February 21, 2006

I am sorry. It has to go through Certain proceedure.

Stefan has just hooked me up with SMTP service at felixsalmon.com, and not a moment too soon. I get my internet access from Earthlink, and their SMTP service is crap: outgoing emails can get stuck on their mail servers for up to two days. Here are some transcripts from this morning's attempts to get an answer to the question of why this was happening. Interspersed with some commentary. (It's on a separate webpage rather than after the jump because I was having formatting issues. Sorry.)

Posted by Felix at 09:19 PM GMT

You secretly enjoyed that.

Posted by: Stefan on February 21, 2006 10:48 PM

I will not so secretly have enjoyed it if Peter M gets into any kind of trouble for this, or if I manage to extract an apology out of Earthlink for their general uselessness.

Posted by: Felix on February 21, 2006 11:22 PM

so are you more upset with the general lack of effort to fix your problem? or with the fact that you carried on a lengthy and pointless conversation with what (mostly) seems to be a bot?

Posted by: geoff on February 22, 2006 04:26 AM

Who do you think you are? Jeff Jarvis?

Posted by: Sterling on February 23, 2006 05:35 AM

Felix - I spend an inordinate amount of time in these situations. I'm not one for chat, I'd say get them on the phone, if they start talking in circles ask for a supervisor. Oh, and tell them you don't want to be placed on hold as by now you've probably spent twenty minutes waiting on hold only to have the transfer botched.

Curious and curiouser.


Posted by: Gherimiah on February 24, 2006 09:37 PM

Yeah, I'm a big tech-freindly person, and I've never once used those stupid chat bots. It's just another layer of crap that absolves them of responsibility vis-a-vis their product. I call, and if the tech support person does not impress me within the first two minutes, I ask them to give me a supervisor. If they refuse, I hang up and call again. Within 2-3 calls, I get someone who knows what they are doing, and sets everything straight.

Sorry to say, but my tolerance for bad support has gone down dramatically in recent years. Nowadays, the first sign of stupidity or lack of concern for my issue receives an immediate attitude upgrade from "Mary Poppins" to "Vic Mackey".

Posted by: L'Emmerdeur on February 24, 2006 09:53 PM

This was cross-posted to the Consumerist, which is read by Earthlink, and I just got a phone call from them apologising for the quality of their live chat support and saying that it should improve now that it's under new management.

I'll believe it when I see it, of course. But at least senior people at Earthlink are aware of the problems (a) with SMTP service, and (b) with support.

Posted by: Felix on February 28, 2006 09:46 PM