Fragnet - have they just fragged themselves in the foot?

Horrendous incompitence on behalf of Swedish company Fragnet. (or at least, according to their web page, I believe they are Swedish; Fragnet Networks AB, Ostra Vittusgatan 36, 37133 Karlskrona, Sweden VAT Number: SE556871361301   Company Number: 556871-3613.) In February I was looking for a Minecraft server and was given a number of options by their staff...

"For what you are requesting, you may want to look at our VPS/VDS servers where you can choose the Operating System and have full SSH access to the server. The VPS servers are shared resources (OpenVZ) and the VDS servers are dedicated (KVM), both of which can be used for hosting Minecraft servers."

After buying one of their Bronze virtual packages and experiencing performance issues, they finally stated straight out...

"Your performance issues are relying on how these types of virtual servers are managing the memory and other resources being allocated to them, rather than the quantity. You could use an OpenVZ-based virtual server being allocated with 32GB of RAM and unfortunately still experience performance issues, due to how this memory would be handled. This is a recognized fact in the industry, Java applications (such as Minecraft) are never recommended to be ran on these types of virtual servers."

Apparently, this is known industry wide ... except for their own staff!!!

Despite this clearly being their own mis-selling, they refuse to budge on anything like recompense for their causing us months of heartache and the inability to open our server to other players...

"We will not give you any discount as all our VPS servers are fully self-managed and the VPS OpenVZ are not ment for high resources, as suggested if you wanted better performance and dedicated resources we can offer you a VDS/KVM the cause could of also been your configuration of your server as stated."

This is complete incompetence on behalf of Fragnet. This company is an utter disaster. Time to talk with the Swedish authorities and see if anything can be done about this pathetic company.

Also echoed in the Minecraft forum - http://www.minecraftforum.net/topic/1649803-is-fragnet-a-good-hosting-company/page__st__20

UPDATE - They offered a full refund, which I accepted, and I instructed them to take the server down. However, their "full refund" was only for part of the hire, not the full period of my receiving the service, and even THAT money hasn't hit my paypal yet. They have also taken the server down, so at the moment I have neither service OR money!

I'm not the only one having problems with them, either - http://www.gsptalk.com/topic/1876-sharing-my-view-of-fragnet-since-takeover-of-xfactor/




Further update - they don't read jack shit... and then I suffered exactly the same issue myself and had to eat some humble pie myself.

Chris Murrell || Staff
Hello Michelle,
OpenVZ can be used for Java and Minecraft, but if you wanted full and dedicated resources we would always suggest a KVM as they have dedicated resources and not shared, if you are un happy i will offer you a one time full refund.

Michelle Knight || Client
Hi Chris,
I will gladly take the refund. Please then shut down the server and kill the machine. We have all necessary files from the system.
 Once this is complete, I will determine what action I will take with regards new service.

Chris Murrell || Staff
Hello Michelle,
This has been done for you, i have terminated your server and given you the £48.90 refund back to your paypal account, i do apologise again for any issues.

Michelle Knight || Client
Chris,
Thank you, but that's a half refund, surely? I took out the service in February and then paid for a second term very recently.

Chris Murrell || Staff
Hello Michelle,
We can not refund you from then, we refunded you the last payment, thats all we can offer you.

Michelle Knight || Client
I have referred the matter to Sweden's Minister for International Trade and Foreign Affairs, Ewa Björling. When I hear back from her office I will let you know.

Chris Murrell || Staff
Hello Michelle,
Ok thats fine, please note we normally offer a 5day refund, we gave you refund out of good will and against our own policy.

Michelle Knight || Client
Hi Chris,
Just to let you know that you talk about the refund in the past tense as if you've already sent it. However, I've got home and there is nothing in my notifications.

Marcos Jimenez || Staff
Hello Michelle,
As Chris said, our return policy is of 5 days and you're out of that period why we cannot refund the invoice.

Michelle Knight || Client
The return was a good will payment outside the 5 day. Can you guys not get your story straight from one post to the other?

Marcos Jimenez || Staff
 Hello Michelle,
Our policy is pretty solid when it comes to refunds and we don't normally refund payments older than 5 days unless there's a good reason to do so.
Unfortunately the transaction is older than 60 days why PayPal does not allow us to refund the payment any more.
I've flagged this ticket for the Billing department so they can arrange with you how to proceed with the refund.
Should you need further assistance, don't hesitate to contact us.

 Michelle Knight || Client
What the hell does it take for you to read a few posts down the ticket...
---
Copy of Chris's post
---
...Chris had issued a refund out of good will and against policy. Crikey. Can you read English?

