So, I think its been a while since we've heard all the horror stories of Tech Support and/or Customer Service, so I guess I'll start off with one I just now got off the phone for.
In short, I do a lot of websites with a lot of backend, database type stuff - usually with PHP and MySQL, for those that know what that means. Well, I grabbed my standard mysql_connect PHP file, edited the host, user, password, and database, and plugged it into a website I am updating for a client.
Error: Cannot connect to database
Spent an hour pulling hairs out over the issue, then just called the web host's tech support.
Start off with the standard "we don't support custom scripts". Yes, sir, I know, but this is an issue with your database servers. 30 minutes later, after going over the same crap 5 times, and throwing the ball back and forth, the person ends up logging in via FTP to the website, and manually editing a PHP file. Turns out he erased 400 lines of stuff I had written (but backed up), and just declared a bunch of variables, and told me I was good to go. I asked to let me check it while he stayed on the line, but he said he already checked it, so no need. Thanks and goodbye.
I look at it - well, declaring a bunch of variables in PHP is no quick way to connect to a database. You have more chance of hitting the moon while peeing. So, I mess around with it some more, looking on php.net and mysql's website, but to no avail. So, I call back. After holding for 30 minutes, a guy answers, and as I start describing the issue, also saying that the previous tech support person was wrong, he hung up on me. Either that, or my phone, which never drops calls and had 5 bars at the time, randomly dropped the call, and gave the "caller hang up" tone instead of the "dropped call tone". Bah Humbug.
Call back, hold for 25 minutes.
Get somebody who "made it my new years resolution to learn PHP". Cool! Great learning opportunity here. Describe what previous person did, and this guy tells me to do the exact same thing - he said it was in his manual. "You need to type this in, so the PHP knows what version of mysql you're connecting to". BS
, but ok.
"Type this in:
$dbms = 'mysql4';
Oh right, mister. Declaring a variable is going to help. Big time. Might as well aim for the moon and push really hard again. I explained to him that no, his manual is wrong if thats what it says, and they really need to get their act on for PHP. After putting me on hold and talking with the rest of their tech support, he comes back and says it must be a coding error - maybe just a small letter thats wrong. Ok, fair enough. How to decide what it is? I'll install their pre-packaged PHP applications, such as phpBB (forum software), and if their is an error like I get, then it is their fault. If no error, then it is my fault. Simple enough. So, I hang up, and take the 4 minutes it took to install the phpBB software.
Load it in the browser, and, guess what? "Unable to connect to MySQL server". Ding ding ding ding! I win!
Call back, hold for 25 minutes. Same guy answers, so I tell him I was just on the phone with him for a database issue. What does he say? "Oh, it is definitely an error with your coding, because". I wish I didn't cut him off right there, and had let him keep on going to hear what he was going to say. but, I told him he was wrong - go to this URL and see that phpBB isn't working.
He goes, and says "nope, it works for m.... oh wait. Yeah, it doesn't work."
I get put on hold for 15 minutes, he comes back and says he talked to level three tech support (who are actually the guys in the basement who administer the servers), and it turns out it is a DNS issue. I told him that is why I couldn't ping the server before, and it is the exact problem I told them it was, but they refused to acknowledge or even entertain the idea for one moment.
He got my email and phone number, and then "thank you for calling _____ tech support, have a nice night. We'll work on the issue and let you know when it is resolved. Bye."
No thank you, nothing, for:
1) Alerting them of the issue that probably others were having problems with, too
2) Teaching two staff members about PHP
3) Telling them that part of their website is not working, and I had to manually go to a URL that I guessed (left that part out in the interest of keeping this short)
Maybe I should send them a consulting fee.... Time for a new host?
Anyways, for those that don't understand all the PHP and MySQL jargon, my apologies.
but, I'd love to hear your tech support / customer service stories!