I’m Alive Again

It may have taken me a full day but The Digital Reader is finally back online. In a strange way I was one of the victims of Hurricane Sandy, though not quite in the way you might expect. My site went down early Tuesday because of a billing error, not the storm. According to my webhost, 1And1, I was in arrears in payment for my account. Why they could not have billed the valid credit card number they had on file, I do not know.

What I do know was that when I learned my site was returning a 404 error Tuesday morning, I contacted tech support and told that only the billing dept could disable the block. Unfortunately for me, these folks only work from 9 to 5, weekdays. What was even worse for me was that these folks worked in Westchester, PA, and thanks to Sandy they did not go in to the 0ffice on Tuesday.

And no, there was no one else who could have restored my account. It had to be the billings people. And no, they couldn't remote in from home and fix it. And no, it does not make any sense that a hosting company which is supposed to provide 24 hours a day support would create a point-failure source like this.

What, did they think the internet turned itself off after 5pm? (Thank goodness my issue didn't happen on a Friday before a 3-day weekend; I would have been screwed.) I do wonder if that is what they were thinking, but it doesn't matter because I am back on line.

Guess what? It turns out that if I kick and scream loud enough on Twitter and Facebook someone can actually remotely log in at 1am and fix the problem. That's something I will remember in the future.

P.S. And for the record, I am giving a negative recommendation concerning 1And1. They apparently think it is okay to create a situation where they cannot correct their own mistake for a day and a half. That is clearly not a good idea.

About Nate Hoffelder (11476 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

13 Comments on I’m Alive Again

    • 100% agree. Been hosting my websites with hostgator for many years and have had nothing but excellent service. Their ticket system is very good and I get replies to my queries in very quick time.

  1. On the other hand, if this is the worst you have to face over the hurricane, you’re in pretty good shape. Much luckier than most of NJ, for starters.

  2. Hostgator is the way to go.

  3. It really is amazing how quickly webhosts will cut off service in the event of a simple billing problem. There needs to be grace periods for these things. What if the site owner was hospitalized for 2 weeks? Does that mean the hosting service has the right to kick his content out? (By the way, if you are looking for 100% Renewable Energy + Cpanel hosting, I recommend Greek Geeks (I believe they are owned by hostgater).

  4. It really says a lot about customer service when someone has to resort to bitching and moaning on social media, like FB and Twitter, before a customer actually receives some service.

  5. I’m surprised at the problem you had with 1and1. I’ve been with them for 12 years now and have been very happy with their service. I’ve not had a problem like yours, Nate; they bill my credit card automatically, and always have. You should put your research skills to use and find out who the CEO is and e-mail him/her. Ask why your credit card isn’t being automatically billed and why 1and1 doesn’t have contingency plans. It seems to me that if they have a valid credit card on file and don’t bill it but cut you off instead, they would be liable for any damages you suffer.

    Anyway, I’m sorry you had the problem, especially as I recommended 1and1 to you.

  6. digital reader fan // 31 October, 2012 at 1:06 pm // Reply

    Is this not more of the same problem, he has to put in all this hard work the get customer service.

    “You should put your research skills to use and find out who the CEO is and e-mail him/her. “

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