I had to get some assistance this week with my website hosting – various bits and pieces of maintenance had to be done, including migrating it to a different server because the one it was on didn’t host the right software.
It was quite a saga. The company I deal with operates a help desk based in what sounds like India and their method for dealing with customers is to literally answer questions. As you can guess, a literal answer isn’t always an informative one.
That caused me some major issues. In particular, a database needed updating, but their system showed I was up to date. Except my software kept bleating that it wasn’t. I had to get the issue bumped up to supervisor level before I finally found out that it was because the particular server they’d stashed my website on didn’t support the later database package. By migrating the site to a new server I was able to get the proper updates.
Then there was the self-help info they provided. This consisted of instructions such as ‘to uwhuqhe the iqjwqwhu all you need do is 9083y45uh3e, wui23huh, 9uhuqhe and jh23y4y. Simple.’ What they had missed, of course, was how to get to the particular commands they were referring to. Oh, and what the commands meant.
All of it was kind of frustrating, especially as I simply don’t have time to (a) make myself an expert in abtruse details of website hosting, (b) keep troubleshooting services that are only ever half-fixed by the supplier, where they don’t tell me the parameters; and (c) figure out informative answers on the basis of the literal ones I always receive.
What also upsets me about this sort of experience is the fact that it’s driven by corporate profit demands – the way western corporates have used modern telecommunications systems to exploit poorer countries. The guys on the help desk get paid a pittance, work from scripts, and there’s no motive to do better: they’re treated like dirt by their employer, so why bother?
I believe it was Henry Ford who suggested that workers needed to be paid well. They worked better, took pride in their work – and could buy the products they made. Alas, in this late-stage world of neo-liberalism (which was only ever a version of the wider capitalist diaspora), that idea seems to have been forgotten. Sigh.
Oh, I did get the website sorted. In the end. Check it out:
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2022
5 thoughts on “How to deal with website hosting, part 486,309”
Commiserations. 😦 Hosting issues, not to mention cost, are why I won’t be getting my own website again. I had one, years ago, but I didn’t know a thing about SEO or whatever its equivalent was back then, so I built it, but no one came. WordPress is far from perfect, but it provides the connectedness we all need without [most] of the hassle.
Glad you finally got things sorted out, but I bet your blood pressure went through the roof during the process. Outsourcing call centres to save on costs is one of the many things I love about neo-liberalism…not. It pays lip service to the concept of ‘service’ and ‘customer support’ which adds insult to the poor quality of most of the products on offer.
Why can’t shareholders see that corporates are killing the goose that laid the golden egg? [rhetorical].
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It was definitely a struggle, and not the first I had with this company. I didn’t choose them – they took over the company I’d previously been dealing with (which was excellent). Overnight they began failing to be able to account for payments and their help desk turned into an overseas ‘by the script’ operation that served only to put barriers in front of customers. The accounting issue was dire – they insisted I owed them money, which I could show I didn’t. It took me four months to get it sorted – they didn’t act until I threatened to take them to the small claims court. At that point they instantly ‘found’ the money I’d paid them…
I looked into moving providers but for various reasons I’d prefer a local New Zealand one… and by this time they were it.
The outsource call centre issue is pretty common here in NZ (and I’d guess also Australia) – one of our bigger banks actually pulled its call desk back locally after relentless public complaints. But that was a rare occurrence.
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NZ only has the one provider? Ugh. That’s terrible. Then again, I have no idea how many we have, if any. I do remember that I always hosted with overseas companies because they were significantly cheaper. I’ll never give up my domain names but…I don’t think I’ll ever want the hassle of a hosted site again. Of course, I’ve probably just jinxed myself.
Definitely know what you mean about the call centres. My bank is excellent -knock on wood- but every telco call centre is ‘elsewhere’. Hearing an Aussie accent is like a gift these days.
Good luck going forward.
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It had a number of them – all got eaten by one major hosting service. The Commerce Commission didn’t stop it. Mind you, they also didn’t stop the reduction of the wholesale grocery market to a monopoly either. Not to mention the failed power marketing system, etc… But don’t get me started on the neoliberal crusade that broke every sector of the economy, which three generations of Kiwis had worked to build…
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The commerce commission sounds like a toothless tiger. 😦 That said, we have virtual monopolies here too. Woolworths and Coles are the two biggest supermarket chains. Then there’s IGA – good quality but not cheap. And Aldi – cheap but I’m not convinced of the quality. Four players, but not exactly a thriving, competitive marketplace.
If I had my druthers, I’d put a cap on the size of every single business. Cut corporations off at the toes so that businesses are forced to compete again, on price, quality AND service.
I’m not holding my breath.
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