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|Chanel, watchdog of the month|
A dog pound full of readers barked that the Dog used some bad math in his February column that took iPodMechanic.com to task for its handling of Esther Wheat’s iPod repair. To sum up, the Dog called iPodMechanic.com on the carpet for recycling Wheat’s iPod without giving her a chance to reclaim it. The Dog also chided iPodMechanic.com for not honoring its 180-day warranty policy. The problem, readers pointed out, is that the dates the Dog reported (December 8, 2006–June 16, 2007) add up to 190 days (or 183 or 191, depending on which reader you ask), which is just outside of Wheat’s 180-day warranty.
What went wrong? Rather than breaking out a calendar and a pen (which is difficult for someone with paws), the Dog relied on an Internet time calculator, which either had a burp or, possibly, the Dog got distracted by a Frisbee and entered the wrong dates. Wheat, who did receive a replacement for her recycled iPod, maintains that the dates iPodMechanic used for her warranty period are not correct, that she was within the 180-day period, and that the warranty was not the main issue concerning her experience with the company.
Although the Dog stands by his assertion that iPodMechanic.com erred when it recycled Wheat’s iPod without giving her a chance to get it back, he obviously erred on the warranty times and apologizes to iPodMechanic.com for that error. Woof.
We have been renting Halo game servers and a TeamSpeak voice chat server from KillerPings.com for the past two or three years. The pings were always some of the lowest and the service was excellent; our primary Halo server has been ranked in the top 10 in the world for quite a while.
Back in mid-November, we paid for another three months of service. Unfortunately, only a day or two after that, many customers’ servers went offline (including ours), reportedly due to a massive hardware failure. I figured, “Fine, that could happen to anyone.” Because of our past good experience with KillerPings, I trusted that the company would fix the situation, even though it was taking a long time and its customer support seemed to be too busy to respond as quickly as it used to.
Over the following several weeks, KillerPings moved some servers to its “partner,” Art of War Central, but said the billing would remain with KillerPings. Our server has not worked since the move, and I suspect it is because of a misconfiguration.
But that’s not the worst of it. Around 10 p.m. on January 1, 2008, all servers still hosted by KillerPings went offline, and the company’s website says it has been suspended by its ISP. Happy New Year, indeed! Several customers have posted on various forums that KillerPings packed up and disappeared, taking everyone’s money. Other customers report that the contact information has been changed, but a Google search for KillerPings pulls up an unofficial support page put together by customers. Someone mentioned that PayPal has a claim process that allows you to recover your payments. I tried this, but since my claim was placed 47 days after my payment, PayPal automatically closed the claim (PayPal’s site says you should file a claim within 45 days). Still, I emailed PayPal support asking them to reinstate the claim, but I don’t know if they will do anything.
What happened to KillerPings? And more importantly, what recourse do we have at this point? Are we out the $130 we paid KillerPings back in November or is there still some way to recover it?