Tag Archives: host services

i’ve been having a difficult time the past few days… and, also 卍 卐 ☹

i’ve been having a difficult time the past few days: the process of switching host providers again has gone pretty normally, with the normal SNAFUs which have been more or less worked out over the past four days. there is still the matter of getting my clients to update their nameservers to my nameservers(!!) (i finally figured out how to create ns1 and ns2.hybridelephant.com, which means that now, when i sell host services myself, i don’t have to give my clients the nameservers that belong to my host provider) which should happen soon, but it’s a little difficult to get other people to do something, even when it is important.

also, as an extra added bonus, as a part of switching host providers, my email has been down for a week, and i’m going to have to enter the 50 addresses on the mailing list by hand (once liz has reset her nameservers) so that it will work, because the new host service provider had “never restored a mailing list before” and didn’t know how to do it.

as i posted previously, somebody grafittied Ganesha The Car. i wrote about it in I, Anonymous, and, after an encouraging start, the conversation turned into the “why are you trying to reclaim the nazi symbol?” rant from people who are much more adept at pushing the buttons of a newbie than i am, and it went downhill from there. the day after it was grafittied, i took it in for a check-up, because the “check engine” idiot-light had gone from its normal “on all the time” to flashing, and i wanted to find out what changed. yesterday, i got the call from the repair shop. they said they had found out what was wrong – burned valves on the 3rd cylinder – and they said that it would probably need a new engine before it will pass emissions inspection the next time. πŸ™

on the other hand, there have been some good things as well. i have been watching craigslist recently, and bought some swastika jewelry that i found there, which was decidedly not nazi jewelry. one is an american-made gold swastika hatpin with a diamond in the center. it came along with a whole bunch of other hatpins, and the lady wanted $25 for the lot, which i happily paid. the other is a silver native american swastika pin with a card that dates it to around 1907. the guy that was selling it wanted $25 for it and a nazi flag. i told him i was interested in the native american swastika, but i didn’t want anything to do with nazi stuff and he agreed. i took both pieces for an “appraisal” today (the guy said, and i agreed, that what i had didn’t warrant a “real” appraisal, which would have cost $50 per piece) and found out that the silver pin has a “niche market” collectible value of around $100, and the gold and diamond pin – 18 to 20 carat gold, and a 3-point diamond, by itself – is probably worth $150.

also, i bought a number of buddhist swastikas from a place in singapore, out of which i’m going to make jewelry.

and the fact that Ganesha The Car is dying isn’t as bad as it seems. it runs the same as it has been for the past few years, and there’s nothing really wrong with it other than it only runs on 3 cylinders. i’ve been thinking for some time about taking the class they offer at south seattle community college, where if you provide your own car they waive the $400 class fee and you get to participate in converting your car to an entirely electric vehicle. also, tom at the repair shop said that he could probably round up a rebuilt engine that has a 1 or 2 year warranty that would give Ganesha another 5 years or so. and if none of those turn out to be an option, jack (the guy i bought Ganesha from, who is moe’s employer’s father-in-law) has been turned on to watch auto auctions for another cheap car that will be turned into another art car.

and, on top of everything else, they took off the grafitti while they had it at the shop, and didn’t charge me for it. πŸ™‚

monday

mitnick security business cardnow that the second weekend of performances are over, i can catch up on my real life…

while the servers were down, i got a business card in the mail from Mitnick Security Consulting, LLC… yes, that kevin mitnick. in order to get this business card i had to send him, among other things, my IP address and the password to my system. i think it was a pretty good trade, myself.

the performances went really well this week. the only frisson that we had was when stuart wasn’t going to be there for the evening show and he took off taking pam’s music with him, thinking it was his. after a few frantic phone calls and pam playing half of the preshow with charts borrowed from other people, stuart showed up and traded books with pam, and everything worked out grand.

fez-o-ramai’m a little worried, though… now that clayton is playing with us, there’s more of a probability that eben will be able to copy music that jeremy wrote for the phil… music that he has currently said he doesn’t want the phil to play because he’s going through a publishing/copyright thing and doesn’t want to have extra copies of his music in places of which he is not aware.

