You should always conduct yourself professionally!

Sometimes you just have to vent, and this is one such situation.  We recently had a customer who decided to make some derogatory posts on our forums accusing us of “pissing somebody off” resulting in us being a “target of DDoS attacks” when in reality it was simply a client we were hosting that was the target of the attacks.  One of the downsides of DDoS attacks is that they’re a carpet bomb and they affect all sites on the server, and not just the intended target.

The client was warned via private message and their warn level on the forum was increased and then they decided to make another reply yet again re-iterating their original post and going far enough to make a public threat against us on our forums.  We at this point disabled the client’s forum account and opened an abuse support ticket with them which you will find below.  The client’s identifying information has been removed as our privacy policy protects the client’s identity and personal information but the contents of the ticket itself is not personal.

MDDHosting – Abuse on Forums

Ticket ID: [Redacted]
Department: Abuse
Creation Date: 09/26/2010 20:28
Last Reply: 09/26/2010 22:47
Status: Closed
Priority: Medium


[Redacted Client Name] @ 09/26/2010 20:28


[First Name],

First and foremost I would like to say that I am very disappointed in your lack of self control in our community forums. We generally do our best to avoid having to moderate any posts as we like to keep things open and honest however we will not allow you to be intentionally derogatory towards us, our clients, or our services without just cause.

One thing you should keep in mind is that your account and services are on the ***Echo*** server and as such are not affected whatsoever by the issues we’re facing with the Fresco server. We’ve disabled your posting abilities on the forums for 30 days and your posts are set for moderator preview for 60 days. Please use your short vacation from the forums to think about how you have conducted yourself, and how you should have conducted yourself.

Thank you,

Michael Denney
MDDHosting – Professional Hosting
http://www.mddhosting.com/
Follow us on Twitter! http://twitter.com/MDDHosting


[Redacted Client Name] @ 09/26/2010 20:40


I will be expecting a prompt refund on the expenses for the Echo server as
you failed to provide your promised 99.9% uptime shame I have to even ask.
I had not planned on even asking even though I know I deserve it.
And I would like to point out that you are totally lost. I have been paying
you for Fresco and Echo so I have two servers with you.
You are the one that does not know what your talking about. Keep in mind I
am paying your salary you don’t pay me anything at all.

I will be expecting a full apology and complete reversal of these actions
and then I might not switch to another host.

[Redacted Client Name]


Michael Denney @ 09/26/2010 20:41


I saw that you have accounts on Fresco after looking into your account further. Either way – you need to conduct yourself professionally on our forums.

I’ll be more than happy to apply a credit of $26.50 to your account however I will not apologize for reprimanding you on your conduct in our forums. If you wish to shift hosting providers, by all means do so.

Thank you,

Michael Denney
MDDHosting – Professional Hosting
http://www.mddhosting.com/
Follow us on Twitter! http://twitter.com/MDDHosting


Michael Denney @ 09/26/2010 20:43


The credit of $26.50 has been applied to your account.

Thank you,

Michael Denney
MDDHosting – Professional Hosting
http://www.mddhosting.com/
Follow us on Twitter! http://twitter.com/MDDHosting


[Redacted Client Name] @ 09/26/2010 21:19


To the account? or credited back to my card?


Michael Denney @ 09/26/2010 21:24


It went back to your account with us as per our Terms of Service section 9b.) Uptime Guarantee.

Thank you,

Michael Denney
MDDHosting – Professional Hosting
http://www.mddhosting.com/
Follow us on Twitter! http://twitter.com/MDDHosting


[Redacted Client Name] @ 09/26/2010 21:28


That defeats the whole concept of a refund when you keep the money just
calling it something else.
So you drop the ball then still keep the funds.
I have to say you have been a great company so long as I never had a
problem.
Then the first bad incident and you fall apart and keep the money to boot.


Scott S @ 09/26/2010 22:03


Hello [First Name],

I understand you are displeased with our service this month. I also understand that you have been a client for 17 months without issues.

Ultimately, it comes down to an old saying: “When it rains, it pours.” Both the zero-day exploit on echo and the DDoS attack on fresco are situations that are out of our control. We do our best to remedy them as fast as possible while protecting your sites, customers and data.

Our TOS entitles you to a one month credit on your account for time lost due to the echo problem. This credit has already been added to your account and will be applied to future invoices.

As for the fresco DDoS attack, we have already made changes to mitigate the attack, and at this moment, the server is responding normally. We do not anticipate any downtime because of this attack. In fact, other than a few users in europe reporting slower than normal FTP connections, nobody reported any downtime or issues.

Regarding the forums: we hate to have to moderate our forums. It’s our policy to keep things 100% open and honest wherever possible, but we do need everyone to remain professional when replying to announcement threads. Clients, such as yourself, go there for important announcements about the status of their service. Off topic and unrelated conversation makes it difficult to effectively communicate what is happening. If you ever have an issue with a moderator decision, please open a support ticket and we will discuss it with you.

