Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

Pretty accurate really

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Yep, looks familiar!

Hotel Internet charges

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

19.95 Euros a day to access the Internet? No way am I paying that, on principle! Marched up to the front desk and requested the details of one of their Directors 🙂

Dear Mr. Nassila,

  My name is Eddy Deegan, and I am a senior Global Solutions Architect for an American technology company. I am currently staying in the hotel next to the Grand Arch in Paris a la Defence, as I am working on-site with a team at [Name withheld for obvious reasons – I did put it in the letter though]

  I was given your card by a young man at reception. I am writing to you to express my dissatisfaction at the extortionate charges for Internet access at your hotel. Having booked the room for 2 nights at nearly 500 euros, spent 100 euros or more at the restaurant, and being a business traveller, I was shocked and dismayed to see a charge for 20 euros per night for Internet access.

 I come to Paris regularly but this is the first time I have used the Renaissance hotel.  I rely on the Internet to co-ordinate with my colleagues in California. My objection to the price of Internet connection is that it is an essential component of a business trip and to require 20 euros a day on top of an already healthy hotel bill seems nothing but greedy to me.

  I am therefore registering my disappointment that an otherwise excellent hotel would let itself down in this manner. I regret that I will not be returning. Nor will I be paying 20 euros for access to email from my room. It is actually cheaper for me to buy bandwidth from my UK mobile phone supplier, even in France.

 20 euros is not much money, but it is not about that. It is about me as a business traveller feeling let down by a hotel that I would have expected better service from.

Yours sincerely,

Eddy Deegan, room 226.

I will update this post should any further developments arise, though I’m not holding my breath on that one!

ICANN complaint filed just now

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

So, another call, another delay, another promise of doing it in 24 hours or less. I just submitted the following complaint to ICANN via

Network Solutions placed a ’30 day lock’ on the domain after I changed a password 6 days ago, but have steadfastly failed to remove this lock despite 4 calls from me, some lasting up to an hour. They have repeatedly said it would take 24 hours (from the time of calling, on multiple occasions), told me the department that can lift the lock is closed, promised to do it first thing next US business day, yet still the lock remains. I am on the phone to them right now and they have said they tried to call me on the primary number they have for me (which is a number I told them ahead of time I would be unavailable on and gave them an alternative) but have not sought to contact me on the number (which is correct) which they know me to be on based on the last few calls with them and which is associated with my account as shown in their management interface. Nor have they attempted to contact me via email (they have the correct address on record) about it. Along the way they have repeatedly tried to get me (on every call) to opt-in to them sending me unwanted spam via mail and SMS and despite everything, they have failed to accede to the simple request to unlock my domain so that I can move it to another provider. My domain even shows a ‘no transfer lock’ status in their admin interface (which is, in my opinion deliberately designed to be obscure) – the ‘lock’ is a procedural one only. I’m sick of this – I’ve spent over 2 hours on the phone with them in the last. And yet they have failed to release the lock. I therefore wish to make a formal complaint. This is a completely unacceptable manner in which to treat the legitimate owner of a domain who wishes to transfer it out of their registration.

Yes, it wasn’t massively well written as rants go (and there is that annoying truncated sentence therein) but I was exceedingly cross and I think the gist is clear. Expecting to get a call from a Network Solutions manager tomorrow (I blasted them, based on timezones when they said ‘in 2-3 hours’) so I’ll take the opportunity to express my utter rejection of their abusive (to the customer) policies to the manager as well. On the plus side, current business trip is going well (and I can’t do anything much with the domain until I get back home anyway).


The ‘modern’ way of doing things

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

For the last 3 days I have been using Skype (thank goodness it’s a cheap method) to repeatedly contact Network Solutions to get my domain, released so that I can transfer it to my new registrar (who are infinitely better and significantly cheaper). Time and time again I have been met with long queues, delaying tactics, promises of action that were not met, repeated attempts to get me to allow them to spam me and so forth. I changed the password to access my account (because I’d forgotten it) and they placed an arbitrary 30 day ‘lock’ on the domain to prevent me transferring it as a result. This, it seems, can be circumvented on demand but they are dragging their feet awfully.

I would add, that during these communications they have repeatedly tried to get me to stay with them by offering me ridiculously temporary cheap renewals etc. I have laughed at them as the fools that they are, explaining with relish the facts:

  • a) Their account management interface is rubbish and deliberately designed to confuse the average punter
  • b) Their fees are not even in the same ballpark as reasonable providers (they are over 400% of the cost of my new provider)
  • c) The fact that they have intentionally tried to block me every step of the way while going through this abysmal process has only served to turn me against them further to the point I am willing to do whatever it takes to beat their crappy system

So, latest call, which I am on at the time of writing, and I have painstakingly explained to the poor chump on the phone that I am not a US citizen, I am not used to this kind of bureaucratic rubbish and I’m not prepared to stand for it. They placed an arbitrary lock on the account, they know who I am so it certainly shouldn’t take 24 hours+ to release said lock. I’m fully aware of why they do. Ostensibly it’s for security, which is understandable, kinda, but having identified myself to them they should release it immediately without playing stupid bloody games.

These idiots are a classic example of what is wrong with the way things are run these days. Tried to phone your bank, mortgage provider, insurance company or energy provider recently? You know what I’m talking about then – layers of stupid menus, long waits on hold while they periodically assure you that your business is important to them and they are experiencing ‘unprecedented’ demand. Sound familiar? Welcome to the cost-cutting, shoddy, responsibility-avoiding, lily-livered coward-like approach to customer service. It started in the USA and it’s now coming here. The US contingent have taken it to new heights (just google for Comcast horror stories for some great reads!)

I isn’t takin’ it a-layin’ down I tells ya! So, I’m on hold with Network Problems Solutions, I’ve already given the initial phone-monkey a talking to, and the supervisor is next.

I’m going to get this domain transferred, and that’s that! I have, am and shall continue to leverage my British disdain/contempt to belittle the pathetic efforts of these robots to dissuade me from same.

<30 minutes pass>

Update: So, escalated to level 3  and after an hour got the manager’s manager. To be fair, after I’d given my little spiel about the shoddy customer service, the untold delays and general fail of the whole sorry procedure he was sort of lost for words. Yet helpless. They insist it’s going to take 24 hours and it’s out of their hands but I have a sneaky hope it’ll be done overnight my time. I was able to convey my frustration without shouting at him. I even called him ‘mate’ at one point, all friendly like (I think in between telling him I was recording the call and they’d be on Reddit, Youtube and my log tomorrow if they didn’t come through [this was a bluff, although I wish I had recorded it!]) at which point he seemed a little more motivated.

Anyway, off to France for a couple of days from tomorrow night, so let’s see what tomorrow brings. The lessons to take from this are:

  1. Don’t get a domain with Network Solutions. They will overcharge you 400%+
  2. Don’t get a domain with Network Solutions. They will do everything they can to entrap you in procedure and prevent you moving domains
  3. Don’t get a domain with Network Solutions. Their account management interface is (I suspect deliberately) abysmal in terms of transparency
  4. Don’t get a domain with Network Solutions.
  5. Network Solutions are ironically named. They are actually a massive Network Problem 🙂