Michelle Knight || Client
Hang on ...My turn to apologise. The e-mail transfer to my mobile didn't show the whole mail.
I sincerely apologies for snapping at you and accusing you of such behaviour.
I've now read the whole post and will patiently await the billing teams response.




Update - DOS let them have it with all twenty barrels...

Posted Today, 03:16 PM ...

Fragnet, on 07 February 2013 - 11:00 AM, said:...

I find it amuzing when people who never even tried our services comments and refer to someone else (Juze). Juze posted negative information about us a year back, because he did not like TCAdmin (yet he never tried us). I do know that he was corrected my a head moderator...

With more than 200 machines running, you will bump into issues occassionally - such as DDOS attacks, network/datacenter maintenance etc. We do however monitor all our operations 24/7 (technicians working 24/7) to make sure we run optimally at all times....

We run all our servers on E3 CPUs and enterprise server hardware only. We also ONLY use low-latency premium networks, mainly because we are a Game Server Provider where latency is crucial to FPS games. We own and operate all our equipment and constantly make large investments in to improving our service and support....

We are ranked as number one on both bestminecrafthosts.com and gsprating.com - which I believe confirms that we are one of the best hosting providers out there.
...

Oh. Hell no... I'm calling BS. I am one of your former customers as of today. “Number one” host? Number one in what sense? In the sense that you define yourself axiomatically as number one and then refer back to yourself as the definition for your own imagined worth?...

Your service is broken, you know that it's broken, and you deliberately sell services you know are broken, with full knowledge that they are unfit for purpose....

Let me quote YOUR technical service email response that we have just received after months of puzzling over why a minecraft server that runs perfectly without restart for weeks on my own system, is having so much trouble running on the service your “number one” hosting sold to us......

Quote...

...Your performance issues relies on how these types of virtual servers are managing the memory being allocated to them, rather than quantity. You could have a server allocated with 32GB of RAM and still experience performance issues on OpenVZ-based virtual servers. This is more than well known in the industry, java applications (such as Minecraft) are never recommended to be ran on these types of servers....

You will easily find more information on this with a simple Google search using the following keywords : "Openvz and java", "Openvz memory management model", or "Openvz vs KVM". (KVM being used by our VDS servers)..
...

This is YOUR technical support response in an email to us......

Now go open your own website and see where you advertise OpenVZ as if it were a selling point....

As your tech support role has pointed out......

The hardware you are boasting about makes little difference for two reasons...•As your technical support role pointed out... the hardware is irrelevant if the software doesn't support the memory management required. And•Fragnet is not actually hosting its VPS services. You rent space on someone else' data farm for them. So says your website....

So, your statements about your shiny high end boxes don't actually apply and could be seen as a little deceptive....

I particularly liked the part in your tech support email response where it was our fault that your service sucks, for not googling your virtualization model and how we should have known better than to try to run a minecraft server on hosting you sold to us as minecraft server hosting. Even more I liked the part about giving actual reasons why we shouldn't have considered the service you sold suitable due to known issues with the software you are using... boasting about using....

We have had our server log spammed with “Did the time change or is the server overloaded?” usually followed by a write failure or memory error and a crash and YOUR excuse has been that you were under DDoS attack....

Let me point something out to you... This is not an excuse and it is not possible for this to cause memory and HDD access errors unless your network configuration is insanely inept....

We traceroute logged your service. We found nothing unusual from two separate routes....

DDoS can cause failed DNS queries and bad connectivity, but unless you've routed DNS requests to the physical hosts to handle AND also force your internal network to handle virtual HDD read/write traffic across the same physical network, you can't possibly expect anyone to believe that the log errors we've seen were caused by a DDoS attack that didn't appear to actually be occuring... Why, it's almost as if you were blaming a failure you expected to be noticed, on a fictional problem you didn't expect to be checked...

I'm not putting words in YOUR mouth....

Your own technical support role informed us by email that the problems we were having were our fault because we should have known better than to run a minecraft server on the OpenVZ service hosting that YOU sell explicitly AS MINECRAFT HOSTING....

Let me rub that in a bit... YOUR technical support response to us....

Quote...

...java applications (such as Minecraft) are never recommended to be ran on these types of servers..
...

Except on YOUR website where you sell exactly that as recommended specifically for minecraft hosting and your website makes it sound almost as though it's some sort of selling point... rather than a cautionary red-flag....

Yes, I have SMTP source which is verifiable for your correspondences....

