Monday, 6 August 2012

Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don't.

Given my title I guess I just got a load of "experience" from Gandi. Previously I have written about building the NetSurf Continuous Integration (CI) server and my misjudgement of the resources it would require to be useful.

I contacted Gandi and they confirmed my suspicion that my only options to extend the VPS were to spend a great deal more money. The total spend would have been in excess of £300 per year to get a minimally satisfactory configuration.

So I contacted Mythic Beasts and they offered the NetSurf project a selection of deals they could not refuse. Once we decided on the right deal for us the system was in place, ready to use, within a morning.

Thanks to the generous open source project discount the offering from Mythic is almost double what Gandi were offering for less than half the price. I was, as previously concluded, dumb to go with Gandi in the first place when Mythic were an option.

Once the system was transferred to the shiny new server I went back to Gandi and asked how much my mistake of buying a years service for a single month worth of VPS service was going to cost. The reply was somewhat disappointing I was simply referred to section 8.1.2 of the contract (tl;dr We have your money now, tough luck, your problem). It would appear my mistake was going to cost me the full £114 I had paid.

I was somewhat disheartened at this turn of events but then Daniel Silverstone offered to take on the VPS if I could transfer it to his Gandi handle so he could administer it. this seemed like a good solution, at least the resource would be used and not wasted. Gandi response to this was initially promising but this is the final reply:

I'm really sorry to inform you that my supervisor refused the share transfer request to the other  account. He told me that we do not transfer products either in those cases. I deeply apologize since I thought it was possible. I thank you for your confidence in  Gandi, and hope that this occurrence does not deter you from continuing with us.
Now I must stress that Gandi are completely within their contractual rights to do this and are not obligated to provide any assistance to help make my blunder less costly to me, but they have firmly shown they have no willingness to be flexible in any way which means I know where I will not be spending my money in future.

Oh and then Pete from Mythic mentioned that they have a full refund and flexible policy on their services and we can always switch to the monthly billing rate and get a refund on the outstanding balance or move it or...

Basically my recommendation for an open source project looking for hosting, VPS or any network services has to be to go talk to the nice people at Mythic and steer clear of Gandi. Maybe in future all providers will realise that they are in a competitive market and certainly a little customer service flexibility might have made this posting much more about my mistake and not the attitude of the suppliers involved.

Pimm's and Punting

The Sun came out in Cambridge the other week (yes I know, a rare occurrence) and because Robert is a generous soul he decided the office should go punting on the cam.

I had not previously been out on the river but Robert proved to be the consummate punter.

We even got fruit based drinks and some serenading, although perhaps that was not a benefit.

I took many photos of the event including the rather nice meal afterwards, some were even in focus and not blurry.