Here at HostGator, we service an extremely diverse group of clientele and as such we get to interact with many different interesting people. These interactions encompass everything from angry clients seeking retribution to happy clients showering praises. Also included are some of the most absurd and downright strange communications imaginable.

In this post I’d like to focus on those absurd communications I just mentioned. I mean after all, they definitely help keep the job interesting.

Let’s start with one of the linux administration teams all-time favorite tickets: (Ticket is read from bottom to top)

The Dress shirts ticket, or should I say, dressshirts ticket, is one of the most (in)famous tickets here at HostGator. There has been much speculation as to the actual meaning of the cryptic message delivered to us on March 13th. Were we supposed to buy dress shirts? Is it some type of code we’re supposed to crack? Does he have a problem with our thinkgeek gotroot t-shirts?  We can only speculate since the mysterious client never returned our follow-up question.

This particular ticket also spawned an office meme which included admins randomly wandering into their co-workers cubicles shouting “DRESS SHIRTS” and then vanishing like ninjas. It also spilled over onto our internal mailing lists (granted, I was the one who spilled it) spawning several replies simply (or profoundly!) stating “dressshirts” or “dress shirts”:

In addition to the occasional, mysterious (almost prophetic) support ticket, we also have a department here at HostGator which is dedicated to account verifications. For some of our higher risk ventures we require that a scanned copy of your photo ID is sent in to verify a transaction. We were especially stricken when we encountered Mr Papill0ma Warte from Alexandria, Virginia:

It should be noted that we did in fact follow up with the authorities after we received this ticket and properly reported David Duchovny for identity theft. You’re welcome, Papill0ma.

Another interesting verification arose from a gentleman hailing from North Dakota named Lara:

Now I’m not sure what they’re up to there in Bismark but according to this ID it appears they’re genetically engineering asian military super soldiers with tiny hands who are nineteen feet tall. I did notice however that the tiny handed super soldier did opt for the ‘love donor’ endorsement, so at least he’s fulfilling his civic duty.

Sometimes our clients are just concerned for our welfare and general well being. Here’s a small excerpt from one of our live chat sessions:

Kyle: Have a great day, Fran.
fran: thanks…
fran: u2..
fran: remember to blink!
fran: otherwise sore eyes…

Thanks Fran, our eyes haven’t been sore since.

Free health tips aren’t the only advice being dished out to our agents, sometimes the very fabric of space and time is bent via our gatorchat system in order to provide mission critical instructions to our staff:

Brandon E: has entered the chat.
Brandon E: Hello and welcome to HostGator Live Chat, my name is Brandon how can I assist you?
I AM FROM THE FUTURE: You are in Great Danger Brandon E, i have come from the future to tell you how to prevent your misfortune.
I AM FROM THE FUTURE: I am You, but in the future.
Brandon E: Ok
Brandon E: Is there anything I can help you with?
I AM FROM THE FUTURE: Go to Cleveland Ohio now! Then go to 7-11 on wilkinson street
I AM FROM THE FUTURE: And ask for Barry
Brandon E: Ok
I AM FROM THE FUTURE: He is going to hand you a package, you must follow the instructions at once. You will need to activate the eternal discombobulator

We’re still looking for Brandon, if you find him, have him call us! (We’re worried!)

Working in a support center isn’t for everyone. Sometimes the job we do here at HostGator is thankless and stressful, but it’s never boring! I love the job. Not only for the wide variety of people I get to interact with, or the wonderful staff we have here at HostGator, but because I just generally like to help people. Simply put, we want you, the client, to be happy.

However weird the job may sometimes be, we’re glad you’re a part of it.


Twitter: @jpatrickp281

20 thoughts on “HostGator Tech Support, always interesting!

  1. Wonderful stuff!!!

    I like to finish my support chats with something along the lines of “Hostgator Rocks!” …because you guys do! Always wonderful support!

    Pity about Brandon though. Such a nice guy. Good to know that in the future he doesn’t stop being helpful!

  2. HAH. Seems like not much has changed in the LiveChat Technician Trolling department from when I was working there. Some of these users definitely are creative, I’ll give them that. Some need moar photoshop skillz. HostGator admins, jr-admins, and customer service representatives have always had a great sense of humor to go with their knowledge. This is why I still host with HostGator. Keep up the good humor and keep up the great support!

    (ps – where is my plushie?)

  3. Thanks for posting this on Twitter! I love these support tickets :-)

    Whenever I contact Hostgator live support I always try to be really friendly and I’m always extremely grateful for the excellent service!

    You folks rock!


  4. LOL, omg.
    I was wondering if I can go to Live Chat and make some prank futuristic chat in the hope they could be posted.

    I’ve some great ideas. :)

    Good luck on helping people who can’t help themselves, and keep the good work!


  5. I’m curious, how many people do you have handling front line support, anyway? With the number of sites you host, it must take a lot to handle such requests with patience!

  6. I am currently comparing server hosts for modest WordPress sites. I am not a programmer so I want reasonably simple user interfaces. As I did my research, I got the best personal reviews from people I respect for Dream Host, Host Gator and Media Temple.

    It is my understanding that there have been recent server specific attacks on Media Temple, Network Solutions, Go Daddy and Dream Host.

    I wish that Host Gator was writing about how they are working to ensure this won’t happen like Tiger Tech Net did on their blog in April. Tiger Tech was recommended by a credible source but because of their size it’s not so easy to cross check.

    There should be some relation between my suggestion/request and this post topic. How about Nervous Nellie customer request. Sigh.

  7. @emma

    As far as server specific attacks go, we employ several methods of defense/mitigation to ensure that our servers remain online throughout denial of service attacks. We don’t like to go into detail on the technical aspects of what we do for many reasons, security being one of them.

    All of the companies you mention there are good companies and I’m sure they, like us, would love to have your business. Good luck on your choice.

  8. Is It Possible For Me to Get A Id Like That Somewhere. The same face and everything?

  9. Incredible how do you guys mangage that sort of stuff? Obvious really you all have a great sense of humour added to the very professional way you deal with tickets. I have been with Hostgator nearly a year now. Probably put in about 4 tickets and all have been dealt with in record time.
    Thanks HOSTGATOR!!!!

  10. HAHA, I just saw this now, this is hilarious!! I especially liked the “tiny handed super soldier” :-)))

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