Yes, I plan on beating you roundly about the head and shoulders until I tire of it, because you wasted my time trying to make a server work that you sold knowing that it was broken by the very architecture of the virtualization model you sold. After getting this charming email from your tech support desk I did as the writer suggested and did my homework... Running OpenVZ for game server hosting is absolutely nothing for you to be bragging about and it makes all of your boasts about your super high end hardware and fast network utterly irrelevant. It also explains why you seem to be omitting certain details when you talk about your services... like how a customer isn't actually getting a specific memory quota, and why using less memory will make your service suck even worse than maxing out your soft limit....

I have a theory, and it is just a theory......

My theory is that you tossed something together using software that costs you nothing......

OpenVZ is free and open source. So, you have no overhead cost for the software (and as I will point out later, you don't actually physically host your VPS services so no hardware overhead either). You sell hosting using it, knowing full well that it will suck because OpenVZ doesn't hard-allocate memory quota AND it obfuscates the fact that a portion of the memory sold is used by the host kernal and not accessible to the guest systems... It makes the memory figures appear larger than the memory the guest system can actually access. It also allows nodes with high traffic to steal the memory from lower traffic nodes because the memory is not actually assigned to a guest. Guest systems compete for memory and if your system uses too little memory, OpenVZ will give the memory you are paying for to another node with more demand. Which is one of the most important reasons why competent hosts do not use OpenVZ for game server hosting. A server doesn't have to be oversold to experience wild and erratic fluctuations in memory between nodes because whatever memory is available will be given preferentially to the nodes with the highest demand at any given moment. That means that whether you have one user or lots of users, your game is going to experience the radical swings in frame rate that we have observed, even for only one user logged in....

It has absolutely nothing to do with the imaginary DDoS attacks that don't show up in our traceroute logging... you are using a virtualization model that is unfit for use as a game server host. THIS causes the memory and HDD access errors in our log files... the imaginary DDoS attacks you use as an excuse for it... can't....

Now why would a service selling KVM dedicated hosting also sell OpenVZ when KVM is actually viable? Because you aren't actually hosting the VPS services? Because you just resell it as-is hosted by a datafarm that provides cheap cloud hosting for websites? Because you can make excuses that cover for the fact that the VPS services you are re-selling are completely unsuited for game server hosting?...

Because you can oversell the VPS services and still claim that the services you do actually host are not over sold simply by being very quiet about the fact that your VPS services are not actually hosted by you?...

I'm guessing most of the VPS customers you deal with are probably children looking for a place to set up a small private server for a few friends, and when they can't make what you sold them work, you make some excuses that don't actually make sense but sound technical to a 13 year old kid, and they eventually give up and walk away figuring that they just did something wrong and aren't smart enough to be setting up a minecraft server. You pocket their parent's credit card receipts and shrug....

It's just a theory... Maybe a theory that sounds more plausible than the frankenstein pastiche of double talk that adds up to sneaky ways of leaving out the reasons your super fast servers suck so bad....

I want to take an extra moment here and dissect your posting a bit... I wasted months on you already, so you can consider this a parting gift of a little more typing than you actually deserve....

“We run all our servers on E3 CPUs and enterprise server hardware only.”...

Which your own tech support response to us points out is irrelevant given the virtualization model being unfit for proper memory management for a gaming environment. So, let me paraphrase. By omitting the software problems from your claim, you can boast about the shiny chrome side-pipes on your hotrod and leave out the bit about the gas tank being full of water. Not precisely a lie... yet neither is it a full disclosure of the state of your services... It might give someone the impression your VPS hosting was actually worth something....

And yet... you don't actually host your VPS services (according to your own website). So, not only is your claim of shiny boxes irrelevant, it isn't actually true either....

“We also ONLY use low-latency premium networks, mainly because we are a Game Server Provider where latency is crucial to FPS games.”...

Which is irrelevant and also an overt obfuscation of relevant fact....

During our traceroute logging we found nothing unusual about your network latency....

You continued to blame erratic frame rates of 0-35 with only one user online, on DDoS attacks which you also do here in this posting... as if to say, “your service is going to suck, and we are going to blame network latency, which you probably aren't going to check...” while simultaneously boasting about your fast pipeline... because you don't figure many folks are going to check up on your claim of network latency being caused by DDoS and you figure that this claim will be an acceptable explanation for logged errors which can't be caused by network latency external to your edge router. Bad memory management however, explains everything we've seen from your service....

You seem to be simultaneously making claims to greatness based upon your network, and then blaming the failures of your virtualization model on imaginary network failures which sort of defeats the purpose of boasting about how fast your network is and does nothing at all to explain how your network layer is causing internal server errors when the server shouldn't care whether the internet is broken... especially since we found no evidence to support your claim that your network latency was unusual at all....