after the show yesterday, i met up with hobbit, who is number 8 in the order of the fez. he and i (number 32) got together with jason (number 13) who owns Fez-O-Rama and his wife maya, and we spread some fezzerocity through downtown seattle last night… which basically involved meeting at the carousel in westlake mall, getting lost walking up to Von’s (a whiskey bar on 6th and pine) and talking about fezzes, internet, theatre and other stuff until 9:00 or so. i’m sorry to say that i had to borrow a fez from hobbit, because i hadn’t brought mine. also i need to get an “order of the fez” fez some day…

i’ve made some progress on finding a new host provider, but i’m still really mad about the fact that the current one wants to charge me almost 300% more, so i’m going to wait until i’ve calmed down a bit. i’ve found that, since my injury, if i rant about what i’m angry about when i’m angry i end up sounding like a drooling half-wit. besides, i’ve got an appointment with ned that i’ve got to go to now.

AAAARRRGGGHHH!

that’s A4R3G3H3 for those of you who are keeping score…

you may or may not have noticed that my web sites have been down for the past 24 hours. this was because at 4:00 friday afternoon, i got an email from my “new” host provider that he was going down for “4 to 5 hours (maximum 10 hours) for upgrades” and wanted to know if it was “okay with you if we start them this evening”… and then proceded to start the upgrades without even making sure that it was okay with me or not.

also, he informed me that my rates would be increasing by almost 300% because he is having trouble breaking even. 😯

needless to say, i have – once again – embarked on the task of finding yet another host service provider – my fourth switch in less than a year… πŸ™„ i will probably be switching in january, after the panto is over.

more stuff after the panto.

bugger

host problems combined with IPv6 incompatibilities have caused my complete absence from internet for the past couple of days. despite the fact that IPv6 is the latest, hottest thing to hit the net since the ping of death, it is just about as effective at this point, so i have disabled it and am suddenly able to do things like check my email and browse the web.

the other part, of course, is that the new host provider went down two days ago, so even if i hadn’t had the problems with the new IPv6, i still wouldn’t have been able to post anything, which is really irritating.

demons

i have probably always been a computer geek, although for a long time i resisted being labeled as such because i was too interested in music, but my father has been a professional computer geek electrical engineer for as long as i have been around. one of the first “computers” i ever played with was actually a “dumb terminal” that had a big foam recepticle on the back of it to plug the phone reciever into so that it would do stuff more than just look and act like a selectric typewriter.

i saw my father at the Seattle Art Museum the other day. i was there for a performance of La Banda Gozona – where the consul general for mexico in seattle gave a long winded speech in spanish that i couldn’t understand – and i saw my father taking pictures. i was wearing my reading glasses, so i didn’t get a good look at him, and he disappeared before i could switch to my distance glasses, but i’m sure it was him. i find it very odd that, in spite of our differences, my parents haven’t spoken to me at all since my injury, and didn’t come visit me in the hospital when there was a chance that i would die… but i digress.

anyway, when i was first actively learning about computers, back in the late ’70s, i would frequently ask questions of my mentor, jim, and every now and then i would ask him a question which doesn’t really have an answer. questions like “why is it that when i tried X process, it failed, but when you tried exactly the same X process, it worked?” or “why is it that i send an email to X address and it never gets there, you send an email to X address and it takes two weeks to get there, and someone else sends an email to X address and it gets there immediately?” obviously there is some answer to questions like that, but often they are technical enough that even the experts might have difficulty explaining it, especially to someone (like me) who doesn’t understand.

when i would ask jim a question like that, he would get all quiet, look around mysteriously, and whisper “demons”…

he could have easily said “i don’t know” or “go look it up” or any one of a number of other perfectly rational responses, but that wouldn’t have made anywhere near the impression on me that blaming all my unknown computer problems on “demons” would have.

