More Parallels Plesk ranting

I just spent four days of my life trying to restore a lost domain from the external backups stored on another server. I figured out most of it but just couldn’t get it completely right. So I bit the bullet and plopped down $75 to open a support ticket. Eventually I figured it out but it was only marginally due to their help. Parallels wrote to me asking if they could close my ticket. Here’s my response:

“Okay, here’s the thing. I purchased a support ticket a few days ago because I couldn’t figure out how to restore a domain from a backup. The original server that it was created on was gone, so all I had to go with was the “personal FTP repository” tar file to go with. After looking at all the documentation, the forums and Google searches, I was still stuck. So, as a last resort, I purchased a ticket request in the hope that I could talk with somebody who knew something at the support desk that might get me the last ten yards.

What I got instead was a person on the phone who I couldn’t understand. Thick accent.) Actually, that two hours after I purchased the support ticket. And that was a long two hours as, at that point, I was at my wit’s end with the issue. Anyway, the best that the support person could offer was to log into my server and restore the backup for me. Whenever that might be.

Well, that turned out to be 4:30am (my time) the next day. And then they didn’t actually restore anything. They couldn’t because of a simple issue (which I didn’t know because there’s nothing in the documentation saying that). So I used the support person’s suggestions and actually got the domain restored myself.

So, is the support issue resolved? Technically, I suppose it is even though the support person did nothing other than offer me advice which I would have happily accepted the day before. Do I feel like I just poured $75 down the drain? You bet I do. Here’s why:

The whole reason why I had such an issue with restoring the domain is that there is *zero* documentation on what to do with tar files saved in external directories. This makes absolutely no sense to me. You have at least *some* documentation on restoring data from the “server repository.” While that’s nice, it completely ignores the possibility that hardware could fail. Well guess what: it does. Servers crap out and hard drives crash all the time. That’s a very compelling reason to store your backups on another server if not also offsite. This is the reason why I do that at my company and why 99.99% of the rest of the world does the same thing.

So, getting to the bottom line: fix the documentation! The online help and the HTML documentation from your resources page is very weak. I’ve read the letter from your company’s president that promised to improve the quality and the customer support experience of Plesk. Here’s another area that badly needs attention. If I could have found the answers that I needed in the first place, I would have a lot fewer bad feelings about Parallels and Plesk and wouldn’t be out $75 for nothing.

— David Spencer, PageWeavers”

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