only that the genuine constraints on my time are such that some information from any logs you have would have allowed me to specifically focus on and resolve the problem quickly. This, I feel, was a reasonable request of 'customer services'.

I have found your reply to be somewhat patronising, abrasive in tone and certainly unhelpful. I am more than aware of the problems that this has caused and if you care to re-read my previous email and tell me specifically where I stated that I am unwilling to fix the problem?

You have a right to be 'annoyed' if there is any evidence to the fact that malice on my part was involved that caused the initial problem. But it's clearly obvious that the problem has suddenly occurred with a script that has been running without any issues arising for the best part of two years.

I don't have the time to deal with you right now, if you can reactivate or at least give me some kind of access to the damned thing so I can sort it out, that would at least be a start. I am currently unable to access the site via the control panel or FTP so can't fix anything.

Steve
This was soon responded to by a different member of staff.

Quote:
Dear Customer,

I think a full reset on the account would be the best option. We will not unsuspend this site on the basis that it has already crashed the server.

Regards,

Paul Kirk
Business Supervisor
My last response so far:
Quote:
Paul,
I disagree with your opinion on deleting the site. I have put a lot of hours into this site over the years and I'm quite sure there is a resolve to this that doesn't involve such drastic action. I have no recent backup so would loose a lot of important data.

This feels more like an embittered response to my previous mail. I truly hope it isn't, I would expect a much higher level of professionalism. Even after the 'service' I've received so far. If you don't like aggressive emails then I suggest you ensure your colleagues don't 'dish them out' in the first place.

I'll restate my request. If you could get a copy of the technicians report, the issue can be resolved promptly. If a script has vulnerabilities or is conflicting with a recent upgrade of yours then it is easily remedied.

Steve



Now I'm wondering where I stand in regards to the site content. I'd have assumed that this was my intellectual property and not theirs to delete as they feel. They seem to leave their right to do this quite open on their T&C's but surely that doesn't over-rule my right to my property?

Does anyone have any experience with this type of matter?



Cheers
Steve

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  #2  
Old 10-27-2006, 03:46 PM
W4 Hosting W4 Hosting is offline
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Steve, UKHost4U seem to put blame on for Server crash with out any evidences of an issue, I have forgot update many scripts that could be attack,. It was ok to suspended site until issue was resolve.

One think got me is without your permission, they have deleted your files or they did not even backup your accounts.

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  #3  
Old 10-27-2006, 03:49 PM
sgarbus sgarbus is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Buffalo, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W4 Hosting
One think got me is without your permission, they have deleted your files or they did not even backup your accounts.
If I understood that correctly, I agree. From their responses, it sounds like they don't even have your files anymore.

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  #4  
Old 11-06-2006, 08:52 AM
niven niven is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 6
First of all, please allow me to explain this situation fully as it was myself that dealt with this gentleman when he submitted his support ticket.

After explaining what had happened and why his account was suspended we offered to remove the suspension so he could update his forum software and another script that were both considerably out of date(anyone who can follow a video guide from milw0rm could have taken his website down) - both of the required updates are one click upgrades through fantastico.

Although he was quite willing to post the reply's from the tickets he missed out the one that asked him to upgrade the scripts. After he said, and i quote ' I do not have the time ' i said until he could make the time i was refusing to remove the suspension. The original suspension was due to MySQL connections not closing properly which was overloading the MySQL service on the server.

Just another note - at no point did we refuse to give a backup of the website or threaten to delete his files. We do keep backups on the server should anything go wrong but when a website is suspended it adds a htaccess file which blocks the site from being viewed.

As anyone in the line of work can appreciate - people that refuse blatently to help you, or themselves don't really care about the inner workings of the server and are usually the first people to complain should anything else go wrong with the service. I do still stick by my original emails and feel that if this gentlemann had taking the advice in the ((missing email)) this issue would have been resolved the same day - he had plenty time to email back and forth but not enough time to log in to his control panel and click two upgrade buttons.

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  #5  
Old 11-06-2006, 09:00 AM
Segey Segey is offline
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Posts: 124
As I see the situation, Detritus has no one to blame, it's client's responsibility and duty to upgrade scripts.

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  #6  
Old 11-06-2006, 09:27 AM
niven niven is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 6
Segey

Glad to see someone else agree's. Its becoming too easy for normal people to hack and exploit websites, especially if old versions of software are left active.

