DreamHost and revealing feedback

DreamHost, my hosting provider, has been having a whole mess of trouble lately — enough that I started a separate blog to chronicle any outages and downtime (see previous entry). Yesterday, I noticed that rebuilds on Movable Type were abominably slow — it took as long as 10 minutes to rebuild if I saved an entry. I suspected a MySQL or network issue. So I opened a support ticket.

Thirty hours later — as I said, they’ve been having a whole mess of trouble lately — I finally heard back from them. The support tech, Jeff, asked a number of questions that led me to believe that he hadn’t read my original message very carefully — though it’s also possible that I wasn’t clear enough. I provided additional information, politely and as thoroughly as I could.

But I also filled out a feedback form. On many support messages, you get an opportunity to rate your service. I took the opportunity to vent about having to wait 30 hours and then find out I have to answer even more questions, and said that I wasn’t sure Jeff had even read my original message. I was, to be sure, surly, but I’m far from the only DreamHost customer in that mood right now.

When bucketsful of excrement are dumped on their heads, which is what happens in clusterfucks like these, customer support reps get a little punchy, or at least defensive. But I was still surprised to receive the following reply:

First, in regards to your survey, there have been a multitude of issues over the past week, so we’re doing all we can to bring things back up to speed. This includes gathering as much information about customer issues as possible. Although you may have the issue pinpointed, our system works in many concurrent methods. Though mySQL may be slow, if FTP is also affected, we can then say it is maybe due to the hosting server. If FTP is not affected, we can then direct our efforts toward the database or database connection to the hosting server. I’m not trying to create further delay, but rather make my efforts more efficient.

Seems fair enough, except for one thing: he shouldn’t have been privy to the survey. The survey form clearly states, “Your comments will not be seen by support team members.” And yet Jeff was able to respond to my survey comments. A privacy issue to be sure — and you know how seriously I take privacy issues.

So I wrote the following in the survey form for Jeff’s second message:

The survey form states:
“Your comments will not be seen by support team members.”
So I’m a bit surprised that Jeff appears to be privy to the comments I made in the survey form. If that’s the case, then either he accessed — or was given — those comments inappropriately, or the statement that the comments will not be seen is not true.
I hope that neither is the case, but then Jeff’s comments need clarifying!
This is an issue I intend to pursue.

Problem is, I’m not sure where to pursue it. Complaining about support by opening another support ticket seems counterproductive, somehow.

Oh well, I can always blog it. Here endeth the rant.