Yohannon (yohannon) wrote,

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Because The Universe Couldn't Wait Another Goddamn Month...

To Whom it May Concern:

I wish to express my extreme dissatisfaction with what has been, until now, a superior product with superior service. The sad thing is that there were several points that this could have been resolved without the issue I find myself facing.

This morning I had internet service. I happened to go home for lunch from work, and discovered that my service was no longer working.

Thinking this was a simple technical issue, I called support, and discover that my account had been "locked" due to "virus or spam".

This was a shock on several levels: First, that the only notice of this action was an e-mail sent to the very account they were about to lock, not a hour before the lock, is COMPLETELY unacceptable. I'm paying for top tier internet access to PREVENT downtime, not to find that the account can be shut down without even the courtesy of a phone call.

That this is possible is confirmed by the fact that I received a call from a technician this past Tuesday, 4/18, regarding this same issue -- I noted that I run a very small, 100% opt in mailing list of under 500 users, with fewer than 6 e-mails a month -- EVERY e-mail contains a web page to assist in unsubscriptions, the instructions as to how to unsubscribe via e-mail, and (most notably) my personal e-mail address in the event anyone had any problems, unsubscribing or otherwise. In terms of my treatment by that tech in particular I have nothing but praise -- I wasn't treated like a criminal or moron, and he made a point of not only noting everything I've written here, but made sure a .forward was placed on the alamedanet.net e-mail address that I never use so that I would receive any other e-mails regarding the issue. He even re-set the password to the account so I could access webmail long enough to forward whatever existing messages were in the box.

I was assured by this tech that the issue was resolved, so the events of today are especially egregious.

The screaming irony is that I'm in the process of shutting the list down and converting it to a Blog based community, a process that started at the start of April, with the intent of shutting the list down completely by no later than June.

I think I would have merely inconvenienced -- except that, to my continuing surprise, the "Abuse" manager had "just left for the day". Compounding this, the supervisor on duty apparently doesn't have the power to over-ride this single point of decision, which is NOT an efficient customer service approach.

If this were a case of an un-responsive customer who was truly spamming the known world, or suffering from some malware that threatened the integrity of AlamedaNet or AOL, then perhaps I could understand this situation. However, I've been completely forthcoming with any tech that has called me for any reason, and if they had indicated that my request for the e-mail addresses of the offended parties (with an eye on making sure they were no longer on the mailing list) was not likely to be granted, I would have offered to do then what I will be doing tonight -- removing the address of ANY AOL user on the list, without exception.

I strongly suggest you re-examine your process for dealing with these issues, as I have come to expect better from AP & T.



P.S. And to be completely fair, I just received word that the account has been unlocked -- fortunately this was only 2 hours of downtime, and not the overnight debacle it could have been.

However, this still could have been avoided with a single phone call. Please make it a point to examine that part of the support process.

[And yes, it felt good to send this. I think my expectations have been raised by how Perforce handles support -- quite frankly I'm surprised this AOL as Big Bad Bully crap still goes over. They were threatening to block the entire alamedanet domain over the complaints of 5 users, even though they wouldn't provide the goddamn e-mail addressed that would have FIXED this shit! And no, I don't blame the AOL users I know personally, though ever since my MOM dumped them that number is now very small. ~Y~]
Tags: geek, rant
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