of course, i later learned that the electronic mechanisms that make things work inside computers are called “daemons”, but my impression is, even now, when i have wholeheartedly embraced the label of “computer geek”, that it still makes a fair amount of sense.

fast forward to a few days ago. i have just completed what i hope will be my last host provider switch for a LONG time, but i still have to figure out why the control panel on the new host works slightly differently than the (exact same) control panel on the old host: i set up a subdoman – przxqgl.hybridelephant.com – which, when you hit it with a browser, loads pages found at hybridelephant.com/przxqgl. it used to be that when you looked at the browser, you saw przxqgl.hybridelephant.com, but now, when you point your browser at przxqgl.hybridelephant.com it automatically redirects to hybridelephant.com/przxqgl and when i remove the redirect in the control panel, my browser gives me a “redirect error”.

so i wrote to tech support. he wrote back to me almost instantly, saying that he had gotten it to work, and that i didn’t need the redirect in the control panel.

… wait, what?

anyway, it works… and i keep thinking about jim and his “demons”…

it keeps going…

i completed one of the jewelry projects that i was working on, except that i have to get a set of crimping pliers – you would think that i would have one already, considering the quantity of pliers that i own, but no.

i’ve decided that there are enough questions i have about the software that i am using that i am probably going to have to start reading a lot, finding a mentor and asking a lot of stupid questions, like what is a DNS zone and what is a masked nameserver, and why do i care? because i’m pretty sure that i do care. my impression is that understanding these things in a little more detail would make my job as web manager a lot easier.

anyway, la banda gozona has a performance at the seattle art museum that i’ve got to leave for soon.

whooy… 8/

the past five days have been definitly ones where i spent way too many spoons.

i began a day before halloween by deciding to switch host providers again. the new old host provider had a strong tendency to flat out lie about their service: they say they don’t delete support tickets, but i have had no fewer than three support tickets mysteriously disappear from their server. they also say that they don’t block IP addresses from their support server, but i have documented no fewer than five different occasions where my IP address was blocked from accessing their support server and had to have their support technician – Zac O. – clear the IP block so that i could access their server.

so i researched and found another host server that was willing to take all of my domains. there was a bit of controversy over at web hosting talk regarding whether or not a host provider who is using litespeed web server is prohibited from hosting “blasphemous” or “adult oriented” content, but as far as i have been able to tell, according to the email that i recieved from a litespeed sales representative ” for general shared hosting purpose, or for general user contributed content web site, it is ok.” i’m still a little confused by the guy who said why do you mention this is a porno site?, and then requested a friend connection with me, when i very clearly stated that it’s not a porno site more than once, but i guess that’s what i can expect from a relative newbie.

anyway, i got the blog and the other web sites operating again, after going back and forth with the new new host provider about shell access a couple of times. they don’t provide shell access by default, and they’re a bit less responsive than the old new host provider, but they’re more honest about what they actually provide, and they’ve added WHMCS to the mix, which will ultimately improve the likelihood that i will be a successful web host myself some day.

meanwhile, i’ve also all but completed the clarinet that i’ve been working on for thaddeus. i also got started on the jewelry project that i’m working on for xmas presents. and, finally, i’ve finished the sticker project that i’ve been working on for howlin’ hobbit.

i still have to discover why, when you enter “https://przxqgl.hybridelephant.com/” into your browser’s address field, you end up at “http://www.hybridelephant.com/przxqgl” – which is actually where you go, but the subdomain is what it has been before, and as far as i’ve been able to tell, nothing has changed except the IP address of the host server, but i know from past experience that anything that changes could mean that the whole thing suddenly and mysteriously could decide to work entirely differently, so i’m not really worried about it at this point, especially when i know that if you enter the subdomain you’ll redirect to the correct place anyway.

also, the authority in england that said that alcohol and tobacco are more dangerous than cannabis and LSD has been relieved of his position as an authority, which just goes to show that even when they do listen to reason, they don’t always hear reason. oh well, better luck next time.

ooh… sneaky!

