Tales of an IT Nobody

devbox:~$ iptables -A OUTPUT -j DROP

Why Rackspace is bad! July 10, 2012

Fanatical support != Customer service, at all!

Recently I’ve migrated a customer that’s been on Rackspace for 6 years, and paying a handsome penny for it at that. The migration was to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and I sent a friendly reminder to the client to cancel the RS account (9 days in advance to the renewal date).

Here’s how things went down:

RS: “We require a 30-day written notice to cancel your account”.

This is on a host that is on a month-to-month basis and the costs have been on an incline. In fact, the cost was to go up $10/month next month. (Suffice it to say, it’s not much compared to the overall monthly bill).

So I’m thinking to myself, well that’s a crappy “policy”. I give them a ring on behalf of my client and see if we can leverage some flexibility. I simply ask to waiver the 30 day ‘penalty’. Not even a pro-rate for the days unused for the month.

The RS rep is quick to tell me how many people call that dislike that policy and try to get somewhere with it, but they stick to it. At this point I’m thinking, wow – this will be a little challenge.

I explained that the cost was going up and is something that wasn’t agreeable and therefore there is good cause to waive that type of penalty. No go.

We go circular a bit on customer service – I blab a bit about how the competition (Linnode, AWS, etc) allow me to do more than they offer, for cheaper and not have a penalty. I also say that it’s odd that in most circumstances you’ll get a counter offer from a retention specialist (you know, we’ll knock off 10% on your hosting). Still kind of a nod-n-smile go screw yourself attitude from this rep.

Then he says “We value your feedback and it helps us become better”.
I respond: “OH REALLY? You start the call by telling me how many pissed off people are calling about this policy, try to stick it to me as well and then give me a line like that?

Enough is enough – I ask for a manager and exclaim I understand if he “has to say that” but this is an unacceptable situation.

The manger’s response: They won’t deal with me. They’ll only talk with my client. (Who in turn, told the client to hose off in the same manner).

All I can say is this:

  1. Rackspace prices aren’t that hot. Look elsewhere.
  2. The fanatical support thing is cute, but the customer service is pure garbage in the above context. I’ve never been treated like that. I’ve had better luck with credit card companies and land lords than this.
  3. There’s this 30-day thing (Beware!)
  4. If they give you support, they’ll want the root password for your server.
  5. Their SLA is a lie, it reports on the 30 minute interval. Which means they can be down for 29 minutes every hour and not record it as downtime.
  6. Their backup system on dedicated hosting is a bloated, un-tamed mess if you let them manage it, they let the ‘rack’ account on my client’s server exceed 60GB of crap that should be cleaned up. E.g.: backup software updates, provisioning/monitoring tools
  7. They ask for root before sudo configuration (See #4)
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