Sunday 7 March 2021

Extrricating myself from a toxic arrangement

 This is a follow-up from what I wrote a few days ago,  Kafkaesque nightmare and also:

Breakdown of systems “under COVID” and social media censorship.

I take all this to be an indication of how structures are everywhere under the weight of increased complexity and everyone working from home because of the covid-19 pLandemic

A kafkaesque experience with an internet hosting company, BLUEHOST

I have cancelled my account but still do not know if I have been successful

This is the continuing and (hopefully) last episode in a continuing saga. 

For an indeterminate time (more than a week) I had been trying to upload my 1.3gB file from Blogger onto Wordpress.  

After several attempts Bluehost came up with a sort of bandaid solution whereby I could access my account on three, instead of the previous one browser. It would not work on Apple's Safari,nor on any Apple device.

"Without breaking a sweat"(sic)

After several attempts the helpful Indian man at the other end of the chatroom undertook to investigate further and get back to me.

Not hearing back after the five hours (or even 24) I determined to cut the cord and back out. However, finally he came back with a suggestion to try an FTP file transfer.  It seemed reasonable to try, so I did a little bit of research and downloaded the app he suggested.

Not being able to work it out from the information provided I got onto a chat. After a wait a Teena came on and got me to go through the usual rigmarole of waiting for an email with a token number, reiterating what I had already written they asked me to try. I filled out the fields as they told me - correctly as far as I could see - and got an error message saying the app could not recognise the server.

I went back and asked if there was any way I could share the screen so they could walk me through it.  They said, no, they couldn't.  Their response was to provide exactly what they had before.

Realising that this was going nowhere I finished the chat as quickly as I could and gave it all away as a slightly sick joke.

Wind forward to a day or so later.

The only way of cancelling my account and getting my money back was to actually ring them in the States.  I got through and after long delays I was put forward to someone who had a strong Asian accent who I could hardly hear what with the bad telephone connection and my own hearing problems.

We came to a full stop when he asked me for the last four digits of my password. That took a bit of working out, but I gave it to him and the response was indistinct. After several attempts he disappeared and then reappeared and I was left wondering if someone was on the other end. After 10 minutes of this shenanigans I hung up.

So, my partner, Pam tried.

First, she spoke to some artificial intelligence voice but after giving the response  she could, as I had earler, hear the clatter of typing on a keyboard leaving the impression that there was a human at the other end.

Pam was then put forward to a young woman who asked for the token code (which I had not been asked for).  So we went through the palaver of going to the computer, getting the code off the email and reading back to them.

She then said the code was wrong despite the fact we had just got it and then abruptly said she was putting us through to 'cancellations'.

A young man came on and Pam gave the code, which he accepted readily. This was followed up with asking for the last four digits of the password I have been using for a week.  

So we then needed to generate a new password necessitating yet another email and resetting the password which, in itself, was not straightforward. Finally, I got a computer-generated password which I fortunately copied and pasted so it could be read back to them.

He then asked why I wanted to cancel. He seemed to accept that information and said that the money would be paid into my account. Pam asked when that would happen and he said in four working days.

Not being entirely satisfied Pam asked for an email confirming all this.  He said he would send it immediately.

24 hours later there is still no email.

I think I will just have to wait until mid-week to see if the money appears on my credit card.

If it does not I guess I will just have to flag away the $US 80-odd I have paid and put it all down to experience.

This has to be the most stressful and bizarre experience I have ever had with any commercial entity.

If you put it together with problems with every single credit card transaction I have had with US companies - ( I have had to cancel my card twice in the last 'covid' year, my partner once and I think I might be headed for the third time) - I have to come to certain conclusions.

I don't know what the experience of US citizens is ,but I have to conclude that this is an indication that systems are breaking down everywhere under the weight of increased complexity and everyone working from home because of the covid-19 pLandemic putting incredible pressure on businesses everywhere, including here in New Zealand.

Even our bank manager managed to admit there had been 'some' increase in difficulties with credit card transactions in the United States.

When I tried to get help locally, I found our normally equitable computer help person to be under huge pressure and when I pushed the issue of why I had not heard anything back from him from my request in 24 hours became angry and asked me to "go elsewhere'.

Pam remembered that he had told her after the lockdown last April that he had been told by government directive to prioritise "essential workers" and that ordinary folk like myself would have to be relegated to the bottom of the queue.

So,in 10 months Steve has become stressed and quite a different person from how we remember him.

Such are the times we are living in.

In the larger context, of course, this is insignificant but it is very indicative of the huge changes we have been seeing and are still seeing.

I have the name of a local host who is  known to us so I am still hopeful that I might get some resolution.

I am endeavouring to take measures that will help the continuity of this blog, including regular backups, which I had not been doing previously. this space. 

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