i finally got access to cshelpdesk.net (at 4:30 pm zac wrote to inform me that “Your IP was blocked by the servers firewall. This has been unblocked and you can now access the server again” – after the last time, when nathan assured me that “this happens on rare occasions”), but my roster of support tickets is mysteriously missing… there are two “presales questions” that i posted before i signed up, but 5 or 6 tickets titled “my domains are missing” are nowhere to be seen, as are the tickets titled “network timeout” and “where are my domains” and several others like that…

verrrrrrry interesting…

or very geek-like on my part… the email address i logged in with is different than the one i logged all of my support tickets with… no wonder i couldn’t find them… 😐

sigh…

my recent conversation with zac o. at cshelpdesk.net went something like this:

me: my account has been hacked

zac: it’s your fault

me: no, it’s not, see? evidence…

zac: you don’t understand. it’s still your fault

me: yes i do, and no, it’s not. see? more, different evidence…

zac: <IP block my access> (that’ll shut him up)

yeah, it will shut me up temporarily (my most recent communication with zac was yesterday at 2:00 pm, my most recent communication with nathan was at 9:57 am this morning, and now, at 3:00 pm, i still can’t access cshelpdesk.net), but in the long run, you’re going to be the one that suffers because of your interaction with me.

at least they’re not demanding more money from me… 8/

aargh…

that’s <A2RGH> for you purists out there…

but yes, aargh. i discovered that my entire site had the .php files appended with the code i discovered the other day, not just my wordpress installation.

furthermore, although tech support has no evidence of a hack and says it was that way when i uploaded it, i checked my backup from last month and there were no modifications to any of the files a month ago.

aargh… 8/

[EDIT] after having been confronted with evidence (the backup that wasn’t modified) they claim to have found evidence of an account breach on 23 august, and recommended that i change my password… duh… 8/

[FURTHER EDIT] it turns out that the “evidence” was a known (to me) IP address, logging in to check their mail. however, i did find another IP address from renton logged in as root on the 20th and 21st of august, and when i suggested that someone had the root password, suddenly all the servers wend down and just recently came back up… all of them except the tech support site… very interesting…

so…

i actually was IP blocked from cshelpdesk dot net!

in spite of the fact that [email protected] (who is undoubtedly nathan oulman, or one of his minions) said “we dont block anyone from anything” (his exact words), according to tech support goon “Zac O.”, “Your IP was blocked by the servers firewall. This has been unblocked and you can now access the server again.” apparently their server is set to block the IP address of a customer attempting to log in “incorrectly” (whatever that means, nobody has told me yet). it’s very definitely not an using an incorrect username or password, because i allow the browser to remember all of that stuff because i know how clumsy my fingers are, but nobody has seen fit to tell me what it is, other than “incorrect login attempts”.

not only that, but i’ve had to reprimand the tech support goon no less than three times this morning, for closing my issue without answering my question. the little weasel is not going to get out of this without giving me some answers. 8/

at this point, it’s not anywhere near as bad as it was yesterday, but still, i’m thinking very strongly about switching host providers again when my contract expires.

OY… 8/

more computer miserableness abounds… πŸ˜›

as of yesterday, i was going back and forth with tech support about that random mysql user that i found a couple of days ago. i had just found the solution when the tech support goon abruptly terminated the email conversation, and when i tried to refresh the page, it timed out, and has been timing out when i try to access cshelpdesk dot net from my network ever since.

however, today, i discovered that not only does everybody else actually get the hybridelephant dot com site, but they can also access cshelpdesk dot net without timing out. in fact, if i try to access either site using the neighbour’s wireless network (hooray for unsecured wireless home networking!) i can get to them without difficulty, which makes me think “IP block”.

what makes me think “IP block” even more is the fact that while i was searching around for more information about cshelpdesk (which has email address contacts, but not a telephone number anywhere that i can see), i came across this blog entry from flatsurface dot com, which is a stunning review of nathan oulman, the apparent owner of anrhost.com (my host provider), dailydns.com (my host service) and cshelpdesk.com (tech support for the previous domains). the part where he says that stuff about “[t]he second time they caused a significant outage for my domains, I bitched. Their response? Block my IP from the support site, and later they simply disabled my prepaid account, in violation of our contract.” struck a very familar, and somewhat ominous chord.

