Apr 26

“Honesty, Integrity, and Quality” Yeah, right.

Customer service. Wow.. there’s a concept for you to take in for a moment. Every interaction you have with ANY company, whether it’s buying a pack of smokes at a gas station, or purchasing a car, or a home, requires that the employee/manager/cashier/floor person have at least some degree of customer service skill. If you hire people with bad customer service skills, you will soon find your customers going away quite quickly.

I originally intended to relay the story of my hijacked yahoo account, but something more pressing, and quite frankly, unbelievable occurred today.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago (ch-ch-changes), I had finally had enough (after 6 years) of the non-response from customer service at Siteturn networks.

I moved all 5 of my domains to a new host provider, Virtuoso Net Solutions. I set up two separate accounts, and spent approximately $300 for a year’s worth of hosting. Initially, Virtuoso Net Solutions seemed to be a perfect match for me, they emailed me when a server needed to be rebooted, and I had not had to contact technical support for any issues… that is until last week.

My email server stopped responding for about 8 hours… I went through Virtuoso’s online “Help” page to submit a ticket. One of the requested pieces of information on the online form was a “Customer Number” to which they could tie the trouble ticket. I spent roughly 20 minutes looking through my control panel, and on the Virtuoso account home page and discovered no such number. I used ‘1234’ since the form of course required some numerical input in the field.

The trouble ticket was submitted, and roughly 8 hours later the response was: “The server was experiencing issues during a routine backup. All is functional now.”

Great. Makes sense.

Then this morning I discover that once again my email server was down, and additionally, I could not log in to my control panel for either account. Virtuoso’s ‘server status’ page listed everything as normal. I decided after 2 hours to submit a help ticket. What follows is an exact play by play account of the correspondence I sent and received.

My initial email submitted via the ticket system:

Greetings,

Both of these domains [mentioned in the subject of the form] are giving ‘timeout’ errors when trying to connect to the email servers, or logging in to the control panel.

This has been going on for the past 2 hours.

Please advise.

[jesterncal]

Initial response:

From: support@virtuosonetsolutions.com
Date: April 26, 2006 12:47:20 PM PDT

How about copying / pasting the error messages? This would help and is required when submitting tickets such as this.

I feel I need to point out that I received this response via EMAIL… on the account that I was just notifying them was not working… and had not been for over 2 hours… and while I will readily admit that I may have been a bit quick to read attitude into the response, other people who have read this also sense the attitude.

I responded, again via the support ticket system:

How about a little less attitude?

I would have pasted the error message if there were an error message to post. My browser on multiple computers would not connect to the control panel and mail client simply said ‘connection timed out’.
Hence why I notified you that I was receiving ‘timeout’ errors.

Funny enough, the problem has ‘magically resolved’ itself since I submitted this ticket. Seems the pasted error message wasn’t really necessary for the problem to be diagnosed and resolved.

And then it turned strange:

From: support@virtuosonetsolutions.com
Date: April 26, 2006 1:07:27 PM PDT

I highly suggest YOU refrain from your attitude.

“Seems the pasted error message wasn’t really necessary for the problem to be diagnosed and resolved”

Your a fool. No one “diagnosed” anything so be silent and dont’ assume much. You only make a fool of yourself. If we diagnosed it withou the message we requested, then we would not have asked for the informatin in the first place.

Now because of your low class attitude your account is suspended until you apologize.

Do I really even have to say anything about this? Other than the fact that veins began popping out of my forehead, and my inner queen suddenly began singing “R-E-S-P-E-C-T.”

I debated for a while about exactly how I wanted to respond to this email, and decided that I was not going to deal with this lunatic any more than I had to… I thought at first that I should at least try calling and speaking to someone in management at Virtuoso to give the an opportunity to make this right. A call to 631.968.4151 only netted me what sounds like a home answering machine, I left a message asking for the Technical Support Manager in charge to call me back as soon as possible. Since it was beginning to look more and more like this “company” only has one employee, I began backing up all of my files from the server, my wordpress files, and contacted a new host provider, Host Gator, to set up new service.

Then I sent:

Dear Whatever-your-name-is, [funny he never signed his name]

It has become quite apparent that you are most likely a one man operation, since you believe you can speak to your customers with such vehemence… so obviously complaining to your manager will not resolve this issue.

