So whilst I’m locked down in the dungeon of Anchorage, waiting on the mechanics to tell me my van is fine, and any possible breakdowns were/will be my own doing, I’m dealing with another issue. My backpacking/guiding website, Expeditions Alaska was set up, with the help of a friend Bugsy, a fantastic artist from Atlanta (now in LA), years ago, and hosted, at the Bugs’ recommendation, on digitalinet.com. Well, it’s been an adventure, but digitalinet can go to he**.
Their website indicates 24/7 tech support, and toll free phone support. Their website fails to provide any phone # or contact information, other than a standard form to fill out, at all. Not even an email address. I did, via extensive Google searching, extract a few of phone numbers that were supposedly related to digitalinet.com .. 2 of them were no longer working, the other 2 both yielded immediate voice mail messages, and I couldn’t get anyone to return a single call from either of them. I’ve emailed them over 10 times in the last 10 days, and not one of my emails has been returned. Whilst this isn’t the norm, it’s not brand new either. A few of my emails to them over the past 6 months or so were not returned. Generally, though, they did reply, but not always promptly, and very rarely with any courtesy or helpful information.
It’s my own stupid fault for sticking with digitalinet as long as I did – they helped me solve one problem, early on in my tenure with them, with a cgi script – after that, I can’t think of a single issue I had with them where their help actually resolved anything. Generally, their “support” emails might go something like this:
“At this time we do not offer support on ….. You must complete this task via … You should contact someone who can help you. Google “telnet support
Digitalinet Customer Service”.
I had email issues with the server a couple o years back, and their reply was:
“We are not having any mail server issues at this time.
Digitalinet Customer Service”
I think the best I can say about their “support” is that they did include “Thank you” in their signature. That was nice of them.
So now that I’ve moved the site from digitalinet.com to a new server, lunarpages.com, I’ve had a major mission of it thanks in no small part to their refusal to offer any support whatsoever. They wouldn’t provide me with any of the database stuff hosted on their server, which meant I couldn’t move stuff like my coppermine gallery and wordpress blogs over to the new server – I had to rebuild them manually, from scratch. The coppermine stuff I’ve done OK with, because it’s a relatively small gallery, but the blog, Ramblings, hosted threads and content that was definitely valuable to visitors to the site. I found, via more google time, some information on how to extract a database from a host via telnet. In doing so, I found out that anyone using telnet these days is not a good host, because it’s not a secure medium for data transfer. Digitalinet.com, of course, use telnet. So, with the help from a local Alaskan web master, I was able to create a dump file, download it, and upload it to the new host, an am in the process of learning how, if possible, to have the blog reflect the data from the old database, and hence, display the content I had previously posted on the blog.
I can’t describe how stark is the difference between the quality of service between, say, the new host, lunarpages, and the old host, digitalinet. Lunarpages have an excellent support team, 24 hour web support and extensive phone support (I might be needing to upgrade my cell phone plan to account for the surge in minutes used), and provide helpful, friendly and courteous service. Similarly, I was able to get very friendly and helpful assistance from the web master here in Alaska, who had no reason to help other than common courtesy when I described the problem to him. Yet I can’t even a reply via email from a company (digitalinet) whom I’ve paid hundreds of dollars to.
NB: Lunarpages suck. I wouldn’t recommend them at all after some time with them. Customer Service was pitiful to non-existent. I am now with inmotionhosting and also wpengine.
Customer Service gets on my nerves like few other issues in business today. We live in a world where if it’s cheaper, it’s better. Economic models be damned, I say – give me a community that nurtures and promotes respect and courtesy. Unfortunately, I think the massive and unrelenting marketing campaigns we’re all so inundated with on a daily basis instead foster a disregard for basic human nature. We’ve come to expect, and expect to tolerate, the kind of ridiculous service we so often in the economic marketplace – all because we’re told it yields a better bottom line. Well, it may take me a while, sometimes, but I’ll bring my bottom line to lunarpages and deal with folks who treat me like they appreciate me dealing with them.
Rather than rag on about digitalinet, I’ll leave it with this. They suck, and I wish them the worst.
PS – this photo is my Aussie friend, Josh Waterson, heading into the first of 5 Class V rapids on the Baker River, Patagonia, Chile, last summer.