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Shitty Customer Service

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I don’t think ‘net based companies realise how frickin’ irritating it is when they deliver really crap customer service (or in some cases, none at all!) When I’m dealing with a company for my own personal use it’s not such a big deal, but if I need support for a work client and I can’t get it within 24 hours I am the one that’s likely to get it in the neck — and why should I because of some other prat’s mistake?! Luckily every time I’ve had to deal with a useless company so far, the client has either been blissfully unaware or incredibly patient, but it’s not the point.

Take Nildram for instance. They do ADSL broadband solutions, phone, hosting and domains over here in the UK. They are one of many subsidiaries of Pipex.

One of our clients was — up until last week when we moved them to our reseller — hosted with Nildram. We bought an Australian domain name on their behalf and wanted it hooked up to their hosting so I e-mailed the “hostmaster”. After 3 days I got a reply stating that my query was being forwarded to the right department. Over two weeks (after several “please deal with me!!!” e-mails) I got a phone call from a woman with what sounded like an American accent, telling me that she was now going to hook up the domain name.

In the end it wasn’t done right and we had to wait until the hosting move before we could get their Aussie website online.

Two of the existing domain names for the aforementioned client were purchased through 123-reg, who are another Pipex subsidiary (hm, what a coincidence). I e-mailed them on Friday after a problem which occurred preventing me from updating the nameservers for one, and pointed out that the other is not in our domain list. I am yet to get any sort of response — no “you’re support request is being processed”, nothing. Useful, much?

I use for my domain names and have had flawless service up until ‘now’. When I placed my order for my two new domains I was under the impression I was getting them for two years at [.. entry broken]

Jem Turner +44(0)7521056376

25 comments so far

  1. Si Jobling said:

    This is one of many reasons why I do not deal with UK based Internet solutions now, specifically Pipex (seeing as they seem to be “eating” all of the smaller companies at the moment – no wonder they can afford the Hoff to promote the company!) I now buy all of my domains from GoDaddy, even the UK-based domains. While most UK Registrars promote deals around the £3/yr mark, when it comes to renewing, it miraculously jumps up to approximately £20/yr (I’m looking at Simply and 123-reg here!) GoDaddy might cost a little more per year but they don’t change them later on in your contract. When it comes to renewing, they are exactly the same cost you originally bought them for, if not less with a voucher. I feel your pain Jem. Just persevere, keep ringing them and ask to speak to any superiors who are available at the time. You might even get to talk to the Hoff or even Kitt!

  2. Aithnea said:

    Web Based companies seem to try to pull things like this on us thinking that we don’t know any better. It is one of my problems with BlueHost (my host). Not only did I buy a hosting packaged through them but I also bought my domain. Later on when I did a WHOIS look up on my domain I found out that it had been registared in their name, not mine! It’s a trick they pull to try to lock you into hosting with them.

  3. Kimmie said:

    Hmmm… I had a good deal for a few years. My web server was a box in my friend’s basement. That meant it was free (because he was a cool friend), and I got whatever I wanted. Once he pulled the plug though, I managed to find a decent server that has been VERY helpful.

  4. Grant Mc said:

    My web design company ( had a good server host for a few months but now we have new servers we though we would host it off our now we want to transfer from a Internet based hosting company they want us to print and fill in a matter and POST it back to there office! i am not amused. Yours, Grant Mc

  5. Amelie said:

    It’s not just internet-based companies. I’ve found that pretty much every time I’ve had to deal with customer services (doesn’t matter what it’s for – car dealers, phone providers/ISPs, shops, etc. etc.) I am unsatisfied. Either they give you a generic response of “please refer to the user guide/FAQ/blah blah blah” or they just don’t do anything. I remember trying to rent a house and the letting agents were about as bad as they come. We went there, paid things, filled in forms, all that, then heard nothing for 2 weeks. We called them and they told us they’d rented the place to someone else because they’d lost our forms/payment (yeah, likely – the payment had gone through, I checked). They did this to us again as well. ‘tards.

  6. Hillarie said:

    My Dell laptop has been DEAD for over six months…Dell still hasn’t fixed the problem and I’m using my dad’s computer for all my ‘net things. I haven’t had a big issue with Dreamhost yet, but I’ve only used them for a year, so there’s still time for a screw up.

  7. Jordan said:

    I had more issues with hosting companies then with domain registrars and other online businesses. Most of them were related to a billing system marking an invoice as never having been paid, yet when I display proof of my bill, they don’t even refund me or “make up” for the two+weeks of downtime my site had where they had refused to unsuspend it. When it comes to hosting, domains, or things i Buy, I always read the fine print. I’ve learned this from where I work–though not saying that I wouldn’t trust them, it’s that it’s better to read specifics to see what’s what, what’s covered and what’s not. I’m just looking out for my ass so I don’t get screwed in the end. Most online places think that people won’t read through a AUP or TOS, or whatever other agreement they’ve got set up or hell even an FAQ. They figure people are just lazy to read “fine print” online and think they’ll get away with it.