I will have to resolve this the only way I know how. I am a frequent contributor to no less than 10 blogs, including one that has well over a million site visits a week. Additionally, I am quite well connected to a large collective of northern California free-lance web designers who are always looking for a good host provider.

I am currently writing an article detailing the abysmal customer service you have provided me. I will link to Virtuoso Net Solutions’ home page, and I will include the phone number and email address. I am making it my personal mission to make sure that by the end of next week, any Google search for your company, will turn up a transcription of this interchange. Customers will stay away from you in droves.

I have two separate hosting accounts setup with your company, [site1] and [site2]. I wish to IMMEDIATELY cancel those accounts, and I am DEMANDING a full refund be issued within 72 hours. Failing to provide the refund will force me to escalate this situation into a civil court matter.

The refund needs to be submitted to:

[my work address]

Have a nice day.
[jesterncal]

Almost immediate response:

From: support@virtuosonetsolutions.com
Date: April 26, 2006 2:54:18 PM PDT

I have forwarded your threat to our corporate lawyer.

This is not a one man operation, but by your numerous assumptions you do just that, assume too many things.

Your threats will cost you for libel and you will be prosecuted for every damage incurred to this company without a doubt.

When that happens, you will find out the operation here and your behavior is the one unacceptable.

This has been forwarded to several authorities and legal team.

“Good luck”

WTF? ‘by your numerous assumptions you do just that, assume too many things.’ Huh? And I’d like to know, to which “authorities” did this get sent?

*************

Authority: “Hello, New York State Police Department”

VirtuosoGenius: “I’d like to report numerous assumptions and libel threats to my company.”

Authority: ” … ”

*************

And before I could get another email sent back to him, I received:

From: support@virtuosonetsolutions.com
Date: April 26, 2006 3:01:51 PM PDT

In addition, to show you how foolish you are you submitted an invalid customer number
of “1234”. Couldn’t possibly be more naive could you?

Now I’m just out to have some fun. I’m already in the process of moving everything over to a new host, and frankly, I was getting excited about just how much fun writing this out would be.

So I sent:

You must be a famous humorist, because this response makes me laugh in a way I haven’t laughed in a long time. Thanks!

Great, if it’s not a one man operation, I wish to speak directly to your supervisor. I left my number on your corporate sales voice mail.

Just to give you a hand, I shall introduce you to something called the DICTIONARY… (since it is quite apparent from your atrocious grammar and spelling that you are not familiar with one) more specifically, the entry for “libel” :

1 Law a published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation; a written defamation. Compare with slander .

Just in case you are missing the point, and I’m quite certain that you are, the operative word in that definition is FALSE. Being that I have all the emails directly from you, complete with IP address headers, and being that this interchange actually *DID* take place, there is no argument that I am disclosing false information to the entire world. Additionally, I am expressing my OPINION that you are a pinheaded asshole.

I’m sure whatever ‘authorities’ you forwarded this to are getting quite a laugh at your expense. I know my friends and colleagues are.

By the way, in response to your ‘jab’ at my entering ‘1234’ as a customer number, point out where on your website, or my control panel that my customer number can be found, and I’ll happily provide it to you.

[jesterncal]

From: support@virtuosonetsolutions.com
Date: April 26, 2006 3:49:09 PM PDT

Thank you. Your response is added to the information passed on to the company lawyer, including your insults and further threats.

In regards to your customer number, its in your original welcome email. Common sense is a great thing.

Any further contact from you will be considered harassment. I suggest you refrain from contacting us again. Your abusive behavior has already cost you time in the court room. Your disbelief will be reversed to belief when the letter arrives in your mail box.

Further threats? Where? Common sense? It’s doesn’t make any sense to me to require a customer to look up an email from who knows how long ago in order to find a meaningless number just to notify the company that their servers are not working properly.

I for one, can not wait for the letter to arrive in my mail box… and I promise to share it when and if it does arrive.

My next response to this brainiac will be a link to this post… just so he doesn’t have to search too hard for it. What I really can’t wait to share with you is a tiny piece of information listed on the home page of VirtuosoNetSolutions.com that normally I would have caught immediately… my friend Dan brought it to my attention:

Virtuoso Net Solutions, Bad Customer Service, Internet Host, Server Provider, Rant

Apr 24

Fifty Greatest Gay Films

Logo has put out a list, and the world voted on:

The Fifty Greatest Gay Films

I can’t say that I completely agree with the order, but I’ve seen almost every single film on the list… For the record, in my book, Beautiful Thing beats Brokeback Mountain.