As I said earlier: when it rain’s, it pours. If you feel that a zero-day exploit, plus less than an hour of slightly slower than normal FTP connections truly negates 17 months of exceptional service and support, then we wish you good luck with your next provider.

If you understand that some things are out of our control, and that we do our best to mitigate them, protect you and your clients, and maintain great uptime whenever possible, then you are welcome to stick around and take advantage of the credit on your account. The choice is yours.

Thank you,

Scott S.
MDDHosting – Professional Hosting
http://www.mddhosting.com/
Follow us on Twitter! http://twitter.com/MDDHosting


[Redacted Client Name] @ 09/26/2010 22:35


I asked one simple question as to whom had been pissed off to end up having
issues.
Then someone made the mistake of treating me as if you were my customer and
trying to tell me how I need to behave.
I really could care less about a DDoS attack I knew that it would be handled
easily I have done seen people douse those in the past.
What does however create a problem is when I have someone that I am paying
$503 a year treating me as if I am some kid
and trying to admonish me over the slightest comment they choose to take
offense.
I was nice enough to say I would settle for an apology and forget about it.
If he chooses to behave in this manner and be so thin skinned and childish I
have no alternative but make sure I spend not another penny with your firm.
There is a line a mile long these days of hosts that would love to have the
$503 for the next however many years they can keep the doors open.

I wouldn’t exactly say I have not had any issues either. I did have to
contact your company support desk several times where sites just disappeared
which turned out to be a problem with the Lightning server not displaying
pages due to a permission error. Which was never explained as to why the
failure happened since permissions were never changed. Again I am a patient
man and I was able to research the problem and fix it and provide your
company with the details for future clients that had similar experiences.

Having server issues from time to time can be overlooked, but failure to
respect customers can’t.

[Redacted Client Name]


Michael Denney @ 09/26/2010 22:44


> I asked one simple question as to whom had been pissed off to end up having
> issues.
This would be implying that MDDHosting had done something to somebody to piss them off. It wasn’t so much what you said but the implications of what you said.

> Then someone made the mistake of treating me as if you were my customer and
> trying to tell me how I need to behave.
It’s our forums, not yours, and as such we will enforce the rules and guidelines on those forums as we see fit. If you disagree with the way that we choose to run our forums, you’re welcome to abstain from using them. Nobody is forcing you to post on the forums.

> I really could care less about a DDoS attack I knew that it would be handled
> easily I have done seen people douse those in the past.
This particular attack, yes – but not all attacks are equal. We always do our best to keep things online because to be honest that’s the business that we’re in. We’re not in the business of having sites offline.

> What does however create a problem is when I have someone that I am paying
> $503 a year treating me as if I am some kid
> and trying to admonish me over the slightest comment they choose to take
> offense.
We simply warned you that you needed to watch your attitude on the forums, if you took offense to that then there isn’t much that we can do about that. If you want to have a forum where you can make negative posts towards MDDHosting.com, by all means do start your own forum.

> I was nice enough to say I would settle for an apology and forget about it.
It’s like I said, we’re not going to apologize for reprimanding you on the forum. You can either move on with your life, or you can allow this to upset you when there is really no reason to be upset. I won’t go so far as to call you childish however I do personally feel it would be a tad childish to “throw a fit” over a forum reprimand.

> If he chooses to behave in this manner and be so thin skinned and childish I
> have no alternative but make sure I spend not another penny with your firm.
> There is a line a mile long these days of hosts that would love to have the
> $503 for the next however many years they can keep the doors open.
It’s not about the money – to be honest whether you paid us $1/year or $1,000/year the fact still stands that you would have been reprimanded on the forums and that I still would not apologize for doing so. You need to conduct yourself in a professional manner on our community forums. Using the forums is a privilege and *not* a right and as such we can suspend those privileges at any time. We’ve temporarily disabled your forum account for 30 days to give you some time to think about your actions on the forums.

> I wouldn’t exactly say I have not had any issues either. I did have to
> contact your company support desk several times where sites just disappeared
> which turned out to be a problem with the Lightning server not displaying
> pages due to a permission error. Which was never explained as to why the
> failure happened since permissions were never changed. Again I am a patient
> man and I was able to research the problem and fix it and provide your
> company with the details for future clients that had similar experiences.
I do believe the issue was explained however if you’d like to give me a ticket number I can look it over and tell you exactly why it happened.

> Having server issues from time to time can be overlooked, but failure to
> respect customers can’t.
In no way have we disrespected you – you were out of line on our forums and you were warned… You then took it a step further on the forum after having previously been warned and your forum account was disabled. Warning you on the forum and disabling your forum account is in no way disrespectful and is fully within our rights as the operators of the forums.

