We are writing this to let you know that something went terribly wrong at Transloadit.
We have been running customer support through Tender Support since we started the company in 2009.
Today we learned that, for a long time, a large amount of valid support requests were being blocked by their spam filter. It would be convenient to put the blame on Tender's filter, but we are the ones who messed up.
We Messed Up
We make heavy use of their email integration to handle support. During the first few years, we still frequently used their dashboard to check up on spam, but that's exactly all there was - spam. Tickets about Viagra and the occasional SEO offering.
After a few years of finding nothing of interest, our brains eventually unlearned to look in this place. We started to rely solely on the email integration and the pending tickets page, for handling all of our support issues.
The customers we talked to were happy and the business was flourishing. All seemed in order.
It wasn't until someone recently told us on Twitter that we had failed to attend to his requests two times in a row, that we began to give the dashboard a thorough look again.
As it turns out, there has been an increase in false positives that has grown over time, only to absolutely soar in May 2015 when there were more false positives than actual spam emails.
We failed to set up alarms for this. We failed to make checking the spam dashboard part of our daily support routine.
Many valid requests have gone unanswered for a long time.
This hurts us extra bad, because it makes us seem careless, while we work so hard to maintain a high level of timely support and like to take pride in that.
Our claims of top notch support have been cruelly undermined by this blind spot.
Did People Not Reach Out?
They did, on multiple occasions. However, it seems that once the spam filter has marked you, you will have great difficulty getting anything through to us.
People would mail us a few more times and assume we were jerks, who were ignoring them.
Reading back through this history of unanswered tickets is absolutely killing us:
We are ashamed, shocked and regretful about the damage dealt to our relationship with you, our customers.
What we're doing about it
Today, we went through thousands of emails by hand to double check Tender's spam filtering. The founders themselves have gone over each individual mail and will reply to the customer/prospect to apologize and to offer help if it is still required. Even if the request dates from 2009. We will also refer to this post for a more thorough explanation.
Update: We have just finished going over 10,300 emails - twice - and have uncovered 286 valid requests/tickets.
We are going to add automated monitoring to Tender's spam and have it search for known Assembly IDs, email addresses and URLs. We will also set up notifications for suspected false positives, so we can swiftly recover those and send a reply.
We will start routinely checking the spam dashboard for cases where our own automation lets us down.
Finally, we have also escalated this issue to Tender. It is possible that the large amount of URLs and UUIDs that are common among our support tickets, have badly impacted their filtering along the way and we want to help them get better ratios again.
We Are So Sorry
If you have sent us an inquiry and never heard back - we are very sorry.
For a long time, a significant portion of communication has remained invisible to us. It is something we still find hard to digest.
Not only is it impolite, but we may have also failed to uncover and address important issues, which is even worse and worries us deeply.
We offer our sincerest apologies. If you were impacted, please let us know what we can do to make up for this, beyond what we have already talked about in this post.
Update from October 23, 2015 We never heard back from Tender and have switched our support over to Intercom.