Saturday July 10

Alex Lam and Integricity stole my server

I'd like to explain what happened over the past week when you couldn't access this site.

My hosting server went offline and a lot of data and customer data became irretrievable. The connection was shut off by Alex Lam of Integricity, the colocation company I was using, because he felt I owed him money. The colossal amount: RM990. That's about USD250. What an American family spends on groceries in a two week period. So a hosting business that was built up with over a hundred customers went down just like that.

And the bill wasn't for the colocation rental either. That was paid up in full two weeks before. It was for the rental of an over-priced nameserver service. He was renting an IP address to me for an amount that not even Bill Gates would dream of charging. RM1300 or USD350 per year. I had informed him within three months of the start of the IP service that I didn't want it any more and he refused to acknowledge that and continued to send me unwarranted invoices for a service I had stopped using.

The decision to shut off the connection was also strange because Alex Lam still had RM800 in a deposit from me. If he had written me off as a bad customer, the first reasonable decision would be to give me notice and confiscate the deposit. Instead, he went to a lot of inconvenience for himself in order to inconvenience me.

Not only did he shut the connection, he re-routed all traffic to the accounts to a page with his phone number on it, urging people to call him. Then he proceeded to tell every one of my customers who called that he could provide a better service, thereby taking several of them.

Does that sound ridiculous? Would a shrewd businessman go to so much trouble? Does that sound more like something personal than a business decision?

Well. I had once laughed at him.

Almost a whole year earlier, he took a look at my server and offered to trade it in for a new and sexy server that wasn't even half as powerful. And he had expected me to pay for half the new server as part of the trade in price, telling me that my server wasn't worth much. Of course I knew how much my server was worth. So naturally, I could barely stifle a chuckle and then an all-out howler. To say the least, he didn't take that critique of his negotiation skill well at all.

The thing is, I never took him seriously. Then again I don't take many things seriously. Like a lot of young Chinese males in business for themselves, he's the sort of person whose sole purpose IS to be taken seriously. Factored into that attitude is a baby face, diminutive size (five-foot-five to my six-foot frame) and successful parents to live in the shadow of. When I had refused to take him seriously, he took it very very personally.

Now he does have the server. In addition to shutting down the connection, taking the customers, wrecking the business, he has padlocked the rack in the data centre and refused to allow me to retrieve it. And I don't doubt he has plundered it too, for whatever the data was worth.

The customers were quite shocked by all this. Some of them, when they realised what happened, called Alex Lam up to give him a bollocking. To inconvenience hundreds of people and disrupt so much business over a pitifully small amount was inconceivable. He should have dealt with it without involving so many others.

It's true that at the time of the shut down, the server was already dying and the hard disk was on its last sputters. So I had gotten a new server with the latest hosting control panel and updated software with spanking new SCSI hard disks. I was planning on leaving his services, transferring all the clients to the new one. My colocation contract with him was also ending in July. Did he know? It's not hard when a simple reverse IP search reveals the number of domains hosted on the server had started dwindling over a short period of time.

I had lost the past year's worth of entries (I can always get more), all the old Blogger entries (but I can just republish and get them back), the blog template (it was crap anyway), countless other files (most of which I probably don't use any more), my photos from the past couple of years (but I had them backed up locally in iPhoto). That's nothing compared to the loss of access from all the hosting clients, some of whom had businesses based on their website.

I could sue him and retrieve the server. But then again, the hardware was dying and too many of the customers had left. And rightly so. In the end, there wasn't much point.

If you're going to deal with Alex Lam, then you have to beware that he is petulant, conniving, greedy and capable of back-stabbing you for money without a second thought.


Hey tim, chee yong here. Sorry to hear that Alex Lam was such a prick. Glad that you managed to bring up the services in such short notice. Sorry to also have sms-ed you like a million times asking what’s happening. Hope you’ll understand me being so concerned and rushing you all the time because the company i work in rely on our emails alot. Anyway job well done.

P.S (I do hope Alex gets fucked in the ass someday...little bastard fucked up alot of people that one fine day when he decided to unplug your hosting)

Posted by Chee Yong on Jul 14, 04 | 1:23 pm

Heard of karma, Tim Yang? Some people might still remember you, and your several identities on you were slagging other hosting companies, calling them liars and cheats. All so you can start your own company with lower prices, but lousy service.

I’ll say that perhaps Alex was unjustified in shutting you down. But...CONGRATULATIONS TO ALEX LAM, AND THANK YOU FOR DOING SO! You deserve everything that happened to you. In fact, I wish more has happened to you. Its petty that you had to mention his height compared to yours, as if being
taller somehow makes you a better human being. Your business ethics and the reason you got into this business in the first place, not the mention the way you insult your clients is hardly professional. So why should you expect professional treatment by others?

And agonus is still down! Haha. Damn funny lah you. Web hosting company cannot host its own site.

Posted by Hmm on Jul 16, 04 | 5:50 pm

Embittered, Alex?

This story gets looked at every time any one googles Integricity and your name. And it’s not coming down.

And no, the site is up. I just haven’t uploaded anything yet. Been busy with more customers :-)

Posted by Tim on Jul 16, 04 | 5:56 pm
Trackback URL for this entry

No trackbacks exist for this entry. No pingbacks exist for this entry.

Leave a Comment

Email this article to a friend

Who Me

My pix

I'm an online brand planner and SEO specialist in Malaysia. XHTML, CSS and PHP hacker. Ex-advertising copywriter. Gonzo traveller.
I do branding and content planning and execution, offline and online.

Contact Me

AIM: worgthezo
MSN: timyang1
YM: timyang1
Skype: timyang1
ICQ: 16892551

Listed in the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Copywriters Directory at Blog search directory
Subscribe Me
My RSS feed
Subscribe with Bloglines

Add me to MyMSN
Blogroll Me
BlogThis via

Subscribe via email

Most Popular

Google Textads

Google Textads

Bloglines feeds

Blog News


CSS/Web Development

Filters (Other)


Search Engine News

Tech Business News

Tech News
Powered by Bloglines