Emmanuel wrote in to share with us an appalling exchange he had with a CSR for Sunwave Communications, the hosting company for his website. After days of no visible progress on an open support ticket, he asked online support for more information. The first time he admitted to not knowing something, he was met with sarcasm. In a fairly short chat session the CSR became increasingly belligerent, until a stunned Emmanuel commented he was at a loss for words. The CSR’s reply? “You are at a loss for knowledge.” Emmanuel is no longer a customer. Read their chat, inside.
info: Please wait for a site operator to respond.
info: You are now chatting with ‘Online Support’
Online Support: Hello :) How can I help you?
Emanuel: Hi, any status on my PHP4 to PHP5 upgrade on [redacted].
Online Support: i’m not the one doing that job, so i can’t give you any information right now
Online Support: i know that it’s underway
Emanuel: can you give me anything?
Online Support: but that’s all i know
Emanuel: its been about 4 days now
Online Support: did you ever check whether your server already had php5?
Online Support: about half of them do
Emanuel: its running php 4.4.7
Online Support: but did you look to see if php5 is also on it
Emanuel: no i didnt
Emanuel: not even quite sure how i would test that
Emanuel: i don’t have a shell
Online Support: umm
Emanuel: php5 at the top of the script?
Online Support: it’s always terrifying to me that people who have no idea what they are doing are ready to install and run scripts
Online Support: there is NOTHING that you can do with a shell that can’t be done without a shell
Online Support: nothing
Emanuel: alrighty, well enough sarcasm
Online Support: your websites all have cgi ability
Online Support: that means you can run any command
Online Support: this is not sarcasm
Emanuel: yeah i could install a php shell and do all kinds of nasty things
Online Support: this is education :)
Emanuel: but why when i pay you for hosting
Emanuel: i dont really need to be educated
Emanuel: i see php4 in the headers
Emanuel: i assume php4 is on the server
Online Support: yes, you really do
Emanuel: you have to be kidding me?
Online Support: the webserver has mod_php 4.x
Emanuel: this is how you treat customers with valid complaints?
Emanuel: er requests
Online Support: it’s not a valid request if you haven’t checked yet whether the software you want is already on the server
Emanuel: im at a loss for words
Emanuel: i see php4 in the installation thats what i assume it has
Online Support: you are at a loss for knowledge
Emanuel: why would i think otherwise when you’ve told me twice now that “someone is on the job”
Emanuel: ill take my business elsewhere
Well, at least we can be reasonably sure Online Support isn’t manned by a bot. It takes a real live human to be so snarky. Even if the CSR thought the question was stupid, behaving like a troll only makes things worse. Tech support jobs aren’t easy, but being a jerk only makes life difficult for everyone.