HobbyKing Shocker!

Here’s a transcript of the support chat I have just had with HobbyKing – I think it speaks for itself:

Start Time: 10/28/2016 01:31:23
End Time: 10/28/2016 02:48:54
Operators: Marc
Department: Customer Service


Operator Marc has joined the chat.
[01:31:23] Marc: Welcome to HobbyKing! My name is Marc and I hope you’re doing well. How may I assist you today?
[01:31:40] Marc: Hi Simon.
[01:32:56] Simon: Your web site has gone all wobbly – cloud flare are telling me it’s a problem with my server – I haven’t got a server! Looks like a DDS attack on your .co.uk domain – so I come here and it’s all changed – I can’t find an option to only look at the UK warehouse.
[01:34:43] Simon: Oh, and your security certificate is warning that the page is insecure – I hope not, you have my details in your database.
[01:36:42] Marc: I am sorry for the inconvenience Simon, there has been a system enhancement with our website. For this one, to check for the items located in your UK warehouse, it will be indicated at the product name of your preferred item, For example: Fatshark Attitude V3 Headset (UK Warehouse)
[01:37:41] Simon: So I have to trawl through everthing looking for stuff that’s available here in amongst all of the stuff that isn’t?
[01:39:16] Marc: You may try to search the product ID on the website and you will be provided the list of the items in warehouses.
[01:40:01] Simon: This is awful! A few items priced in GBP the rest all in USD – this isn’t an enhacement, it’s another case of a company forgetting that there are other places outside the U.S!
[01:40:37] Marc: Please take note Simon that HobbyKing sells product in USD only. Any foreign currency exchange rates on HobbyKing.com that are not USD are indicative only (you WILL be charged in USD regardless of the warehouse that you purchase from). HobbyKing.com provides the exchange rate tool as a guide only. During the checkout process, HobbyKing.com will pass the price in USD to PayPal whom will do the exact currency exchange for you according to PayPal’s currency exchange rates. The customer will then have the opportunity to accept or reject PayPal’s currency exchange rate. HobbyKing.com is not liable for the relationship between the customer and PayPal.
[01:40:50] Simon: I don’t want to search for stuff I don’t know exists – I like to browse through ALL products that I could buy to see what to spend my cash on this month
[01:41:31] Simon: Yes, but everything used to appear in GBP if I wanted.
[01:41:42] Simon: At least that gave me a clue.
[01:42:31] Simon: This chat will be posted to the forum (sponsored by HobbyKing I believe) – this is a terrible way to treat your non-US customers.
[01:42:50] Simon: The forum I use is what I meant to type …
[01:42:54] Marc: On the upper part of the website, you may see this:
Operator Marc has sent a file: 10/28/201601:42:5460f4906fb39c4164a78740f5d40b1e20.jpg
[01:43:00] Marc: Click to change to currency.
[01:43:25] Simon: It only changes the currency on a handful of items – everything else stays in USD.
[01:45:21] Simon: And where has the .co.uk site gone? Why do I get a page from Cloud Flare (whose reputation is falling through the floor with every passing day – I hope they are not responsible for the security on the database with my details in it) telling me it my server’s fault – I haven’t got a server!
[01:45:31] Marc: Once you click the encircled item on the picture I sent to you, you will get this options:
Operator Marc has sent a file: gbp.jpg
[01:46:18] Simon: I have clicked it. The prices were in USD, now some of them are in GBP but most are not.
[01:47:17] Simon: I am not comfortable with ordering from you right now – your SSL Certificate is warning me that your site is insecure – this is YOUR SSL certificate.
[01:49:35] Marc: Unfortunately, our system is currently undergoing some maintenance. Rest assured it’ll be up and running soon. Please try again later. We apologize for any inconvenience.
[01:49:47] Simon: Is that it?
[01:50:02] Simon: Are you under DDoS attack right now perhaps?
[01:51:12] Marc: We do not have any update regarding about that. But for the mean time, we suggest that you try again at a later time. Hoping for your understanding.
[01:53:23] Simon: I want to log in to make sure that my password is something truly unique. I can’t log in because your site is insecure and you appear to be under attack. This is bad for your reputation and you’re suggesting I try later? Not the best response. I am trying my best to avoid coming over as Mr.Angry and Unreasonable. I suspect I’m not doing well! 🙂
[01:55:52] Simon: When your site is running and is properly secured will I be able to sort the UK Warehouse stuff from everything else?