A simple google search can bring back a fully detailed video of how to exploit someones website through SQL Injection or XSS. Unless people keep up to date with software upgrades then they will leave themselves vulnerable to these exploits.

It only takes 5/10 mins a week to check with the software designer and implement an update if necessary. Fantastico is even easier as it checks for you.

Anyway - I think i've made my point now lol - Rant Over

vbmenu_register("postmenu_4198251", true);

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  #7  
Old 11-06-2006, 10:40 AM
dannyy dannyy is offline
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niven, I think you've done everything right. If the client "doesn't have time" to upgrade his script he must be punished so as you've done it.

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  #8  
Old 11-06-2006, 11:22 AM
Darph Bobo Darph Bobo is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyy
niven, I think you've done everything right. If the client "doesn't have time" to upgrade his script he must be punished so as you've done it.

I hardly think it is a host's job to 'punish' their customer.

If this gentleman was, in fact, unwilling to upgrade his scripts at that time, then they have no reason to unsuspend his account until he has time. That is not punishment (or it should not be), that is simply taking care of the server and the other clients on it.

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  #9  
Old 11-06-2006, 11:28 AM
xperience xperience is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 194
ditto - customer at fault here.

Why do people want the earth for a few dollars a month!?

I bet he'll monitor his scripts more closely if he had a dedicated server.

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  #10  
Old 11-07-2006, 03:09 PM
Detritus Detritus is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by niven
...After explaining what had happened and why his account was suspended we offered to remove the suspension so he could update his forum software and another script that were both considerably out of date(anyone who can follow a video guide from milw0rm could have taken his website down) - both of the required updates are one click upgrades through fantastico.
Firstly, can I make you aware that I am in no way a pro when it comes to implementing and maintaining scripts. What you would most likely consider a 5 minute job would most likely take me a good few hours. One look at the coding on the site would tell you that
And anyway, I suspect the problem is with a dodgy old script on the site not installed/upgradable via fantastico. One Iím happy to delete if only I had access.

Quote:
Although he was quite willing to post the reply's from the tickets he missed out the one that asked him to upgrade the scripts. After he said, and i quote ' I do not have the time ' i said until he could make the time i was refusing to remove the suspension. The original suspension was due to MySQL connections not closing properly which was overloading the MySQL service on the server.
So far in two paragraphs you've told the people on this forum more than you told me over a number of emails, even after directly requesting it. The first mail I omitted I outlined at the beginning of the post as I feel nothing unreasonable was requested or stated.
If you reread my post and not take my quote out of context (like a true tabloid journalist), I said
Quote:
...I don't have the time to update all the scripts on the site and the last thing I need is the account resetting
. Twisting what I say to gain support is really quite childish.

Just to clarify, I did not refuse to upgrade but requested a little direction, y'know 'customer support'. I was never offended or objectionable as to what I was asked to do. Only the tone of the reply making me feel like a malicious petulant child.

Quote:
Just another note - at no point did we refuse to give a backup of the website or threaten to delete his files. We do keep backups on the server should anything go wrong but when a website is suspended it adds a htaccess file which blocks the site from being viewed.
At no point did you indicate to me that a "full reset of the account" would mean my files are still available to me. I would suggest you note how else the above statement could possibly be interoperated. A quick search of this forum would reveal number of incidents where people have lost their files/databases after their accounts were suspended with ukhost4u.

Quote:
As anyone in the line of work can appreciate - people that refuse blatently (seriously, re-read my mail) to help you, or themselves don't really care about the inner workings of the server and are usually the first people to complain should anything else go wrong with the service.


Iíve never complained about any difficulties Iíve experienced with your service, I usually leave it as I know itíll be resolved fairly quickly. Implying Iím the type that would is a little sly and once again misleading

Quote:
I do still stick by my original emails and feel that if this gentlemann had taking the advice in the ((missing email)) this issue would have been resolved the same day - he had plenty time to email back and forth but not enough time to log in to his control panel and click two upgrade buttons.
Seriously, your writing style is leading and misinforming. I didnít have the time and had a lot of work to make up, the irritation caused by your response to my request for some help was hard to ignore. I posted the mails raw to let people make their own minds up at the style of support to be expected. I'll post the missing mail below for what good it serves. Suggesting that I'm manipulating the story by omitting it is foolhardy at best.


