How Linode Screwed Me

About a year ago, despite my gut-feeling, I signed up for a Linode account. I am a huge fan of Digital Ocean, and their products have always been really easy to use and configure. Plus, with Digital Ocean, you can sign up and pay with Paypal, a service Linode doesn’t offer.

But one day, out of boredom, I signed up for an account and bought a $5.00 a month server. It wasn’t anything to write home about. The updates took a long time, the stack scripts never worked, their in-site terminal was super buggy, and they lacked lots of the higher end resources Digital Ocean offered. None the less, I persisted and decided to spin up a couple sites on a server just to see the difference.

About a year into my experiment, I signed on a customer who had me developing applications for him. I designed him a application in Phone Gap, with the back end residing on a Linode. I also migrated his site that he paid an outrageous fee for from Fiverr to a Linode box. This process was no better or worse than the other cloud services so I decided to stick with Linode.

After doing work for this guy, I started to wonder if he was going to follow through on his promises. Weekly, he’d say “Hey how’d you like to make 200 bucks? I need a quick site up today. Can you do it?”

Of course I could, and I did, multiple times. I could put up a solid wireframe within 3 hours and it would be git commit away from going live. Then, the buyer would go dark. And you could say “Oh the first time he did that you should have not dealt with anymore”, but he did it again 4 more times but each time upping the price. One time, he offered me 1k for a site. I built the site, but he said “Yea, we lost the site because you didn’t respond to my 3 am text”. I never got texts, and I didn’t even know the site was “ours” to lose.

So I stopped talking to him, and didnt even hound him for paychecks anymore because I knew he was a bullshit artist. Until last week, he offered me $100 USD to install some CCTV’s. I said yes because there’s no way he couldn’t pay me if I was at his house. So after carving time out of my schedule I called to tell him I was coming over, and once again, he ghosted me.

After this, I just stopped messaging him all together. I stopped monitoring the applications for traffic and bugs, I wouldn’t push any updates, I didnt even block him. I just decided to never talk to him again.

So now, once again, he hits me up, but this time I dont respond. Within minutes, he starts to lose his composure and texts me “Why are you ignoring me?!” He even goes as far as blaming me for the lack of communication with attempts like “I tried calling you but got voicemail

OK buddy.

So he calls Linode, and tells them that he actually owns the account because his card is on the account. And wow, did Linode ever so desperately eat this shit sandwich right up. Here is the message this guy sent me telling me Ive been locked out of my “Linodes”.

The Linodes account is on my credit card and your still using it. I have locked you out as Linodes recognizes it’s my credit card.

I opened the account 6 months prior to him even knowing me. I even have proof of my initial purchase!

So I called Linode thinking, “Yea there’s no way he can just steal my account”. After many hours of discussion, it turns out that because I dont have this guy’s credit card number, I cant log into my account. This guy couldn’t even use a trackpad right, but somehow convinced Linode to lock out the creator of the account, before even consulting with anyone. I told them the credit card I used to open up the account, and they said they couldn’t find it.

Wow, so now this crazed maniac has control of my Linode account along with two of my servers that I’m supposed to be responsible for. And to top it off, he threatens me with the following.

if you go anywhere near my accounts again expect the police to knock on your door with a criminal warrant.

Someone obviously wasn’t loved enough as a child.

Im really not sure whose to blame here. This guy for acting crazy or Linode for literally locking out an account owner, someone who was in constant contact with them for weeks over tech support tickets. Here’s Linodes response. I gave them my email, my password, my IP addresses, my SSH keys, ticket numbers, old credit card numbers, Paypal transaction ID’s, and lots of pleading. I was still met with a bureaucratic stone wall like it was straight out of the movie Idiocracy.

“Hi Christopher,

Thank you for providing that additional information regarding this matter. I want to first acknowledge that this sounds like a situation that has potentially caused frustrations for you. With that being said, the information that you have provided is not sufficient in authenticating you as an owner or user on any Linode account. I know that you have reached out to us by phone multiple times, and have been given similar guidance by our Support team, so I do not want to make you feel as though we are repeating policy without considering all of the details of your situation.

Without being able to authenticate you, we will be unable to discuss any details that pertain to any Linode accounts. We hope that you understand that this security measure is in place to protect our customers.

Going forward, being as this appears to be a private dispute between two individual parties, we recommend facilitating any further discussion directly with the party you have identified in your email to us.

Let us know of any additional questions that you may have. In the event that you do have additional questions, we ask that you keep in mind the above information.

Regards, Corey

Linode Senior Support Team