  8. Corinne said:

    This sounds like the internet version of my bus incident that I blogged about on Friday. It’s also one of my pet peeves. It seems as if, the idea of customer service has been lost. And, on 1and1, I assume that it’s the same as, which I wrote about on Sunday, in 1 word, awful. They really got me upset yesterday, and to be “old” I dropped them like a hot potatoe.

  9. Corinne said:

    I should have mentioned, I like my domain registrar, ipower web. They probably do have stuff wrong with them, but I’ve never had domain name issues. It’s always in the hosting. (My last host for example, who I will not name). For 1and1, I bought hosting, and later I noticed how bad it was. I had a “nice” discussion with the people and got out of my contract, without being billed. They would not have liked me if they tried to. lol

  10. Chanel said:

    All companies are beginning to do that. You get redirected to so many departments without FULLY telling your story yet or you have to deal with that stupid phone robot. It’s frustrating as hell man.

  11. Manda said:

    I called technical support for my internet router once and I got put on hold for two hours. TWO HOURS. I just hung up on them in the end, I was so bloody frustrated. (Luckily after the first ten minutes I put the phone on loudspeaker so I could continue to do things without clutching the phone for two damn hours). Luckily I’ve had no problems with my host so far… I hope this doesn’t change!

  12. Corinne said:

    I love when they make you pay for support, and in the end, they have no idea how to solve the issue. So they want to transfer you to someone else (who you will have to pay) and maybe they will know. When HP tried to do that to me, I ranted to the technitian… and they gave me my money back. Asses.

  13. Yvonne said:

    I’ve been having a few issues with my web hosts over the last fortnight. It took them a week to give me a simple explanation of what was going on, and I don’t think they’re in a particular hurry to fix anything up. [sad face]

  14. Kachii said:

    Reminds me of my ISP back home, Plusnet. They were absolutely fantabulous for the first few years. Cheap as chips with great customer service. If you phoned, you always got to speak to a real English person. I’m not racist, but I can’t understand foreign accents… according to my soon-to-be doctor friend, I have aphasia, which means I can’t comprehend speech very well… always have to get people to repeat themselves even though I’m not deaf. So foreign call centres are not my friends. Recently, though, my internet went down. I tried to ring them and oh, they changed their system to a fully automated one. That’s not going to help me, I want to speak to a /real/ person, please. I pressed about ten buttons and still no real person, and no information, either. So I gave up.

  15. Jem said:

    @Kachii: it’s funny you should mention the call center thing, I actually think that’s the problem with 1and1. Every reply I’ve received seems to be signed “Abdul” or variations of similar names and I think they’ve shipped the support out to somewhere like India. This means that, although I don’t have to try and understand heavy accents, I do have to try and make out broken English in their e-mails.

  16. Belinda said:

    I have no faith in online hosting companies unless I’m willing to fork out lots of money that gurantees good customer service (even then, I’d probably be skeptical). That’s why I’m with Dreamhost and I’m not holding my breath that if I ever encounter a problem, that I’ll get a quick reply but thankfully no major problems yet *fingers crossed*. I’ve been quite fortunate that my domain transfer is rather quick too (maybe because they don’t have many customers any more). Ick, good luck with your hosting problems, I really hope they get sorted out soon. These things tend to really stress a person out, with all the uncertain waiting.

  17. Corinne said:

    On Jem’s point. Yes, outsourcing very big in the tech industries towards places like India because they have such amazing schools there. The problem is, the best people imigrate to countries like America for the more lucrative jobs, and we’re stuck with people who don’t know what they are talking about giving us “support.”

  18. Amelie said:

    @Kachii: I am exactly the same, I have problems understanding people even when they’re talking in the same language and accent as me. I currently live in the north of England where the accent is substancially different to that of the south, where I’m from. I get people to repeat themselves at least 3 times :( Being that I have a foreign mother and spent most of my school years in a school where most of the pupils were from ethnic minorities, I don’t know why I have so much difficulty with accents now. My biggest problem with outsourced support isn’t the accents however, it’s the fact that they usually know NOTHING about what they’re talking about. Of course, that’s not the case for everyone, but 99% of the outsourced companies I have dealt with have given me shoddy support. Two UK-support-based companies gave me excellent support. That’s two of about … 3? … places that haven’t outsourced their support. That said, I did get some great support from an outsourced place a while ago, though it was by e-mail. Perhaps that company had trained its employees slightly better than other companies…

  19. Xeronia said:

    Yeah, they probably just assume that because they’re not working in person, that they can break their own policies and promises. At least we now know which companies to avoid.

  20. Chans said:

    Believe me it’s not only web based companies that have bad customer service. I was trying to cancel my mom’s cellphone a little while ago and the only way to get hold of the company was true email. I emailed them a few weeks ago and have yet to receive a reply. And that’s one of the main providers in the country. So I feel your pain about bad service!

  21. Loadx said:

    Check out for domain registrations etc.. they’ve treated me really well and their support along with processing etc is incredibly fast and talking to dickheads, one big web-application does the job for them. If there is a query the support ticket system is amazingly responsive but you should never need to use it ;)

  22. Pete said:

    Avoid hosting at 123-reg. A disaster. Does any ‘dedicated customer support’ even read your email? I think not. They guess what you mean and give a standard response. #11

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