I think I’ve spent so much time being a seller and provider that I’ve forgotten how ridiculously hard it can be to be a customer.
This is me as a seller when a customer comes to me with a problem:
“Calm down, don’t worry, I’ll get it fixed for you. 🙂 “
For the most part, my job as a seller/provider isn’t very stressful. I’m always reassuring people and just working through problems. Sometimes customers freak out, but since I usually know exactly what the problem is (or where to start looking), it doesn’t stress ME out that much.
This is me as a customer when I have a problem:
“SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT!!! It’s not working! Was it me? Or is this the seller’s problem? Shit, I don’t know what to do!!@!@! What if they think I’m a moron because I did something stupid? Or what if it’s THEIR fault and they won’t own up to it??”
I’ve been feeling VERY stressed out
I was/am planning on renting a new server. It’s with a new (to me) company, but with very reasonable prices (unlike who I’m with now, where their server components are WAY over priced because “they can”). This server, like my current one, is unmanaged. As I explain in my post about kinds of hosting, this means you don’t get any support. It’s up to you to set things up and solve problems. The only way you get support is if there’s something wrong on THEIR end, like a hard drive fails (then they replace it).
So, I started setting up the new server
The host ended up installing something called XenServer for me, which is a really piece of software. Once that was set up, it was all me (and Coding God). All we did was login, poke around a little, just to make sure everything was there (which is nothing, since it was an empty server for now, lol), and change some passwords.
A few hours later, the server lost internet connection. It was still “alive” and running, it just had no access to the internet. That means I couldn’t get into it through “normal” methods (SSH). This was after we’d stopped fiddling with it, so it’s not like we did anything to cause the problem.
Our initial tests suggested a network connectivity problem, which would be something on the host’s end. So we sent them all the data to suggest that and waited for them to respond. They replied saying they’d forward that to their networking team to look into. So we waited.
For over 24 bloody hours.
Finally, they replied back. They said that they restarted the server and it was fixed now, but they didn’t know what caused the problem. WELL THAT’S NOT VERY REASSURING!
Then, it dies again
Shortly after, it dies again in the exact same way. No internet connection, so I can’t access it. At this point, I’m freaking pissed. I didn’t do anything ‘special’ to the server other than an initial set up (pretty much like buying a brand new computer and installing Windows — THERE’S NOTHING THAT COULD GO WRONG UNLESS THE COMPUTER ITSELF IS DEAD!!).
So I tell them I’m really concerned and I don’t feel comfortable moving my site to this server until we get to the bottom of it. I need to know if this is a software problem (thus MY problem) or a hardware problem (thus THEIR problem) and fix it.
My next day of server activity looks like this:
This is basically stats of the server dying for 1-20 minutes at a time all day long. And that’s when nobody was touching it.
Whose fault is it?
I guess this is the part that gets me. On the one hand, I’m super freaking frustrated. I’ve only had like four different servers, but I’ve never had such a huge problem setting up what is essentially an EMPTY server with nothing on it.
But on the other hand, what if it isn’t the host’s fault at all? What if XenServer is just being really stupid and buggy?
I’m just pissed off because this is really frustrating and stressing me out. I JUST WANT IT TO BE FIXED! It makes me have all kind of second thoughts about moving my site over at all… But then if it’s not the host’s fault, I’ll feel really horrible and guilty for being so impatient with them.
At the height of my frustration, I tweeted this picture at them from my Pingdom report:
Shortly after doing that, I felt really guilty. They’re trying to help but don’t know what the problem is. I shouldn’t be playing the “name and shame” game with them on Twitter. I’M JUST SO GODDAMN FRUSTRATED!
I’ve learned that I have little patience
When I can’t figure something out or I feel like it’s “out of my hands”, I have absolutely zero patience. I just want to kick and scream and go hide in bed until it gets fixed.