Apr 18

An open letter to Tom Cruise…

First, let me start by saying, Congratulations on the birth of your daughter. I’m sure this is a happy, if not strangely silent time for you.

Now that we have exchanged pleasantries, let’s get down to business. Please go away. Take your weird ass freakishly large nose and goofy teeth to the exalted alien inhabited volcano and throw yourself inside. You have worn out your welcome. In the past year, your face is everywhere…

  • on billboards for shitty movies where you are upstaged by a nine-year-old girl,
  • in every magazine even tangentially related to the entertainment world, usually with ‘aww isn’t she cute and doe-eyed’ Katie Holmes on your arm… you’ve become TomKat… pardon me, I just threw up a little,
  • on Oprah going completely batshit, I mean really… I’ve seen people on Ecstasy with a Crack Chaser that were more coherent and self-controlled than you,
  • and most importantly, your melt down on the Today Show with Matt Lauer, where you proclaimed yourself to be an expert in pharmacology, psychology, and gynocology.

Let me put this in perspective for you… you are an *actor.* A mediocre-at-best actor, no less. You are good for mindless, poorly written scripts involving big explosions and lots of computer generated images. (So what if you were in Magnolia, you were the perfect choice for that sleazy character, it was bit of typecasting, and frankly I think that part was written for you.) You are allowed the occasional political comment before we grow tired of your babbling.

The general public (yes I think I am speaking for the general public here) does not care if you belong to a cult, and let’s not kid ourselves here, Tom, Scientology is a cult… but you have to keep that stupid shit to yourself! I don’t care if you believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or Mohammed, or Jesus… but why do you feel the need to push it on us? Do you realize that you have now traded your comma statement from “Tom Cruise, actor in blockbuster movies like Mission Impossible and War of the Worlds” for “Tom Cruise, Gullible Psychotic Freak…errr… Scientologist.” Do you feel so strongly about the Alien race in the mountain that you’re willing to make that trade?

And Tom, sweetie, if you think for a SECOND that we believe that you actually impregnated Katie Holmes by inserting your… heh… penis… in.. heh.. to… her… hahhahahaha… wait a second… *wipes tears* … *clears throat*… the point is, the kid might actually be your biological child, but we know you were fantasizing about being stuck on a mountain with Heath Ledger when you filled that turkey baster. You know what, it’s ok… I’m gay… there’s nothing wrong with it.. embrace it. You might think it’s a well-kept secret about your contractual marriage to Nicole… but it’s not… and your vehement denial of the many many gay ‘rumors’ only proves the point further.

Come on… embrace it… march in the parade.. bring the TomKitten and teach her how to be tolerant and open minded and loving… oh never mind, she’ll become a little alien princess too.

You know what would be great… if little Suri (oh please… Suri!?) ends up having a passionate lesbian affair with Brooke Shields’ new daughter, also born today. Wouldn’t that be great?

When that happens, and only then, are you allowed to grace the cover of US magazine again.

Sincerely,

Jester.

Apr 18

Boob Tube

My love affair with Tivo continues and I remain hopelessly hooked on:

American Idol – I haven’t written anything about this year so far, but I have to say, I think this is the BEST season so far. The guys have finally stood up and are singing their asses off. I couldn’t be happier that Bucky is gone. My hope is that Kelly Pickler will be out tomorrow night after her dismal ‘butchering’ (her word) of “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered.” I have been saying for weeks that my newest private version of hell would be stuck in a room with Bucky and Kelly. I grew up in the midwest. I lived in the south… and I have met people that stupid. It’s not an act… they really are that dumb… not American Idols. I’m excited that I really like 4 of the remaining contestants, Chris Daughtry (who I believe will win), Catherine McPhee, Taylor Hicks (who I wish would win, just because he is so unique and fantastic), and Elliot Yamin.

Scrubs – This show is finally hitting it’s stride. I have been a fan since the first season… it got a bit clunky with the whole Elliot – JD romance, but has redeemed itself and is funnier than ever. Favorite episode so far? Mandy Moore’s guest spot had me howling.

