D’oh! DreamHost induces mass geek heart-attacks

pipes.jpgWell, this time, Dreamhost ‘fessed right up to its latest mass snafu: “Whoops. Um, again.

The huge, venerable, loved/loathed Brea-based webhost just admitted it accidentally double-billed thousands of its customers. Some of them for an entire year.

To the firm’s credit, DreamHost says it quickly refunded the mischarged amounts to all the overbilled accounts …

Not quite fast enough – to quell the 836 blasts of fear and loathing dumped on the Dreamhost status page in the aftermath – nor folksy enough to soothe the fury of customers who left 147 comments on the blogpost by Dreamhoster Josh after he described how he fucked up.

# jason Says:
January 15th, 2008 at 10:08 am

Thanks for the explanation. Might I suggest, if you’re reading this, Josh, that users like me whose accounts were disabled for nonpayment be re-enabled? I’ve got clients screaming at me because they can’t get their e-mail!
# PROOFREAD! Says:
January 15th, 2008 at 10:11 am

Quote: “THOSE SHOULD HAVE BEEN 2007!!”

and

“The moral of this story is that “flexibility” is rarely desired in programming!”

Nope…

‘The moral of this story’ is that you guys need a proofreading or double-checking system before you do anything, since using 2008 instead of 2007 is EXACTLY the type of thing that would get caught by someone else double checking your work.

You can be sure that once the web panel is up, I’m going to make a ‘suggestion’ that you guys implement exactly this sort of thing, and lets see how many Dreamhosters vote for it.

Also, since you link to the DH Status page, you’ve no doubt read some of the comments, a great many of which requested that you NOT reply to this in a flippant manner….which is pretty much what you’ve done here.
# Jeremy Says:
January 15th, 2008 at 10:13 am

Josh – it is time you realized when the light jokey style in which you run this business is NOT the appropriate tone. Any of us involved in running a business knows when you approach your customers with a serious tone. Your customers are taking that tone with you; Time to step up and be serious and act like your company depends on it. I think it does.

For the record, I’m a 4-year DreamHost customer whose few bum experiences were quickly fixed and far-outweighed by the generally fine service.

Unfortunately, the glitch does come just 7 months after the company managed to leak 3,500 FTP passwords into the hands of clever hackers, and as my mom likes to say, “It isn’t what you’re doing, it’s what you look like you’re doing.”

Make your own call.

4 Replies to “D’oh! DreamHost induces mass geek heart-attacks”

  1. I got billed an extra $230, but they cleared it up fast. The one thing I’ve always liked about Dreamhost is that they’re pretty transparent about their practices, and when they fuck up, they take responsibility without hesitation.

  2. Yeah, I’d have to agree, Marshall. Th’Intarweb is a slightly complex machine. Shit happens. When you make a mistake – even a massive one – the best thing you can do after correcting it is to own up. Dreamhost’s always done that and in general, the hosting has been pretty solid for me. No complaints.

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