Dear The Planet

Dear “The Planet” – You Suck

The Planet does IT hosting. In my case, a friend and I share a server that we’ve had there for three years.  Unfortunately, I missed several emails from them telling me that my credit card had been rejected due to an expiration date passing.

Normally in a case like this, from a company providing a critical service, I would expect a phone call to clear things up and prevent a service interruption.  No phone call attempt was made.

So yesterday I get a call from my friend and he asks about our server not responding.  I assume the server is locked up and I tell him I’ll jump into the account and request a forced reboot – something that’s been necessary once before (not bad – once in 3 years!).  When I attempted to log in, I was told that my account had been disabled!

At that point, I tried to chat with a support person.  After 20 minutes of huge long delays in trying to get responses (send message, wait 5 minutes, get a “hang on, I’m working on multiple chats”, etc) I have to give up and focus on the meeting that I’m in.  Later that day, I try the chat again.  I’m told that my account was disabled due to non-payment of the bill.  More on that in a minute.  At this point I ask her to help me out with getting it reactivated and she says I have to *call* to speak to someone to give them the cc info as they don’t ask for it via chat.  <sigh>

That evening, I’m finally at home, where I can make the call.  I call and I’m told… “I can’t process it, you need to log into your account to fix it”!  After some back and forth, she activates my login so that I can go in and fix the billing info.  I try.  FIVE TIMES.  Each time it blows up with an error.  She’s still on the phone with me and rather than just taking the cc info, she says I need to submit a trouble ticket about not being able to update by cc info!  I submit the ticket and go to bed.

In the morning I check and I have a response that says in essence “please call, we can’t fix this without having you on the phone”.  I then go ahead and try to update the information and it works! Happy days!  At that point, I update the ticket and ask them to reprocess the charge and get our damn server online.  An hour later, ta-da, we have our server back.

Great, about 18 hours of downtime for a $69 credit card charge.  Yeah, I messed up by not watching my hotmail account like a hawk, so I take the blame for that, no problem.  But I have to ask this – what in the world are they thinking that when the bill isn’t paid THEY CUT OFF ACCESS TO THE BILL PAYMENT SYSTEM SO YOU CANNOT FIX THE PROBLEM?!?!?!  What should have been a 5 minute problem turned into a marathon of frustration.

Think about this just a bit – their solution is to prevent you from logging into the system to fix the problem.  Perhaps your first thought is “well, maybe their systems suck and they can’t just disable the server while allowing you to log into your account?”.  Ah, if only it were so – note that she very quickly and easily gave me access back to the account after I was forced to call them (and only to be told that I had to go into the account online to update it!).

One final insult –  after all this, they charge me a $50 reconnection fee.  Dicks.  I should charge them for my wasted time.

In summary Dear Reader, please consider if you want to do business with a company that treats you like this.  If you have a server you need to be up, and you want to host it somewhere, I cannot recommend The Planet.  Go elsewhere and put these jerks out of business.