Thank you,

Michael Denney
MDDHosting – Professional Hosting
http://www.mddhosting.com/
Follow us on Twitter! http://twitter.com/MDDHosting


Michael Denney @ 09/26/2010 22:47


At this point I’m done discussing this with you, I’m willing to let this go and move on if you’re willing to do the same however your forum account is going to remain disabled for 30 days and with moderator approval for 60. If you wish to continue services or not is up to you and that’s a decision you will make – it’s not something that you need to discuss with us. You’re welcome to submit cancellations should you decide to shift to a new provider, at any time.

I’m closing this ticket.

Thank you,

Michael Denney
MDDHosting – Professional Hosting
http://www.mddhosting.com/
Follow us on Twitter! http://twitter.com/MDDHosting

Share

11 thoughts on “You should always conduct yourself professionally!

  1. Sounds like this dude thinks he funds the entire company! The audacity of some people!
    It seems like you put up with so much crap from a few customers and yet you remain positive, responsive, and helpful to the rest of the customers which is awesome and one of the many the reasons I will continue be a customer for a long time to come at MDDHosting. Also, as I have been a client for almost a year, expect to see an awesome review soon (I’ll probably post it on RatePoint and Web Hosting Talk).
    Again MDDHosting, thanks for the great service and support and keep up the good work!

  2. He is being a tad silly in my honest opinion but it’s pretty rare. Over the last few years I’ve only seen a couple of people really fly off the handle for no apparent good reason. I’m just waiting for him to come across this post and raise some sort of fuss about it, at which point he will be the one making it evident who it is and not me.

    Thank you for the kind words 🙂 Just be as honest and detailed as you can in any review that you write.

  3. I’m 99.9% sure he’s going to be moving to another provider. What I find interesting is he was looking for a provider offering what we offer (copied and pasted our reseller page) and he wasn’t getting much advice. I hope things work out for him in the long run as I don’t ever wish bad things on anybody whether I agree with them or not 🙂

  4. Wow just wow. This feels like some of the trolls I’ve dealt with on various forums. First Kudos to you and Scott. Honestly I would probably close their hosting account and not give a refund based on abusive behavior directed at MDDhosting’s staff. Granted I may be stretched “abusive” a bit but really that person had it comming.

    This line to me sums up everything wrong with this person thought process.

    “I have been paying
    you for Fresco and Echo so I have two servers with you.”

    Now this implies something rather funny. As another commenter mentioned. This user acts like he is paying for both of MDD’s shared servers. I don’t think he meant it that way. But the way he worded that phrase doesn’t lend him creditability.

    I just configured a server at Softlayer and its the price anyone without discounts our talking to a sales rep would pay. to get a basic dual quad 5520, 12 gig of ram and 4×300 SAS drives came out to 1,009.00 dollars. So unless he is paying atleast 1k a month then he just seems disillusion. I’m sorry I just found that part of his quote really amusing.

  5. But if he just wants an “apology” to repair his child-like “world revolves around me” self-importance, why not just give it to him and move on? It’s obvious that he’s in the wrong, but perhaps a, “I’m sorry that you were upset, we hope that our future service will make you happy,” would take care of it.

    Probably because your a young person, but when you get as old as me, you realize that you know you were right, and that’s enough, be the bigger person and keep a business customer happy.

  6. Ultimately I’m never going to apologize for taking a necessary action. The user did not conduct themselves in a professional manner and was warned in a polite manner at which point they went way out of line. Whether or not they wanted an apology wasn’t so much the issue, as much as that they felt that they could treat me and my staff in an inappropriate fashion and that is not something I will tolerate. There is certainly more to the story as I didn’t post any of the PMs or the warnings on the forums, but the gist is that ultimately you should communicate with respect and conduct yourself professionally.

    Now don’t get me wrong, you make a very valid point and I agree with it – but based upon the “big picture” of this situation I feel the appropriate actions were taken.

  7. LOL “..so you can think about your actions”?! You look like a pretty young guy there, Mike. If some one less my age spoke to me like that [ie, scolding me like a child], I would bop them one on the nose. I agree this person was being silly but your tone was beyond condescending.

  8. I am fairly young (going on 25 in about 30 days) so I won’t pretend otherwise. Beyond that – when you are posting on somebody else’s forums, be it a company forum or a personal forum, you need to abide by their rules and guidelines. If you disagree with their rules, guidelines, or moderation then you should simply discontinue your use of the forums.

    The individual received a warning on the forum, yes, just a warning that their actions were inappropriate and why we felt that they were inappropriate and then they blew up. They responded by “warning” us that they would take their business elsewhere if the warning was not removed from their forum account.

    Ultimately what has been done cannot be changed and with every experience in life one must learn and grow. I can’t say that I’d necessarily handle it the same would the same situation happen again but I can say that I don’t regret how it was handled.

    As always, I appreciate your honest input.

  9. Just stumbled upon your blog, Mike. Good stuff – you should write more often. Regarding this client (or ex-client) – I think you did a great job keeping your cool and remaining professional.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *