TradeShark Diary, 13th January 2021

It has been an action packed first week of the new season! Normally the first few weeks of the season mean night shifts. Not this time. We have had matches almost all day with WTA Abu Dhabi , ATP Antalya and Delray Beach in the evenings. With Abu Dhabi matches starting around 6am that has meant some long days. To get the research done for the following day I had to wait until the order of play was posted so I knew which matches to look at. Betfair were pretty slow at getting markets up which didn’t help. The season started with a few 17 hour days.

The trading has been pretty good to say a lot of the players are a little rusty. I dropped stakes a little as I always do in the first couple of weeks. I have still made a healthy return. I even made a bit on the T20’s and football!


Last night was pretty stressful. Everything was ticking along nicely until I got a message in the Telegram room that the website wasn’t loading. I checked. It wasn’t. Site not available. This happens from time to time and it’s a quick, easy fix. Changing the PHP setting in the Plesk dashboard usually gets things going. In fact sometimes just opening the PHP settings page is enough to sort it! I tried a couple more times but it didn’t work. Great! I raised a ticket with my hosting company.

As usual when you open a support ticket I get a message when one of the first level support guys is starting to work on it. I hate the sites being down. It’s not great for business. Anyone visiting your site for the first time probably won’t come back. After an hour the sites were still down and I had heard nothing more from Level I Keith. I think Keith is in India. Certainly when they connect to my sites Google Analytics show them as being in India. I sent him a message asking for an update. No reply. My next message an hour later was a little less polite and did prompt a reply. it didn’t tell me anything other than that they were still working on it.

I raised the ticket at about 3:15 pm. By 6 pm “Keith” came back to me saying that the Name Servers were pointing to another site. They had been that way for a couple of years. I had tried Cloudflare which is a CDN service which claimed to be able to speed up the site. Using them made no difference and I thought I had switched Cloudflare off. The site had worked fine ever since so I didn’t mess with it. So now all of a sudden this was the issue with the site. “Keith” asked me to change the Name Servers to their servers. I would have thought it would have been quicker for him to do that. I went into the Plesk dashboard and made the changes. I’m certainly no expert but I have picked a few things up over the years. I knew that changes to Name Servers could take 24 to 48 hours to take effect. I didn’t want the site to be down for a day or more! I messaged “Keith” to tell him I had made the changes and could he check that I had done them correctly. Was there anything else I needed to do? No reply for another 90 minutes.

By this time I was pretty pissed off. I hate the sites being down. I hate being ignored and was starting to hate “Keith”. During the radio silence I had sent various questions to help me understand what the issue was. All were ignored. I started to get messages from people who were able to access the sites. It seemed that the Name Server changes had done the trick. To wind me up just a little bit more I was not able to get on my own sites!

Rebooting my router allowed me to access the sites. Sometimes. It would be OK for a few minutes but then I’d get the “Site Unavailable” error. I was able to access it using my phone so it was now my wifi that was the issue. When I was able to get on to it I could see that things were not quite right. All my blog posts since the 5th of January were gone. The media files from those posts were also gone. I have had this before. If they get a problem with the site they use a back up copy from a few days before to restore the site. Then they deny doing so. Two or three years ago they did it. The biggest issue that it causes is that everything is rolled back including any changes to the user’s records. So people who signed up since the back up version will not exist. Anyone whose subscription ran out since the back up was saved will now have access to trading emails that they were no longer paying for.

It’s a pain in the arse but that’s what backup’s are for. Three years ago I asked them to let me know the next time they did it so that I could try to correct all the user records. If “Keith” had sent me a message saying that he was struggling to get the site working but that he could fix it by using a back up from the 5th of January I would have agreed to it. At least he would have been letting me know what I was dealing with. I explained to “Keith” what seemed to have happened and asked if he had restored the sites from a back up. No he hadn’t. “We have made changes to the Name Servers and that has fixed it”. Firstly, it was ME who made the NS changes and secondly you’re a lying little twat. I didn’t use those exact words.

I told him that there was no other explanation that I could think of why the sites had been rolled back 7 days. Even the sales site was different. I had made a small change a couple of days before and the site was now back to how it was before the 5th. That was very easy to correct but strongly suggested that he had done the same with both sites.

I checked the database. Maybe the posts were still in there and could be recovered. There were NO records after the 5th of January. “Keith” was now ignoring my messages. He kept sending me screen shots of the sites loading OK and telling me that I should get in touch if I needed anything else.

I raised a new ticket specifically about wanting to know how the records had been deleted. I said in the ticket that I wanted to hear from someone more senior to explain it to me. Another Level I guy, “Thomas” replied to this ticket saying that they had answered my question on the previous ticket. I instantly took a dislike to “Thomas” and replied with a controlled rant about how both he and “Keith” could plainly read yet were ignoring multiple questions from me, a loyal customer for almost a decade. I said that if they were not able to give a satisfactory reply then they should escalate it to someone who could. It took a while to type that as I had to keep stopping and hitting DELETE to take out the occasional “twats, “Muppets” and “Lying bastards” comments.

Apparently it is now being escalated to Level II.

So by 2:30 am I had made the corrections to the users records. I may have missed a couple so if you are not getting emails when you should get emails please let me know.

Everything is really quiet on the street. Stark contrast to the first lockdown. There are no queues at Tescos. They had an outbreak of Covid cases among the staff. They reported that it was 12 but locally the rumour is that it was over 70! A lot of people are staying away from the store. IT’S GREAT! You can go in at any time and walk straight in. They have loads of checkouts on so no queue at the tills. I even went in there on Friday afternoon and breezed round.

The hospital is pretty busy. Not as many deaths as in the first lockdown. They still haven’t offered vaccinations to the staff. Matt Knobcock keeps banging on about how he values the NHS staff but really hasn’t looked after them in the last 10 months. I’d give him something to cry about if I met him. (Did your mum used to say that if you were crying as a kid?)

It looks like there are no decent tennis matches for the next 4 days. There are ITF tournaments on but liquidity is poor and even when there are no top matches being played I don’t think liquidity will be great. There are Challengers starting on Monday.

Stay safe.

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