Prison Break – Love it! It’s so well thought out, the plot is so intense and I love the way they tie small clues in to episodes three or four weeks later. Not to mention that Wentworth Miller is teh hot!

Will & Grace – Last season is so far wonderful. I am going to be so sad when this show ends… yes there are some who call the show too stereotypical blah blah blah… what gay guy do you know that doesn’t KNOW someone like Jack? You can’t deny the doors that this show has opened.. there’s even a gay network now!

I remain hooked on: Law and Order, Law and Order: SVU, CSI, CSI:Miami (even though I really hate David Caruso), Cold Case (can’t watch it without crying), er, Crossing Jordan, and Family Guy. I also will watch every old episode of Frasier and Seinfeld that comes on.
tv, shows I love, American Idol, CSI, Law & Order, Will & Grace

Apr 18

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

It had been a very long time since I had done any real editing of my website… things were stagnant, and quite frankly I was bored with it. Not anymore. Let’s take a look at what’s new:

  • Moved Jestertunes.com to a new server host at VirtuosoNetSolutions.com to combat the many many many customer service issues I was having with Siteturn.
  • Moved The Daily Blog from Blogger to the main page of Jestertunes.com
  • Deleted old posts from the blog, including posts related to my old job at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.
  • New logo!
  • Categorized all past posts.
  • Transferred old personal site to new server, hopefully maintaining all old links… though some old .asp pages may not work correctly, and I’ll have to fix those as I find them.

And after much consideration and contemplation of yesterday’s post, I have decided that to not tell the stories that I want to tell, and make the comments that I want to make, I’m doing myself a huge disservice… so that means to whomever may be reading this site, look out… content within may make you angry, embarrassed, confused, or otherwise get your nose out of joint. Get over it… things here are my state of mind at the exact moment of my writing, and may not necessarily reflect The Way Things Are(tm). Again, Get Over It.

::i am renewed::

Apr 14

Appropriate Blogging?

You know… most of my stories aren’t exactly good for just everyone’s viewing pleasure… for instance my new post over on N2Notes.com about a recent concert that I was lucky enough to attend… is it appropriate to write on my music blog about:

  • Being so drunk at one point during Stephen Kellogg’s set, that I actually *twirled* and *giggled* (damn those manhattans)
  • Getting a bit irritated at Michael Tolcher when I first approached him for ignoring me and addressing the Bambi next to me. (He redeemed himself shortly after by carrying on an actual conversation with me)
  • RobinEggBlue making out with a cop from Walnut Creek (how does he DO THAT!?)
  • Bad Pizza
  • Did I mention RobinEggBlue made out with a COP from Walnut Creek THAT HE JUST MET!?

Anyway…. it got me thinking… my personal blog isn’t as interesting as it should be because I know the only people really reading this are the people I would be talking about… Hi Mom. Hi UMB. Um… there goes any sex discussions… any comments about the trials of a relationship… any rants and raves about exactly what’s going on.

How do other people handle this? They just write whatever and let the cards fall where they may? Seems a bit passive agressive to me… I wouldn’t want people to think that I was writing about them to get them to change their behavior or to broadcast my anger/love etc to everyone in the world and not directly confront them.

But..

it makes my blog boring.

Hmm…
Much to ponder.

::not solving this problem tonight::

Apr 06

Listen Up!

So I decided that my music blog needed it’s own domain… so with Dan’s help today, I set it up, and got the blog running there.. you can check it out here:Listen Up!

Apr 05

Something Awful

The 250 Billion Dollars we’ve spent on the “war” in Iraq could have bought so much more…

Something Awful

Apr 02

Music Lives!

As many of you probably know, I have a pretty serious cd collection… despite having well over 1000 cd’s, I routinely raid the local music stores and come home with 10-20 new albums per month. Since I can’t find the creative spark to do a personal blog everyday, I’ve decided to flesh out my desire to write music reviews in this new section on my website.

Also, it could end up being a pretty cool way of making a few extra bucks… if you see something on this page you’d like to buy from Amazon, it will make me some ca$h, and I know you wanna make me some ca$h. 🙂

I’m gonna try to add a couple of these a day for a while… *crosses fingers*

Enjoy!