Hold On, Ethel!

This may get a bit bumpy. It has been months since there was a bona fide rant on M3. Today, we are well past due. For the first time in M3 history (and likely the last), the prohibition to reblogging is lifted. You are more than welcome to share this post with anyone.

Way back in the prehistoric times, M3 was a .wordpress.com blog. In March, I moved M3 from the “free” platform to its own domain. I chose to do this in the traditional way and move all the way off the servers which power the WordPress.com and WordPress.org blogs. Let’s review.

1. Begin a blog.

2. Purchase the domain name “through” WordPress.

Sounds straightforward. It is not. WordPress does not host websites. They also do not register domains. Enter Automattic.

Phase One

I should have been wary of someone who could not spell automatic. Once this was revealed, I immediately (as in within ten minutes) sought hosting from GoDaddy. I ran into 418 problems with the move, as some of you may recall. What I learned was this:

  • Free WordPress blog owners may not put ads on their blogs.
  • WordPress does put ads on free blogs.
  • Blogs registered through Automattic also may not have ads.
  • WordPress does not put ads on Automattic blogs.

Since the initial reason I moved off of the free blog system was to monetize M3, the neglect of this information was crucial to the case of the reds which developed in those initial ten minutes.

Phase Two

After much unpacking, M3 became a similar site to the one you see today. Many of you have been following along with the updates and box recycling through Welcome Home! One piece has been missing from the declarations there, as I have been testing the waters of mobile blogging.

Mine has better wallpaper and loads more messages.

WordPress offers a mobile blogging platform via Apple (for iPhone and iPad) and RIM (Research in Motion-for BlackBerry). Many of you have seen blog comments here with the footer “Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry”. Those all generate from the mobile app I use to send pictures and comments to the blog.

I have been leery of trying to post remotely because of the limitations to the mobile platform and the standard of post the M3 Readers have come to expect. What I was not leery of attempting was using the reporting tools. So, I pressed the “Stats” button.

Less Than Stellar

The results were: There was an error. I sent an email to report the problem to find out, lo and behold, who should be the recipient….Automattic. (Begin first twinge of reds…again.)

The responses I got from their (alleged) customer service department included such gems as:

That means there was an error in the file system. Does your SD card happen to be full?

Uh, no. My BlackBerry is not full. (PS If you have this problem, you will find out how much space on your removable memory does not make any difference in the performance of native apps. Tell the CSR that.)

OK. It may also help to remove the SD card and add it back again, as well as power cycle the device.

No. The problem is not, repeat not, my BlackBerry. I told him I would do no such thing. Instead, I unloaded and reloaded their defective software.

It appears that no stats data was returned. Are you able to see that you have stats data in the dashboard of your blog through a desktop web browser?

You know, this means war.

To prove this person did no investigation, the next email asked me what the address to the blog was. Of course, the service is merely to get customers to be frustrated enough to go away. He don’t know me very well…do he?

So, the ultra maroon does not (read the last word again) go to the address I gave him. The following morning, he then pens this gem….

Hi Red,
Looks like the site is showing 0 hits for the past 7 days. Do you see the same in your wp-admin area? It might help to make sure that the Jetpack or stats plugin is active.

Could I get a show of hand for everyone who viewed an M3 post on Monday? Or for the week prior? For those who are still on WP, JetPack is what runs your stats on your dashboard. It is an optional feature when you move off of WP.

Are you feeling a Friday Follies email?

Since October 28, 2011, I have NEVER had a day with no hits. My blog has more than 35 comments today so far before my notice goes out I have posted today. Can you see them? Is it plausible to you I have comments with no hits? 

JetPack, for all its bugs, is activated and is currently showing 179 hits for today at the moment. I have attached a screen shot for your viewing pleasure.

I realize your job is to take those who know nothing of software of any type and put them through the inane step ladder of troubleshooting. However, I do know quite a bit about your software. I know enough to have moved my initial registration away from Automattic due to its poor level of customer service.

If you are not going to attempt anything on your end besides emailing me to tell me that I, my telephone and your assumed lack of my computer skills are the problem, please send me an email to that effect. I will stop wasting my time emailing you and post about the dismal customer service which WordPress pays Automattic to provide for their mobile software.

Thoroughly dissatisfied,
Red Dwyer

Phase Three

You can imagine the eye twitch. But we were not done yet. Despite my email signature carrying a link to the blog in all of these emails, this CSR had still not been to M3. You read that right. The CSR had not clicked the link in the email or copied and pasted it into a browser. Instead, since it was entirely plausible I did not know the address to my own website, the CSR took the liberty of inserting .wordpress before the .com. Behold.

Just to follow up. I see where you visited the blog. However, you were 301’d to the blog. I did not fail to put in the .wordpress in the URL. There is no .wordpress in the URL. Since all inbound links to M3 were corrected at the time of the move, and the time of the inbound link is congruent with your “check” of the stats, it appears you are checking the stats of a blog which does not exist.

