No! Not the Shiner Bock!

In 2007, I leased a server from Rackspace in Texas. Like many high-tech companies, they like to have problems entered into their "Ticket System" for action. Hence, this entry:

Ticket: 070724-03605
Subject: Billing Problem
Date: 2007-07-24

Good evening.

I got a copy of my first bill today here in Colorado, which is pretty good considering you listed the country as UNITED KINGDOM. I also note the bill adds VAT (the UK's Value Added Tax).

Please be advised that Colorado isn't in the UK, but is rather the next state north of Texas -- where you guys are. We've been a state of the union for, oh, well over a hundred years now, thanks to our forefathers on the east coast who fought for (and won!) our independence from the British. (You may have read about it in school, Way Back When.)

I'd appreciate it if you'd update your records to show us as being in the USA, rather than the UK, and back out any and all VAT charged to date. We don't want to pay VAT since, after all, we get no representation in the British government (see Party, Boston, Tea, et al.) For that matter, not being citizens of Texas, we don't intend to pay Texas taxes either -- don't make me dump a shipment of Shiner Bock into the Colorado River!

Your friend and amused customer,
Randy (Decidedly not a British Name!)

There was a response the first thing the next morning:

Good morning, Randy!

First, we duly apologize for the error and will correct the country and credit the charges. Second, thank you for making my day... and many others that have read this! Third, not the Bock! Anything but the Bock! Again, we apologize for the error and please let me know if you need absolutely anything else.

Warm Regards,
Melissa Newell
Senior Intensive Process Manager

How delightful that I didn't just get just any Intensive Process Manager to respond, but a senior Intensive Process Manager.

Happily I didn't have to make good my threat to dump the Shiner Bock -- I hear the fish don't really like it, despite that old saying "Drunk as a fish." But I would have done it if I had to in order to make the point.

I found out later that my complaint was circulated very widely within the company....

Posted May 2, 2011

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