Internet hosting problem

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  1. #1

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    Internet hosting problem

    Does this sound right? We are going to complain that this bill shouldn't be paid. I won't yet name the company as I hope to work it out and not have to pay it.

    This is the email from our IT guy to me on how it took from Tuesday noon to Friday morning to have someone go to their data centre for $800 to reset our password that no one knows how it got altered or if it was some sort of hacker. No damage done but two IT lost that time for updating.

    My plan is to write the management of this outfit and see if they too think resetting a password should cost $800 and take over 2 and 1/2 days.

    --------------

    Called tech. support and asked for resetting the password on Apr. 15 Tuesday around lunch time, the person didn't know how to handle such request and said she will call back when she got the details. No one calls back after 2 hours, we made another call to the tech. support, different person took the call and again said will get back to us with the details. She calls back and said for resetting the password a form has to be filled and it will cost $800 and promised to email us the form today as it was indicated it is a very urgent matter. We also asked the person why the password was changed as no one in our company had changed it. She said she didn't know as <snip> wouldn't change it. We didn't receive the form after hours of waiting and made another call to tech. support around 7pm and requested for the form once again.

    On Apr. 16 Wednesday, no form was received in the email box, gave tech. support a call again and asked them if they can fax us the form instead as we waited for the whole day and did't receive anything in our email. We finally received the form thru fax and fill out the information and faxed it back. We gave tech. support a call asking them whether they received the fax or not, the person said the fax would go to another department, so they had to check and said they will give us a call if they DID NOT receive it. No phone call was received.

    On Apr. 17 Thursday, we gave tech. support a call in the morning asking what was the status, and they said they hadn't received the fax form. We complained about why we didn't receive a call when they promised they will call back if they didn't got the fax. We faxed the form again and called to confirm whether they received it. We asked how long will it take to reset the password now that they got the form and asked again why the password was changed in the first place. We were horrified and frustrated that the password got changed without any reason or suggestion on prevention provided and that it took so long and so much money to get it fixed. And we were not sure when this will happen and we'll have to pay the fees again.

    The password was reset on Apr. 18 Friday

    We got the attached invoice on Apr. 19 and an overdue reminder on May 4 and a phone call on May 9.

    Last edited by KnowItAll; 10-05-2008 at 11:49 AM. Reason: removed co name

  2. #2

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    The first thing I'd do .. make sure you have an offsite backup which can be loaded up on a new server if required.

    Is this a dedicated server and was it your root / admin password that needed resetting (should NEVER have been changed unless one of your guys accidentally did it and did not fess up).

    If it was a root password on a dedicated box .. yes, $800 is fair.

    Is your server a windows or unix box?

    Last edited by KnowItAll; 09-05-2008 at 06:42 PM.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by KnowItAll
    The first thing I'd do .. make sure you have an offsite backup which can be loaded up on a new server if required.

    Is this a dedicated server and was it your root / admin password that needed resetting (should NEVER have been changed unless one of your guys accidentally did it and did not fess up).

    If it was a root password on a dedicated box .. yes, $800 is fair.

    Is your server a windows or unix box?
    The two IT guys are too good for that. These guys are top notch senior developers so I'd say no. They like me are owners and have no reason to not fess up.

    Dedicated and I'd say Windows.

    How about the time issue?? If we were hacked we'd be out of business.

    They came across a similar complaint in Chinese - same company. Hmmm... makes you wonder.

  4. #4

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    OK .. then you probably need to find a good system admin who can look through the logs and figure out why it happened - VERY important, so that you know what the problem is before you go live.

    I don't have a clue where one would start if any sort of forensics were required on a MS box.

    With Windows .. who knows.

    Most HK companies suck big time when it comes to providing good hosting services (since they don't own or have physical access to the data centers on 24/7 basis). They're generally leasing space in one of the Telco's DCs and winging it .. (HK.Com will surely have a different perspective on this as he deals with them on a first hand basis and thinks I'm too harsh on them!)

    The big ones cant be bothered ... unless you have a number of servers.

    I could be wrong ..

    Last edited by KnowItAll; 09-05-2008 at 07:37 PM.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by KnowItAll
    The big ones cant be bothered ... unless you have a number of servers.

    I could be wrong ..
    Sounds about right, Hong Kong companies go for the bottom dollar not the service. The hosting companies are all getting squeezed as clients turn to hosting in house instead.

    You should have kept calling about the fax. They clearly wanted you to get off the phone and you gave in too easily.

    <snip>, lah, that explains it.
    Last edited by KnowItAll; 10-05-2008 at 11:49 AM. Reason: removed company name as requested

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the advice guys.

    I didn't mean to post the company but now realize that it was in the email to me.

    Well they have had other complaints just like this apparently!

    I will get our very astute IT guys to do what you guys suggest.

    While this company is a temp solution, it sure speaks to the quality of service and as Mr. Moo notes how tight their margins are.

    They sure focus on the bill versus the service.

    If this is the going rate for a simple task, more clients should complain and maybe the frequency of complaints will get them to give service. If they a quarter as efficient in fixing the issue as issuing and following up on the unpaid bill, I'd not be complaining too much.

    I don't want to waste time and money on a small bill or on principle but it strikes me as an odd way to run a business. Create a crisis of urgency by failing to act and exacting what I think is an unconscionable fee to fix it.


  7. #7

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    >> While this company is a temp solution

    Bring the server inhouse. You can get rock solid international / local bandwidth for less than what its worth dealing with such nightmares.

    Email me. I'd be happy to make some recommendations based on what we've done over the last month (bringing everything inhouse).


  8. #8

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    We had the password log off apparently - now on.
    Interesting that our password gets mysteriously changed and no sign of hacking while the log for that is off. Makes you go hmmm. I still think $800 and waiting from Tues to Friday is pretty bad.

    When ready to go in house we'll contact you KIA.