Frustrated and Looking for a Solution

Alternatively titled: An Open Letter to Salvatore Capolupo and WordPress.com

As anyone reading this will most likely know, I go by the name “Japh”. This is a shortening of my full first name (Japheth), and I pronounce it “Jafe”.

Unfortunately for me, “JAPH” is a fairly long-time used acronym for “Just Another Perl Hacker” and other miscellaneous things, so I don’t always get to use it as my username.

Probably you’ll also know that I’m pretty interested in WordPress. I’m involved in the community, I run a tutorial blog focussed on it, and I contribute to WordPress core and other things for Envato. So I was really hoping to get, and use, japh.wordpress.com.

As you can see, it was already taken. From what I could tell, nothing has happened on this site since 2008-ish. So I contacted the email address shown on the site, sayhem at gmail.com, in March of 2010 asking if the person was still using it and if not could I please have it?

I got a reply from Salvatore Capolupo, who said he wasn’t using it anymore (moved the site to a different domain) and “no problem for me, just give me time to recover access data.”

Then we had a couple more emails back and forth. It seems Salvatore was unable to find his access data to get into the site in order to transfer it to me. But he’d let me know when we found it.

I didn’t want to hassle him, so I waited about a month, and contacted him again in April 2010. We tried working through a few account resets together over chat, but we couldn’t get me access.

I submitted a support ticket to WordPress.com asking how I could claim an unused blog URL if I had the current owner’s permission. Of course, support got back to me and said it’d be best for Salvatore to contact them.

Other than me emailing them back again including chat logs with Salvatore and getting the same reply, this is where the process has halted. Even to this day.

I’ve contact @salcapolupo on Twitter now and then to ask how he’s gone finding the access details, and no luck. I recently offered him money to please get this resolved.

Still nothing!

So, as annoying someone over the course of 2.5 years and offering them money doesn’t seem to be working, what else can I do? Suggestions welcome!

13 thoughts on “Frustrated and Looking for a Solution”

  1. Classic I.T problem, unless its important enough to them they will never do it, even if it takes him an hour of work and the money you offer is worth that to him.
    I had open calls in the helpdesk from 2007 because the vendor just DID not care!
    If its only one guy and he’s not beholden to anyone above him its pretty hard to get things moving.
    I remember one thing I urgently needed to do by COB and a person was pretending to know what was happening and what to do but he didn’t really, I kept hassling him on the phone until he said ( maybe a little tearfully) ‘I never set up the mailbox in the first place!’ –
    “well, who did!” I demanded.
    “So and so” he said meekly – I extracted his email address and moved on.
    Maybe you could suggest if he doesn’t know how to do it, you could help ;)

    1. You’re right, this sort of thing tends to happen a lot in the I.T. industry (maybe others too?)

      I could try your suggestion, but I think there’s very little I could do to help, as the whole point really is that he needs to access things to prove he is who he says he is.

  2. I’ve had a similar longstanding issue. You are lucky to have received at least some correspondence and cooperation.

    Here’s a suggestion: Get famous – support tend to respond quickly to famous people when it comes to redeeming internet real estate.

    1. Haha! Just get famous, nothing too difficult then! :P

      I should clarify, my frustration is not at all with WordPress.com, I completely understand that they need Salvatore to verify his ownership to regain access and hand it over to me. My frustration is that I don’t know how to motivate Salvatore to actually contact support and do this! Support are there and happy to help if he would get in contact with them.

      1. :)

        It sounds like he needs some motivation. Perhaps something more valuable to him then money might be a problem he needs solved which you could help with. A bit of mutual back scratching… a bug he can’t solve etc… perhaps not now, but maybe a get out of jail free card for the future.

        1. Interesting! That might be worth trying, but how to word it more powerfully than “I’ll owe you one!” ;)

          I hope he comes and reads this blog post, maybe that will help him see that while it might not be important to him, it is to me.

  3. Sometimes showing a willingness to part with your money can create barriers. ie if you are willing to part with money easily to solve this problem, it could position yourself as being in a better off position then he/she is. This can psychologically create a reluctance to help you now. For some reason sometimes people like to help strugglers, and on the contrary hold people back that are doing much better.

    1. I hadn’t thought of this perspective… you could be right! I may have come at this from the wrong angle, and now I need to backtrack a little.

  4. Japh, I can just imagine that my old blog is REALLY important for you :)

    I would be happy to help Japh and give it my blog to him… I don’t want money for making this of course, and I know that passed many years (almost 3!) but can’t really do nothing for this till now. WordPress is very hard for these things, and support does not give hints or help for specifical cases.

    In this moment for what I can remember – hope is right – I had to change my official email because I didn’t want to be linked to that blog anymore… so I create a fake one, inserted into japh.wordpress and as a result can’t recover that. Really sad for my friend and his hopes, but this was a collateral effect I could not even predict.

    1. Hi Salvatore, thank you so much for taking the time to reply :)

      Andrew from WordPress.com contacted me today to say they’ve emailed you, and hopefully we can get this all sorted out.

      There will be a huge party at my house once this is all sorted!

  5. Glad to hear this and hope you get to that point soon. Maybe you want consider to extend your “authors test” with some plain php questions like »What does the following do: 'foo' === $var || 5 <= $bar AND $baz = 'sigh';« :)

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