I’m Back!

Hostgator tech support is terrible

What’s up everybody? I apologize for being gone so long. If you’ve been checking the site, you probably noticed it’s been all sorts of messed up for about two months. Well, it seems something went wrong on the server and corrupted a bunch of files.

Since this was an issue with the host, I reported it directly to them, spent hours on the phone and live chat trying to get it straightened out and trusted them to fix what they broke.

Man was that naĂŻve.

In total, I contacted my host roughly a dozen separate times regarding the issue and in 2/3 of the conversations I had to bring them back up to speed again because nobody had record of my issue! Are you kidding me? So all those times the tech support reps said they created a ticket for me, they weren’t. That sure explains why I never heard back from them with an update to my “tickets.” Unbelievable.

In one of the longest conversations I had with tech support (over two hours), I was able to fix my site by restoring an old backup. It was all good. The site was working fine and I was ecstatic to get back at it.


Tech support proceeded to tell me that some of the file permissions on my server were incorrect, so they needed to run an update script to fix the security issues. Now I don’t want anyone breaking into my sites, so that’s fine. I’m all in favor of good security. But when the script finished, my site was back to broken! Say what?! I’m not sure what that script did, but I do know that it re-corrupted a bunch of stuff that re-broke my site. Smooth move, guys.

Frustrated that they had just broken my freshly fixed site after weeks of being down, I insisted that they fix what they had just screwed up. Their response? “All we did was update file permissions. That wouldn’t have messed it up. You must have done something.”

Are you kidding me?! No. No I didn’t!

Here’s the timing of events, no lie. I have all the chat transcripts.

  1. I tell tech support the site’s broken
  2. They have no record of my original report of the issue (even though I have the old transcripts where they created “tickets”), give me the run around and then offer to scan the site.
  3. Fed up with the process, I said “Sure, do that.”
  4. Meanwhile, I loaded a backup and the site comes back online
  5. Support tells me that they found security issues and need to fix them
  6. I explain that I just fixed the site, so the security fixes should be all that’s left. Go for it.
  7. They run the script
  8. My site goes down again (Seriously?!)
  9. I immediately inform them that it broke again when they did that
  10. They turned and blamed me… Saying I must have done something and their script was actually what fixed it, my browser just cached it. Ummm hey buddy, I’m a professional web developer. I know to clear caches between every refresh in a situation like this… so no, it’s not that. But thanks for doubting my intelligence and shifting the blame to me. That was super helpful 🙂
  11. The scan definitely didn’t just handle security, because it also removed all historical backups (including the one that just worked) so I had no more recourse to fix it myself. So I asked if they had taken a backup before running that script and they said they couldn’t and asked if I had one…

It’s funny, because another time when I reached out to tech support about an issue and they did something, they made a full backup first so that if anything went wrong, they could restore. You know, standard practice for technology firms and common sense for anyone who uses technology. So I’m feeling a lot more like this rep forgot to do that, against protocol, and wasn’t willing to admit it, and instead shifted the responsibility back to me. Smooth move.

Almost two weeks ago (~6 weeks after the site originally went down) I finally got a helpful and knowledgeable tech support rep (shout out to Ben!) who actually got a real ticket setup and escalated the ticket to the senior system administrators immediately. You’re the man, Ben.

Since then I reached out for status updates a few times via live chat and was repeatedly disconnected or had to wait over an hour to get someone. It seems I’m not the only one having issues with their tech support. Good to know. The times I did get through, they were able to find my ticket but usually the update was “still running scans on the site.” Well that’s super, but how long does a scan take?!

Last night I got the following email from tech support:

Hostgator tech support is terrible

Seriously?! No! The site is still just as broken as before. I’m really not even convinced anyone worked on it since my checks of the site over time showed the same broken junk over and over. But hey, thanks for “resolving” my ticket… I guess?

When I responded to that ticket update, I suddenly got scan results from them on a separate email thread. As if to suddenly actually resolve my issues. But nope, I went to the site and it was still down. But thanks for the scan anyways? Glad you guys “waived” the fees for me, though. You know, since I didn’t need the scan and you’re the ones that broke my site in the first place.

I went back and forth with tech support via email a few times, again having to convince them that the site was still broken. A simple visit to the site would have shown them that, but it seems that was too much work for them. I finally convinced them it was broken and the support rep was able to finish fixing the site in a matter of 30 minutes. Hmmm, maybe you should have done that weeks ago?

All that said, I’m finally back! Now that I can actually get into my site, I’ll be back to blogging so subscribe on the right-hand side for more Super Daddy goodness!

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The Modern Father

Reminds me… I need to get some kind of backup plan in place for my own site.

I’m rather surprised I didn’t see this article didn’t end with, “So I said FU, canceled my account agreement, and found a new host.” I seriously would have been shopping around for someone new…


Hey Greg!

Welcome back. That sounds like a horrible experience with your host.
Laughable, too.

I notice that the sharing buttons in your theme are conflicting with the email version in Postmatic. I can fix that for you. What plugin are you using?

Best, Jason

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