Why I feel that Dreamhost is patronizing me.

Every company makes mistakes, and I’m actually quite forgiving about it, what they do next is what will make or break me as a customer, and I have the habit of telling a few thousand people.

I’ve been a customer of Dreamhost since I’ve had this domain and have had quite a few outages, and recently my blog was 403 (forbidden to others), as they forgot to fix all the settings when I moved to a dedicated server. Despite these hardships (which I’m willing to let go, you know I used to work at Exodus, a web hosting company) I’m sympathetic towards web hosts.

Despite my willingness to forgive, I have a hard time when I feel like I’m being patronized when I received the following email:

Hi jeremiah!

Ack. Through a COMPLETE bumbling on our part, we’ve accidentally attempted to charge you for the ENTIRE year of 2008 (and probably 2009!) ALREADY (it was all due to a fat finger)!

We’re really really realllly embarassed about this, but you have nothing to worry about. Please ignore any confusing billing messages you may have received recently; we’ve already removed all those bum future charges on your account (#198980) and fixed everything up.

Thank you very very much for your patience with this.. we PROMISE this won’t happen again. There’s no need to reply to this message unless of course you have any other questions at all!

Sincerely,
The Foolish DreamHost Billing Team!

To add insult to injury…

Despite the misspelling (embarassed) what really caught me was the blame of a ‘fat finger’ (I subdued my original title for the post). That’s not the cause, and companies need to take accountability in a human, and up front way of what the problem was. Later, I discovered an apology and explanation blog post, entitled “Um, Whoops.” sadly, they used cartoons (Homer Simpson) and images from pop movies (as well as elsewhere on their blog) to back peddle. I don’t need language written in chat-room-type language, I expect professional and sincere communications. The Dreamhost status blog (is this run by a different group? it must be) provides the information in a succinct, yet sincere manner.

While we complain about the cold heartless press release, I think the Dreamhost communications is a swing too far to the left, and recommend that we all find a place somewhere closer to the middle. I’d rather see pictures of the employees working on the problem (or live streaming) from the data center to demonstrate to me how professional they are working.

This patronizing doesn’t get my sympathy, instead it makes me irritated.