[01:56:59] Marc: Yes, Simon. The website is only having system maintenance.
[01:57:46] Simon: And will you be making it properly secure? If so, how long will it be insecure? Your site is ripe for hacking right now.
[01:59:04] Simon: I am particularly upset that your agents (Cloud Flare) are trying to blame me and my server for this.
[01:59:57] Marc: No worries, there is no problem with your server or on your end. The website is only having system maintenance. Thank you for understanding.
[02:01:09] Simon: I know that there is no problem at my end – I am a senior web developer and I first started working with computers in 1978. I do not understand why the finger is being pointed at me.
[02:02:05] Simon: And I can see that your site is undergoing more than system maintenance.
[02:04:22] Marc: Rest assure that once the system maintenance is over, the website will be back to its normal flow. Thank you for your patience. Is there anything else I may assist you with?
[02:07:39] Simon: Marc, you should have been a politician! 🙂 You are avoiding actually answering my questions with a fluency that Jeremy Corbyn could learn from! I am telling you that your SSL is warning, effectively, not to buy from your site and I am telling you. I am waiting to hear the screaming and gnashing of teeth coming from H.K. Towers and you are thanking me for my patience and suggesting that I come back later!
[02:10:36] Marc: Sorry Simon but we do have system maintenance as of this moment and we do not have any update when the server will be up. Hoping for your understanding.
[02:10:56] Simon: I give up …. thank you for your time Marc, it has been an education. This is the first time I have had a response from ANY hobby company that has been anything less than satisfactory. Your company (and others) has been particularly stand out in respect of your customer service but this time I am left stunned. Your site is insecure. You have my data. You are telling me it is routine (well it shouldn’t be and I don’t think it is). If you are having real problems you should say so quickly so everyone knows the risks.
[02:13:15] Simon: I’m off to the RCGroups forum to see what others think of this situation.
[02:15:07] Simon: I think that your site has finally given up the ghost – I am just getting a blank page now – looks like the attackers have done the business!
[02:15:46] Simon: And you’ve gone all quiet so I guess you’ve been cut off as well.
[02:20:07] Simon: Anyone there?
[02:22:37] Marc: Yes, I am still here Simon.
[02:23:02] Marc: We’ll respect your decisions regarding with your review to us.
[02:23:40] Simon: I’m not sure what that means … anyway, here’s my final thoughts on this:
[02:26:26] Simon: You have a customer who is concerned that your site has been made unuseable by your design decisions. You insist that everything will be alright, I’ll just have to wait. However, much worse than that you have a customer who can see terrible security issues with your site and you have said nothing to address this or reassure me. Read the press! Look what happens to companies who behave like this! You have my data. I feel that it is insecure. You have not even referred to those issues in your replies.
[02:32:14] Marc: We are already working on our system maintenance. And as of this moment, we still do not have any update regarding to when it will be up again. Rest assure that once the issue has been resolved you may try again. Anyway, since the website is in system maintenance, some of options may not be accessible. Please do understand.
[02:35:07] Simon: Okay Marc, I understand the maintenance issue even if I do not believe that the end game will be pretty. I will, as you say, just have to wait. But the security issues are shocking and no amount of maintenace excuses this – take your log on screen off line and replace it with a ‘come back later’ notice. Or something. Anything! Just don’t leave the door to my (and all of your other customers’) data wide open!
[02:37:53] Marc: Thank you for your feedback. It is possible that due to the maintenance that is why you see that kind of message.
[02:39:12] Marc: Would there be anything else I may assist you with?
[02:40:17] Simon: Thank you Marc, no. Have a great day (what’s left of it here!).
[02:48:48] Marc: Thank you for the clarification. We’re always glad to hear that we were able to help you with your concerns. By the way, for self help on your HobbyKing inquiries, you may also check our Help Center by clicking “24 hour Support Centre” on the upper right part of our website. Thank you for your patience and cooperation. Have a great day ahead, Simon!
Operator Marc has left the chat.
The chat is ended. (02:48:54)