and apparently it’s a very specific IP block, because it prevents me from seeing the database at Hybrid Elephant and all of cshelpdesk dot net, but it does not block me from seeing The Church of Tina Chopp or Cirque De Flambé, or any of my other domains, or even this site… this does not bode well, and i get the very distinct impression that i’m going to have to switch host providers again, as well as replacing my linux box…

which, by the way, i was out pricing computers today in order to facilitate. i discovered that if i want to buy a computer from frye’s (or just about any “computer store” like that), basically, i have to buy a computer with windoesn’t pre-installed (from the factory, so i can’t “leave it out” for a reduced price, but they’re not strictly “legal” versions of windoesn’t, because they don’t come with install disks or any way of creating them). for a windows-pre-installed complete system (CPU, monitor, keyboard, mouse) i would end up having to pay $500 to $700, which is sort of what i expected. they have “bare bones” systems that don’t come with windows, but they also don’t come with memory, or a hard disk, or KVM (keyboard, video, mouse), and they’re $200 to $500, or i can buy a “boot only” box from Re-PC for around $100 that needs a KVM and some other stuff, but because of the fact that the “boot only” box is used, there’s no guarantee that it’s going to work as long as a new box would. the final option is that i can “build your own” box that uses essentially the same components as the $500 system for about $100 to $200, but that would mean finding a system that i like, researching the components and purchasing them separately, and then putting it all together.

which i can do, but, ultimately, i would rather not do it. as i told the guy at frye’s, i’m not so much interested in building a new machine as much as i am in obtaining a new machine and using it.

every now and then i have to wonder why computers are so complicated… then i remember that at least part of the reason is that they are created by the most infuriatingly dense creatures on the planet, and they are very much like their creators – although somewhat more predictable.

which is why, i suppose, i am more at home with computers than i am with most people. 😐

err… umm… oh.

i had some sort of computer interruption last night that prevented me from figuring out this whole user 123 phenomena – apparently the server got hacked last night, but they TOSed the cracker and went to good backups within 15 minutes of my complaining, which is something… i’m not exactly sure what yet, but it’s something.

however, apparently the mysql user 123 that i deleted yesterday was important for running my oscommerce installation… which worries me enough that i’m going to figure out where it’s configured and change it to something else, because, first of all, having a default user 123 is enough of a security risk, and second, there’s a good chance that i’ll forget that user 123 is important, whereas if i see a user “ekadant” (for example) i’ll realise that it’s important and not delete it without figuring out what it is.

oy!

i was poking around (yeah, i know, bad idea… 8/ ) in the control panel for hybridelephant and i came across this thing that lists the mySQL databases and users of those databases that are on hybridelephant.com. it listed the two databases that i use, but it listed 2 users whereas i’ve set it up so that i use the same username and password for both databases… which i found a little suspicious.

furthermore, the other user was named “123” which i also found somewhat suspicious…

in any event, i was doing something else, so i deleted the user account “123” and went on with doing something else.

bad move.

now, if you go to hybridelephant dot com, instead of seeing the site, you get this error message:

Warning: mysql_connect() [function.mysql-connect]: Access denied for user ‘hybridel_123’@’localhost’ (using password: YES) in /home/hybridel/public_html/includes/functions/database.php on line 19
Unable to connect to database server!

i recreated the user. no luck.
i recreated the user with the password that was indicated on line 19 of /home/hybridel/public_html/includes/functions/database.php. no luck.
i reloaded the database from the backup i made 2 weeks ago. no luck.

it’s well and truly broke, and i done broked it. 😐

oy…

so i started up my linux box this morning and it told me that there were some system updates that i had to download, so i downloaded them and then it said that in order to use those system updates that my computer had to be restarted, so i shut everything down and rebooted…

and when it came back up, it didn’t work!

