The linode fiasco: Surprise deletion
Today morning we got a ticket 4385923 from their tech support engineer jmusbach (John M), with an ilicit content report. However, the ticket did not contain an actual abuse complaint, or any link to the content in question. They closed the ticket shortly afterwards. We asked for details - the text of the complaint, a link to the content - anything, so we could notify our customer and take steps to remove the content from our site. We got the following answer:
I'm sorry about that! That ticket was opened in error.
Please let us know if there's anything else we can do for you. We'll be glad to help!
We calmed down, and soon forgot about this case. But then, in a couple of hours, our customers noticed that their servers do not work anymore, and our accoount is not available. We promptly created another account, and asked them, what happened. It turns out, they removed our whole account, on ToS violation. Their ToS says following:
__You agree that any of the below activities are considered prohibited usage and will result in immediate account suspension or cancellation without a refund and the possibility that Linode.com will impose fees; and/or pursue civil remedies without providing advance notice.
Misuse of System Resources: Intentional misuse of system resources, including but not limited to employing programs that consume excessive network capacity, CPU cycles, or disk IO.__
So, that means, they may delete your account and your servers without warning or explaination on any issue. That was the case with us. Worse, not only did they remove our account without notification, they removed our account having said that it's alright, and we have nothing to worry about.
After we wrote them a ticket from our new account, they banned our company's whole network, so we couldn't write them an e-mail or even register a new account.
We voice-called their tech support. It turns out, that:
1) They reserve the right to remove any user data without any notification;
2) In fact, they are required to by the cmpany's policy;
3) They do not have any backup as a mistake insurace;
4) They banned our network automatically (or so they claim), and can not undo it;
5) They have nothing they can help us with.
Then they hung up.
So, if you use or even resell Linode services, be prepared for the fact that one day your data, and the data of your customers will disappear without a trace and without any means to restore it. And if you get too nosy with your questions, whey will quickly shut you up by blocking your whole network, so that they could work in peace.
Obviously I don't know the details, but the only cases I am aware of where linodes were deleted involved repeated copyright infringement or abuse of the network. Linode is not a safe haven for illicit activity.
Does a customer making their side public imply it's ok for us to make our side public?
I assure you, it won't be good for them.
But it would be very much good for you. They are making it look as though you pulled the plug on them for a single abuse issue without notifying them.
We are all very eagerly waiting
The kind of customers that are beneficial for a business can read an obviously biased rant like the original post above and realize there's a lot missing between the lines. And the fact that Linode allows such a rant on its own forums is a positive, not a negative. But seeing that Linode responds by lowering themselves to the same level of public shaming would worry me that one day they would do the same for more level-headed negative testimonials as well.
I feel like regardless of how "in the right" Linode is, climbing down into the mud pit to slug it out like this would be a net loss.
They've never climbed down into the mud pit before, and I'm guessing they won't do it this time, either. When customers become more trouble than they're worth, it's time to say goodbye. End.Of.Story.
I asked for some followup from a supervisor, I wasn't looking for a service credit or anything like that. I just wanted to make sure that someone was aware of this less than stellar support reply I received to the ticket. I also wanted to praise the phone support guy for having the smarts to actually listen and rectify the situation. If I was a new Linux / Linode user, I might have ended up wiping my whole Linode if I hadn't managed to figure it out myself. I never did receive any followup and the ticket was subsequently closed. I must admit, after all these years this incident did make me upset with Linode. I would have thought customer feedback to this type of thing would have been appreciated. I got lucky that there was no downtime or data loss (I do have offsite backups!).
Linode has had stellar support over the years and I just wanted to do my part to keep it that way.
In each case, Linode notified me, I took prompt action to fix the current problem, and put in place measures to make it more difficult for the problem to happen again. Linode was easy to work with in each of these cases, and I feel confident that if I had needed some advice to resolve the issues, they would have stepped up to help me out.
We received no notification or any complaints, and our account was deleted without any warning. all I hope they are able to allow us to retrieve the existing data.
Hey @Victorteobaihao I found the open ticket on your account regarding this and just updated it.