Buying Ubuntu Support from Canonical not as smooth as running the Operating System!

Kristian Erik Hermansen kristian.hermansen at
Fri Oct 5 22:25:18 UTC 2007

In reverse chronological order...

... or to sum up in short:
* Based in UK (so no US hours?)
* Don't accept our corporate American Express (AMEX)
* Credit Card verification failed (on a valid card)
* Still charged the invalid card twice and credit card company called
to notify us of possible fraud!
* Canonical's web application accepting the data could be misbehaving
* After all this, we had to fill out the order by hand and fax the
paperwork back to a UK fax number (no US number available)

Now this doesn't change my opinion of Ubuntu in any way, but it does
make me wonder just how many people have actually ordered support from
Canonical.  Most new customers could be turned off by such an

From: 	Michelle Surtees-Myers <michelle at>
To: 	Kristian Hermansen <khermansen at>
Subject: 	Re: Your information request for Ubuntu Desktop Support
Date: 	Fri, 5 Oct 2007 04:03:45 -0700

HI Kristian,
I am sorry that you have experienced problems purchasing support from
our online store. I will pass these problems on.

If you let me know what sort of support you are looking to purchase, I
will send you an order form and process your order from here.
Kind regards,

Kristian Hermansen wrote:
> That is unfortunate...
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Birol Ertekin
> To: Kristian Hermansen; 'Michelle Surtees-Myers' <michelle at>
> Sent: Thu Oct 04 20:42:41 2007
> Subject: RE: Your information request for Ubuntu Desktop Support
> The merchant is not accepting Amex, so I tried my personal Mastercard
> but the payment system is not accepting the MC:
> This transaction was not authorised by your card issuer. This
> authorisation request was denied as further identity checks cannot be
> carried out on an internet transaction. You may wish to try another card.
> This may be due to the fact that the e-commerce system is UK based.
> Also it was difficult to pass the 'I read and confirm the service
> agreement' part. It kept unchecking the box automatically, and after
> trying it maybe 20 times, it worked.
> - Birol
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Kristian Hermansen
> Sent: Thursday, October 04, 2007 12:47 PM
> To: Michelle Surtees-Myers
> Cc: Birol Ertekin
> Subject: RE: Your information request for Ubuntu Desktop Support
> Hi!
> Birol, my boss, will be putting in the request for me.  Can you give
> him the instructions on how to make payment and whatever else needs to
> be done?  Thanks :-)
> --
> Kristian Erik Hermansen
> Information Security Engineer
> FOX Interactive Media / IGN
> 8000 Marina Blvd.
> Brisbane, CA 94005
> Mobile: (415) 509-1293
> Office: (415) 508-2252
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Michelle Surtees-Myers [mailto:michelle at]
> Sent: Thursday, October 04, 2007 10:05 AM
> To: Kristian Hermansen
> Subject: Re: Your information request for Ubuntu Desktop Support
> Dear Kristian,
> Thank you for your interest in Ubuntu and support services from
> Canonical. We are replying to the request you sent via our web site:
> = Your original request =
> Hi :-)
> I am interested in speaking with an expert about advanced Desktop
> support.  I am an active open-source contributor (I spoke at Ubuntu
> Live...among other things) and would like to learn about possibilities
> for support from Canonical.  I have at least one Desktop machine here
> at FOX that I would like to request for support through Canonical.
> However, I want to find out what I am getting first!
> Basically, the real reason is that I have a few Enterprise devices
> that I may not want to investigate setting up myself sometime.  And
> also, I assume that based on the support requests, you would
> prioritize solutions for paying customers, and then all non-paying
> Ubuntu users can benefit from such enhancements.  That is what I am
> interested in -- helping make Ubuntu better for everyone :-)  Let me
> know if my analysis seems correct and this is the type of service you
> offer...thanks!
> ================
> Our support generally covers installation, configuration,
> administration and management of Ubuntu on the desktop.  So we'll
> willingly try and help with an issue where you've tried to install or
> set-up Ubuntu on a particular machine.  It depends what you mean by
> "Enterprise devices" because we won't go out and research whether
> Ubuntu will work with a particular device such as a mobile phone.
> If you had a wider enterprise deployment then this would come under
> the scenario of deployment consulting or engineering consulting.
> As you mention one of the benefits of Ubuntu support is that we'll
> prioritise the resolution and development of bug fixes or feature
> fixes for commercial customers.  Individual resolutions will make
> their way into the upstream Ubuntu release so that all users (and the
> support customer in the future) all benefit.  So if you have a HP
> workstation and Ubuntu doesn't work correctly with the hard-drive then
> this will be prioritised over a community member who has a similar issue.
> Our services agreement covers installation, configuration and
> generally getting things working on your desktop environment. It also
> covers support for most packages in the main repository. In general,
> we will go out of our way to help you solve the problems you might
> encounter when installing and running Ubuntu.
> The duration of the contract is for one (1) year. During that year,
> you are entitled to ten (10) support cases. A case, also called an
> incident, is a problem that you encounter. In order to solve a
> problem, we might exchange several phone calls or emails. However,
> these will only consume a single case during the span of these exchanges.
> Two Desktop Support options are available to you:
> Standard desktop 9x5:
> * Availability: 9AM to 5PM in your timezone, weekdays only.
> * Initial response time: 4 hrs for cases raised by phone; 48 hrs for
> those raised via our customer web portal.
> * Price: $250 per desktop.
> Complete desktop 24x7:
> * Availability: 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
> * Initial response time: 2 hrs for cases raised by phone, 24 hrs for
> those raised via our customer web portal.
> * Price: $900 per desktop.
> Included within support is Landscape, our Web-based Systems Management
> service, is now provided as an intrinsic part of Canonical's support
> services. Landscape is specifically designed to help in management and
> support of desktop, laptop and server deployments using a single
> integrated web interface. Some of the functionality also enables you
> to manage groups of machines as easily as if you were managing a
> single machine. For more information, please see our web site:
> All machines covered by a Canonical
> support contract have the opportunity to register for the Landscape
> service.
> In order to obtain a Support services agreement from us, please reply
> to this email with the following information:
>  * Type of support contract required: (9x5 or 24x7)
> We would also like to confirm that we have the correct contact
> information for you:
> * Full name of main contact: Kristian Hermansen
> * Email address of main contact: khermansen at
> * Company: FOX Interactive Media
> * Address:
> 8000 Marina Blvd.
> Brisbane, CA 94005
> * Phone number: 415 508 2252
> * Fax number:
> * Website:
> Important:
> Cases can only be submitted by contact persons recognized by our
> system. If you would like to add contacts to your account please
> provide us with the following information for each:
> Name
> Email address
> Telephone number
> Support can now also be purchased via our online store. To buy click
> here:
> If you have further questions, feel free to write or call us directly
> at +44 207 630 2474.
> Thanks for considering us for support, we look forward to working
> together!
> Regards,
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> 10/4/2007 5:03 PM
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Kind regards

Michelle Surtees-Myers
Canonical UK Ltd
Tel: +44 207 630 2474   Fax: +44 207 630 2401

Ubuntu - Linux for human beings
Kristian Erik Hermansen

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