it put up the login screen, like normal, and it accepted my username and password, but then, instead of loading the desktop, it loaded what looked like a transparent graphic, only it was full screen, and a mouse cursor. no task bar, no menus… eventually a window popped up, associated with the HP printer, that said there was no systray, so whatever application it was associated with was no longer trying to start. i clicked OK – which was the only thing i could do – and it went away.

so, i hit Alt+F1 and logged in to the text interface, which it allowed me to do, and typed sudo shutdown -r now and it rebooted again. this time, instead of the transparent graphic, it stayed with the login screen, but again, didn’t get beyond allowing me to login. this time, when i hit Alt+F1 and logged in, it said that the system was using 95% of 5.9G, and the /tmp directory was using 100% of 1G, the total of which, if i’m not mistaken, is slightly more than my 6G system disk.

fortunately, my /home directory and my /music directory are on a separate, 200G disk. apparently my OS is bigger than my HD, which, technically (i suppose) means that if i got a new, bigger HD, everything would be copascetic. once again, the battle of the computer has raised its ugly head…

i was just discussing this probability with moe the other day, because of the wonkish behaviour of my monitor, and i pretty much decided that i’m going to go out and buy a new computer system at that time. it’s a good thing i decided it then, because now i’m absolutely certain that that’s what i’m going to do.

it’s going to be a desktop computer with at least a 200G hard disk, and an LCD monitor, and it will not be a computer with windoesn’t preloaded. i don’t know exactly what price i’m willing to pay, but $500 to $700 doesn’t seem too out of the question.

HAH!

based on what i have read in a variety of places over the past 6 months or so, i have apparently been one of the few negative interactions with 1&1 which have had positive (to me) reprocussions. i just received a phone call from a very pleasant sounding lady who was a 1&1 representative, who wanted to know why i had cancelled my account. when i told her about being bait-and-switched (i only told her an abbreviated version of the entire, sordid story) she agreed that she would probably have done the same thing. then she asked if there was anything 1&1 could do to entice me back, to which i responded “absolutely not”. what i didn’t say is that i would find it rude and insulting if they offered such a deal, and the fact that they offered it made me think even less of them that i already did. i may have been sucked in by the very big stupid, but i learned something from it, which, i suppose, is the important part.

hee…

so i got another letter from the attorney general for the commonwealth of pennsylvania today. it contained two letters, one from the attorney general’s assistant who was assigned to work on this for me, and the other from joseph quinn of 1&1 internet inc., which is the amusing one. it says:

I am responding to complaint B09-7341 filed against 1&1 Internet Inc.

We understand that you have been unsuccessfull in attempting to cancel your 1&1 internet account.

Your customer ID 19710337 was locked onto a 1-year contract upon the account’s registration. This was a special deal that included discounts and other benefits, saddled with a contract of one (1) year.

However, we certainly do not wish to continue to bill and invoice you for a service that is no longer used or wanted.

In this, was [sic] have set customer ID 19710337 to cancel within the next two (2) weeks time. You will not be billed or invoiced any further for this service. We are currently removing all your relative information from our internal systems.

Furthermore, we can see that you have been trying to cancel for soe time.

As such, [sic] we are refunding your two (2) most recent invoices. Both refunded invoices are for the $59.97 amount. This would bring your refunded total to the $119.94 amount.

Hopefully, this will resolve any outstanding complaints that you may have.

let’s examine this a bit more closely…

i was unsuccessful in cancelling my account, because after repeated attempts to do so, your employees refused to listen or respond appropriately to my requests. despite your claims otherwise, when i signed up with 1&1, it was with the understanding that i was signing a three (3) month contract, and the first i ever heard about a 1 year contract was after i made the second payment for 3 months.

at the same time, if i had known that it was going to be this easy to break a one-year contract, i wouldn’t have rasied so much of a stink about it, and simply written to the attorney general when i first had my suspicions that i had been bait-and-switched.

