Customer Service – A Rant

If you’re reading this, congratulations to us all because it means my move to a new webhost was successful.  I’d been with my previous webhost for over ten years and they were really stellar. If there was a problem it got fixed quickly and courteously. I feel it’s not unrelated, given the story I’m about to tell you, that the person who handled most of the issues I had was a woman who recently left that company.

I was surprised when the security certificate on my site didn’t/couldn’t renew. I contacted my host about why it hadn’t renewed and the response was “You don’t need a cert because you don’t sell anything on your website.”

Notice that this does not respond in any way to my request. Note as well that the customer service rep is wrong. Deeply wrong, in fact.

For the last two years at least Google has been downranking websites that don’t run on SSL (That is, has a security certificate and is https:// rather than http://) and by now users are seeing warnings when they land on a site that isn’t running on SSL. Not to mention an expired cert will cause all kinds of problems for a website.

This is an experience women have all the time. They get worse customer service and more roadblocks in the way of that service. I opened a ticket about why an existing cert hadn’t renewed and the answer to me, someone with an obviously female name, was to question my need for a service I was using. At every step, in fact, my issues were not taken seriously.

On top of this add that these tech support people did not understand certs and how their backend requires they be set up for the customer, and the problem is even worse.

What’s in a Name? Customer Service

The short version of this tale is that I spent from the 14th to 20th explaining over and over what they needed to do and telling them that their changes actually made things worse and had ended up breaking my email. There  was a string of responses over those days that were all basically, we fixed this, please reply to the cert email we are sending you, an email  I was not getting (if they were actually sending it which I doubt because they were doing it wrong) because they broke my email. And if was wasn’t that, it was, please send us the error messages and tell us exactly what the problem is and I kept saying, OK, but look at in the thread of this ticket where I already did that, but here it is AGAIN.

Carolyn Not Charles

It was worse than that, way worse. And I’m just going to say that if my name was Charles Jewel my cert would have been renewed on the first day and I would still be their customer.



2 Responses to “Customer Service – A Rant”

  1. Llaph says:

    I know that this is not funny and can be very frustrating, but your experience totally reminded me of a web hosting company I used to work for a long time ago. My techs would drive me crazy when they would do crap like that… A lot of the times I had to figure out how they broke it and or try to contact the upstream provider to get stuff fixed. I am not as well first as you when it comes to tech issues, but I know enough to be a bit smarter than most people. I’ve had multiple exchanges with customer service for tech stuff that go on for ever it seems. Since I am blind and female I guess I have a double whammy against me. Nothing says fun like having to explain yourself each time you get a reply to your issue. I do advocate being as polite as possible and documenting everything… Eventually it does pan out for the best.

  2. what you said pretty much exactly. But as we are discovering, women ending up dealing with so much friction in their lives that men just don’t, and I am losing patience. If you’re person of color and have a name that conveys that, it’s even worse.

    I really believe that if I’d presented with a male name, the issue would have been resolved a lot sooner and without all the constant refusal to believe what I was telling them. Those are hours I could have been writing or refreshing the creative well instead of all this. I know I’m preaching to the choir, but it’s so frustrating!