Dreamhost and Open Tickets (rant)


On March 13th, I opened a ticket because I edited 12 of my 13 cron jobs and promptly stopped receiving email with output. I know they are running because I see entries in a mysql database, however, the output of the cron isn’t emailed to me. It took a day for dreamhost to respond, and when they did, they closed my Open ticket and said the problem should be fixed in a few hours. It wasn’t. I opened a new ticket telling them that it wasn’t resolved. They then traced my 1 good cron job and told me that emails are getting through and closed the new ticket. I reopened the ticket and told them they were reporting on the 1 good cron job that’s still emailing me, and 12 others are not. That was 1 day and 14 hours ago, which is the ‘open’ status of my problem.

From my perspective, my problem was reported on March 13th, not March 15th. By responding with stuff off the top of their heads and closing tickets, dreamhost loses context for the time a problem has been open. Couldn’t the new email reopen the old case, so the time dreamhost things the problem is occuring is the same time the user experiences the problem?

I understand Dreamhost Support is overworked, but churning cases closed so that open cases appear to have closed quickly doesn’t endear users to dreamhost support.


I’ve found that by replying to their email it does reopen the old case. While the best way to open a ticket is via the panel, the best way to report on an ongoing problem is to reply to the email thus reopening the old ticket.

The queue’s have apparently been packed lately, I hope there is an end in sight to that mess… getting the turnaround time down would solve the problem as well.


actually, I have only been replying, so the ticket keeps getting closed by DH staff. :frowning:


That’s slack as. Even if they’re being flooded with users wanting help to fix hacked sites it’s no excuse to skim over actual issues that they are required to deal with. You should send in a Complaint via the Ticket System outlining the sub-par support you encountered from the Tech(s) involved.

On another note, I wasn’t aware that the ticket system had flags for Opened/Closed status.



The open/closed was my interpretation. When I look at panel ‘contact support’, it lists my open tickets; when a staff member has in the past replied, this status is cleared and I assume therefore closed. When I reply a new number is assigned and it shows up again as ‘open’ with the date and time since my last email.


Ahh! That would explain completely why I was clueless to this tagging. It seems I’ve been blessed with prompt responses to tickets, so have never had the opportunity to see an “Open” ticket when hitting Contact Support for the next issue (of which I’ve had very few anyway).

Note: I probably have had more issues than I’m aware, but just haven’t been around when they happened so missed them lol :smiley:


Hi there,

This is just a note to let you know that although it’s almost been
24 hours since you sent in your message, we haven’t forgotten about

We strive to answer all questions within 24 hours, but due to the
large number of questions we have right now we’re afraid we may have
to go over a bit this time. :frowning:

Please hang in there and we’ll be getting back to you as quickly
as we possibly can!

Our apologies again, and we appreciate your understanding.

I’ve sent them a bunch of emails needing help my site is wicked laggy, and gives me errors but i don’t know!! maybe they are busy!


Ok, now it’s been 7 days, I email my initial problem on 3/13 when I edited 12 of my 13 cron jobs to tweak a command. I can see the cron jobs are working.

On the 14th, I received my first email: The problem is our outbound spam filters and we resolved it, it should take a few hours to clear the queue - shaun h

on the 15th at 1:30pm, after I used the panel to tell them that this failed, got an automated email 'We strive to answer questions in 24hours…"

on the 15th at 4:20pm Dan W told me he saw a cron output go to me, at 5:10 I told him that was the 1 cron job I didn’t change.

On March 17th I recomplained again.

On March 18th, at 12:44 pm Dan W told me this problem was placed in his personal queue apparently after he left for the weekend. He told me the good news was that they found why the messages aren’t getting to me, they were being blocked by a spam filter. He brought it to the attention of the email administrator. he didn’t have an ETA but it shouldn’t take more than 24 hours.

At 5:24 I recomplained that it was still happening…

On march 19th at 3:46 pm, got an automated email “We strive to answer questions in 24 hours…”

On March 19th at 11:24 pm, my emails are getting nastier…

Currently, on march 20th, I have two open tickets, one is 1 day and 15 hours old, and 1 is 9 hours and 28 minutes old, they are both the same issue.

I don’t mind having small problems like this given low priority. I mind the thrashing around by tech support and the lack of focused attention as this problem ages.


Why not post an anonymised copy of your crontab -l output. It could be something as simple as you commented out the MAILTO line…


I’d be inclined to remove any reliance upon mail altogether.


[quote=“bobocat, post:9, topic:57284”]
Why not post an anonymised copy of your crontab -l output. It could be something as simple as you commented out the MAILTO line…
Here is an anoymised version:

###— Changes made to this part of the file WILL be destroyed!


15 * * * * /usr/local/bin/setlock -n /tmp/cronlock.3781104649.122621 sh -c $’/usr/bin/perl /home/myuser/whackemall.pl’


0 1 * * * /usr/local/bin/setlock -n /tmp/cronlock.3781104649.125534 sh -c $’/usr/bin/perl /home/myuser/accesswhack.pl -record’


@hourly /usr/local/bin/setlock -n /tmp/cronlock.3781104649.125535 sh -c $’/usr/bin/perl /home/myuser/accesswhack.pl -cron’

daily no output

@hourly /usr/local/bin/setlock -n /tmp/cronlock.3781104649.125566 sh -c $’/bin/sh /home/myuser/website.com/daily.sh’
###— You can make changes below the next line and they will be preserved!

The top one and the bottom one for this user work, the middle two work but don’t send any mail. The non working ones are like other’s I have for other users in this account.

I’m sending to my apple icloud email address (me.com), I have tried to use a dreamhost email address, that didn’t work either.


And you are sure that accesswhack.pl will always output something under all conditions? Try:

or run the script manually to ensure that it’s actually outputting something.


WooHoo! They just started sending email! I knew they were working because they write to a mysql database which I can see.



Great, so what was the cause.

Just FYI, a cron script can do something without sending output to stdout. I think that if there’s no output, no email will be sent.


There was a bug in the filtering system that was causing my emails to get flagged as spam and deleted. My cron jobs only send email when they want to chat, so that wasn’t the problem.



Don’t make your output so spammy :stuck_out_tongue:

Personally, I use mutt to send the output within the script rather than rely on cron… it gives me more control over the subject line, formatting, etc.


Thanks I’ll check it out.