i am currently under a one (1) year contract with my new host provider, which provides me with better quality, more reliable and more industry-compatible service, for around $85 a year. if i had maintained the one (1) year contract with 1&1, i would have had less reliable, less industry-compatible service with a greater possibility of being blacklisted for sharing an IP address with a spammer or a phisher, and i would have had to pay around $200. if that’s what you call “discounts and other benefits”, then i suggest you invest your money in a quality english-language dictionary. it might help with your grammar as well.

i don’t have any complaints with the resolution of my claim, however i will still recommend against using 1&1 services to my clients, because i disagree with your sales tactics and how this complaint had to be dealt with in order to reach this conclusion.

rejoice!

tuba player of the djinn

1&1 internet has decided that i really did have a contract that was only 3 months, because they have decided to release me from that contract, as i requested, plus refund the last two invoices (totalling about $120, hooray!) and no longer hassle me about having a contract that expires in december…

of course this happened after they were contacted by the attorney general for the commonwealth of pennsylvania (where they’re located) and by the better business bureau…

i wish it didn’t have to go this far, but at the same time, i’m really glad that they didn’t push it any further, because i was prepared to get really nasty with them, and i doubt that it would have been pleasant regardless of how it came out.

in other news, there are now pictures of the oregon country fair online. there aren’t as many pictures as last year, but that is primarily because it rained sunday and there’s only so many pictures of wet, muddy hippies that one can take before it starts to get redundant. my physical birthday was while i was at the fair. that day, i played two shows for the fremont players, plus i played an open mike at the morningwood odditorium, i played the midnight (eastern time) show on the main stage, for which i got a custom-printed bandana, and i played an 11:00 pm show at the ritz. all in all, i would say that it was one of the better birthdays i have had in quite a while.

the latest piece of the 1&1 fiasco

i figured that i would file a fraud complaint with the police concerning 1&1. my experience has been that frequently the person who goes to the authorities first is the one who gets the authorities’ sympathy, and if you don’t go to the authorities until they come looking for you, even if you’re the one who is “right”, they have a tendency to look at whatever you say with suspicion, simply because someone else complained about you.

so i called the auburn police department to file a fraud complaint. even though our address is in auburn, the auburn police department doesn’t serve our area, because it is in the “unincorporated area” of king county, and is, thus, covered by the king county sheriff’s department. the king county sheriff’s department won’t take a fraud complaint, because there’s nothing they can do about it – despite the fact that fraud is a crime, they said that it is a civil matter, not a criminal one. they recommended that i file a complaint with the better business bureau, so i did. my complaint number is 0EC37-D0640-8140C-191A4-D2E85-C1D85-E0.

they want me to wait 30 days before inquiring about my complaint, and i’d be willing to bet that, complaint or no, 1&1 is going to try to contact me prior to that 30 day period. at this point, it’s a waiting game. we’ll see what happens.

bring it ON!

i got another email from 1&1 today, which said <ominous music>

please find the attached screenshots showing the offer you acceptted & the terms of said offer INCLUDING THE 12 MONTH CONTRACT.

with three attachments.

the first attachment is a screen shot from their current web site with the “specials” that they offer, all of which include a 12 month contract – but none of which i agreed to.

the 2nd attachment is the funny one. they said that it’s a screen shot of the contract i agreed to, except for the following items: 1) i never agreed to that particular contract. 2) it says “Recurring Payments, $19.95 per month; 1 time setup fee, $9.95”, and it has verbiage about a 12 month contract. the document i agreed to said “Recurring Payments, $9.95 per month; 1 time setup fee, free” and it had verbiage about a 3 month contract. finally, the “free domain” in their screen shot is blurred out so that i shouldn’t be able to read it, but i can make out enough to be able to tell that it is not my domain.

the 3rd attachment is a screen shot that i faxed to them, that shows their offer of an unlimited account for $9.95 per month, with no setup fee and no mention of a 12 month contract, except in very tiny print at the bottom – which, on my print, is actually not there!

furthermore, none of the three attachments have anything like a date on them, whereas the 5 items i faxed to them all have very clear dates on them.

okay… bring it ON!