Thus, if your software is only available to off WP blogs which are serviced by Automattic, an admission of such should have been forthcoming prior to the installation. 

Currently, JetPack is reporting 225 hits. The WP software on my BlackBerry is still giving the “no stats found” message. I will not bother reporting it again. In fact, it is not my device or my blog which is at issue.

Enter cursing stage. The next brain surgeon email the following morning (Yes, it has now been three days.) would announce my problem was beyond the scope of customer service and would need to be referred to the “data team”.

After seven hours of no response, I asked when I could expect the “data team” to come to work. Oh, happy day! In five minutes the response was “They JUST responded, claiming it is fixed.” (Emphasis added.) BlackBerry problem fixed. Advanced stats (more than available on JetPack) readily at my fingertips.

Happy ending, right? Think again.

Final Phase

In order for the CSR to get the wrong stats, he had to activate the old site. What this means is anyone who has an outdated link from the old site is not redirected here. You see, when you move, the old domain must sent all traffic to where your material still exists. Guess what!

All of the old blog things still exists, frozen in time, on the old site. It is interactive, even though I have all of your comments before Wednesday stripped from the posts and moved here. So far, since Thursday, 34 people have visited and one has commented. Two (WordPress) websites have pinged back to it.

WordPress kept all of the content in its data bases, and they are all still accessible to anyone who goes to the trouble to type in the address or click an old link- or one supplied by WordPress as a related link on any blog they own. By dropping the redirect, they are able to show my content (with their own ads and without me getting even M3 stats credit for it).

Now, the banner on the old site is not the antique green “Momma’s Money Matters ~ Money and Parenting Advice from a Momma of Ten”. It now looks like this:

Is this clear?

If you are directed to a site where you see this banner…PLEASE contact me. Use an email from me or M3 to get to my email. Bookmark this page (or any M3 page dated AFTER 06MAR12) for access to the Ask Momma page under About Momma. You can send me a message without having my email handy or in your address book.

Since WordPress cannot be bothered with customer complaints or email, and Automattic only directs to the WordPress forums, I have used my BlackBerry issue Automattic CSR to report this and sent them a security issue email. I do not take the pirating of my website lightly. I also do not take the theft of my copyrighted material by WordPress lightly.

Not A Threat…A Promise

In the event traffic is not redirected appropriately and my copyrighted material continues being displayed on a subdomain which does not belong to me, I will file a DMCA complaint against WordPress and Automattic jointly.

(c) Ann Marie “Red” Dwyer 2012
Re-blogging of this post and this post only is acceptable.
All other posts on Momma’s Money Matters (M3) are not available for re-blogging. 

Copyright and Privacy Policy available (and advised) in The Office. 

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  1. Wow, nothing is easy these days. I am still with WordPress and your post reminds me why I am scared to move! I worry about bad customer service and lack of email responses… I hope all gets more calm for you soon Red xx
    Christy Birmingham recently posted..Poem: You Reach Out Your ArmsMy Profile

    • It has settled for the biggest part. This is a prime example of giving CSR the abilities to seriously hurt websites without requiring them to understand the ramifications of the “minor code changes” they routinely execute. All is nearly well…It is helping me in the long run. I am stealing my own work for a book 😉 xxx

  2. Sounds like a productive week. At least you will have some more material to write about after this.
    Derek Mansker recently posted..Nehemiah 13- Leadership Leaves a LegacyMy Profile

  3. You always seem to have the best computer fun.

    Ultra maroon, indeed. As I was reading this, Mel Blanc was on the radio on the Jack Benny show (I live in a time warp).
    Binky recently posted..Summer Trick or TreatingMy Profile

    • As I was writing this Looney Tunes was playing the background for the second straight day 😉 Mel Blanc was a genius.

  4. I can’t imagine the headache this has been for you. I’m with you filing against WordPress and Automattic jointly regarding the subdomain. Whew!
    tess kann recently posted..IS a Picture WORTH a Thousand Words?My Profile

    • Glad to say even Automattic was unable to get into the old site after I got it fixed. The security CSR is still convinced there was nothing they could have done to fix it…despite them being the ones who messed it up in the first place…It inspired the Flash in the Pan this Sunday.

  5. Sounds LOT like the rigamaroles I’ve been through w/ various “customer service” people, both via emails and phone. The first time I went round and round with someone was ‘way back when Tripod moved to some other place. I got so furious that I nearly had a heart attack and had to throw up my hands and quit. Later, I got some confirmation that all my info had indeed made it through their barbed wire, and I was back in. I didn’t stay long, as I recall, but soon moved on, and now don’t let those incidents cause a ripple, must less chest pain and brain melt.


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