Quote:
Dear Steven,

Your account was suspended as it was causing extremely high loads on the server resulting in the server crashing - more than once.

This could be due to someone attacking your site, or your scripts being out of date. I can remove the suspension providing you are willing to look in to this matter the moment it is unsuspended. If i remove the suspension and the same thing happens again it will be re-suspended and we will only allow for a full reset of the account,


Regards,

Scott Niven
Anyway, after finally getting a response from Neil Johnson taking the time to talk to me reasonably in an appropriate tone. This issue is now as good as resolved. Have a little chat with him in regards of 'ways of speaking to/dealing with customers'.

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  #11  
Old 11-07-2006, 06:13 PM
niven niven is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 6
Steven,

I love this quote;

'really quite childish'

The thing that i find quite childish is the fact that you ran to a webhosting forum to post comments about poor customer service. The least you could have done was resolve this issue with the manager!

Perhaps my replies came across strong and out of line but do you know how many people phoned up and ticketed in when you killed the server? Do you know how much extra work we had to do to get it back up with minimal downtime?

Do you think i should have been in a happy mood when the person who caused all these problems tickets in and tells me they don't have time to upgrade "all the scripts". Do you know how much that pi**es me off?

Within 20 mins of us getting the server stable and suspending your account we receive this;

Hi,
The domain ********.co.uk has been suspended, could you please clarify why this is and resolve the problem with some urgency.

Regards
Steven Martin

Some Urgency??

F**k me - 20 mins after it has been suspended.

I kept my cool and said;

Dear Steven,

Your account was suspended as it was causing extremely high loads on the server resulting in the server crashing - more than once.

This could be due to someone attacking your site, or your scripts being out of date. I can remove the suspension providing you are willing to look in to this matter the moment it is unsuspended. If i remove the suspension and the same thing happens again it will be re-suspended and we will only allow for a full reset of the account,


Regards,

Scott Niven


Not a bad reply considering . . . Then;

Hi Scott,
Is there any information you can provide me with so I can find the problem?
There are a number of things that can cause this and I don't have the time
to update all the scripts on the site and the last thing I need is the
account resetting. Do you not have a log of the attack?

Regards
Steven

What were you planning on doing? only updating the ones that were extremely out of date?? Again you "don't have the time" I'm sorry but I think anyone in my shoes would have been quite right to have an un"appropriate tone"

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  #12  
Old 11-07-2006, 06:26 PM
1 & 1 = 3 1 & 1 = 3 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Manchester (UK)
Posts: 34
*

If I can interrupt this little love-in for a moment, can I just say how much this public bitching turns me off using a company? I'm in the market for a web host, but I'd not use UKHost4U anymore after seeing this public spectacle - it's the sort of stuff that should be kept to private email, surely?!

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  #13  
Old 11-07-2006, 06:30 PM
MrRadic MrRadic is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: East Coast // NYC
Posts: 1,693
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1 & 1 = 3
If I can interrupt this little love-in for a moment, can I just say how much this public bitching turns me off using a company? I'm in the market for a web host, but I'd not use UKHost4U anymore after seeing this public spectacle - it's the sort of stuff that should be kept to private email, surely?!
Unfortunately many come here to try to raise attention so disputes would be solved in their favor, it's almost like blackmailing a host. Some hosts give in, others don't.

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  #14  
Old 11-07-2006, 06:38 PM
niven niven is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 6
1&1=3, and MrRadic,

Both very fair comments.

Steven,

I would like to apologise for the tone in which my emails were sent. If only you knew how much hassle i had from other customers!

I also don't appreciate my full name being displayed in forums which is what brought me here in the first place.

I hope anyone that does read this thread realises how important it is to keep your scripts up to date.

Again my apologies for my replies. vbmenu_register("postmenu_4201053", true);

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  #15  
Old 11-07-2006, 06:46 PM
jerett jerett is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,904
I will not take a side but I will say that I believe a host provider needs to defend the claim with the utmost level of professionalism to help counter the negative claims against their company. With google hitting everything from a dust net bunny to king web kong, these forums can hurt you. It's a shame that many customers feel that the matter can not be handled and the only way to solve it is by posting. Again I preach a level of advocacy is needed in hosting. So simple - yet so many don't even know where to begin.

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