Website Designers and Webmasters

Dedicated to all the tasks Webmasters, Website Developers and Website Designers find themselves facing.

By: Ashton Sanders

AOL Account Cancelation – Service Review

May 18 2007

Filed under: Rant,Review

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WiaF MascotIf you need a good laugh along the same lines of my recent annoyances with Century Tel Problems, it looks like AOL is even worse than Century Tel! I don’t know how that is even possible, but check out this:

Vincent Ferrari called AOL to cancel his AOL account, and it took 21 minutes, which isn’t really that impressive, but what is really amazing is the four minutes of recorded dialog with the customer service representative.

Check it out here:

Cancel AOL in 21 minutes

SOOO FUNNY!!!

Hahahah! That is a a very vivid horror story with AOL.

-Where has Customer Service gone?
-Ashton Sanders

By: Ashton Sanders

Network Solutions – Ridiculous Web host

May 10 2007


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WiaF MascotWho is a ridiculous web host you ask? Well I’m sure there are lots of answers to that, but here is one good one: Network Solutions.

I’m only going to cover the topic of Domain Registration:

Godaddy: $8.99 /year
1and1.com: $5.99 /year

Network Solutions: $34.99/year

What!! Are you serious?!?! It’s not like you can have high-quality Domain Registration. You either own the domain or you don’t… Thats it, and they are charging three to six times the price for the exact thing. It’s not like being a big name registrar makes you better at registering domains.

Oh but you do get a deal with network solutions if you buy for multiple years. you can get down to $9.99 if you buy 100 years!.

That just makes me sick! I can’t believe they get away with that. It’s just another example of how easy it is to rip people off on the internet.

-Ashton Sanders

By: Ashton Sanders

Century Tel #4 – Service Review

May 5 2007

Filed under: Century Tel,Review

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Here we go again:

(This one isn’t really that bad… its just a humorous waste of time.)

Note: I have a cell phone, and don’t have any use for a home line, but you need a phone line to have DSL, so here I am stuck with a phone line that Century Tel can Spam, and cell to Telemarketing companies… I don’t have Dish either, so all I use Century Tel for is Phone and 6.0 MB/sec High-Speed Internet.

I’ve had Century Tel DSL for just over a month at my new residence, and yesterday, I get a call from them letting me know that I can package all of my services… It would have been nice to have received that information when I first signed up, but you take what you can get with Century Tel.

Sweet, what can you tone down my ridiculously-priced services to?

Century Tel Representative: “I can package your High-Speed Internet and your phone together for $80/month. (and with the service charges, taxes, etc. it comes out to about $100/month.) Do you have the 1.5 MB/sec or 256 KB/sec?

Me: “Uh… I have 6.0 MB/sec High-Speed Internet… What would it cost for that speed?”

Century Tel Representative: “It says you can’t get more than 1.5MB/sec at your residence…”

Me: “A speed test just told me I’ve got 4.3 MB/sec which is usually what Century Tel gives when you pay for 6.0 MB/sec. Can you tell me what it would cost to package the 6.0 MB/sec?”

Century Tel Representative: “No, I don’t have the price for that.”

HAHA?!?! You called me to tell me you don’t know the price for the package you would sell me… Priceless.

-Thank you for wasting my time,
-Ashton Sanders

(P.S. Click to view all posts on Century Tel.)

(P.P.S. As of Today, if you Search Google For “Century Tel”, this blog comes up on the bottom of the first page! HA!)

By: Ashton Sanders

Service Review – Century Tel #3

Apr 20 2007

Filed under: Century Tel,Rant,Review

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Century Tel does it again! Yes, if you have ever had Century Tel for an Internet Provider, or have read either one of these posts: Century Tel #1 or Century Tel #2, than you know how low quality Century Tel really is.

At the end of my last Service Review about Century Tel, I finally got disconnected from them, and got Bresnan (for twice the speed and half the price). Unfortunately, I have moved to a ranch in the country, and the ONLY high-speed Internet connection available is… you guessed it… Century Tel. I put off calling them for as long as possible… but the time came, and I had to reconnect to them.

The First Call

I dialed their number as I was desperately searching the internet for another provider. A representative answered the phone with their “My goal is to provide you excellent customer service for your communication needs…” or something like that. I gave them my address for my new house and asked what kind of high-speed internet I could get out there. She said I could get 6MB/sec. Hey, that’s not to bad, considering I live in Polson, Montana. (Although I get currently get 8MB/sec with Bresnan.)

Right then I found Quest, who seems to have a sweet deal on DSL Internet, so I tell the Century Tel rep that I’ll call them back if I can’t find a better deal. Unfortunately I do have to call them back because quest doesn’t give service to my area.

The Second Call

I call Century Tel back. This time the rep says I can only get 3Mb/sec…. “WHAT?!?! I just called in and they said I could get 6Mb/sec!”

The Century Tel rep said, “Really? On this address? You had them check this address?… Hmm… let me check… Oh yea look here you can get 6Mb/sec.”

Are you serious? Then why did you tell me I could only get 3Mb/sec? I can’t see your screen, it’s your job to be a representative of Century Tel. But hey, it could be worse… at least I was lucky enough that time. If she was dumb enough to miss that one, maybe I could get an even faster connection… “Can I get the 10Mb/sec?”

“Yes, you can.”

