Security's Everyman

Security's Everyman

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Poor Tech Support

It's been 17 hours since my Barracuda Spam Firewall went haywire. It started rejecting all incoming mail saying that it was from a fake sender domain. I went into the configuration and turned off that option and it quit rejecting mail based on that reason. It still rejected the mail only now it changed the reason to "intent" and the intent varied from things such as the domain name, a domain name that wasn't even associated with the message, the message had a signature, the message didn't have a signature, it really didn't matter it just rejected the message.

I've been in IT for 10 years now and I've been on both ends of the tech support issue. I've worked in Tech Support for a vendor and I've been an end user needing tech support. I've worked with some companies that had excellent tech support and some that had lousy tech support. I must say that Barracuda Networks has some of the worst tech support I've even encountered. It's not that they didn't work with me to resolve the issue or that the tech was untrained or unqualified or didn't speak english well. I have no idea how qualified or linguistically talented they are because the didn't see fit to ever call me back.

I called in the problem and was told that it was listed as the highest priority and that I would receive a call back within an hour. That didn't make me very happy, but I was willing to live with an hour. Two hours later I called them back to follow up and was told that they would call back within an hour. I explained that I had already been told that two hours ago and I continued to wait patiently.

By this time I had already done some basic troubleshooting of the box myself. It receives what they call "energizer updates" daily. I knew that it had received a new one that day and assumed that it was the problem so I used the option to "roll back" to the previous update to see if that would solve the problem. It didn't. I also turned off most every thing that causes it to block spam using the theory that spam with regular email was better than no email at all. That also didn't work. I didn't want to do much more than that because I didn't want them to point back at me and say that it was my fault. So I waited, and waited, and waited. I'm still waiting. My email is working now. I eventually got tired of waiting and did several more things that ended up fixing the problem. Now I don't know exactly what happened or why it happened and I'm not happy. My theory is that if you are paying a company for their product and ongoing support that you should at least get support and being down several hours and not receiving a call back is not support. Their web site claims 24/7 support. Maybe that's what it is. They will call you back sometime between 24 hours and 7 days.

Needless to say I am not happy. There is no excuse for lousy tech support. There is too much competition out there for my dollars and I have a feeling that Barracuda Networks won't be getting many more of mine.

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