“...you will bump into issues occassionally - such as DDOS attacks, network/datacenter maintenance etc.”...

This statement appears to say that you know full well that your services suck and you're willing to blame that on DDoS attacks in advance, even in the same breath as claiming that you have a blazing fast network....

...which can't possibly cause the memory and HDD access errors in our logs. DDoS attacks which didn't appear to be evident while you were using them as an excuse for internal server problems they couldn't cause....

“We own and operate all our equipment and constantly make large investments in to improving our service and support.”...

Actually your own website claims that the VPS services you sell are outsourced by you, not on your shiny boxes and cheap... not high end. Let me direct your attention to the relevant page on YOUR website, http://www.fragnet.net/vps-servers.php...

“Please note to keep our prices down all our VPS Servers are un-managed by Fragnet, we only support the node and the network. “...

“We at Fragnet only utilize top of the range server machinery. We guarantee you 100% of the resources that your package contains(no overselling!). “...

You can't possibly guarantee 100% of the resources the user is paying you for on am OpenVZ host because OpenVZ doesn't support your ability to set a fixed quota, AND because the user is actually huaranteed NOT to get the use of 100% of the memory he's paying you for due to a large chunk of it being reserved for use by the host kernal and inaccessible to the guest system under OpenVZ. Any promise you make about guest node memory allocation, is a fictional statement in the context of OpenVZ....

...but as the page also states, your VPS services aren't actually hosted by you on your shiny boxes....

The statement that the services you actually host are hosted on enterprise hardware does not actually appear to be relevant to your VPS services page, yet mentioning it and your blazing fast network that magically suffers HDD access and memory errors due to DDoS attacks, makes it sound shiny too where it does not appear shiny in use. It also makes it look as though you might be deliberately confusing the features of your VPS services with the VDS services you do actually physically host to perhaps make them sound shinier than they actually are....

Now... go fire the Fragnet tech support person who told us why your services actually suck so you can carry on as usual.

4 comments:

Cecile de joly said...

You clearly cannot read/understand english, you quote fragnet telling you:
"We are ranked as number one on both bestminecrafthosts.com and gsprating.com - which I believe confirms that we are one of the best hosting providers out there."
then you are commenting:
"Number one” host? Number one in what sense? In the sense that you define yourself axiomatically as number one and then refer back to yourself as the definition for your own imagined worth?..."

Just read their sentance again, they did NOT call themselves number one, they have been ranked number one by those websites.

Same goes when they tell you to take a VPS or VDS, they clearly state VDS has dedicated resources while VPS has not but you went for the VPS.

They have been kind enough to refund and provide you details about your issue (keep in mind that YOU are the only one responsible of what YOU install on a visrtual/dedicated machine) yet you started a crusade.

Will you now be honest enough and publish this comment?


Michelle said...

Perhaps you did not read the whole thing fully ... we were SOLD this as a Minecraft hosting solution, so I think I've got every fucking right to bitch about it...

From: Fragnet Networks AB Pre-Sales
To: Michelle Knight
Subject: [Ticket ID: 978329] Pre-sales technical query
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2013 00:25:16 +0100
Reply-to: Fragnet Networks AB Pre-Sales
X-Mailer: PHPMailer 5.1 (phpmailer.sourceforge.net)

Michelle,

For most files you will have direct access but you will need to use a
Configuration Editor for the server.properties file. You cannot upload
your own Java instance to use as our shared Minecraft servers run from
the same Java installations. For what you are requesting, you may want
to look at our VPS/VDS servers where you can choose the Operating
System and have full SSH access to the server. The VPS servers are
shared resources (OpenVZ) and the VDS servers are dedicated (KVM), both
of which can be used for hosting Minecraft servers.

If you need any further assistance, don't hesitate to get back with us
at any time.
------------
Brett @ Fragnet

Michelle said...

Plus, if the main thing that you have to bitch about is the rating quotation, then you are skating on VERY thin ice.

DIMentiaMinecraft said...

@Cecile de joly

I can see how you might be confused and there is a lot of information here to read... before posting.

We didn't make some sort of user error related mistake here. We were specifically directed to the VPS service explicitly as suitable for minecraft hosting as you can see by the answer to Michelle's inquiry ticket.

We are entertaining the possibility that what has occurred was an inappropriate recommendation made by a salesperson who simply wasn't properly trained.

This doesn't excuse the months during which tech support failed to provide any real information and habitually used fictional DDoS attacks which were not evident in traceroute logging rather than simply saying... "Ummm we sold you the wrong service... oops."

Hope that helps.

Modfodder

 
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