I had two reactions to this last statement: 1) AAAAHH!!!! Why won’t you just tell me what I have available?! It’s not my job to quiz you on all of the different options I have, It’s yours! 2) Sweet! 10Mb/sec. I finally have a justification to using Century Tel over all of the other companies who don’t suck.

Century Tel Does It Again (Third Call)

I get a call from Century Tel two days later saying that everything has been set up and I can now use my Internet. So I move into my new house, and try to set up the Internet, and surprise, surprise, the Internet doesn’t work. I call into their help center, after doing a system and modem reboot. I get a guy who has be reboot my modem a couple more times before telling me that I should just wait a couple more days and then try it again…

Thank you for that suggestion, but I do websites. I only work on the Internet. I can’t just wait a couple more days. You said it would be up today, and then called me to tell me that it was all set up, and now you tell me to just wait.

The Fourth Call

I try fiddling with my set up to get it to work for a couple hours to no avail, so I call Century Tel again to see if I could get an intelligent rep. As luck would have it, I get a lady who immediately fixes my problem with a quick username/password. Thank you! I love when bad service gets lucky. My Internet works, and I have 5Mb/sec! It’s too good to be true…… literally…

The Fifth Call

This morning dawns on three computers without internet. I check all of the connections, the power, all of the lights are on. I reboot everything and make sure the username/password is in place. I didn’t change anything from last night, so why is it broken? I have to call them again.

I get another guy who has no idea what’s happening. He has me do the same things over and over, and nothing is working. After a half hour, it finally starts working but I’ve got 4Mb/sec and it’s getting slower.

Whatever. At least I have Internet, and I can get to work.

Century Tel at it’s Finest

At about 3:00 in the afternoon, a Century Tel truck pulls up, and a guy fiddles with my wires. He tells me that they dropped me down to 1.5Mb/second because the 6Mb/sec was acting up, and giving them problems… And sure enough, here I am stuck with 1.5Mb/sec.

Summary:

There really is nothing quite like being promised one thing and given another, and on top of that, having customer service reps who have no idea how to read. Century Tel promised me 10Mb/sec and here I am four days, and five phone calls later, with 1.5Mb/second.

I better get a discount on my ridiculously priced service, or yet another Service Review about Century Tel will be coming along soon.

-“Oh, the Importance of Quality Customer Service.”
-Ashton Sanders

By: Ashton Sanders

Internet Scams

Mar 28 2007

Filed under: Life,Rant,Review,Webmaster

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WiaF MascotWhy do people have to be jerks? Why do people feel it is okay to rip of their neighbors? Why do people have to be so stupid?

Those are some philosophic questions that won’t necessarily be answered in this blog post… but I might get around to it. =)

About a week ago, I started working with a new client. (Lets say her name was Jan.) We got together, and talked about pricing and domain names, etc. We found and bought a domain name, but my client decided that it would be best to wait 1 week before we actually would start putting together her website design.

(NOTE: There was nothing on her website. Nothing, Zilch, Nada, ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY NOTHING!)

Before the week is up, Jan calls to tell me that she received an offer from “Google” to place her site on the top of the search engines for a cheap monthly fee. She had agreed and “Google” faxed her a contract to sign and send back. Luckily for her, she called me. Here is what the contract said:

Terms & Conditions

Guarantees
Your site will be found as promised (on the first page for: real estate agent polson, properties for sale polson, real estate for sale polson, home for sale polson, mls listings polson) within 3-5 business days upon account verification. In the event that you are not found on the first page, we will correct the placement within 2 business days and provide a pro-rated credit to compensate you for the time your site was not found as promised. *Company Name* reserves the right to modify search terms at any time to enhance overall campaign performances.

Credit Card / Checking Authorization
I understand that this contract is for a minimum period of 12 months and that *Company Name* is authorized to debit my credit card or checking account monthly during the term for the price of $119.00. After 12 months, the authorization will continue on a month by month basis, unless the customer noted above sends a cancellation by fax to *Company Name* International at 1-866-***-****.

Cancellation Policy
All fees paid prior to cancellation are non-refundable.

If you wish to discuss your account with a *Company Name* Representative, peease contact *Company Name* at 1-866-***-****. the event of default of this contract (10 days past due), I will be responsible for the full amount of this agreement.

Wow! They can get my site so good that it will appear on the first page? No… It’s called Google Adwords, and the price per click for those keywords are like 5 cents! And NOBODY searches those keywords.

If you type in “real estate agent polson” (the first keyword they mentioned) into the Overture Keyword Selector Tool it will tell you that it “doesn’t have any suggestions for those keywords.” In other words, so few people search that term, it doesn’t have statistics on it.

ARE YOU SERIOUS?

You pay $120 bucks a month to hire a company to start a Google Adwords campaign at 5 cents a click on keywords that nobody searches…

There is only one word for businesses like that: Assholes.

You are not providing any sort of service; you’re just pretending to provide a service. You are a teenage prick who thinks that taking advantage of ignorant people is an honest means of making a living…

-Grow Up
-Ashton Sanders

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You have found the semi-coherent ramblings of Ashton Sanders: a website designer, developer and webmaster. This is primarily Ashton's place to save notes about techniques and things that he learns in his never-ending conquest of the internet. Hopefully it's coherent enough to be useful to you too.

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