Be careful declaring yourself an Expert

This story is about a small business owner, her business website and the Expert Support she received to solve a business problem. This website generally gets 5,000 – 10,000 unique visitors a day, so, up time is rather important to this business and it’s owner.

The following time line is the framework of the experience:

6:00 am – Business website inaccessible via numerous business partners and the Business Owner – Owner and numerous business partners get a “Site cannot be found” error message from numerous cities, & web browsers – #FAIL
6:10 am – Owner calls the Hosting Service – they indicate that everything is running on their end. According to Hosting Service, the Site should be accessible and functioning for all business partners.
6:15 am – Business owners asks Engineer to run some diagnostics to confirm functionality on the outside world (non hosting service provider network)
6:25 am – Working with the business owner and Hosting Service Engineers everyone agrees the site is available and functioning, except there appears to still be an accessibility issue according to various Business Partners. – #FAIL
6:36 am – Working with Hosting Service Engineer, business owner attempts to ping site from her location- – #FAIL. Hosting service attempts to ping from another location using a different Internet connection provider – success
6:40 am – Hosting Service Engineer uses the same Internet service provider as business owner from a different location – #FAIL
7:10 am – Hosting Service Engineer advises Business owner how to test proxy service thru other Internet Service Providers
7:30 am – Business owner tests multiple Internet Service Providers (ISP) access to site via Proxy Service – success
7:45 am – Working with Hosting Service Engineer, business owner confirms that over 27 different ISP can access her Business website – success. However her own ISP who happens to be the same provider of all Business Partners who have site failure notices, can not get to her site – #FAIL
8:30 am – Hosting Service Provider recommends Business Owner contact her ISP
8:45 am – Business owner gets ISP Engineer on the phone.
9:10 am – ISP declares site blocked due to inappropriate content. Business owner informs ISP Engineer that her site is a grocery shopping coupon site. She also tests searching for a typical porn type site and it is both accessible and with inappropriate content, unlike her grocery shopping site (making a point) – #FAIL
9:30 am – ISP suggests she wait 48 hours and to be sure, send an email to ISP blocking team to request unblock. – #FAIL
9:45 am – Business owner finds a page on ISP self service site to test for blocking – her site is not blocked according to ISP systems – #FAIL
10:15 am – Business owner calls ISP and advises the Engineer that the problem is not site blocking. Engineer acts perturbed at continued business owner request for service # FAIL
10:25 am – ISP tells business owner that despite being the only ISP that does not allow access to her site, for dozens of end user business partners, the problem is with the site and she must call Hosting Provider – #FAIL
10:30 am – Business owner takes what she considers a logical stance – if dozens of end users on the same ISP are having this problem, let’s get the ISP to help solve the problem and not discount the client’s needs. She demands that the Engineer get another to look at the problem. Engineer is insulted and explains he knows what he is doing, “I am an Expert Ma’am”, he declares. Business owner stands fast to her request by politely offering that sometimes a fresh set of eyes may find an issue that nobody else sees. Engineer is very upset – #FAIL
10:45 am – ISP Engineer concedes, despite claim of being an Expert and gets his supervisor on the phone.
10:50 am – Supervisor listens to the details again provided by the business owner (Engineer had low level of notes in the system) – #FAIL
11:00 am – Supervisor sees a problem that he needs to investigate further. Business owner asks what, Supervisor reluctantly admits Expert Engineer testing was flawed. He had been using a proxy service thru another ISP. They are not able to see her website via the ISP, yet can see it thru a proxy service as business owner had been saying for last 3+ hours – #FAIL #NON-EXPERT
11:15 am – ISP supervisor says he will escalate and call business owner back in 10 minutes
11:30 am – Business owner and all Business partners are able to access business site with full functionality
12:00 pm – ISP has not called back, Business owner assumes resolution of the problem is all she will get – #FAIL

In conclusion – stuff will happen. Bits & bytes and even people fail to function at different times. It’s best to be careful when you declare yourself an Expert. Even the best Experts need help sometimes.

Thanks to the folks @ GoDaddy for being Diligent and trying to help
Thanks to the Supervisor @ Time Warner Cable for coming to the rescue, eventually.
Good luck to the Time Warner Cable Expert – name to be withheld to protect the poor guy.